The nightmare has yet to end in America in 2017. It can be easy in these uncertain times to feel like there's nothing you can do. Truth is, everyone has something to offer in the resistance against Donald Trump. Every single person has been blessed with gifts of some kind. Some people are great public speakers; others are perfect for leading marches and rallies. Others are wonderful planners, ready to organize anything and everything. Many people are beautiful writers, skilled at expressing themselves and conveying important messages that people need to understand. Sometimes, the latter of the three is passed over or thought of as "not real activism," but it's completely untrue. Every action counts — and writing is part of that.
The reality is that leading and organizing are not going to be realistic for everyone. Physical disabilities, mental illness, and financial strains are just three among many reasons that people can't lead or plan. Writing still might not be what everyone imagines when they think of activism but it's becoming more common as the masses continue to rise against fascism and oppression.
Below are eight ways that you can resist and fight using writing. This list is by no means comprehensive, so use your writing however you think is best.
1Write In a Journal.
You've probably heard the term "self-care" about 300 million times since the election, but that's because it's important and because so people still don't think about it or set aside time for it. As tempting as it can be to vent our frustrations on social media, it can sometimes be a better choice to cope and process in a private journal. Doing so will help you understand your feelings, and by extension, deal with them. Taking care of yourself is step one to resistance.
2Write Protest Signs.
You don't have to go to marches or protests to be a "real activist." These spaces are simply not accessible to everyone, and for others, they carry too much risk. That doesn't mean you can't send a message. Well-made and thoughtful protest signs go viral all the time, so who's to say that you couldn't make one? Let the people who live for marches and protests do their thing and you do your best to represent what the resistance is rising against in the first place.
3Write Your Stories.
In our prejudiced, heteronormative system of media, it's easier said than done to get authentic stories about, or featuring, marginalized folks to popular distribution. That doesn't mean it's impossible. Fight writers block, make the time, believe in yourself, and get to work. Your story could change the world.
4Write For Nonprofits.
Writing for nonprofits is a great way to join the resistance. The larger nonprofits are unlikely to be looking for volunteers in their media departments but smaller ones certainly are. Identify your passions and what skills you have to offer, do your research, and put yourself out there. Whether you're helping get exposure for an upcoming event or exploring a relevant issue in the local paper, every little bit counts.
5Write Letters to the Editor.
Letters to the editor still exist. While they might not be the most popular form of resistance, they can pack a punch. Writers and editors across the mediascape make mistakes all the time, particularly in areas related to identities. It's possible, through these letters, to let these editors know their mistakes so maybe they won't make them again in the future. At the very least, it's a way to correct and oppose poor journalism or to praise the good kind.
6Write to Websites and Studios.
Hold the media accountable. When you see websites and TV studios covering nonsense or perpetuating bigotry, let them know you see them, let them know you will not be reading or watching them (and will be encouraging others to do the same), and stick with it. Or, if you see folks doing great work, let them know. Or if you think there's something that should or shouldn't be covered, send a note. Be an active and conscious media consumer.
7Write To Your Representative(s).
This is probably not new advice. It's also really simple. We control our representatives; they don't control us. Only through apathy and laziness do the roles reverse. Bombard their offices with letters and encourage others to do the same. Hell, you could even organize get-togethers and parties for writing these kinds of letters. Let your voice be heard, or, at the very least, gauge the responsiveness of your representative so you can decide how to deal with them moving forward.
8Write to Your Friends.
Just like we need to watch out for ourselves, we need to watch out for our friends too, especially those who are feeling more vulnerable than ever. Social media works and text messages work, but there's something magical about writing someone a letter. It shows effort and care that a typed message just can't match. What's more, you can even include stickers and other cute, little tchotchkes in the package you send them, to make it even more special. Check out Rookie's super cool, beautifully-photographed guide/example, here.