Well, that means you're a writer. You're procrastinating, a rather undervalued part of the process. However, all jokes aside, you may have felt more 'out' lately, burdened down by the worries of the wider world and feeling, paradoxically, like you have to write, yet have no energy for it. As I've said, COVID-19 is a collective trauma - everybody's dealing with something. You are not alone, nor should you feel guilt for something you have no control over.
Now, as to what you can do? I've got a few suggestions (some discussed before, but I've thrown in some newer ones) to help you slowly, in small doses, get your groove back up:
- Let's start with tips from top writing talent, including aces like Sarah Phelps (The Dublin Murders, The Pale Horse), Daisy Coulam (Grantchester, Deadwater Fell) and Chris Lang (Unforgettable, Primeval). This handy article offers up some ideas of how they're coping:
- Screenwriting superstar and Scriptnotes co-host John August (Aladdin, Big Fish) shares with us his 'writesprint'. It's a simple planning system that gets him going for the narrative grind in timed sessions that maximise concentration: https://johnaugust.com/2020/writesprint It's very similar to the pomodoro technique (what I've been doing). Simply put, it's a timer. Do short, timed sessions. Can be as long and short as you wish - all that matters is getting it done, one step at a time. https://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730
- Maybe these are a little too brief, and you crave something deeper, more inspiring. Maybe you need a complete recharge? Well, why not have a go at Julia Cameron's acclaimed book, The Artist's Way. The one-time Scorsese collaborator and spouse has built a little empire out of her soul-searching, exploratory and guilt-free take on creative motivation. It even comes with short exercises!
- Indeed, if exercises are your jam, places like Kindle are awash with workbooks and writing exercise manuals for dirt cheap - just type in Writing Prompts/Exercises/Workbook. Or, if you want something physical, try The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley.