Thursday, 30 July 2020

Writing in the Time of Covid - How to get back up, and why little steps are OK

Not feeling up to it? Still out of sorts? Just 'vegging out' when you're at the keyboard, with another cuppa?


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:
  • 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.
I hope these help you out in getting back on the writing bike. Of course, I reiterate again this: These are times humanity has not had to collectively live through since before the middle of the last century. Don't feel guilty for not writing, and don't feel guilty for being anxious. You owe no one anything - the industry will still be there, and it will, when you want to get back up. Right now, the focus should be on you - getting through, looking after yourself, and, most importantly, not stressing yourself. If it's baby steps, it's baby steps - no reason to be ashamed.

Stay safe.

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