Writing in a time of Pandemic

Carolyn B. Leonard

How is your writing going during these very strange times?  I find my mind unable to stay fixed on anything for more than a minute or two. 

Normally, when we write, we enter solitude. We can shape-shift into anything, anyone, anywhere. But now? I cannot concentrate. I start a paragraph and find myself off the subject onto Facebook … or watering plants or wandering in the yard. Anything but doing what I must.

In the past weeks each of us have already experienced daily news that is shocking, unexpected, unpredictable, unknowable; we’ve felt much that we have not felt before. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring. One day bleeds into the next and it is hard to plan. I am thankful the top line on my computer constantly gives me the current day and time. That is now the stuff of our lives. 

Everywhere at home and around the globe, people are sick, caring for others, cooped up with kids, losing their jobs, going hungry. From a beloved young family member who suddenly lost her husband and is dealing with the daily  economical and financial needs of a family, to Tommy whose son just committed suicide in what should be the most robust time of his life. A close friend has lost her job, others wondering if they will be in the next list of layoffs. A child with eye problems, others who need medical care but do not have insurance or funds.

I’ve felt, in a way, silenced by all the noise and cries around. What can I do or say that will help others? 

When you imagine that you have shape-shifted into a particular animal or a different person in a different time or place, you can begin to experience your life from a different perspective.

In these strange times it may still seem like there’s nothing right to say, so imagine you are a pebble on a beautiful but now deserted beach.  Or seeing the world through the eyes of a sparrow. This will allow you a wider worldview, and expand the boundaries of your mind. For me, since I love history,  I plan to ride a time machine back to pioneer days when focus was on finding food for the next meal and protecting myself and family from the elements. That seems easier than what is going on here and now.

I hope this exercise will help you find your purpose again.

Wash your hands and stay safe!