Lockdown Blues by Bronwen Griffiths
This is my first blog for Authors Electric since December. A mix of winter blues and lockdown floored me for a while. I stopped writing altogether. I even left social media for a while unusual for me. I do recommend you take a break from social media from time to time, if like me, you are a regular user. I get a lot of support on social media (I mostly use Twitter) from other writers and it provides a great source of writing tips. I can read wonderful essays and flash fiction too. However social media can be a source of anxiety and anger. This anxiety is often related to measuring up against other writers. This can all too easily morph into a crippling loss of confidence and an unhealthy level of envy because – and let’s be honest about this – we all feel envy sometimes.
The anger I feel isn’t related to writing but to politics. However that can also be unhealthy if it is just reacting to events and venting but doing nothing constructive.
Some people seemed to have managed to make use of lockdown in a meaningful way but during this last lockdown I have really struggled. I need outside stimulus to write and though I love to be in the natural world and am lucky to live in a rural area I do need friendships to sustain me, trips out to the museum, the local coffee shop. And I don’t particularly like Zoom. I understand how useful and essential it has been and how, even after lockdown, it will continue to be so. We can’t all afford the time and/or money to travel to events and in this way a ‘virtual’ event is more democratic. But when almost everything is ‘virtual’ it feels we are losing something precious.
No one can predict how and when we will return to what we once considered ‘normal.’ We also need to consider what wasn’t working in our old lives. The truth is, we are all changed by this pandemic, whatever our circumstances.
I completed the first draft of a novella last year – I had been working on the ideas for it before the pandemic struck and finally, in the past week, I’ve begun working on the second draft. This is progress. I also wrote a small number of flash pieces last year, some of which were published. My fallow period has only lasted three months although at the time it felt like a lifetime! Hopefully the seeds I planted some while ago will now begin to grow. I hope the same for you too.
Bronwen is the author of four books, A Bird in the House, 2104, Not Here, Not Us – stories of Syria, 2016, Here Casts No Shadow, 2018 and a collection of flash fiction about growing up in the 60’s, Listen with Mother, 2019. Her flash pieces, short stories and poems have been widely published. She lives in East Sussex, UK and grew up in a village in the Midlands.
Facebook: Bronwen Griffiths
(the photos are mine - taken with a lightbox)