We’re all feeling anxious and we don’t know what is going to happen next. Should we be writing about this time?
Why You Should Write About This Time
This pandemic is making everybody a bit crazy, from panic buying, to panic attacks, to Doomsday prepping.
This is exactly why you should write about this time.
It’s good to write through trauma and anxiety. It’s therapeutic and it helps you make sense of what is going on.
- Joan Didion says: ‘I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.’
- Toni Morrison says: ‘When I am not writing, or more important, when I have nothing on my mind for a book, then I see chaos, confusion, disorder.’
- Flannery O’Connor says: ‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.’
It’s also an excellent way of keeping a detailed record to help you look back on how you were feeling, how the world was feeling, and what everybody did.
Imagine if Anne Frank never wrote her diary? We would never have such a rich source of how she felt and what she lived through if she did not write about what happened every day.
It’s Different Now
The world was different a few months ago and many things we took for granted no longer exist. A normal day was something that we all just got through. This pandemic has forced us to stop. We have to literally stop and stay still. We have to think about how we got here and where we may be. Nothing is sure.
Writing about this time is one of the healthiest things you can do right now.
You can keep a journal, start a blog, make a film, make a podcast, create art, write a series of short stories or poems, or even write a novel. Whatever you do, write it down or record it in some way.
Write About The Details
The best writing zooms in on the details. Tell us about what you are eating, include the brands. Use all five senses. Tell us about your pets and family members – name them and describe their habits, traits, and eccentricities. Make this as important as the big things like the economy, people dying, politicians, etc.
TOP TIP: Keep a record of your daily life at this time. Write at the same time every day – preferably at night. It will be a brilliant resource if you want to write a novel about this time, or a memoir, or if you want to publish it as a blog.
- Include your country’s covid-19 statistics every day.
- Include anecdotes about what people are doing.
- Include one or two news stories that stood out to you. Include links to them.
- Include photographs.
- Include social media posts.
- Include your feelings.
- Write about how your life differs now.
- And anything else you want to include.
And maybe more than anything now, write to transform and to remember. Paulo Coelho says: ‘That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance.’
© Amanda Patterson
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Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a memoir, look into our Secrets of a Memoirist course.