What a time. Everywhere you turn there’s talk of COVID-19, and the impact it’s having on people all over the world. In the huge ways, and the smaller ones. For me, one of the smaller knock-on effects of the pandemic has been the way it crushed my writing habit, and the way it fuelled me to build that habit back up in different ways.
In the early virus days we had a lot of staff sickness, and as a healthcare setting we couldn’t risk them coming in. There was no testing then, so they had to stay off for 14 days even if they just had a cough. This meant covering extra hours and shifts. Times continued to get busier and more complicated, and as such writing time dwindled. With the ongoing tiredness as well, it wasn’t long before I was hardly writing at all.
Public spaces closed
I’m a huge fan of going out to write. I work my best when I am in a coffee shop with a view of the outside streets. I love to people watch, to be surrounded by undistinguishable background noise and chatter, with no responsibilities other than my work. And when I really need a good push, I’ve always been a library writer, enjoying the quiet, the lack of internet connection and being surrounded by books. Not being able to go out and do this has been a major hit.
Tough and distracting times
No matter your job, your home life, your personal situation, these times are tough. It’s hard not to be distracted by the goings on of the world, and your own emotions tumbling with it. Missing family, being made redundant, becoming anxious or unwell…in hard times, even focusing on things you love can be hard.
Managing time better
With the lack of spare time, I’ve been forced to start managing my time better. In doing so, I’m hoping I’m re-building my writing habits in a more productive way, in which I will get more done in the little moments that present themselves, rather than waiting for the perfect writing environment.
Learning to write at home
Writing at home is distracting for me. I get caught up in housework, and television, and other things that need doing. But I’ve been forced to get used to sitting down and blocking out everything else. I still need to get better at this, but that will come with practice.
Inspiring people and stories
Nothing will ever take away the tragedy of the pandemic, and the ongoing devastation and fear. And it goes without saying we would reverse time and wipe this past 12 months out if we could. But as in all dark times, there is light and right now it comes in the form of inspiring people and remarkable stories. To medical professionals and scientists saving lives, to people battling to survive, to random acts of kindness and unity helping people get by. Inspiration is everywhere at the moment, and it is so heart-warming.
How has Covid-19 changed your routine? Perhaps it hasn’t. Either way, I hope you are keeping safe and well.
as and when you can,