While the world closes in and changes continually in reaction to the novel Coronavirus outbreak, many of us find ourselves at home permanently instead of working at the office, studying in class, or traveling much for pleasure. This sudden, unexpected, and forced sedentary environment set to “slow down the spread” has created feelings of isolation, loneliness, and boredom among the masses. As you transition through this period in history, consider writing that book, poem or short story that has been calling you, that you did not have time to write until now. Besides reading and watching movies and reality shows or distracting yourself with social media, change your focus and spin this experience positive by writing something creative to take your mind off of the ongoing event cancellations and new rules currently haunting our world.
Do you even feel like writing right any more? Is motivation at an all time low? What can you write about? Anything at all. Everything! Tell your personal pandemic story, a survivor’s tale, something funny, scary, unbelievable, or real. Commit to sitting down for fifteen minutes and just write. You will probably write much longer. Do this once a day or once in the morning and again in the afternoon or at night. Whenever you need a break or feel the urge to pick up that remote or device. Just please do not choose to not write during these stressful times. Your writing is relevant. It is more important than ever before. People need your stories to escape and tune out from reality sometimes. Use this gift of time to your advantage to practice writing more and becoming the writer you have always wanted to be.
A few writing prompts to get you started – write uninterrupted about:
- That vacation you were just forced to cancel or that you went on anyway despite warning.
- An adventure you take just packing up the car and driving off with no plan.
- The experience of a healthcare worker coming out of retirement to help those who are sick.
- Speculate wildly on the source of a virus.
- Dating in the time of social distancing.
- What you would do if you got laid off tomorrow.
- The tale of a world where children are immune to illness.
- Being forced to be apart from someone you love (spouse, partner, elderly parent) for a period of time.
- Discovering a lucrative business opportunity unique only to these strange times (not hoarding hand sanitizer and toilet paper)!
- Becoming a hero in some way to someone in desperate need.
Go ahead and stock that fridge and pantry and get ready to spend a lot of time in the comfort of your home while we wait and see what comes next. When you look back on this time, however long it may be, will you remember all of the new shows you binged, the games you played, the sleep you caught up on, or finally finishing some of the home projects you never had time to begin? Maybe you will remember all the books that you read. Hopefully, you will recall the time that you finally sat down to write that book you have always wanted to write. There is no better time than now to follow that dream.
Article written by Anne M. Carroll