I know I’ve been quiet on the blog lately. In part because I’ve been making it a priority to be noisy in real life and the blog has taken a backseat to that. But it’s not just that.
This blog–my Observation Desk–has always served as a safe space for me to share my thoughts. I’ve pointedly strayed away from highly charged political and controversial topics. Not necessarily censoring myself, but being careful in order to keep this a safe space…for myself and for those of you who actively participate here (and I’m incredibly thankful for all of you who take time out of your day to read my posts). It’s always served as one of my favorite creative spaces, and I’ve protected it to keep it positive because that’s what I’ve needed from it. I’ve needed to feel safe here in order to create.
I’ve seen how people (particularly woman and POC) can be harassed and attacked on the Internet for their thoughts and beliefs. In the past, I’ve protected myself and this space from that. I’ve had that privilege when others haven’t. I recognize that.
But right now, in the U.S.’s current political climate, everything has become political. Literature and art have always been political, but now the very places we shop, the causes we choose to support and donate to, whether or not we speak up..it’s all political. This is new to me, though I know this idea of life in general not being political is not new to others.
So I’m confronting my own decision to keep this a “safe” space. I’m confronting and recognizing my own privilege in ways I never have before. I’m listening and learning from people who do not have the luxury of having a privilege like mine, and I’m believing what they say. I’m challenging the lawmakers from my state and beyond to stand up for what is right by making phone calls, writing emails, standing with others, and voicing my beliefs in a way I never have before.
My perspective has shifted so much in the last year. I see the world in a different, often scarier, light than I used to. But this world that feels so new to me is an old world for many who have been fighting oppression and racism for their whole lives. I don’t always know the best way to act or react, and I have to fight my default to stay quiet and think that this isn’t my fight and to wonder what my voice can possibly bring to the table. I’m not always successful in my attempts, but I’m learning and listening, always listening.
I’m not saying any of this because I’m turning this blog into something new or different. Having a creative space and keeping my sanity enough to be able to create stories for kids is important. It’s always been a political act (as I said earlier, I believe all literature is), and the urgency of its importance is even more evident to me now.
The Observation Desk will still be a place to share creative thoughts and works, but I couldn’t ignore this part of me that was staying quiet here (I get a lot more political on Twitter @KatieLCarroll if you’re interested in checking that out). It felt dishonest, like I was keeping a secret, even though I wasn’t necessarily keeping it a secret (if you know me in real life, my political thoughts are certainly not a secret). So I may delve into that part of myself here more often.
With all that is going on in this country and around the world, it’s still going to be a big year for me personally and as an author. I’ll be sharing more about both of those aspects of my life here on this blog. I’ll continue to bring you guest posts, lots more #InkRipples each month, and pictures of the boys. This blog will continue to focus on creativity and books, no doubt about that. But now you know there’s been a lot more on my mind lately, and I’m happy to share that part of me with you (even though it feels like a messy, unfinished part of myself).
So stay tuned to learn more about my creative works-in-progress and the work-in-progress that is Katie as well!