I started to write this a few weeks ago. A quick post on my website–the kind of thing a professional writer should be able to pull off in a few minutes. I thought about how to express what I’d been feeling, and I tried to come up with a clever headline, then I wondered whether it was worth doing at all. It wasn’t writer’s block, exactly–I knew what I wanted to write, I just couldn’t seem to find the energy or motivation to actually type the words.
I had a serious case of Writer’s Fog.
Covid sufferers have described the mental fog that can linger for months after their illness. I think many of us have suffered from a much-less-serious but pervasive sense that our brains aren’t working at full capacity. I ‘ve never been a quick writer, but Covid Life made me astonishingly unproductive. In many ways, I was blessed: my family stayed healthy, and my kids were old enough to handle Zoom school on their own. But the book I’d been working on ground to a halt. Technically, I had all the time in the world: no social plans, no travel. Just hour after hour of staring at my computer…. in a house where there were always other people around and I struggled to escape into the fictional world I was trying to create.
Like lots of other people, I was languishing. Not depressed, but not happy. Being unproductive and feeling guilty, because it seemed like everyone else had developed a dozen cool new hobbies.
The good news is that I finally “finished” my book, i.e. I have a completed draft that still needs a lot of rewriting. I’ve been vaccinated. I’m getting out of the house and seeing friends in person. But if you’re feeling bad that you didn’t spend the last year baking bread or meditating (or writing a novel!), you’re not alone. Simply completing a job–in twice the time it would have normally taken you–can be a victory, too. You definitely deserve dessert.