Writing during a pandemic

I have had a hard time sitting down to write for quite some time. I keep talking about it and thinking about; however, something always seems to get in the way.

  • I can make the excuse that I don’t have time, but I do spend some time on the couch watching Netflix.
  • I can make the excuse that I cannot miss those good TV shows (Haunting of Bly House and Utopia have been SOOO good), but it is Netflix and/or Prime so the shows aren’t going away anytime soon.
  • I can make the excuse that my mom passed away Easter weekend and I just cannot have been able to find the motivation. That actually is the case; however, I know that writing is good therapy if you make yourself sit down and do it.
  • I can make the excuse that teaching during the pandemic is overwhelming so I cannot focus in the evenings to write due to being drained. That is also true because I have been working long, crazy hours.

The point is that we can make excuses for anything and everything. Some are very real reasons; however, it is up to us to turn those reasons into a reason “why” not a “why not”. I recently decided that I can no longer keep working on school lesson plans, etc. during my evenings and weekends. It was draining me and I wasn’t finding any time for myself nor my family. I was a grump and a crying mess.

I had a student’s parent just last week get ANGRY because he emailed me one day after work hours and I hadn’t replied (because I wasn’t at work) so he emailed again the next morning demanding for a reply. I am not a Wal-Mart or a 7-11. I do not and should not be expected to be in teacher mode 24 hours a day. So this weekend, I decided to not even check my work emails and put up a vacation reply response that replies to any emails that I am out of the building until Monday. I am turning that excuse, that reason for not writing, into a reason to write. I am making time for myself right now. I, and my family, are more important.

Along with that goal to give myself some “me time”, I decided to sign up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I am not expecting myself to write 50,000 words like the site’s goal. I have never been able to meet that goal yet and am not going to put that pressure on myself because 2020 has been a hell year. This year, my goal with NaNoWriMo is to create and stick to a writing routine. I am not focusing on word count but just the goal of writing. Let’s turn 2020 from a hell year into a difficult, but good year. We can turn our excuses into motivations.

Good luck to everyone writing on NaNoWriMo and to everyone just trying to pull themselves together. We can do this.


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