Today it is exactly a year since Boris Johnson told us to stay at home, and unbeknown to us at the time, marked the beginning of several lockdowns and rules that often left us confused, concerned and unsure of the future.
It has also been three years since I published my first book, by now I should have published book number two but despite being at the final editing stage for quite a while my motivation to get this book out and published to the world has been lacking and it is only recently that I have managed to get back into the swing of things, which funnily enough seems to coincide with lockdown rules easing again.
When we were required to stay at home, this should have been good news to a writer like myself as it meant that there were going to be no outside distractions and more time to sit and write. Yet instead of getting myself comfortable on my desk and ready to write or edit the next chapter for book number 2 on those lockdown weekends, I found myself lost in a tunnel of online news, constantly hitting refresh on webpages to find out what the latest virus figures and what rules would be imposed next. It didn’t help at the time I was in a job that I did not enjoy, I was due to get married, go on honeymoon and also move house, as well as ensure I remain healthy and avoid getting Covid. 2020 was not the time to be doing big life events!!
Suddenly the small slice of time I dedicated to writing each day became smaller and smaller until I stopped. I could no longer face sitting down and doing something I once enjoyed, as my head was too full of distractions and replanning several times for the future. Yet despite thinking at the time I had not written a single thing, the reality is I did write something, everyday. I wrote a diary entry, even though sometimes that felt like a struggle. At the time I did not class it as writing as I didn’t view it as ‘creative’ as it was just me scribbling down some thoughts of the day, with hindsight I know that this was writing and that writing hadn’t deserted me completely.
When it comes to be ‘creative’ that hadn’t disappeared either as although I wasn’t writing stories or poetry I was sewing, taking photos and even learning how to knit thanks to a wonderful friends gift of a beginners knit kit. I think with everything going on in the world I just needed some time out. For me to sit down and write I needed to have a clear head and during these last few months that wasn’t happening and that’s okay sometimes life just happens and you have to go with it. Putting undue pressure on myself to write and get book two published was just not helpful and hopefully I have now learnt not to put unnecessary timelines on my writing. In the words of the great philosopher Bob Ross you’ve ‘just got to let it happen.’ 😉
As lockdown is easing I am beginning to get back into my stride, the fact I have managed to write this blog post is a good sign to me that I am ready to get reacquainted with pen, paper and the keyboard for some good solid writing sessions. It is times like this I try to look at the positives and although the pandemic has thrown some curveballs I am thankful that I am happy and healthy, I still did do some writing even if it was just a diary entry each day. I even managed to get married in October 2020 (now a proud member of the Covid wedding club!), start a new job that I love ( I even got to host an online book club with some of my colleagues) and move house!! In fact I feel I have been incredibly lucky during this pandemic as I know people who have suffered a lot during this year and are still suffering now. I just hope and pray things get better for everyone soon.
To those who feel their writing has taken a nose-dive, my advice to you is not to panic, you can still write, sometimes you just need time off to think and get things into perspective. Writing will always be ready and waiting for you whatever your age or background. And if you were able to spend lockdown writing or got into writing over lockdown that’s brilliant! Keep it up! It’s a tough world out there but my fellow blog readers and writers I know you are made of tough stuff and you can do this and get through this!
Lots of lockdown love and blog soon (!!)