Challenges like the Corona virus lockdown can affect us in various ways, from horrible to wonderful and everything in between
Can distress lead to great art?
At first I found it nearly impossible to write at all in Corona virus lockdown.
I was unhappy, because I couldn’t go out and had more time, should it then not be easy?
It is also often said that challenging life situations are beneficial for art and many great artists had difficult lives.
As far as my own humble writing is concerned, I did eventually notice at least something, which is easier than before, and that is writing about feelings, as there are many emotions that want to be released in one way or another.
I am now meeting more like-minded people than ever
The surprising thing is, although I am stuck at home, it is now easier to meet fellow writers than before.
It happens online via video on Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout because meetings in public spaces are still impossible where I live.
The advantage is, that it cuts out the travel time.
In addition, some people who live in the countryside or have small children and were rarely able to meet other writers before the lockdown, have now easy access to other writers via video as well.
I cannot just travel virtually within London, but even worldwide. You can do the same, if you like, provided you speak the group’s language.
Many meetups work as follows: Everyone writes in silence either 25 minutes or 1 or 2 hours. There are breaks between sessions and/or we talk afterwards, and some groups offer advice and feedback and writing challenges.
I get more done than on my own, we share advice and tips and get information and inspiration.
If you have never experienced any of these meetups, I encourage you to check them out at meetup.com or shutupwrite.com
Setting up new routines with mini-habits
As much as we might be attached to our routines, we cannot go on with everything as before after the lockdown, and establishing new routines can be a challenge.
This is where mini habits come in handy, which means doing only a little of something new, but regularly, until it has become an established routine.
We only have a limited amount of willpower and it takes less effort to set up new routines in baby steps.
My goal is to write at least 5 minutes a day, and on most days I write a lot more now, once I have started, but I reach my goal even after 5 minutes, which gives me a sense of achievement and I feel good about myself as I am sticking to the routine. This keeps me going.
Taking time to reflect
We have a unique chance now to think about how we really want to live and how to continue after the virus crisis, when life will not be quite the same as before.
I find it important to take time for reflection, and I have decided I definitely want to focus more on writing, among other things.
In addition, I am browsing through two suitcases full of old diaries. For a long time, I didn’t know whether I should keep these notebooks or not.
I am shredding most of them now, and I am sure it is the right thing to do as it is a relief to let go of the past.
Always important: having fun!
I have chosen “roller coaster” in the title for a reason.
Like a roller coaster, the lockdown can be scary for some and even make them sick.
But roller coasters are meant to be fun – you do not just go down, but up as well.
And because I like black humour even in the most difficult circumstances, here is, last but not least, a link to Corona virus jokes from fellow writer Zhana.