Creativity in the Time of COVID

I’m tired, folks. I know I’m not alone in the feeling, but there are definitely days that I just feel totally worn out. Like the only thing moving me forward in all of my different endeavors is the elaborate system of daily goals I’ve got worked out for myself. But there are definitely days like today, where I know I have a goal (write a blog post every weekday), and I just come up to that goal and stare at it for a good long while before I actually muster up the gumption to get it done. And that’s with something as straightforward as a blog post. (Seriously. I have so many things to say about so many different things, usually it’s not that hard to take ten minutes to jot down some ideas about something or other.)

Creative writing? Yikes. That can be really rough. When you’re already battling depression for yourself, concerns about your family, troubling news in the world, worry around your job, election results and the emotional fallout of that with your friends, trying to push forward and get 1,000 words written each day can feel daunting to say the least. Often because I’m my biggest critic. I’ll write something, and then I’ll just see all the reasons it’s bad. There are many voices in my head, and sometimes most of them are telling me to stop what I’m doing.

So yeah. Tired. And again, probably something most of you are also dealing with.

There are blog posts that I’ve started to write and just given up on, mainly because I don’t have it in me to police the comments that would come out because of them. It feels like the coward’s way out, but I have to make some concessions for my sanity.

While I’m generally pretty good at giving other people advice, in some ways I’m very bad at taking my own advice. I know I would be telling me to go easy on myself, for all the reasons I’ve already listed. But at the same time, what are my other options? I already took a few weeks off from writing at various points over quarantine. I don’t like not writing. It makes me feel like I’m failing. (In many ways, writing is like exercising. I don’t like the act itself, but it feels great to have done it each day.)

This post doesn’t have much of a point, other than to complain. Though wait. Strike that. I think my point would be to remember two things. First, that we are all going through different difficult stages of this pandemic, often at different times. We’re all getting worn out, for a variety of reasons. And at the same time, we’re also all perhaps less patient with each other than we might be under normal circumstances. This makes it doubly important to push through that knee-jerk inclination to tell people exactly what we think of what they’re doing or saying, and instead treat everyone with a softer touch.

Including ourselves.


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