The Worried Writer Episode #62: Writing In Uncertain Times

This month is a ‘just me’ episode. I know that everyone in the world is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and I just want to say that I wish you well wherever you are, and hope that you are safe, healthy, and coping as well as is possible in these scary and uncertain times.

I did think about taking a podcast break, as I do feel a wee bit wobbly and kind of like hiding away at the moment, but I also wanted to speak to you and send my good wishes. Please do let me know if there is anything in particular you would like me to cover in the next episode and whether it is helpful for me to continue with the show at this time. I won’t be offended if not!

So, in today’s show I had planned a just me episode in which I was going to chat about the self publishing live conference in London and everything that I learned. Unfortunately, my husband and I made the tough decision not to attend – I have asthma and so does my son and my anxiety was too high to go. Shortly after, the virus situation escalated and I felt like we’d made the right decision, but it wasn’t an easy one.

There is a replay of the show available for $30, so if you want a day’s worth of presentations from successful indie authors like Mark Dawson to give you some motivation, I’m sure that will be great. I’m going to watch them myself this week as I could definitely do with some help with motivation at the moment. Head over to Self Publishing Live 2020 for more information.

I think, like many of us, I’m struggling to focus. I’m doing better emotionally since the official lock down as the clear directions are better than the uncertainty and continual weighing up of activities and whether they are risky or not. But I’ve also felt quite panicky and have been finding sleep tricky.

Honestly, my brain and emotions have felt a bit like being back in the midst of grief from when I lost my mum. I mean, nowhere near as bad, but similar. And it actually makes sense. I think we’re grieving for the loss of the way life was and for all the plans we had for the immediate future. As well, of course, as worrying about friends and family who may be ill or vulnerable or struggling.

Since recognising this, I’ve been kinder to myself and have been using some of the techniques for getting stuff done that I used during that previous, awful time. Rather than expecting a full eight hour focused work day, I’m prioritising tasks like writing and this show, and then allowing myself recovery time to read or nap or do a cross stitch.

I’ve also cut down on my news consumption and try to check it twice a day and only on the BBC website. Back when this all began to escalate, I was compulsively reading about the virus and all the news and speculation and it was doing me no good whatsoever.

I’ve also been focusing on gratitude for everything I have, including my lovely patrons for this show…

THANK YOU!

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LISTENER QUESTION

I answer a question about taking character inspiration from real life from Rebecca M.

If you have any questions about writing, process, procrastination or the business side of things such as marketing or publishing options, email me, leave a comment on this post, or find me on Twitter.

 

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2 thoughts to “The Worried Writer Episode #62: Writing In Uncertain Times”

  1. Thanks for this podcast and your blog post. TBH what you’re saying, especially about the grief thing, is exactly what I’ve been thinking myself. I’m trying to find the will to write (I can’t use the time excuse now 🙂 ) but it’s proving tricky. I think we just have to put our heads down and soldier on until we emerge at the other end.
    At least we’ll be grateful for the freedom of going to the supermarket!

    1. Thank you for listening and commenting, Donna, I really appreciate it! Being kinder to myself has definitely helped, so I would suggest teeny-tiny goals (like ‘opening the Word document’) with lots of rewards (‘now I get a biscuit!’). And don’t worry if you can’t write at the moment – refilling the creative well by reading/watching Netflix also counts as progress! xx

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