I don’t think anyone would argue that life can be difficult sometimes. We’ve all had those moments, those days, even those years where everything goes sideways and we’re left wondering where we went wrong. No one is immune from it, but we persevere.
One thing that has helped me cope with downturns is creativity, losing myself in a project like writing a new short story, working on the draft for my novel, drawing, making music, even cooking or gardening. Anything that takes my mind off my current situation, that occupies my consciousness for an hour or more, is a good thing.
You know, art therapy has been proven an effective way to help people cope. I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but from personal experience I’ve found that writing helps me immensely. It doesn’t matter if I’m working on a story draft, writing a blog post, or scribbling in my journal, putting words on a page it therapeutic for me.
In our current situation, a global pandemic mixed with a mostly mismanaged response, I find that I’m writing far more frequently than I usually do. And no, it’s not just that I have more time on my hand. True, I’m working from home for the foreseeable future, but I still have a job to do. What I’ve found is that I’m getting up earlier in the mornings to write, and without a commute I have an extra thirty minutes to add to that. Early morning writing is the best writing…at least in my opinion.
I’m also finding that I have the urge to expand my creative range, meaning, I’m drawing more. I used to draw all the time when I was a kid. Comic books were my inspiration, specifically, Marvel titles. Spiderman, of course, but also Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, and some of the more fantastical titles were inspiration for my own amateurish sketches. When I started writing more, the drawing fell to the wayside. It was something I did on occasion while half-watching television or sitting in the sun on the back patio.
But with more free time and more things on my mind, I’m finding more reason to put images on a page. I’ve also had a hankering to pick up a paint brush – something I’ve never really done – but unfortunately, I don’t think I can get into any of the local art supply stores, and most of the online retailers are out of stock. I guess I wasn’t the only one to have this urge.
I’ve also been impressed with the creativity of others. I’m seeing so many interesting things being posted online, on places like Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. People don’t have much else to do, so why not find creative ways to entertain ourselves? Some of it has been brilliant, some of it silly, and in a few cases, cringe-worthy, but I don’t mind. People have to express themselves. If it ends up being weird or silly or stupid, well, that’s okay. At least they tried. That’s what matters.
Keep on being creative, dear reader. Work out that stress, that fear, that indecision, and that boredom. Keeping it inside isn’t healthy. And if you do create something, share it with the world. You never know…you might inspire someone.