If you’re like me, you’re feeling pretty crummy about everything right about now. Life, Covid, quarantine, marriage, parenthood. It feels like a big fat steaming sack of turds has been left on everyone’s doorstep. And then lit on fire.
It all feels wrong, somehow. But there is no other way through. And these vast open swathes of time without any structures to break up the monotony make us feel like we should be doing something. I’m imagining that all of our Covid quarantine schedules look something like this:
Sometime between 6a and 10a: Wake up (usually woken up by children)
Morning snack/watch Netflix/read emails
Naptime/no screens for children (5 mins)
Parent’s bedtime (anywhere from 8p to 2a)
It feels like we should be doing a lot more than we are. But we are all exhausted, and we are sick of it already.
So here’s the deal: putting pressure on yourself to do more than you are doing is maybe not your best option. Change happens slowly, even during a pandemic. Maybe especially during a pandemic.
Creativity takes a ton of brain energy and focus. You can’t just whip it up at a whim. Especially not when you are frakkin’ exhausted from living the same soul-draining day about 200 times in a row.
But Shakespeare wrote blah-de-blah during the plague! You hear yourself saying. But did Shakespeare have kids quarantining with him? Did he have rent due, and a depleting bank account balance? Was he worried about his employment, or feeding his family, or being evicted? (The truth is he might have been; I did zero research for this article. But my guess is no.) In any case, stop comparing yourself to freaking Shakespeare! You are you, yourself, and you’ve got a perspective that is uniquely yours.
So if you can’t work yourself up to writing your epic trilogy, that’s okay. You’ll be fine. Your epic will keep. Maybe write a blog post instead. Write a nonfiction essay. Tell your children a bedtime story. You have some words, just maybe not the ones you were hoping for.
You can be exhausted, and also creative. It’s a “yes, and” rather than an “either/or.”
“I’m exhausted, and I’m writing,” rather than, “I can’t write because I’m exhausted.”
Or don’t. Spend the time gardening or cooking, or exercising. You don’t need to worry about your writing. You will be just fine. Take good care of yourself. The rest will all work out.
You can trust me; I sometimes know what I’m talking about.
Featured image was created by the author using elements from canva.com.