Why It’s Tough to Be Creative In a Disaster
When social events and gatherings first started getting canceled due to COVID-19, I thought I’d have plenty to write about, and more time to write.
After all, think of the great works of literature that were created out of boredom!
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, for instance, was written in 1816, a “year without a summer.” A volcanic eruption had caused cold, gloomy weather worldwide, so Shelley and friends wrote to pass the time.
But instead of drafting a novel, I’ve been playing Solitaire. I’ve also been spending more time in bed than at my writing desk. I could be creating the next sci-fi masterpiece. What gives?
We certainly have more distractions, in the form of games and the Internet, than people did 200 years ago. It’s easier to tweet than it is to create a new genre of literature.
The pandemic has also upended some of my previous article ideas. A lot of my drafts seem unimportant when compared to our new normal.
Everyone is also under a lot of stress right now. It’s tough to focus on writing when, in the back of my mind, I’m wondering if the grocery store will have food and supplies the next time I go. Sound familiar?
I know that even if I can’t get everything I want, I have everything I need. But I can’t shake my worries about the future.
I also can’t do any of my normal activities to relax. Romantic dinner and a movie? Replaced with less-romantic cooking and Netflix. Run on the treadmill at the gym to let off from steam? Replaced with picking up extra shifts at work.
Stress is high right now, so don’t worry if you’re getting less creative work done. Turn off the TV news and try your best to relax. Listen to music, call friends and family.
And write, but forgive yourself if you get tired easily. There’s a lot going on right now. Just do what you can.