During the pandemic can you scale how active your writing has been? In my writing circles, they answer 1 if they are lucky and not -10 and 11 if they seem to have fallen into a frenzied pattern. I fall into the latter category—I write and submit like I’m on fire. Most of my friends struggle to put a pen to the page or to type a paragraph. No response to the stress we are living is wrong. I want to make that clear.
NOT WRITING IS OKAY. WRITING FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT IS OKAY.
If you want to jump-start your routine—I’m not going to say “sit and look at the page for twenty minutes…” That’s a waste of time. Color your feelings on the page instead. It would do much more for your writing than staring and hating yourself. If you color your name blue and the river blue—is there a connection? Is that a spark of at least a sentence? I am blue and the water is blue because I am of the river. Not too bad for scribbling.
What if you are like me and you can’t slow down? You have to get out every project, every poem, your novel and memoir because… it might be too late? You might die? Someone has died? I use writing as a coping mechanism right now. My cousin died of Covid before there were vaccines and my motto is to write like the stars will shatter tomorrow. I feel like I don’t have time—so I write. I do not want to say that writing is bad—but sometimes—I at least have to reflect and realize why I am writing. If I don’t have a deadline for 3 am in the morning, why am I writing at 2 am? I am learning the art of slowing down. I have my long ‘to-do’ list—but then I have my ‘today’ list. I try to keep only three writing-related things on it. If I have an event or am teaching that may count as two. I might add a submission. I do my best to journal and get my feelings out though.
Write like the stars will shatter tomorrow…
So—now what? In this series, we are going to look at the spectrum of writer responses. I will focus on the two extremes, but for those that find themselves in the middle, you get the benefit of all of the suggestions.