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Writing in the Time of Corona

Andy Lee

I wouldn't have thought it, but writing during a global pandemic is incredibly distracting. Maybe Shakespeare wrote during the plague, but I'm not feeling inspired. I'm feeling worried. My mind roams from the guy that may have infected my husband (who has 3 co-morbidities) to how much citrus we have, to whether my kid in Europe will get sent home on infected planes, to my 80+ mom in NYC who broke her ankle last month and now this. Focusing on my work feels really far away. But not writing was stressing me out more!

Here's what I did to get into the zone: 1. Meditate. My mantra was 'Open'. It helped me to let go of my anxiety and allow my mind to open up, to let in my story, my characters. Once I was more open, here's what I did next.

I turned social media OFF. I left my phone downstairs and closed my web browsers. If I needed to look something up on the internet, I wrote it down, then made myself wait till I needed something (more tea) and when I went downstairs I looked up everything at once.

3. I went for a walk before I began, getting away from the influx of news. some folks might listen to music, dance, eat some food, or do some yoga or exercise. I like to walk and I like nature. So that's what I did, and it seemed to open the floodgates.

In some ways, social (or physical) isolation can be helpful, but being anxious doesn't help our creative juice flow. Relax, and give yourself leave to come back to things. If you need help with mindfulness, there are loads of apps (and you tube videos) that can really help. I like Insight Timer on my phone, and Creative Visualization (audio or paper book). Hoping you are all staying well!

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