Writers’ Block in a Time When There’s Nothing Else to Do

I have gotten used to the humbling moment where my phone interrupts my incessant scrolling to let me know that I’m down to 20% and I should probably switch to low power mode. I check the time, it is noon, that is great. In the ~outside world~ (that’s what I like to call it now), I can usually go a full day without dipping below 60% battery usage but that’s besides the point. I’ve accepted that all the things occupy me lately are behind a screen.

Unemployment during a quarantine looks like this for me:

8:00 – My body wakes me up internally panicking shit! I’m late for something!!

8:01 – I am fully conscious and remember what reality is

9:00 – I’m up to date on every app on my phone, including TikTok, which I am proud to say I have not only downloaded, but uploaded content on over the last week. I have 28 followers, and they mean everything to me. Winnie is awake now and she has to go potty.

10:30 – Winnie and I return from our walk. Yes, it was an hour and a half long. Neither of us keep track of where we go or where we’ve been. It’s beautiful.

12:00 – I honestly don’t know what I’ve done in the last hour and a half. Typically there’s a shower mixed in there. I’ll moisturize and comb my eyebrows and on a good day, I even apply a little mascara. Self care, ya know? I’ve strategically waited till noon for my first meal because now I can use leftovers to construct an epic pile of nachos without feeling the guilt that accompanies eating lunch food during breakfast time.

In the afternoons I journal. I try to write something substantial but it’s like someone poured cement in my brain. I’ve got nothing. It’s like every event that has happened in my life plays out in my head as a daytime sitcom where the conflict doesn’t actually matter and it’s concluded before it even began. Defeated, I turn back to social media to see what everyone’s been up to since earlier this morning. These days it seems like everyone is sharing their home workouts and healthy recipes meanwhile the nachos are still brewing in my digestive system. I see their 30 minute exercises but I don’t even have the energy to stretch my limbs. I have my collection of art supplies but I can’t think of anything to create. Another blurb pops up that is supposed to be motivational telling me about all the revolutionary books and inventions that were curated during the Bubonic Plague and I want to scream: BUT WHAT IF I HAVE NOTHING? I am trying to access the part of me that once spewed creative masterpieces all over my bedroom wall and notebooks. I used to tell myself that if I had the time, I’d write that damn novel but now that I have the time, I’m watching a guy on Netflix raise tigers.

I’ve written about the damaging effects of social media before. I try to share as many ridiculous parts of me on Instagram as I do the fun parts because I’d hate for someone who follows me compare themselves to this shit show. I hate to think about anyone else beating themselves up about not coming out of this quarantine in good shape with perfect skin and a four hundred page manuscript. It’s okay to take this time to just be. To my core before I’m anything else, I like to call myself a writer, yet I haven’t written a single thing. I have, however, taken my dog on a minimum of three walks a day. I have reconnected with friends that I’ve drifted apart from over the last couple years. I have promptly done the laundry. Caleb and I have tried new types of wine (on more nights of the week than I’d care to admit). I’ve read a book or two. I talk on the phone with my family every day. If I don’t come out of this strange time in better shape or with anything “productive,” fine. But in a couple months when this is (hopefully) coming to an end, I will be a better daughter, sister, dog mom, girlfriend, and friend. That’s enough! 

2 thoughts on “Writers’ Block in a Time When There’s Nothing Else to Do”

  1. I struggle with the same thing. Don’t know what happened to the kid who used to be able to write. Hope you find the cure.

    Like

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