When tragedy strikes a nation you cannot escape it, living in the country you have to face it along with your fellow country men and women. You feel the sorrow and look for hope like many others but since you are a writer, you have words to express your grief and extend support. In times of tragedy the strength of words is what preserves the national grief for the future generation to read and reflect and it is also a way to share the pain and grief.
So how can you get out of the grief and write your way through a national tragedy? First step would be to reflect. Think about what happened, all the people who suffered and how the nation handled the pain and grief. You have to be able to feel for the people and understand their position before you even begin to write a word on the tragedy. Make that human, emotional connection. Rushing to write at times of national tragedy without proper reflection could result in “half baked”article which lacks depth and understanding of the tragedy and the people who suffered.
Taking time to reflect, you will be able to feel the common sentiment of loss and also be able to come to terms of what you are feeling about the tragedy. Begin writing about the tragedy keeping in mind that there are real people facing the tragedy and you have to be considerate and humble. Trying humor is a total No because there is a strong possibility that even good natured humor could be taken the wrong way at a time of national tragedy. Just imagine what would have happened if someone had tried to use humor while writing about 9/11 just days after the event?
In you writing express your feeling too so that people can know that you share their grief. Write objectively about facts and details, using emotions will make your writing even more appealing because at times of tragedy people look for emotional bond.
If the tragedy is man made, like terrorism, you have to be balanced on issues like race, religion and public sentiment. You don’t want to write something that is racist or biased which will further the divide the nation and add to the tragedy.
Remember that you need time to deal with your own personal grief. So don’t hurry towards writing about the tragedy. Always be clam and balanced, express your emotions but don’t go overboard and remember to be respectful. Words are powerful, use them with caution because at times of national tragedy few misplaced words can make deep hurting cut into the community which will take years and years to heal.