Are there any picture books about global pandemics? If not, there are about to be. It’s bound to happen–what with all these writers who are self distancing and quarantine-ing themselves at home. Plenty of time to write, right?
Well, there should be, anyway. But that’s not what I’m seeing on Twitter (where I recently learned that writers of all genres seem to “hang out”). I’m seeing an awful lot of singing from balconies, cat memes, political discussion, mental health advice, and people who SHOULD NOT be dancing on camera. And stress. And worry. And anxiety.
Many of us writers are doing anything but writing. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, so many are following this mantra:
When in trouble, when in doubt…
RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT!
Or eat lots of candy, or clean out your closet, or let your kid have lots of video game time, or drink wine before 5 (ok, fine–before 4). I’m here to say this: It’s OK.
Now, to those writers who are suddenly filled with motivation and ideas, more power to ya. If you’re a picture book writer who is reading your books to kids on the internet, thank you! If you’re a young adult novelist who just got the best plot idea ever about love during global tragedy, WRITE ON!
But if you’re feeling swirly and not that productive, it’s ok. I really believe most people are doing the best they can. If you can manage to do something constructive with your newly stuck-at-home kids, then do it. If you get around to showering, hooray! Maybe you’re winning at Iron Chef Pantry. If you’re stressed out and panicky and aren’t sleeping so much, be nice to yourself. And be nice to everyone else, too. We’re not trained for pandemics.
If you’re someone who can’t stay home for work reasons, bless you. If you are at home, reach out to someone! If you’re on Twitter, be the positive voice.
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get another snack and stare thoughtfully into my computer screen–you know, like writers do.