This weekend was full of peaceful protests, and I applaud the people who were able to get out there and make a difference. I, myself, was not at the march or able to stand in solidarity. Why? Because I know myself and my anxiety all too well, and I refused to have a panic attack in the middle of such an important protest.
So what was I doing while other people were marching? I was protesting my way. I was writing.
Last year I was invited to take part in a wonderful project that resulted in the novella collection Melt: Five Stories to Get Snowed In With. The best part of the project was when all five authors agreed that our creative efforts should benefit people other than ourselves. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (https://bbrfoundation.org/) is an international organization committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness. Donor contributions are invested in NARSAD Grants that fund research into depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, autism, and bipolar, attention-deficit hyperactivity, post-traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. This weekend, the authors of Melt were able to make a donation from the book's proceeds. I hope it’s the first of many. In a time of such unease for so many people, I believe that the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation's work is more relevant than ever.
So what does any of that have to do with my Saturday writing? Well, I'm back at it, working to pen another short story/novelette for a new charity project. Of course, every story has to go through the drafting, polishing, editing, querying, and possible rejection stages. I am under no illusion that this project will be any easier, but I'm looking at my writing projects in a new way. Last year held some real challenges and setbacks for my writing career. Some of the obstacles made me question why events unfolded the way they did and whether I was doing what I was supposed to be doing as a writer. Now I know that I was exactly where I needed to be to make the contacts I needed to quietly rebel.
I may not be able to stand in a crowd of protesters, but I can work with publishers that support women's rights. I am not always able to donate funds, but I can donate my time and writing for projects that give when I can't. I don't subscribe to any particular political party, but I can be political by writing positive relationships and viewpoints in a relatable manner so readers might think about them. I am part of the quiet rebellion, as are so many others.
It's not hard to do small things that add up to a big difference. As a reader, consider the authors and companies you support. As a writer, consider where you submit your work. As a human, consider that people don't protest in the same way. Many people are doing what they can. Sometimes their voices are just a little softer.
Harley Easton is a Renaissance woman dabbling in everything life offers. She's worked at a theme park, found expert witnesses, been a guest lecturer at a national museum, and worked with medical students. Putting experience and insanity to good use, she's become an author specializing in erotic, romantic, and speculative fiction.