Writing: The Bright Side of the Pandemic

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In one month, our whole world just turned upside down. How are you doing? Are you safe? Can you sleep through the night? Have you been able to keep your creative life intact? And oh, dear goddesses, will there be time for writing? I’m sure there’s a wide range of answers to these questions. But, for now, let’s see if we can find the sun in the clouds.

As for me, a creative type, I first viewed this whole thing as a challenge, an opportunity to observe and take note of this rapidly changing world. How were the authorities reacting versus the scientists? In what ways was I prepared–to work from home, to live in my home, with my whole family, full-time? How will basic needs be met in a world practicing ‘social distancing’? And, how will I write in all this?

The Power of our Stories

I work with young people. When I last saw them, they were scared, and they probably still are. I told them not to panic but instead–prepare, be aware, be observant, maybe even journal about it. This is a unique time in our history as humans. Recording how we view this experience is important because we are the storytellers.

If you’re a writer (and that’s why you’re reading this blog), it means you express yourself through words. Do you have anything to say about all this? I bet you do. Could you turn this into a short story? Look around you, there is so much fodder for writing right now, in so many different genres! Scifi comes to mind first for me–I mean–hello? I am Legend? But there are general fiction human interest stories, as well. I’m thinking–Olive Kitteredge in the age of COVID-19. Think about it. How are you doing compared to your elderly neighbors? Or, are you in the woods far away from people? What’s that like? I want to know! 

What I’m saying is this–if you have the time (and I don’t say this lightly. I know some of you are hustling to survive out there), take some notes and use your skills. Why not?

Writing for Meditation

If for no other reason, use your writing as a form of meditation. Everyone could stand to meditate right about now. Stress is a friend to no one, especially your immune system and you definitely want to keep that happy in times like these. Did you know that just one week of meditational practices can reduce stress? Take that time for yourself and let go. Just write it all out and see how you feel. Don’t know what to write? Here’s a great resource with some general writing prompts to get you started.

Again, if you can do this, make a place in your home dedicated to you and your writing. Right now, my studio is in a hallway next to the stairs and there’s an exercise bike right next to the back of my head. But, it’s my space and there’s both a desk and a window that overlooks the woods. Ideal? No. But I put some flowers on my workspace and a mug that says, I have the vocabulary of a well-educated sailor because it makes me smile.   

That’s what I’ll leave you with–remember to smile. Only you can lose your sense of humor, so don’t do that. It’s grim enough, don’t make it worse by scowling. Stay healthy, writer friends, and maybe go sanitize your keyboard!

For more on Coronavirus internet humor, click here.

Do you have a topic you would like us to cover? Let us know about your suggestion. 


About Author

Heather Rigney is a fiction writer, blogger, journalist, and art teacher based in Rhode Island. Author of The Merrow Trilogy--a dark, historical fantasy novel that deals with homicidal mermaids, the colonial suppression of women, and a present-day alcoholic funeral director trying to make sense of it all. Her writing has been featured in Motif Magazine and Stone Crowns Magazine. By day she teaches art at an all-girls Quaker school and at night she tries to be creative while avoiding too many sweets. You can read more about Ms. Rigney on her website: www.heatherrigney.com

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