April 30, 2020 in Dag

I can’t tell if this is making me more or less creative

So here I am, spending most of my time holed up inside. I’m keeping myself safe from that horrible virus, and in the process hopefully keeping other people safe as well. I’m reasonably lucky. I can still earn an income and my basic needs are largely met. So, until there’s some major change in the circumstances of this pandemic, I suppose this is where I’m going to stay.

As a creative person, you’d think this would be a godsend. And yet, I’m not sure that this is such a great thing for my creative processes.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think this is acting in my favour. I have more time than I’m used to, and if there’s anything I’m constantly crying poor for, it’s time. Plus, I have plenty of fodder for ideas. The virus itself, as well as its numerous sociological, psychological and economic ramifications raises so many issues of exactly the type I like to use as the basis for my story ideas. And thirdly, aren’t dark times such as now the perfect opportunity for humorists to do their thing? We all need a laugh, especially in moments like this. It’s life affirming, it raises resilience, and it provides hope.

So what is stopping me? Why don’t I just get my head down and start generating more stories, and especially more stories filled with hearty belly laughs.

I’m not sure I can really define it. It’s just this sense of heaviness that seems to be hanging over the world. The rhythms of life have changed in a way that will take some getting used to. Even for an introvert like myself who’s generally more than happy to stay at home, there’s something forced about the situation. And you can’t escape the news. All over the papers, the telly, the internet, the only thing you see is the latest toll as this thing spreads around the world.

And it’s not as though I have nothing else to do. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones, able to bring my work home and keep going without missing much of a beat. It’s possible, with the fewer distractions in the home environment, that I’m even busier than usual. Which again is impinging on my ability to be creative.

Not that I’m not trying. I’m forcing myself to overcome the sense of heaviness and dread and keep working on my stories. It’s not easy, but then again writing often isn’t. But it’s a good way to set myself some goals to work through these strange times. And it’s a useful antidote to self pity. After all, what have I got to complain about. There are lots of people doing it tough at the moment and I’m really not one of them.

So, to all those creatives out there, don’t let things get the better of you. Keep being creative. Once this is over, let’s flood the world with our valuable work.

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