"I can't believe I'm etching cups with birds at a time like this."
"My art is so useless."
"I feel sucker punched. What's the point of trying to finish NaNoWriMo this year?"
"Everything I do feels trivial."
In the past couple of months I have had a large number of conversations with friends who, with each new socio-political announcemnet, fatal disaster, and world news event, questioned the worthiness and validity of their artwork. Usually prolific writers I know put down their pens or spent hour staring at blank screens before giving up entirely on getting words down for a day, then for a week, then for a month.
With each new blow to the artistic community, I have listened to sculptures, painters, and writers question the importance of continuing to tell stories and create art. It is disheartening to hear artist who know the collective value of art question their own worth within the community and up until now I have had difficulty in articulating my own internal railing against both the state of things in the world and my friends' despair in responding to them. So here it is: when making art feels useless and writing fiction seems trivial or unimportant, it is even more imperative that we continue to (as said recently at the Night of Writing Dangerously) "battle our dragons" through our fiction and paint our stories in canvas and clay.
It boils down to this:
We Must Keep Creating.