How do we write and create in uncertain times? Lockdown or self-isolation writing during the coronavirus pandemic can be both impossible (due to loss of focus or urgent priorities) and necessary. A creative approach, distraction and a way of playing are good for mental health. Here are 7 positive things to remember:
1. Creativity and imagination endure difficult situations
There is a poem by the Polish Nobel laureate Wisława Szymborska about the need to dream to create something even under difficult circumstances.
In “The End and the Beginning” Szymborska writes:
After every war
someone has to clean up.
finally sit up.
Wisława Szymborska, “The End and the Beginning”, translated by Joanna Trzeciak, available through The Three Penny Review
After describing all the activities that will resume over time, the poet ends with this last stanza:
In the grass that is overgrown
Causes and effects,
someone has to be stretched out
Blade of grass in his mouth,
View of the clouds.
Sloane Crosley wrote a good article about the discomfort of using human tragedy for “material” (one of the drawbacks that she addresses is that the writing that resulted from a disaster like 9/11 doesn’t always age well).
But we also saw Reports of how artists and writers, including Shakespeare, survived and continued to create under even tougher conditions than the COVID 19 outbreak.
Creativity and play remain because they have to. We can also turn to lonely ideas and projects that we are passionate about in difficult times to feel good about.
2. Authors can make optimal use of the quarantine
George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of ice and fire Series adapted into the hit TV series game of Thrones, wrote a short update on his website called “Strange Days”.. In it he describes how he uses self-isolation sensibly.
After Martin has assured his readers that he is well and has taken reasonable precautions against social distancing, he writes:
To be honest, I spend more time in Westeros than in the real world and I write every day. Things are pretty bleak in the seven kingdoms … but maybe not as bleak as they could get here.
Despite the stress and anxiety that Martin refers to (he also shared the hand washing guide below, which combines diagrams with Frank Herbert’s “Litany against Anxiety” dune), the author also suggests the beautiful breaks that the fantasy worlds offer us.
3. There are many ways to help and get help
From stimulus packages to special funds set up to help professionals in the arts, there are new opportunities for writers and others to come together and support each other.
In Britain, for example, the Society of Authors (whose president is Philip Pullman), launched an emergency fund of £ 330,000 for professional authors. It is planned to offer grants of up to £ 2000.
Authors and other creative people also find different ways to get in touch.
For example, child author and illustrator Mo Willems started hosting a daily YouTube series entitled “Lunchtime Doodles with Mo Willems!” The author invited his viewers: “You may be isolated, but not alone. You are an artist. Let’s do something together.”
4. There is more time to read
Many people had to work from home, and entire cities were completely closed. More companies that prefer flexible working hours and locations offer some advantages.
One advantage is that you have more time to read (without work or going to school).
Read the 800-page epic you always wanted to end. Read aloud to a child, sibling, friend or partner you are in contact with.
Reading is important to develop our own writing skills and to keep our mind busy and active in times of loneliness.
5. There are alternative sources of income for authors
By doing Guardian In the article above, many professional authors shared their concern about losing public engagements due to necessary bans on large public gatherings.
Although school talks, book tours and other public engagements are important sources of income for professional writers, there are other ways to earn more in difficult times.
Thanks to the internet, We have platforms like Patreon Here you can offer rewards (e.g., a monthly story, poem, or other benefit) to supportive subscribers in return for their contribution.
Use every resource that is available to you. Use the time alone to connect over distance. Build an audience while doing what you love.
6. We can be inspired in unlikely places
Self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Marketplace were flooded with books on coronavirus.
Perhaps now is not the time to benefit from the pandemic primary Material. Many may see a flatter or more cynical attempt to capitalize on bad taste.
However, there is inspiration in the many touching and inspiring articles emerging from the crisis.
For example enterprising Italian engineers 3D print essential respirators (although they have been threatened by manufacturers with legal action). Or People singing from their balconies together under lock.
These stories could inspire independent novels.
Maybe two strangers meet in a romance after one sings to the other on their balcony, after eavesdropping on the first from a neighboring apartment. No pandemic must necessarily be included in the story itself. But inspiration – in acts of courage, ingenuity, optimism and creativity – is omnipresent.
7. We can learn and develop new skills
Parents who have never taught their children at home learn the creative requirements to make lessons exciting and inspiring.
People like the Cypriot also find technological solutions to new challenges who used a drone to walk his dog.
Whether due to necessity or choice, now is a good time to learn a new skill that you can apply to your writing.
Join a supportive, constructive community of authors, and share discussions and writing for feedback.
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