Many of us have done a writer’s pandemic for a year (by March), most of it in lockdown, yet in the UK, we may have to brace ourselves for another year of false starts and dashed hopes. How to keep busy and productive? I’ve no idea. Lives are turned upside down. People who never thought twice about going to work every day are suddenly redundant. Parents who never saw their kids between 9 and 5 find themselves homeschooling. Older children and teens have seen crucial goalposts moved and milestones evaporate. Medical professionals are fighting a do or die war on the frontline. Most of the UK population is not even aware of it. Those of you who have lost loved ones to the virus and other causes I send you my deepest condolences.
Blissful Ignorance By Design
Our UK media carries a burden of blame for failing to inform the public. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have your life overturned in such a way, or the grief and devastation of the families of more than 110,000 loved ones who’ve died from the virus. How do we come out of this mess? Some of us won’t, and that’s the thing. Western society is built on being able to plan for the future, making assumptions within a range (the important bit) and constructing our businesses, education, career paths and lives based on the plan. With the combination of (any) pandemic and the rising climate crisis, humans can no longer take the future for granted, so how do we cope with the here and now? Sorry to be a downer, but there it is.
Focus On What We Can Control
A wise writing tutor said that to me. Much as you don’t like what’s going on around you, even less the powerlessness to act on it, you can make the most of the present – your present, which is personal to you, unless you’re home schooling in which case you have my sympathy. It’s tough. The first thing you can do is to avoid adding to the problem, and there’s plenty of advice in the public domain on how to do that. Secondly, count your blessings. Many others could be having it a lot worse than you. Creatively, it’s easier said than done. Writers are plagued with procrastination, our main weapon against forcing our brains into exercise it doesn’t want to do. I’m sure painters, poets, musicians and other creatives face the same problem.
What Shall I Do Next?
Here’s the thing, I’m studying how to design and construct story, and I thought I was going to dive into a fiction trilogy using the method, but on thinking about it, I’m not so sure. I have screenplays that need attention. Having just finished one to a standard I’m really pleased with, I want to get two others to the same standard. One solution is to cut my teeth on the study course method by redesigning one of the screenplays. It’s smaller in scope than the trilogy and I’ve already done the character work. The drawback is it pushes the trilogy further down the line, and as I already pointed out, our future is not guaranteed.
However, talking it through with you has helped me make a decision, and I shall rewrite the screenplay first. At the same time I shall work on the set of characters for the trilogy since that is not actual story design work. I love blogging because it always feels like a personal conversation with you and thanks for your interest. This is my writer’s pandemic. Yours will be unique also. Below are listed web sites I find inspirational and thought provoking. Keep safe and well. Ciao for now.
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London Screenwriters’ Festival Online is running a jam-packed programme of events for a one-off fee for February.
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