If you’re like most folks across the globe, caught in the grip of the CoViD-19 pandemic, you’ve probably been practicing “social distancing” and chances are you’ve now been sequestered. What are you doing with all the hours in your day? If you’re not writing, you’re focusing on the negatives instead of the positives of this situation.
Since time immemorial, Writers have made all manner of excuses for not having the time or opportunity to sit down and write. We’ve all heard of those who insisted on seeking out a quiet haven, isolated, away from all the hustle and bustle, in order to be able to focus on their craft. Perhaps a cabin in the woods with a stunning overlook. Holed up in a monastery. Kicked back on the white sands of a tropical paradise with golden rays of sunlight dappling the azure waves. For the majority of us, it would suffice to have a small room all to ourselves, with all our writing implements, and the sure knowledge we won’t be disturbed while we pen the lives of our characters in the worlds we’ve created.
What makes you think you don’t have such a place available to yourself right now? Look around you. How many people are snapping at your heels, like they did before CoViD-19 spread its amoeba-like presence over the world’s landscape? And with the few people you’ve been sequestered with, how many of them would complain too much if you took time to craft a story you could share with them? Convince them you’ll let them read whatever you churn out in a day’s time, or promise to share yourself after each bout of writing by reading to them.
Remember, storytellers were all the rage back in the days when oral tradition mattered, as a source of information or simply to entertain. There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back in time to reacquaint yourself with this skill. Don’t think of it as “old-school.” Rather, consider it as forging a tighter connection with other human beings.
Here’s another reason to share what you’ve written: your Audience can help critique your work, making you a stronger, faster, better Writer. That’s not a new concept, reserved solely for such dire circumstances where you’re imprisoned with your family, isolated from the rest of the world. This is a process you should get comfortable performing, even after all the social restrictions are lifted, and life returns to the “new normal.”
A Writer should never work in a vacuum. You need input from people who read, people who will be honest with you on whether or not what you’ve penned is hitting the mark, making sense, and carrying your narrative forward. Yes, yes, you’re a good Writer. Yet, wouldn’t it be marvelous to get some more immediate feedback about what a Reader thinks of your work, instead of waiting for reviews after your story is published?
So… take this time to DO SOMETHING with your ideas, those stories clunking around inside your head, those characters you’ve wanted to stuff into a larger context because they have life, those worlds you’ve dreamt of and drawn maps of and populated and have considered sharing with the world so we can all be amazed. You’ve got the time. You’ve got the opportunity. Just Do It. Just WRITE!