Challenges like the Coronavirus 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 during the lockdown.
I was unhappy, because I couldn’t go out and had more time, should it then not be even easier?
And it is sometimes said that challenging life situations are beneficial for art and many great artists had difficult lives.
As far as my humble writing is concerned, I did eventually notice at least something, which was easier than before, and that was writing about feelings, because many emotions wanted to be released in one way or another.
I have met more like-minded people than ever before
The surprising thing is, although I am stuck at home, it has been easier to meet fellow writers.
It happens online via video on Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout because meetings in public spaces are currently impossible where I live.
The advantage is, it cuts out the travel time.
Besides, some people who live in the countryside or have small children and were rarely able to meet other writers before the lockdown, have now easier access to other writers via video as well.
We cannot just travel virtually where we live, but even worldwide. You could do the same, provided you speak the group’s language.
Many meetups work like this: 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 often get more done than on my own, we share advice and tips and receive information and inspiration.
If you have never attended any of these meetings, I encourage you to check them out, for example at londonwriterssalon.com, Write Together (also based in London and part of www.meeutp.com with other options worldwide) 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, and establishing new routines is often a challenge.
This is where mini habits come in handy. This 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. It keeps me going.
Taking time to reflect
We have a unique chance to think about how we really want to live now and after the crisis when life might not be quite the same as before.
I find it important to take time for reflection, and I have decided I want to focus more on writing, among other things.
In addition, I was browsing through two suitcases full of old diaries. For a long time, I didn’t know whether I should keep them or not.
I shredded most of them in the meantime and kept only certain pages where I wrote down important things that I want to remember. I am sure it is the right decision 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 often be scary and even make us 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 Coronavirus jokes from fellow writer Zhana.