The world is pretty rough these days: economic troubles all round, people being nasty to each other, politicians being even nastier. Some days, it's all I can do to grit my teeth and keep going.
What's even harder than just getting through the day lately is being creative while the world slams into me from all directions.
I'm hearing this a lot from friends who do creative stuff: writers, artists, musicians. The Big World is an unfriendly place right now. While I have faith that things will eventually change, we've all got to make it through the here-and-now before we get to Something Better.
That's why it's so important to keep creating, even when it's really hard. There's still beauty in the world, though some days it feels like it's hiding. But the more of our own created beauty we add - the stories, the poems, the paintings and drawings and songs - the more we push back against the grimness. The more we refuse to give in to despair and despondency.
So if it's One of Those Days yet again, when everything around you looks bleak and you're wishing for a ray of sunshine, remember that you can create that light. Yes, it's hard, but consider the possibility that the beauty you create might be the ray of sunshine someone else needs to get through their day.
Writing, art, music - these creations take us out of our everyday lives and show us the possibilities, the beauty that could be. And that's a really important thing to remember these days. Image: Artwork in progress (a while back) for the cover of The Last Priestess of Malia.