Writing is weird, in a pandemic

So y’all know that the pandemic basically derailed writing in my world. Which is fine; a lot of other things took priority. Like, for example, staying alive.

[lol some of you no doubt have no idea who these dudes are or the year this song was released…anyway, here’s the direct YouTube link in case anything disembeds.]

I tend not to kick myself over not writing because whatever, life happens and what are you gonna do?

I have, however, been doing a bit of writing here and there, and I feel like I’ll be able to be more regular about it, but I’ve got a lot of demands on me still and I’m working on carving out some time each day to do some of said writing. It’s not that I feel uninspired. It’s that I have other responsibilities that have taken precedence and I’m learning how to organize those and get used to my new normal, which is not at all what it was when the pandemic lockdowns started in 2020.

I used to think that I’d be making a living of some sort from writing, but the pandemic has made me re-think a lot of things, including the role writing takes in my life. I don’t write the kinds of things that gajillions of people are interested in, so I’m not ever going to sell enough to support myself without other jobs, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I thought maybe — just maybe — that could be a thing though I am pragmatic and realistic about it. Heh. Hope springs eternal!

At any rate, the last 18 months have involved a fuck-ton of change, and I’m rolling with it. So I’m re-calibrating my reasons for writing, and really thinking about what, when, and why in that regard. I ain’t no spring chicken anymore, and time is precious and I’m really thinking about what makes me happy and how to spend that time. I’m fortunate in that I have the space and privilege to do that, which means I spend some time thinking about people who don’t, so I also still try to make myself useful in a community sense.

We won’t know for a few years the extent of the societal impact the Covid pandemic created, but I do know there’s a lot of trauma circulating out there and everybody is dealing with it in their own ways (some less healthy and dangerous than others, but there you go).

For me, it completely shut down my writing as I worked to ensure that family was okay, that we were able to get supplies and that we were safe. When vaccines became available, I got my elderly relatives signed up and vaxxed, and then went to get one for myself as soon as that option became available for my age group. At my house, we still live, however, for the most part like it’s pre-vax era, and that’s okay. It is what it is.

The vax did make us relax a bit, but we know that the world is not going back to pre-pandemic happy fun times. Covid is here to stay, and until our immune systems develop natural responses to it and medical science develops better treatments for it, this pandemic will continue to be a danger for years, made worse by people who have succumbed to conspiracy theories and who do not care about anybody beyond their own noses.

The pandemic also exposed a lot of percolating shit beneath the surface, and the effect of that won’t be known for years, either. Basically, this pandemic has changed everything and it’s healthy to acknowledge that the change is not only on an individual level, but a community and global level. Trying to pretend otherwise and go about your business like no big deal, everything’s fine is a gambler’s (fool’s?) errand.

Point being, writing is important to me, yes, but not so important that I gave it primacy over other very important things that came up during the last 18 months. We all cope in our own ways, and an interesting thing for me during Covid is that writing was not an escape as it normally is. Other things were, and I went with them. When writing isn’t an escape for me, then I back-burner it. But slowly, I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of it.

At any rate, if you have any Covid coping strategies that you found worked for you, share in the comments for others. We could all use fresh perspectives and suggestions.

And stay safe, everyone.

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