Monday, March 30, 2020

Writing In the Age of Quarantine

To be honest, this post comes as a surprise even to me. One of the ongoing themes I present in this blog is to keep on writing. Make some time to write every day. Try writing something different. Challenge yourself as a writer. I end my correspondences with fellow writers with, "Keep on writing" (and this blog site). In short, I emphasize writing.

Well, things change.

The past few weeks in the world have been... different. A lot of people I know have been furloughed, laid off, or are on work-from-home situations that give them a lot of extra time to write. Unfortunately, it becomes too much time. Way too much. Imagine a simple diary:


  • Day 1: Feeling creative, starting that big project
  • Day 2: Wrote 2,000 words toward my manuscript! Loving this extra time!
  • Day 3: Got more writing in. Fingers kinda sore, but the creativity flows.
...

  • Day 12: Does this ever end? I see words wherever I look.
  • Day 13: I think I am writing myself in circles. This is getting maddening.
  • Day 14: I must press forward. Writing is all I can do now.

...

  • Day 25: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work...

...

  • Day 41: My 1,600-page manifesto is complete. I will now start a new society...


Too much of anything can be unhealthy, even writing. Make sure to mix things up. There are plenty of ways to be a writer, and plenty of exercises can shape the different facets of your craft. Instead of pouring all your efforts into one thing, break it into different routines. This is what I do just to keep myself on my toes:

First day: Focus on main project
Second day: Main project, also but read something of a similar genre
Third day: Main project
Fourth day: Try writing something totally new -- poems, song lyrics, two-sentence stories, etc.
Fifth day: Editing day
...and repeat.

Let me explain what Editing day is, because it does not explain itself. When I need a break but still wish to be creative, I take some time to review an old piece. My job is not to see what needs correcting, but rather I examine it to see what I might do differently now, and see how my writing style has changed. The main reason I do this is to remind myself of both my progress as a writer and the brilliance that has always existed. It may sound vain or egotistical, but we all need to charge our batteries with reminders about how far we've come.

And lastly, on a more serious note, I hope everyone reading this takes special care of themselves and those close to them during this time. As hard as these days may be, there will come a point where we will look back on this and marvel at the strength and courage that got us through. Let's focus on that point, and do our best to help others see it as well.

And keep on writing.

2 comments:

  1. I understand the too much time being an issue. However, I've felt that working from home is actually more tiring. I am hoping as I become better at it, I will perk up a bit.

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    Replies
    1. When I would do work-from-home time, I first had to reset everything to work mode. Very difficult to adjust, and yes, tiring too.

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