a short story about a ghost radio that plays songs that were never composed

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Ghost Radio (CW: drug use, suicide)

a short story about a ghost radio that plays songs that were never composed

I found a ghost radio station that plays all the songs musicians never got to write.

The ballads they would have given us if they didn't overdose, or end their lives, or burn out before their time.

I just hope they knew that the world doesn't need artists to suffer for them to be valid, to be loved, to matter.

And I hope the world knows it too.

I've been thinking a lot about mental health and artistic careers, and the way that the pressures of survival in late-stage capitalism wring out every drop of imagination from artists, no matter the personal toll.

And I think I've been really lucky in my creative life and career to have a community that follows me through all my evolutions. Every time I've come near burnout, I've felt incredible support in taking a break to care for myself. Every time I've switched focus from comics to songs to short stories to keep myself interested and passionate about my work, people have followed along with enthusiasm.

I've seen artists get locked into projects that no longer creatively fulfill them because it pays the bills, and I've seen artists struggle to bring their community on board with new passion projects. I've largely been spared that. It can be a rare thing to have people who support you as a human being and not just a creator of content they want more of.

So this piece is about a problem I've seen, but that I feel genuinely blessed not to experience myself. I wish every artist got to find their community. I know I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have you.


Short story written by Peter Chiykowski

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Story prompt taken from a photo by Alex Blăjan

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