As we enter another three weeks of lockdown in the UK, I can’t help but notice a lot of posts on social media about how people are using the extra time at home to boost their creative output. But is anyone else struggling to be creative right now? And specifically, is it OK to not be writing?
This is the first blog post I’ve written for a while, and the title of it somehow feels contradictory to my usual content. Normally, I want to encourage people to write more, so why am I suddenly asking is it OK to not be writing?
Well, more than anything, I want other writers to know they’re not alone if they’re struggling to use this lockdown time ‘productively’. Whatever you’re up to right now, whether that’s going to work as one of our essential workers, or working from home like me; finding yourself a sudden and unexpected teacher, furloughed, or self-employed and wondering what will happen next…
I don’t know about you, but my head feels so FULL. It’s leaving little space to think up exciting plots or concentrate on editing. And that’s OK.
We need to be kind to ourselves. If we want to watch TV, or take a long bath, or cook some tasty food, or sit in the garden in the evenings instead of writing, that’s OK.
Don’t beat yourself up for taking a break.
Don’t compare yourself to that author whose getting a few thousand words down a day, or the author who managed to bash out an entire novel in the space of a month.
Let them do their thing, while you do yours. Everyone is different.
Do small things that feel manageable and bring you joy.
For me, that’s making sure I make the most of my one daily exercise outing and get some sunshine. I also try to write in my diary every day.
Yesterday, I was inspired to write a short story in response to a magazine that was calling for submissions to do with finding hope during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Find what works for you and what inspires you – even if it’s nothing to do with writing!
How are you finding writing during this time?