Like many people across the country, Hurricane Sandy has been on my mind. It’s affected my days and nights and because of damage done to our house, we will be feeling its effects well into the future. But thankfully, we are all healthy and unharmed by it physically, so that’s a blessing. I pray that all of you reading this are safe as well.
“I am my own port in a storm.” This thought came to me a few days after the hurricane and it gave me an enormous sense of relief. I realized that even though the big hurricane had rocked my world, it didn’t have to rock my writing. I also realized that the best way for me to weather all this was to get back to the page. The page is my safe harbor, my port in a storm. It’s also my anchor. And I believe that the same may be true for you as well.
There are so many things in our lives that we can’t control. We have to deal with the vagaries of the publishing industry, the impact of e-books, the trends that swirl around our submissions, wooing agents, and difficult rejections. Beyond the page, we may face health problems, personal sorrows, financial trials — and more. Then we must contend with the ever-expanding array of distractions, all enticing us away from the challenging writing goals we’ve set for ourselves, from the vision we have of our writing life, and from the daily disciplines that are often demanding and easily sacrificed to some other pleasurable activity close at hand.
In the midst of all this, how do we find our way? What’s our North Star? I believe it’s the page: bright, shiny, new, empty, silent, pure, expectant, hopeful, forgiving. So when we are tossed and turned, buffeted at all at sea, let’s always remember that our safe harbor is right at hand, ready to shelter us and sustain us. All we have to do is set sail on the page and see where it carries us. We are our own ports in the storm — and we can always ride the page safely home. Write on.