Monday, February 22, 2021

I Forgot to Write For a Year

P.T. Phronk
A post by P.T. Phronk,
of Forest City Pulp fame
A writer friend of mine posted this article, noting that she'd felt like she was alone in her lack of creativity during COVID: Writer’s Blockdown: After a Year Inside, Novelists Are Struggling to Write. It made me realize I wasn't alone!

So I thought I’d pass this gift along to other writers: you are not alone if you haven’t been able to write well, or to write at all.

 

Before COVID, I dreamed about long stretches of staying inside, with endless excuses for cancelling plans to spend more time with my keyboard. Then my dream came true, and I just … didn’t. Other folks here on ATB have recently written about the art of doing nothing and tarot for writer's block, so it's not just me. I’ve already posted here about how, even early in the pandemic, I couldn’t find much motivation to write. It’s almost a year later, and I’ve mostly only written when I absolutely had to.



Now that the pandemic has gone on for an extended period of time, the reasons for the creative drought are becoming more clear. In addition to the fact that stress and depression are bad for creativity in general, the article above notes some practical blockers, like the difficulty of writing with kids and spouses around all the time, or the lack of inspiration from being in the outside world. Living life on a screen also makes it harder to spend even more time with a screen—perhaps writing by hand would help, if I remembered how.

 

Maybe the creativity is only dormant though. All the unusual experiences of the past year are building up in reservoirs in our brains, so when we finally have the motivation to write, we’ll have more empathy for people in a tough spot, more understanding of how a crisis plays out in the real world, more ideas for how things could have been worse—all excellent tools to make a story better. The world will open back up, and so will a fountain of creative juices. They’ll be everywhere. Creative juices spattered on every surface.

 

Uh, anyway. If you’ve had trouble writing, you’re not alone. That’s all I really wanted to say.

2 comments:

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Man, it's like I wrote this. I have really been struggling to work. I was doing ok for a little while but winter + pandemic + kids in the house all the time = zero productivity. Great post.

Phronk said...

Thanks Kimberly. Kids certainly add a whole other level. Even with just a dog around I'm pretty distracted, so to me it's downright heroic if anyone with kids gets anything done whatsoever! But spring is coming. :)

 
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