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Cope and Hope (Also Known as Do Shit)

Atlin Merrick Cope and Hope Help for Writers Shouty Encouragement

This worldwide illness, losing a job, having depression…a million and one things can leave us feeling powerless.

I want to share one single thing that helps me in tough times again and again. Though this thing doesn't "solve" my problems usually, it does help me cope in the meantime and if I cope I can hope, you know?

When I'm feeling powerless I…do stuff.

The thing I do most is write, because writing is my power. I love it, I'm good at it, I can do it anywhere or any time.

After my college closed down last Wednesday—three weeks before our masters degree class hours were complete—I felt at a loss and unfocused.

But one thing not affected by that was this: My ability to put words on a page. And, since I love doing that, I started to do it.

I spent a fruitful afternoon writing some essays, contacting contributors, and putting together a 'tips on working from home' newsletter which will publish this Thursday. It's full of suggestions to help all of us cope right now (subscribe to Spark here).

Spending an afternoon gathering Twitter replies, talking with writers about essays, spending hours doing something I love helped me feel normal and in control. And that helped me have hope.

Will I feel that tomorrow? Mebbe, mebbe not. Did I have a good and calm afternoon where I could breathe better for awhile? I so very much did.

So this is what I hope for you, that you use your power.

What do you love to do? Garden? Paint? Customise trainers? DO THAT SHIT NOW. Do something you're good at, whatever it is. Play games, do origami, lift weights, create chalk art on the pavement in front of your house.

Find your way to breathe easy for a few hours.

Then do it again.

And again.

Cope and hope dear friends, won't you please?


And hope.

What's your superpower right now? If you share, mebbe it can become the spark for someone else's power?

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  • Atlin on

    I love this reply Sarah, so wonderful. I’m so glad you have your cope & hope! If you or anyone want to email me to chat through this, please do. We’ll support one another.


    I ordered seeds for my garden, and I plan on prepping the garden beds this week. Even if we are here for a while, I can always hope that SOMETHING will grow. In regards to writerly things, I am doing something every day. That may seem standard for most writers, but I work full time at a school and I have 2 kids who are active in sports, so some days I was thoroughly unable to write if I also wanted to, you know, feed myself and others. School is out. Sports are suspended. I literally got 35+ hours a week handed to me, and my wonderful principal just told us “Take care of yourselves and others, we’ll sort the rest out along the way”. So I am doing stuff for me and my family within the safe confines of the current necessary restrictions. But I am DOING STUFF and will not let the anxiety of what will happen tomorrow rule my today.

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