Refilling Your Tank
In everything that’s going on at the moment I know some of you are more scared than you’ve ever been before.
There are a million things going on outside our control. Fear eats a hole in our stomachs as we twitch aside window curtains and wonder if just one more visit to the store will bring home a fatal virus.
We lived with our parents and grandparents dread of another global war, and this isn’t nearly so awful, but it doesn’t change that it’s a trial. Its hard. Its scary. And the most frustrating thing about this is that we are helpless.
We can stay at home but some of us have to work to pay bills.
We can lock ourselves inside but when you’re jobless, like I am, its stressful.
We can pretend that it will be alright even as we do all the right things and it doesn’t change the anxiety.
With all this time in doors we should be reading and writing and being creative with our free time.
Except everyone is stating they don’t have the capacity to write or create and then blaming themselves like they’re lazy or can’t be bothered.
So this is a nice reminder to all you to STOP DOING THAT.
You have a tank of emotional gas and you have run out.
That you have forgotten the emotional commitment to your projects is no surprise, so here is your reminder; you can’t invest what you don’t have.
Joy, sadness, grief, despair; when we can control these emotions and funnel them into our creation we are building on past trauma and experiences. We are dealing with these things in safe spaces. You don’t feel safe, you don’t even know what to feel anymore.
I know cause I’m there too.
I’ve been writing during the lock down but I have a confession to make.
None of it is on relevant projects.
Its all trash. Half baked ideas I’d never publish. A sex scene between two of my favourite characters. A conversation two of my characters wish they could have had and never got the chance. A random idea that I don’t think will go anywhere. I’ve started about six different novels. Written a novella.
And all of its trash.
Garbage words that I may be able to salvage but honestly, I just indulged in what I wanted to write. All of its in snapshots and time not well spent but it helped me to keep on creating, but more importantly give me something to do that isn’t worrying.
So, write that fanfic you’ve always longed to. Just start a fresh page and write about how angry, upset, and stressed out you are. Write that letter to your high school bully, or the first time you fell in love. Tell the person inside the words are still there, they’re just waiting for you to fill up the tank.
Th first few days were hard to do, but it’s been nice to be able to sit and know I’ve put in writing time. I’m not losing the habit. I’ve kept working despite everything even if it wasn’t specifically on the goals I wanted.
For all the time I’ve had at home I’ve also spent it doing things like the final proofread on Queen of Spades Awakening which has already garnered a few five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
I didn’t want to do it but I had a release date, so I played solitaire and listened to the entire book twice to be sure there were no mistakes. It was good because I got writing related work done, ensured the script it was the best it could be, and distracted myself from the enormity of the task by playing solitaire. All the little wins made for a huge win on the day.
Don’t look for big picture wins.
Look for the time you did the dishes. Posted on your blog. Joined a Twitter event. Wrote a review. You are contributing to the joy in the world. You are refilling other people’s tanks with your attention and your time.
We’re all locked in our homes together, but we can do that, and doing that for many of you has made my life better.
You guys refilled my tank.
Tell me what I can do to help you, and we will get through this together.