Now that’s a headline I never expected to write, but here we are. As a writer, I thought staying home and social distancing would be life as usual. But I was wrong. I’m missing the public library and the two university libraries where I do much of my research. And I’m missing the two or three days a week when I start my writing day at a nearby coffee shop. Turns out, I’m not a hermit after all.
I’m especially missing the university libraries now because I need several articles for my current project, and I know those libraries have them. But of course, they are closed. I tried to locate the articles online. I found one but ran into a dead end with the others. So, I did the only thing I can do about those articles for now. I made a list of the titles, so I wouldn’t forget what I needed and set the list aside for later.
In the meantime, I found a lot of information for my project on https://www.newspapers.com/. Signing up with that site is an investment, but it’s been well worth it for my current book and for a couple of other projects I’ve had on hold because of snags with finding needed details.
Unfortunately, even all the new information hasn’t helped me stayed focused. My regular schedule has been interrupted and I’ve been feeling at loose ends. I needed to get out of my slump, so a couple of weeks ago, I tried something that has helped me get on track other times: making a list. Not a things-to-do list. As much as I like crossing items off a things-to-do list, it can also create tension on some days. And right now, I don’t need any more stress. The daily news is enough. So, I made a things-I-CAN-do list.
I wrote down what I need to do for my current project. I also wrote down steps I can take for a new book that is in the thinking stages and for another one that is finished and ready to submit. I divided the tasks into small steps that can be easily accomplished.
Now each morning, I look at my list and decide what I feel like doing for the day. I know it’s a lot like a things-to-do list, but in my mind, there’s a difference. I feel like I’m giving myself more freedom to do what I want instead of thinking I have to do something. And it’s helping. I’m definitely getting more done than I was a couple of weeks ago. Still, there’s plenty of room for improvement, and I’m open to suggestions. What have you been doing to stay motivated to write during this time? I would love to hear your ideas.