These are challenging times.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has turned into a global pandemic. Our schools, restaurants, and cities are shutting down. Many of us are self-isolating.
And you’d think, with all this time alone, we’d finally be able to get some writing done. But it hasn’t been easy, has it? In fact, it’s been harder to write than ever.
That’s why I wanted to share some thoughts and steps we can take as writers to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and creatively while dealing with COVID-19.
- Know you’re not alone. The world may be self-isolating, but we do so together — as an act of solidarity to slow the spread of the virus. For ourselves. For each other. For those with weakened immune systems. We’re in this together, even if we’re apart.
- Understand it’s okay if you don’t want to write right now. In the face of a pandemic, it’s only natural to feel hollowed out creatively (I know I do), like the stories we want to tell just don’t matter. That feeling is natural.
- But know that our stories do matter. Right now, our lives feel overwhelmingly defined by COVID-19, but life holds so much more than that, even in self-isolation. We need to be reminded of the things that make life worth living.
- So write, if you feel driven to do so. Return to your WIP, or start a new story, if you feel like this pandemic is compelling you to write something new.
- And stay inspired with your favorite stories. Whether it’s a book, movie, or comic, return to the stories that inspire you most, to remind yourself why you love to write in the first place.
Physical & Mental Self-Care
- Clean and Disinfect your computer/phone daily. In addition to frequently washing your hands, the CDC says to clean and disinfect “high-touch surfaces,” such as doorknobs, light switches, sinks, etc. every day. That definitely includes writing and research tools like our computers and phones.
- Find ways to stay active. Even just 30 minutes of physical activity a day can can keep your immune system and spirits up. Try some 30-minute, no-equipment workouts on YouTube, or if it’s a nice day and you can avoid crowds, go for a walk or jog.
- Eat well, but still enjoy your occasional comforts. Eating well will help you feel good and keep your immune system strong. But also remember to enjoy your occasional comfort foods (mine is mac and cheese, because I’m a simple man).
- Don’t trust everything you hear about COVID-19. Misinformation, or at least misleading information, is rampant right now. Trust the guidance of official organizations like the WHO or CDC, but take any information you hear through friends or articles with a grain of salt. (I’ve collected some reliable resources about COVID-19 and its prevention below.)
- Remember, again, you’re not alone. I wanted to reiterate this point, because it’s important. Even if you feel isolated from friends, family, or fellow writers, remember you can always reach out to talk. Never hesitate to connect with the people you care about, because in times like these, we all need each other.
Take care of yourselves, everybody.
The world needs stories like yours.