Writing during a pandemic

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Writing during a pandemic

I often struggle to fall asleep at night unless I write everything down in a list that's swimming around my head from the day. During the pandemic it's been the only way I've managed to continue writing on a daily basis; all my thoughts, worries and things I've learnt in one list out of my head and onto paper.

Like everyone's initial enthusiasm in the early days of lockdown, I thought it would encourage me to do more writing at home, but I quickly realised that much of my inspiration comes from doing new things, seeing different places and talking to people hearing different perspectives. I would sit down, look down at my notepad and nothing would come to mind.

The weekdays and weekends started to merge together and the familiarity of our flat felt suffocating at times. I was dying for a spontaneous dinner with Jack in London at places we'd not tried yet or a weekend heading on the tube for a coffee and a wander just to do something different.

I was missing the joy of doing new and surprising things to keep it interesting. At heart I am a creature of habit and my daily routine was killing my creativity and my ability to think differently as I was working from home 5 days a week in a small flat with no outdoor space and then recovering from that at the weekends with easy-to-watch series like Terrace House or Selling Sunset.

For the last month or so I've lived with my parents back at home and I find myself in a similar situation on the weekdays: tired from a day working at my laptop, I can just about manage TV, exercise or cooking to help me unwind. At the weekends I've been getting out and about to catch-up with friends, desperate for a change in scenery so any intentions I have to write at the weekend are usually and conveniently forgotten. It's harder to organise things during the week as sometimes I end up working late and can't always guarantee when I can clock off.

My most regular writing exercise remains a list or diary-style recount on how I'm feeling at the end of the day, when I have a moment to decompress and digest the day before my head hits the pillow. So while I do get frustrated not being able to keep the blog or Instagram going as regularly as I'd like, I forget that my list-writing each night is still writing at the end of the day - perhaps if that's all I can manage for the time being it's not such a bad thing to keep things simple and enjoy it whatever form it takes. 

Thanks for reading - Have you struggled to keep up your hobbies or interests or has the pandemic made you more productive as a result? Would love to know! 

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