Well this was going to be a fun genre analysis but alas… As those in my social circles already know… I was laid off due to COVID-19 cutbacks. I am far from the only one and one of the more fortunate. So like many creators, I have dived fully into my work to keep myself busy and occupied.
Here’s the secret that I know many of you already know… it doesn’t always work. Sometimes you fall off the rocker, sometimes you just can’t muster up the energy and most of all, how can we maintain creative output through isolation and existential anxiety?
For this I don’t really have a permanent answer. Only tactics
- Cut yourself some slack. This world is burning. Forcing yourself through pain and punishment does not always lead to gains. Sometimes it truly is just better to take a break. You are hardly the only one to be going through this. Take a break.
- Creative input is just as important as creative output. Stories are what makes life worth living and when life is difficult, stories often help. So it’s time to set aside movie and reading time. Catch up on those old shows.
- Elsewhere productivity. Keeping a house in order is a lot of work. Doing a handful of mindless tasks like dishes, vacuuming, cleaning and cooking are ALL great places to gather ideas and let your mind wander. The ideas will come.
- Exercise. Yeah it sucks. Just fucking do it. I’ve being using an app called Couch to 5k.
There are literally a hundreds of articles that dive further into this. These are just a few of the things that have gotten me through this.
Now I am living at our family’s cabin, away from Winnipeg where COVID-19 numbers are skyrocketing. This has had a huge boost for my mental health. Away from the city, surrounded by nature, easily able to unplug and just wander. All good things in a world designed to stress and defeat us. Nothing but me, the dog and the coyotes waiting outside.
For myself, I am keeping busy with the rewrites for my next short story collection. Heavy duty editing, complete rebuilds and working with critique partners and beta readers. My daily goal is adding 2000 words to each story. Some days are easy, a lot of the earlier work is already done. Some days this is hard and I have to rewrite everything. Some days I don’t even meet the goal, but shit happens.
Having a concrete goal helps with the sheer emptiness of life right now.
As my blessed writing partners tell me, I need to invest in myself and a career. In that regard I will be getting a substantive editor in addition to the copy editor. This will be expensive, but long term, it will help my career as a writer.
Next month I should have a small publication coming out. Stay tuned!
Wanted to thank my family and friends who have been keeping tabs on me. The wolves have yet to find us.
I wish this historic Halloween (full moon AND on Saturday) was under better circumstances
Everyone be safe out there,
If you like what I’ve said here, please consider ordering my first short story collection; The Veiled Sagas: Bloodied – seven dark fantasy stories filled with monsters, gruesome sacrifices and intense violence – Click here to order through Amazon.