Writing During the Pandemic: A Series (III)

The Second Half—Frenzied Writing

I have always written like the “stars will shatter tomorrow.” But now—I write until my eyelids cannot stay up. I’ve slept on my laptop before. By telling you this, I want to let you know that I understand. I feel the crush in my chest and need to keep my fingers pressed and moving constantly. Everything is for publication and everything…

That mind numbing listing happens often to me. It becomes a swirl of what I have to do or what I could do or what I want to do. I am learning slowly to do one thing that I want to do—that is writing for myself. Maybe journaling or experimenting with form. Something that is not “required” or that has a strict deadline. I meet my deadlines and sometimes I’m early. I keep three calendars—today, this week, this month. So far, this is helping me focus and slow down. My product is better too. 

What do I suggest to slow down?

First, don’t blame yourself. Don’t praise yourself too much either. We all need to cope. But be gentle and let yourself know that you are trying something new. Not scary. Not invasive. Just a slight change.

Pick three things off your list. If you complete them or don’t—praise yourself. You did what you could do.

Take a class or workshop. This goes for everyone on the writing spectrum! It focuses you. You feel accomplished. It takes a small amount of time in comparison with the ‘to-do’ list of doom.

Get out in nature. That’s really an activity for every writer. Get sun, get something green around you. Write down five things you feel or see—maybe touch? A poem can be entirely about the touch of a fern and how it caressed your cheek.

Above all else—never blame yourself for not writing. You are writing every second you exist. You have dreams, see interactions and people, see animals, gossip…that counts! Give yourself credit whether you are speeding up or slowing down or maintaining. This road of life we are on is long—let’s write about it.

| This is part three of a series. If you missed the previous parts, you can find part one here and part two here |