election anxiety countdown

Plus One

I went to bed at about 1 a.m. last night, shortly after the cake I made cooled enough to wrap in foil. If I hadn’t started a baking project, I probably would have been a lazy mess of anxiety refreshing websites and Twitter on my couch while the TV rehashed the trickle of information again and again. The cake awaits a knife and mouths to feed. Blog readers get first dibs if they speak up now (and live near U Street in D.C.).

Around the time I wrapped the cake, Biden gave brief remarks at a responsible, socially distanced drive-in event in Wilmington, Delaware. His vote count was still climbing in key states. He expressed optimism that when the normal vote counting process plays out, he would be the winner. Around that time, Trump tweeted remarks typical of an authoritarian: he delegitimized Americans’ ballots, suggested fraud, and promised to put up legal obstacles to counting the remaining votes.

Organizers continue to ramp up plans for D.C. protests against any effort by Trump to shut down vote counting, or declare an unlawful victory. I plan to get on my bike this afternoon and see how the city is responding, joining up with cyclist swarms as I see them, or just taking notes on the city on my own.

• • •

Today, having accomplished my goal of writing for 100 days to explore and distract from election anxieties, I’m thinking about what form of writing and what goals to turn to next. I have enjoyed this daily practice but want to get back to fiction, poetry, drawing and painting. These past 100 days of personal, cultural and sometimes newsy posts have inspired new directions I’d like to explore in each of those forms. I will continue posting in the more journal-like form of the past two days until the result is final, and through Inauguration Day, January 20.

I am thinking a lot about writing community, and what it might look like to build this into a site with other voices and other writing projects. The group at D.C. Writers Salon has been incredibly helpful in building accountability around writing. Our 20-minute daily morning pages Zoom — which began with the pandemic lockdown — and our formerly in-person 2-hour writing sessions (now also on Zoom) have on some days been the only community I see, but we have kept our writing separate, on our own tracks, with our own personal goals. Perhaps there is an opportunity to bring our writing online together, or bring others into the writing group. Yesterday, I talked to another friend about a collaborative journalism project worth exploring. Maybe these are the same thing. There are no shortage of community models to explore: memberships and paid newsletters, private social network platforms, subscriptions, voluntary donations. How sustainable each model is financially is an open question, but there is plenty of value in the community and connection alone that can sustain in other ways. If you have thoughts or encouragement on any of these fronts, drop me line.

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