(November 2 – 8)

As I sit here writing this, we’re on the second day of counting votes in the US election and my feelings towards it somewhat parallel my writing energy over the last few weeks. Sure, it looks like Biden may well pull through but there still millions of people over there who willingly voted for one of the worst people in the world—and many of them will have voted for him out of basic self-interest, or because they want to see harm done to the people has already harmed and will gladly harm again.

It makes one question the value of democracy. There are deep problems in the USA that have their origins long before this election, and those problems mean that someone like Trump can not only become President, and lie, cheat, steal, and cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people through his first term, but that people will still vote for that.

And while I’m pretty sure that no one reading this will start screeching ‘woke politics’ at me, we should note that this is not even about politics. If a person can’t accept that lying, stealing and bringing harm to people are bad things, plain and simple, then who is the one with the problem? These aren’t political issues; they are moral and ethical issues.

And how does this parallel my writing efforts? Well, it doesn’t really, but I have endured a certain lack of direction over the past weeks. I don’t specifically write to get published, but it is a natural endpoint. To write a story and have no one read it makes the story somewhat pointless. Just as to have a democratic election and have people vote for a demonstrably terrible candidate makes democracy seem somewhat defunct. All that effort to ensure people have choice and a say in their future, and what do they do?

I suspect the closer connection may well be that anxiety around the election, and the fact that there are a few too many parallels to US politics over here in Australia, has simply resulted in some mild writer’s block. But isn’t it much more fun to draw random relationships between my backroom writing and global politics?