If only I had time to write …

I have a novel inside me …

Well, all the free time created by Covid-19 has been brilliant for writers and creatives, hasn’t it? no? Hmn. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on creativity has been different for many people than expected. Some have come to a total creative halt!

Many people assumed that all the free time from furlough or not commuting would lead to clutch of new work, but for many it has put a halt to it instead. According to the London Business School, there are three aspects to creativity:

  1. Expertise. Translating that for writers, it is writing about what you know, or about what interests you. It is a confidence-boost. Also, people are wanting expert knowledge. Have you had Covid-19, or did you lose someone to it? Countteract the fake news and theories out there by telling your story like it is.
  2. Thinking skills. This is about your creativity. How did scientists create a Covid-19 vaccination? They applied practice and experimentation. Failure did not thwart them; they persevered. The same needs to happen with our writing. Keep at it, experiment with new ways, and if something does not work for you, don’t be afraid to try a new approach.
  3. Intrinsic motivation. Do something that makes you feel good and satisfies you (forget external rewards right now). If you enjoy creating stories, then do so. If you want to write about your life, look at its themes and expect nothing more than the satisfaction of making marks on paper or screen.

Writing is not the same as selling. Writing to make a living, for most people, is enjoyable but not majorly creative (ask any copywriter). To get yourself writing again, here are some tips from Penguin/Random House:

a. Try starting in the middle – that’s especially helpful if writing a work of non-fiction. Start with the info you find easiest/most interesting. Adopt a theme. A friend of mine is learning to teach yoga and has been confronted with many books and resources, so she has chosen to start with the material she enjoys most. Why not?

b. Start small and build up – life is not all action. Today’s achievements for me were managing a long dog walk and completing a tax return. Nothing too dramatic in there. The truth about people’s situations is much more exciting than made up action.

c. Allow yourself to write badly. Who cares how you write or what you write at this stage? The aim is simply to write!

d. Make up the story as you go along – while we talk about all the processes and structures we can put in place when creating a story, there is scope for just going where the mood takes you.

The answer to writing is, as ever, getting started. If you don’t start, then you have no chance of finishing.