So, anyone following this blog regularly will have taken note that the entries have been… sporadic of late. Well, much as I’ve been encouraging you all to stay positive and not worry too much about being productive under these uncertain circumstances I’m afraid to say that I’m guilty of not taking my own advice.
I finally got down and managed a significant progression with one of my ongoing pieces yesterday, after weeks of managing very little. I’ve used pretty much every internal and external excuse I have in an attempt to assuage my own guilt. If it wasn’t for an actual contract that has come my way I wouldn’t have written anything of any substance since the beginning of the lock-down and yet here I am trying to coax, convince and reassure you.
I mean, usually I have my place to myself during the day and now, during the lock-down, there is an excess of distracting persons in ‘my workspace’. Granted they’re trying to work to but still, distracting. Luckily my ‘income’ isn’t relied upon, the dynamic at home is flexible so I procrastinate. I do dishes and housework, I make tea and lunches, I game and watch YouTube videos, all to distract myself from the fact that I’m. Not. Working. It’s only now that I’ve started neglecting my blog that I’m doing something about it (and also with encouragement from my partner).
So, why aren’t I able to be as creative in this at atmosphere? Well, in reading and article on Vox.com (linked by Writing about Writing on Facebook) I’m conveniently reminded that anxiety effects concentration. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think that you’re anxious about this situation, I certainly didn’t, but anxiety doesn’t care what you think it just is. The big thing about anxiety is that the human brain is not designed to be anxious all the time. Anxiety is like a pre-cursor to the ‘Fight or Flight’ reflex, it’s the ‘something is wrong’ warm-up band before the main event. Being in a state of anxiety for half-an hour is a drain on the body and we’ve been at different levels of anxiety (but constant anxiety none-the-less) for weeks now, no wonder our creativity has suffered. Whether I’m aware of it or not I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. The next dumb idea from the government or to display symptoms because I’ve somehow picked this thing up on one of my brief forays into the outside world.
Well, this situation isn’t going to change anytime soon. I’m not going to get my daily isolation back and I doubt the anxiety, whether I think I feel it or not, is going to go away. so I have to adapt to my situation just as I’m encouraging you to do. But you also have to have an understanding that you might not be able to achieve large chunks of work, you might have to moderate your expectations.
So, next week I’ll actually try and write something with a bit more bearing on actual writing but, for now, be kind to yourselves and stay safe.