On a day when I can barely construct a sentence much less think about writing a whole book, my mentor calls me and reminds me that I have already written a book, that I need to get it published, and that I need to get started on the second one because I am a good writer and a good teacher and I need a book on my CV for when I'm ready to start my university faculty job search.
It took me a moment to understand what he was saying. Then I remembered -- I am writer, and I have already started on the second book, and if my anger over this election (that is triggering a lifetime of angers about cultural injustices) stops me from doing this work and achieving my dreams, I am playing right into the hands that hold the glass ceiling over us, the hands of the ones who whistle when we walk by, say we're too emotional to get anything done, say we have nothing worthwhile to say anyway. The ones who cheer us on when we're "attractive" and talk over us when we're "confrontational," "shrill," or "nagging." The ones who say "women's lit" is different from "literature," "women issue memoirs" don't sell, who publish bylines by men far outside the gender ratio. The ones who tell us we can't be astronauts or president or musicians. The ones who burn us at the stake or drown us or just suffocate us with a patriarchal pack of lies that, at this point, is about as thinly veiled as the emperor's clothes.
I won't get any writing done today. I'm far too agitated. But tomorrow or Friday or next week or in December, I am going to strap on my jet pack and use this fire to blast me through that oppressive roof to that star I keep wishing on.