There’s this weird thing that happens when suddenly you have lots more time to write.
When there aren’t as many excuses. When you don’t have many places to be or things outside the house to do.
We’ve entered a strange period where many of us suddenly have lots of free time throughout the day at home. We’re expected to stay home, after all.
And this seems like the logical time to get more writing done than usual. It seems like the time to finally write your book, finally get that project finished that you’ve putting off. If we’re not supposed to leave the house, if we have hours and hours to fill, then writing up a storm seems the best course of action.
I’ve said many times before how you should write every day if you want to be a successful writer. You can’t just think about writing or talk about writing. It’s important you sit down at your chair every day and get at least a little bit of writing done.
I always feel better once I’ve done some writing, or revised a chapter from my latest novel, or queried some literary agents, or whatever it may be.
At the same time, this period has filled us with fear and uncertainty… and so if you don’t want to write? Then you don’t have to write.
I’ve tried to maintain that old “the show goes on” mentality and have continued working on my various writing projects.
Last week I finished sending out query letters for my MFA thesis novel to literary agents, and this week I’ve been hard at work on the third draft of my latest young adult thriller, Fear of Water.
But I have to admit an odd feeling has overwhelmed me this week. I’ve had the sense that what I’m doing doesn’t matter, that these writing projects are so meaningless in the scope of what the world is going through right now.
Part of me wants to step away from the laptop because things aren’t normal, and they’re not going to be for awhile. How can I continue on with this revision in light of what’s happening?
The truth is that stories, both fictional and non-fictional, really are saving everyone.
Art is saving so many of us, and I don’t know where we’d all be right now without it.
As of now I go on. I write. I revise. I fall in love with storytelling again. Writing has a way of putting me at ease, and in some ways creativity makes me feel stronger inside.
But if you don’t feel the same way, don’t force it. Don’t feel like you have to write.
If you find yourself bingeing Netflix all day, maybe find an hour to give to your creative process. Even if all you’re able to do is write a few sentences, that’s progress.
But if you have no interest in writing right now, I understand. Who knows what these next few weeks have in store for us.
So take care of yourself, first and foremost. Do what you need to do.
Just remember this: if you don’t feel mentally ready to return to the world of whatever story you’re telling, it will still be there for you in the future.