Overhead image of people walking on a city street with quote, "It is easy for people to mistake branding for authenticity, brashness is not the same as original or creative. Offensive is not avant-garde." from C. Streetlights's "A Hiatus and A Return" overlain on top

A Hiatus and a Return

A hiatus is good for a writer’s soul every now and again, even if it is not great for her SEO. I’m at peace with that because I’m a whole person and not just a Google machine, pumping out post after post.

I needed a chance to breathe for a minute, to calm the anxiety in my heart that I would feel every time I watched the news or logged onto Twitter. For every cat I herded into place, fifteen more scattered more into the weeds until, soon, I had no cats and only weeds. I don’t even like cats.

And so, I went on hiatus. Just from writing here, on my little site. It was beginning to feel like an obligation and a burden, a task that felt like dusting the dining room table as a child, which is something I never wanted to have happen. Writing is my respite, it is my “safe space,” and if someone happens to read me here, then that is a happy thing for both of us. If nobody reads anything I write, than I am also content.

Words are an elixir of truth. Some turn to words hoping to find solace in their complexity and beauty, while others turn to them wanting validation in their beguiling and tempting arrangements. People drink in authenticity as if they’ve thirsted for it so long that they’re afraid it’s a mirage.

Unfortunately, with time to contemplate also comes time for observations. It is easy for people to mistake branding for authenticity or to think disguising low hanging fruit is the same as speaking for those without a voice. Brashness is not the same as original or creative. Offensive is not avant-garde.  There is a reason why culture and society evolves, and that is because our senses evolve — at least they are supposed to.

My time off, a self-imposed  hiatus, helped me refocus on what my priorities are and will be as a writer. I write for myself, of course, but I also write in order for my words to be that elixir of truth that people seek out of after. It is my responsibility to hold a lens up to society and show what is happening. It is my responsibility to reflect on what is happening in our communities and draw attention to it.

It is my responsibility to hold people accountable even if others will not. Frankly, I don’t care if people criticize me for it.

I took some time off to breathe, to look around and wonder at just what the hell was wrong with this place, but now I’m back.

And I give a damn.