Is it just me or does the world feel like it’s burning? A tad dramatic, I admit, but honestly, the current world is not the one we’re accustomed to. For example, this blog post was supposed to be about the Cape WritingRetreat, but you already know that’s been cancelled because of the Coronavirus. That’s been happening a lot. Even simple tasks we thought were reliable like going to work or to the store have been thrown into disarray. With our every routine disrupted, you might be finding it a little hard to write. At least, that’s been the case for me. So I thought I’d share how I’ve been getting words down.
One: Be Consistent
While word goals no longer have meaning to me, being consistent has taken its place. For me, it means showing up at my desk and writing. Some days that means a few hundred words; others, a few thousand. I can’t predict this. It depends entirely on my mental health, which is surprisingly unreliable during a global pandemic. But what I can predict is showing up and writing, regardless of how much I do. That, of course, can come in whatever form you need it to come in. Scribbling down ideas regularly? Obsessively planning? Working on a project that excites you rather than what you’re ‘supposed’ to do? Just do it as consistently as you can manage.
Two: Be Kind to Yourself
This one is a major one. You’re not going to get anything done, writing or otherwise, if you aren’t kind to yourself. Usually, I’m a pretty productive person. But during this time, I’ve been struggling with even the most routine tasks. It’s wonderful if you’re still able to be productive right now, but if you’re like me, you’re going to need some self-compassion. Now is not the time to beat yourself up for not reaching whichever goals you’ve set for yourself previously. If you showed up and tried to write, that’s enough. If you’ve thought about writing, worked out a plot point, planned how you’ll be moving forward when you can write, that’s enough.
While these tips aren’t going to change your life in any way, they’re two simple ways of shifting your mindset so you can write.
But if you can’t – that’s okay, too. You are the number one priority right now. Take care of yourself; writing will be there when you’re ready.