A few weeks ago, the coronavirus was just a news story. These days, it’s defining the way we live our lives. If you’re working on a book, it will also define how you do that.
You may be sharing writing space that once was private. Or, you may have to find space at home to write. Either way, it’s a challenge.
These days, you may have more people around you when you want to write. Some of those may be children. Children are loud and disruptive. There’s nothing you can do about that. It’s a challenge.
While you may have lots more time to write, you’re also worried about the virus and your loved ones. That’s a challenge, too.
So, what can you do about it? Here are some ideas.
Take What the World Gives You and Control What You Can
You don’t have any control of the big things going on outside. You can’t do much about the virus or governmental response to it. You don’t make decisions about quarantines and lockdowns. That’s just the way it is. You can’t change it.
Don’t worry much about the things you can’t change. It may help to reduce your consumption of news to keep confusion at bay.
Concentrate on controlling the things that you can control and influencing some of the others. Work with the people around you to make life better for all of you.
When It’s Time to Write, Throw All Your Mental Energy into Writing
Distractions are the devil. Do your best to close them off. Ask people around you to cooperate.
Your rituals will save you. You can get into a good writing head space if you have a strong starting ritual. It will help you shift from your everyday world to the world of writing that great book.
End your writing session when you know exactly what you’re going to do first in the next session. That will help you start each session strong and maintain momentum.
Make lists of the things you want to do between writing sessions. This might be research or interviews.
Be sure to wrap up things before moving back to your regular world. This will keep you from nagging thoughts about what you have to do next.
Structure Is Now Up to You
In the world before the virus, you may have had your structure handed to you. Those days are gone for now. You must create your own structure and your own routines. It’s worth the effort because they will make your life easier and happier.
Take Care of Yourself
You’re not much good to yourself or anyone else if you’re drained, tired, and stressed out. So, take care of yourself.
Sleep is sacred. Sacrifice other things to get the sleep you need. You’ll be in a more productive mental state and able to handle stress better. You’ll probably get more good work done, too.
Relationships are sacred. They’re more important than books. The people we love and who love us make life good in good times and help us deal with hard times. We should do the same for them. Pay attention to your loved ones. Hug the ones you can. Contact the rest as best you can.
Exercise and sensible diet will help you handle the stress and be more productive. It’s part of being the best you for your loved ones and your work.
Find the Pony
There’s a story about a psychological experiment in which young children were exposed to a room full of horse manure to see how they would react. Most of the children were overwhelmed. Some broke down and sat in the corner crying.
But there was one youngster who was different from all the rest. He waded into the horse manure throwing pieces from side to side and laughing while he shouted, “There’s got to be a pony in here someplace!”
Right now, life might be like that room full of horse manure. It’s your job to find the pony. Count your blessings. Be grateful for what you’ve got.