Hopes for Covid19 Aftermath

Although right now the pandemic that is covid19 feels like it will never end, I’ve been trying to figure out the good I want to remember from this unprecedented event in world history. I’m still learning and making sense of what is happening, but some things have caught my attention, and I’ve thought, “Yes! I hope people will remember this when this thing is over.” Here are some of them. I’d love to know others you’ve thought of.

  • Teaching children is hard work and those who do it well should be richly rewarded. Any time people are skilled in their professions, they make what they are doing look effortless. Teachers are the same. The effort is hidden beneath preparation and years of training and practice. Teaching is a science, yes, but it’s also an art. Good teachers are worth their weight in gold as many parents are finding out.
  • Doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are underappreciated in the best of times and heroic, brave, and selfless in the worst of times. Don’t let anyone tell you that the government rather than private practice doctors should be in charge of our healthcare. Doctors spend years learning how to practice medicine. They know what is possible and what isn’t. They know which patients will benefit from particular treatments. They also have the knowledge to try new (or old) treatments to see whether they work. Can you imagine the governmental bureaucracy that would have kept the experimental therapies doctors are using to treat covid19 from being used? I sure can! Take a moment and thank God for all our health professionals.
  • Social media should be used for social connection and not for politics or tearing one another down. Can we make Facebook and Instagram fun, uplifting, and supportive places forever? During covid19, people have been witty, creative, and generally excellent to each other, and I, for one, have loved it!
  • People should always stay home from school, work, and worship if they are sick. If people stayed home for even minor colds, those who are vulnerable wouldn’t die from complications from viruses like the flu or the common cold or the novel corona virus we’re dealing with now. What is merely a nuisance for healthy people can become deadly for those with underlying conditions. Companies should remember this and offer PTO with this in mind.
  • We shouldn’t let work be the focus of our lives. Work is a gift from God that allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but it can never replace our relationships with our families and friends. Work life balance was just a phrase before this virus. I hope it becomes a reality. Just because people can work from anywhere, doesn’t mean we should.
  • Walks–preferably outside–improve our health. Nature is a natural stress reducer. Just take a look at what this article from the American Heart Association says, “Whatever you call it – forest bathing, ecotherapy, mindfulness in nature, green time or the wilderness cure — humans evolved in the great outdoors, and your brain benefits from a journey back to nature.
  • Family and friends make life worth living. Full stop. Call your mom, your grandmother, your dad, your grandfather, your friend from childhood or high school you’ve lost touch with, or whoever you hold dear. Get in touch. Life is fragile and precious and lovely and meant to be shared.

We haven’t reached the peak of covid19 infections in the United States yet, but we’re all in this together. If you’re feeling sad, reach out to those you love or to the health professionals in your area or to a clergy member. They will help. In the meantime, know that you are a child of God and that you are loved.

Is This Writer’s Block?

I’ve Hit the Wall

I’ve hit a wall with my writing. Somehow I feel empty, as though the creative well has run dry. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally finished my novel and am in the revision stage—the hardest stage for me I’ve discovered. Maybe it’s because we went on a wonderful vacation to Norway which I’ve been uninspired to write about, or because I brought home a horrible cold which turned into bronchitis and am still recovering. Maybe it’s because I will be teaching again in the fall and my mind has already turned to what I will have to teach rather than turning inward to my creative inner world. Whatever the reason, I feel lost, like a part of my soul is missing.

After the past year of being unemployed I had the utter luxury of spending every day for as long as I needed or wanted to work on my manuscript. I know others write in the wee hours after their families are in bed. Still others write early in the morning before their families get up, but I have had the complete fantasy writing gig of getting my husband off to work, walking the dog or running, then coming home to spend all afternoon writing. At times I’m embarrassed I only finished a novel, but I know how lucky I’ve been.

Help!

I’m writing this post for help! What words of wisdom do my fellow writers have for me concerning revision? What can I do to prime the pump and feel the richness of my imagination flowing forth again? How can I set up a new routine in the midst of working a demanding teaching job; where can I carve out those moments I need to survive?

With only a month left before I go back to the classroom, I want to accomplish as much as possible. I’ve decided to come up with a pretty regimented schedule which will include free writing and also beginning a new project. Revision is rewarding. I can finally see the whole picture and understand what must be changed and moved and tweaked and refined, but spilling a first draft onto the page is different. I miss being wrapped and rapt in the creative vision.

The Plan

Here’s the plan I’ve set forth for now to overcome my creative paralysis. If you have suggestions, please tell me. If you have words of wisdom, please let me know.

  1. Begin the writing day with free writing exercise or prompt for 10-20 minutes a day. I have to do something to prime the pump!
  2. Revise my novel for at least one hour/day, more if the work is going well, which I hope will be most days.
  3. Work on queries and synopsis for one hour per day.
  4. Work on social media for one hour per day to promote my author platform.
  5. Work on my blog one hour /day.

I need to crush this wall before it crushes me, so I’m putting this plan into action for now.  I’ll adjust if the writing or revising is going poorly or well, but I do want to accomplish my goals for this year. What routines have you come up with that help nurture your writing in the midst of chaos, a job, or the demands of life?