I blinked and it’s August 2021.
Where did all the time go?
These last two years have felt never-ending and over in the blink of an eye at the same time. It just doesn’t make sense.
Just like everyone else, I have been spending my time trying to live my life through the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent effects of this global situation – it’s meant that all through the last two years we’ve all had to examine our lives and change priorities on the fly, sometimes month by month or even week by week – and so I’ve not prioritised this blog for a while.
But it’s okay, I’m okay. I am one of the very lucky ones who’ve managed to live alongside these crazy times relatively unscathed on paper.
I am still employed, I still have a roof over my head, and I’m very fortunate to have lost no-one in my immediate circle to this awful virus.
Mentally, I have struggled because even though economically I’m okay, I’ve constantly been working, facing daily challenges, and seen my loved one’s struggle for the last two years.
Who hasn’t right?
I took on little projects and dipped my toes into new hobbies just as a lot of people have during our various lockdowns – I’ve done everything from growing veggies, painting, sewing to making miniature gnomes out of clay.
My creativity didn’t stop during lockdown, it just shifted to a more short-term physical reward, reflecting on it now with hindsight, that’s what I needed, what we’ve all needed, tangible good things to hold on to during a rollercoaster of a time.
My creative writing is where I’ve probably struggled the most. Creative writing is not quick and it’s not easy to hold and to show to others.
It’s interesting because discussing this really puts it into perspective where in times of crisis my priority has had to go. I’ve focussed my life for the last two years on paid work and helping to support my friends, family, and community where I can, my unpaid creative writing simply fell to the side, but I still did other unpaid creative things.
All my other creative hobbies and projects yielded something I could quickly physically see and share with others, they all felt tangible and useful in one way or another but writing here in my blog, or my other creative writing projects, I just couldn’t sit and use the time in lockdown for that type of creativity. It didn’t service me at the time, didn’t feel valuable.
When I write for myself (not paid copywriting or other commissioned work) I do it because at that moment in time it feels like I have to. I’ve realised that my creative writing only really shines through when I’m in a comfortable environment. I see it as a luxury.
I’ve been fighting myself for not writing and getting frustrated quite easily when writer’s block was in the way, feeling guilty for doing other creative things instead – making me doubt my creative writing was still worth doing or still for me anymore.
Looking objectively now, as life, whilst still difficult and we’re all still facing COVID-19 consequences, is starting to feel a bit more optimistic and comfortable again, I find myself drifting back to my creative writing like a long-missed friend, ready to sit down and make up for time from the last two years.
I’ve realised my creative writing ability comes from a place of opportunity. It happens when I have the opportunity to allow such luxuries into my life, when I allow myself the time and space to invest in it and however much these last two years have been awful, dramatic and life changing, I am grateful that they have re-enforced my desire to keep being a creative person, to keep making, doing, mending and creating new work, and finally I feel mentally and physically ready to get back into my creative writing.
So, keep an eye out because I’m coming back – I’m returning to my studies with creative writing research, I’m already back to writing bits of my fantasy novel (remodelled my fantasy novel map again just recently!) and I feel ready to write here again for anyone who wants to read it.
I hope anyone reading has made the best of the last two years, it’s been wild, and if not, if you feel like you’ve had to start all over again, I wish you all the best for your future starting now. Don’t be afraid to speak out, get help and try something new. You got this.
Keep strong, keep safe and keep being creatively you.