a writer and I am an extrovert – not the usual trait combination. Most of my
writer friends are introverts. When we go to a gathering of any kind, I look
out into the crowd, think “new friends,” and plunge in with joy and gusto. They
look for a quiet corner and begin to plan their escape.
is not that I don’t also enjoy being alone; I do. Every writer needs long
periods of solitude to get the work done, but I savor the energy of a crowd and
come away fueled with ideas to explore during those quiet times.
A Writer’s Confession
while we are advised to practice social distancing, my introverted colleagues
are in their happy place. I am feeling isolated in a not-so-happy way. I miss
being in public places where I can practice a trick every writer uses for
lines, restaurants, grocery stores, on public transportation, well everywhere
really, people talk to one another and say the juiciest things! I always have
my phone and a small notebook with me to either dictate a voice memo or jot
down what I overheard.
I use these as prompts to inspire the muse when stuck or as the basis for the
story triggered in my mind. For example, “As soon as I met his mother, I knew
why he needed fixing.” Plenty to build on there! I miss that inspiration.
chats, Facebook, Netflix, and hugging my dogs helps but after a week of
seclusion I am starting to feel not
myself and my productivity is plummeting. What to do?
for a mindset shift! I realized I need to change the way I perceive this
isolation. So, I did a little self-coaching and came up with these three tips to
shift my thinking.
See the Love
isolation is an act of love. All around the world people are staying in their
homes with the sole purpose of stopping the spread of the virus. That is
beautiful! A literal global circle of people united for one purpose.
leaning into the energy of that!
is helped by the videos of people singing from their balconies in Italy, the
thunder of clapping at 8 PM in Spain every night to thank and encourage the
health care providers, by the dolphins back in the canals in Venice, by the
pollution reduction in large USA cities, and by the thousands of ways people
are stepping up to make masks, set up phone calls for people living alone, and switching
Tiny Libraries to Tiny Food Banks.
much love! I am grateful and inspired. With this shift, my mood lifts and my
Savor the Silence
the eavesdropping with attention to silence. I’m turning off the television, the
radio, and the computer, even my play lists. Now, I listen. What I used to
believe was silence, is not. I hear the birds singing outside my window and I am
reminded that spring is here, the time of rebirth and renewal.
hear sounds in my home that I do not usually process. I am aware of my furnace
and the reassuring sound of warm air being gently pumped into every room. I
hear one of my dogs whimper softly and look up to see her paws moving. She is dreaming.
soft sounds remind me of her devoted companionship and unconditional love. She
is always at my feet as I write. I hear a truck in my cul-de-sac and know mail
and deliveries are still happening. I am not alone. Living creatures surround
me, and I am safe and warm. My home is my atelier.
Change One Word
is one of the simplest mindset strategies yet one of the most powerful. Change
just one word, change have to get. When you make that substitution,
the thought that follows shifts. Here are a few of my changes:
to stay home because of forced isolation
to stay home and help stop the spread of
to cancel all my outside appointments.”
to reschedule all my outside appointments
and now have huge blocks of time for
to stop eating out with my friends.”
to order delivery and support my favorite
can’t pretend there is not a worldwide pandemic. We can’t change that our lives
are altered. We can’t deny that it will take time to recover.
can choose how we think about it, how we frame it, what our mindset is. And in
choice there is power. I am choosing to see the love, savor the silence, and
change one word to open the door to the muse, beckon her in, and write.
about you? What mindset shifts are you choosing? How do they affect you? Please
share your thoughts with our community.