author, creative writing, writers, writing

How the Pandemic Crushed and Re-built my Writing Habit

What a time. Everywhere you turn there’s talk of COVID-19, and the impact it’s having on people all over the world. In the huge ways, and the smaller ones. For me, one of the smaller knock-on effects of the pandemic has been the way it crushed my writing habit, and the way it fuelled me to build that habit back up in different ways.

Less time
In the early virus days we had a lot of staff sickness, and as a healthcare setting we couldn’t risk them coming in. There was no testing then, so they had to stay off for 14 days even if they just had a cough. This meant covering extra hours and shifts. Times continued to get busier and more complicated, and as such writing time dwindled. With the ongoing tiredness as well, it wasn’t long before I was hardly writing at all.

Public spaces closed
I’m a huge fan of going out to write. I work my best when I am in a coffee shop with a view of the outside streets. I love to people watch, to be surrounded by undistinguishable background noise and chatter, with no responsibilities other than my work. And when I really need a good push, I’ve always been a library writer, enjoying the quiet, the lack of internet connection and being surrounded by books. Not being able to go out and do this has been a major hit.

Tough and distracting times
No matter your job, your home life, your personal situation, these times are tough. It’s hard not to be distracted by the goings on of the world, and your own emotions tumbling with it. Missing family, being made redundant, becoming anxious or unwell…in hard times, even focusing on things you love can be hard.

Managing time better
With the lack of spare time, I’ve been forced to start managing my time better. In doing so, I’m hoping I’m re-building my writing habits in a more productive way, in which I will get more done in the little moments that present themselves, rather than waiting for the perfect writing environment.

Learning to write at home
Writing at home is distracting for me. I get caught up in housework, and television, and other things that need doing. But I’ve been forced to get used to sitting down and blocking out everything else. I still need to get better at this, but that will come with practice.

Inspiring people and stories
Nothing will ever take away the tragedy of the pandemic, and the ongoing devastation and fear. And it goes without saying we would reverse time and wipe this past 12 months out if we could. But as in all dark times, there is light and right now it comes in the form of inspiring people and remarkable stories. To medical professionals and scientists saving lives, to people battling to survive, to random acts of kindness and unity helping people get by. Inspiration is everywhere at the moment, and it is so heart-warming.

How has Covid-19 changed your routine? Perhaps it hasn’t. Either way, I hope you are keeping safe and well.

Keep writing,
as and when you can,

Find me on Twitter and Instagram

20 thoughts on “How the Pandemic Crushed and Re-built my Writing Habit”

  1. In so many ways the pandemic has forced us to change the way we do things. Kudos for keeping going, finding a way to get back into the writing habit, and pushing forward. Here’s to hoping too that the time will come in the not-so-distant future where those public spaces will be able to open again safely. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope you have a bit more time now than at the beginning of the pandemic.
    For me, after dealing with some unforeseen family issues, I found myself having more time to write (no commuting to work for work at home employees) and work out. I took a bull by its horns. It worked for a while, but then I got tired after a while. I’m going back in again. Routine really makes a world of difference when it comes to my writing. The more I do it, the more I do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Somehow, I’ve found myself working in a hospital, so time is still tight. However, I’ve learned how to handle that now so it’s ok. Hope all is well with you and your family Sam. Happy writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not really a “coffee shop writer,” but even I like to go out from time to time. Not having the choice to go out and get away has sucked immensely. Glad you’ve been able to keep going. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The pandemic hit less than a year after I lost my husband and my mom, so I was already floundering. Being disabled, lockdowns and social distancing didn’t bother me near as much as the effects of covid19. I had family and close friends survive the virus, but lost more. Trying to find my writing rhythm again in 2021 and would love a long break from illness and loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved reading about your writing habits. I always write at home, and mostly in the morning before my brain gets too muddled. The kids are home schooling so I can’t have music in the background and I have to keep the dog quiet. Therefore, the only thing that’s changed is writing with my teenagers around.
    Happy writing, M. It’s good to have you back. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reading this post has reminded me to remain grateful for avoiding most if not all disruptions to my writing routine during the Pandemic. I get up really early and write at home so that hasn’t changed. I did lose a week day off to myself which was a priceless time to write. I have forced myself to write more in the evenings to make up for that time. It doesn’t sound like much but I have always felt like mornings are far and away my best time. Yet, I have slowly started to feel more confident writing later in the day, so maybe the change will help. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

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