It’s hard to believe that we are barely three months into the year and already so much has happened.
South Africa goes into a nationwide lock-down for twenty one days as of Friday due to COVID-19. Although it is needed and although much of the nation applauds our president for this action, it will have devastating consequences none the less on our economy and our unemployment rates. The situation is quite honestly terrifying. Despite reassurance that shops will be stocked, people are panic buying and shelves are empty. Those that can’t afford to bulk buy or those who cannot get to a shop during the day have been left high and dry. (It is a huge pet peeve of mine. People who can afford to hoard, can afford to have groceries delivered. Leave the food on the shelves for those that do not have that luxury)
My partner and I are very lucky, we can both work from home during this time and we are making sure that those that depend on us are safe and provided for.
In the wake of such uncertainty and fear worldwide, it is difficult to remain motivated. Now more than ever, people are turning to the arts and media to sustain them throughout this dark period in time.
The benefits of writing right now are two-fold. On the one hand, you will have an outlet for whatever emotions you may be feeling. It is crucial to utilize constructive outlets to protect your mental health. Even those with the strongest mental stability will find moments of fragility in the next few months and those of us who already suffer from psychiatric illness will be particularly vulnerable.
On the other hand, you will also be providing others who are isolated an opportunity to escape into your worlds. A reprieve from the boredom, the loneliness and the frustration of quarantine. You will be giving people who sorely need a distraction from the negativity, a way out. It really is a win-win situation.
If you don’t feel up to writing a novel, or continuing with a current work in progress at this stage, if you are not in the right frame of mind, I get it. Consider writing flash fiction or poetry for this time. It will keep your creative juices flowing and it will still provide you and your readers with that escape.
We can beat this, don’t lose hope. Stay home, stay safe. We are all in this together.