Which creative path will you take?
I hope it’s a better year but I also believe one good thing that has come out of 2020 is an appreciation for those things we might take for granted. They’ll be different for all of us but I’d randomly list: family time watching films, listening to our record player, reading poems, walloping a heavy punchbag, writing.
It’s been a hard time and I’m grateful to have continued working through it. I have friends less fortunate who have the uncertainty of trying to find work during this pandemic.
Reading Beetley Pete’s blog it’s clear that others are finding it hard to adjust to this strange new world. It’s affecting every day lives with distancing and masks of course, but it is also having an impact on our sleep, our mental health and how we behave.
Pete has discussed his inability to complete novels he wishes to read. Apart from my annual delve into Ian Rankin’s latest Rebus novel I’ve had the same problem – I can’t focus on novels. I can just about cope with non-fiction. Why are facts easier to absorb than stories?
These strange days have also affected my output. A few years ago I wrote a novel, and had an agent for a time, but it didn’t come to anything sadly. Without going into detail we’ve had a lot of bereavement and other issues to deal with and work has been demanding too, so my writing began to become a burden. I no longer enjoyed it and, what was meant to be an escape from work became an extension of it. I’m still getting published but not really progressing.
Creativity became a grind of tortuous plotting and measuring out word count every day. If I didn’t hit those levels of, say 700 or 1,000 words, I was besieged with the guilt of the January dieter whose resolutions of good eating habits come crashing down with a tray of Krusty Kreme. I wasn’t brought up Catholic but I’m adept at suffering guilt and torturing myself.
I work full time in a mentally demanding role so available time can be limited as it is for most part time writers. The question to many part-time writers – especially if they win prizes or secure representation – is can they make a living? And, similarly to anyone in a band or starting a business, or trying to make the cut as a golf pro….how badly do they want it?
It wasn’t just Covid19’s impact on 2020. I understood that for some time I had lost the joy.
So, how to get it back? I’m trying a few methods but in short I’m doing new and different things and I’m diversifying. I don’t want to attempt a novel right now. I’m a little burnt out with short stories having published many.
The demands on my life mean I want something snappy, creative, instant and fun. Something that hopefully gets a response on here.
So, I shall be writing poems and recording readings of them on here.
I’ll also be drawing cartoons and publishing them.
I don’t rule out dives back into writing articles of non-fiction but for now I just want to get my mojo back and have some fun.
I may completely change my mind but this is how I’ll start out. I’m interested to see how others are coping and if they’ve changed their patterns or want to share any ideas.
Enjoy 2021. Be grateful and be kind. Whichever path you take……