Staying Creative – Even in a Pandemic
Because writing isn’t hard enough, right? Now we have to write while worrying about: getting sick, loved ones falling ill, kids’ school, misinformation, politics, economics, TP shortages and murder hornets. No wonder we’re not sleeping.
But introverts are at least used to being locked in their houses. Heck, they want to be there! I am an extrovert to the second power. We moved to the country outside a mid-sized Texas town six years ago. I like it, but to stay sane I have to leave like once a quarter. My husband, after living with me past that deadline, requests that I do so.
So you can see – I know your pain of not being able to GO ANYWHERE! Like you, I’ve watched conferences, retreats, seminars and just plain vacations get deleted from the calendar all year.
It’s messed with my writing, my focus and even my reading!
None of this is acceptable.
But I believe we always have choices, so I’ve found ways to not only stay sane, but to enjoy this time (in small snatches, anyway).
- I actually took a vacation, safely. We rode the motorcycles to Colorado for two weeks, stayed in a small cabin with a kitchen, so we didn’t need to dine out, 9 miles outside a town of 300. For 10 days. I fished, relaxed, saw the beauty of nature. And out there I found my better attitude. It was heaven. There are places you can go safely. Think about it. Come up with a plan, and DO it!
- Last week, I attended an ‘Isolation Writer’s Retreat’. At a friend’s house in the mountains of New Mexico. The four other women, like me, had been isolating at home, and we didn’t leave the house the whole time. We wrote, talked, and even did some art when we took a break. It was rocket-fuel to my creativity, as well as giving me some much needed girl-time. Think about it – is this something you could arrange?
- I’m walking. Two miles every day. I carry my digital voice recorder with me, and dictate ideas as they come to me. Being in nature helps me get out of my own head, and makes me realize there still IS a world out there, even if I can’t explore a lot of it right now.
- Hobbies. I knit. You may do something different. But it’s using a creative side of my brain that helps me write more. Not sure why.
- Maybe you can’t write at all. I get that – some days it happens to me, too. Why not take an online writing class? No conferences, but why not learn something about craft, or marketing, or self publishing?
- Work on your website. Put out that much neglected newsletter. Start a vlog or a podcast. Think outside the box!
If you think I’m a Pollyanna, it’s okay, I’ve been accused of worse. But I just can’t live with the thought that I have NO choices!
So how about you? How are you continuing to write these days? Give us your tips in the comments!
I have been neglecting all of my creative outlets for a couple months now. Not by choice, but because my time has become consumed by working from home, distance learning for my son, and trying to keep the house going while my husband’s “essential” status keeps him working longer hours. (As the business owner of an essential business, he really is essential.)
I feel the constant push to write, and my coaches keep telling me to just put pen to paper, but by the time I get free time, I just want to sit.
I do have a lot of other things going on, too. I’ve been riding my horse a lot more. I’ve been taking a reiki course online. I’ve been busy with my garden and preserving my harvest.
But, this weekend we got whopped in the face by COVID. It closed my barn, as one of the employees tested positive. It also closed my son’s day camp when a lifeguard tested positive. So, I’m back to being afraid, especially as a high risk diabetic.
However. . . Opportunities like this, where I get to respond to something with fear of backlash, have been offering some release from the internal pressure to create and write. This was a wonderful post, Laura. Thank you for everything. 🙏🏻
Oh wow, Jamie. Reading your post made me realize how fortunate I am – I’m retired, don’t have to worry about money, and don’t have any kids at home. Thank you for that.
Don’t beat yourself up. The writing will be there, when you have time.
Hugs and best to you…