If you are practicing social distancing right now, life may have just gotten strange.
For a while, the “new normal” is anything but normal.
Writing may help you get through this time.
Perhaps you feel too anxious to write. The kids are underfoot. You’re worried about your parents, your neighbors, or your job.
These are legitimate concerns, but ruminating on them makes you feel worse. Writing might help.
Here are three reasons to write your way through the “shelter at home” period.
#1 – Write for your own sake
Writing can be a healthy way to deal with an uncertain time.
- If you write fiction, you can escape into worlds that you build. That’s not a bad thing.
- Nonfiction writers can work to make sense of the world, putting some order around the chaos or understanding it better.
Even if you’re writing about dark subjects, you control the narrative. You may not have a lot of control over outside events, but you control your writing.
As human beings, we constantly construct our own narratives. Write a positive narrative for this time, if you are able, by doing something meaningful.
Can you achieve a state of “flow” while writing? You know, that state where you lose track of time and get absorbed in the work?
When you’re in flow, you are without fear and anxiety, at least for that time. Find flow, if you can, and you’ll leave behind your worries for a while. (See my post Writing in the Zone.)
By writing, you are taking control and doing something positive.
#2 – Write for your readers
Writing is an act of connection and communication. You’re writing isn’t finished until your words land with a reader.
When you write works for others to read—whether or enjoyment or enlightenment—you are connecting with another person. And we need connection, now more than ever.
Write with others in mind. Write something people will find inspiring, informative, engrossing, reassuring, or funny.
Writing, revising, polishing, sharing, and publishing—these are generous acts.
#3 – Write for the future
This week is uncertain; so is the next. You’re not sure how long you’re at home, what your income will be, or when your kids go back to school.
But maybe you can focus on beyond: What happens after?
What would happen if you end this first period of isolation with a collection of poems, or a story? What if you record an audiobook, or create a book proposal?
Good things can come from the darkest of times. Let’s find and hold onto those good things.
During these uncertain, distanced times, I’m gathering inspiring posts, videos, images, and more here. Check back regularly to see what’s there—and let me know what you’d like to see.