A Writer's Emotional Journey Back to Work
Updated: Mar 22
Piggybacking on my industrious partner’s GET STARTED series, I thought I’d offer my thoughts, from a more emotional standpoint, on how to potentially overcome the challenge of creating during uncertain times.
It's been two years since the pandemic descended upon us. Although some people manage to push through and maintain their usual demeanor and productivity, some of us still struggle to find our way, creatively.
From the writer part of me, I must confess that during this unexpected and uncertain time, the impetus to flex my creative muscles has, well, atrophied. Usually, you can find me excited about a new story, a screenplay, a producing project – even a blog. But during the last few years, I’ve felt a growing apathy creeping in. The prospect of sitting at my computer to create something that would be particularly challenging to produce has developed some bad habits that I do my best to adapt to and change, if possible.
Creative types, especially ones who thrive on interaction with other creative types, depend on that synergy that comes with being in the room with people. However, as a producer, consultant and teaching artist, the lack of that personal connection has definitely created something…a persistent chatter in my head that I’m not doing as much as I should. And, depending on who you ask, I may not be. But, of course, the most important opinion is that of my own. And, truthfully, I’ve let myself down a bit.
Even writing this blog is taking a more concentrated effort than it normally would have in “typical” times. And sometimes I’m just helpless to the feeling of helplessness. It is and it isn’t surprising. Creative people tend to be sensitive in general. Slap on a pandemic and the loss of interpersonal energy and you have a recipe for a serious malaise.
However, there are some things that I have managed to do despite a general feeling of inertia. I’ve had a story idea for a long time, so I cleared a bulletin board and began attaching index cards with notions for characters and potential plot lines. It hasn’t translated to an actual script yet but it’s something! I also continue to add to my list of titles. I’ve got more than I could ever use but sometimes they can inspire…something. I also keep in touch with my co-producer, John. At the end of our meetings, I feel a renewed sense of “doing” by creating timelines and generating ideas for our business.
So, what’s my point in offering this missive? To let you know that if you feel like I’ve been feeling, you’re not alone. I’ve started and stopped the flow of my creativity more times than I’d care to fess up to these past few years, but I know that it’s OK. It has to be. All I can do is my best. To adapt to what’s happening, to think it through and, hopefully (hope is important!), get back to some of my natural, creative output…perhaps starting with this blog.
So, friends - If you haven’t experienced this feeling of sputtering creativity, I hope that it continues. If you’re in the midst of experiencing it, I’m rooting for you. Your mojo will come back. In the meantime, be good to yourself. Talk with friends. Scribble down a story idea. Write in a journal. Celebrate what you’re able to do. Me? I just finished a blog. Things are looking up!
PLEASE feel free to share your feelings, ask for some motivation or offer anything else below.
P.S. Since writing the first draft of this blog, I managed to actually write a complete treatment for a feature film. What sparked that initiative? Not sure. Maybe I got out of my own way. Maybe it was the weather. Or maybe it was just time. Onward!