Creativity in Uncertain Times

Wow. The Apocalypse comes at ya fast. And the advice for how maintain creative productivity in troubled times comes at ya ever faster.

For me, that’s a good thing. In its strange way, it’s comfort reading. Other creatives are still taking craft and productivity. It’s community. It’s shop talk. It’s words. Vital connection in a time of social distancing. A tether to literary gatherings that must be set aside for now—no in-person writing groups, no working in coffeeshops, no trotting off to museums for inspiration and beauty, no wandering in bookstores, no in-person classes or workshops.

But, even though reading others’ creative advice is comforting, it isn’t always helpful beyond its comfort. And that’s fine. Everyone’s situation is different, and those difference are make-n-break in situation like this. What works for everyone is different. And valid.

For some people, that’s going to mean discarding creative work in order to conserve spoons for all the difficult, anxiety-enabling tasks of the day. For others, losing themselves in creativity for a few hours each day is going to be the only thing that allows them to safely navigate this scary new normal the rest of the time. And all the others in between: grabbing a few minutes of creating in between home schooling or figuring out how to serve pasta for the sixth time this week, or running errands for elderly friends, or panicking about a loss of income (Hi! That’s me!).

Don’t feel guilty about ignoring “good” advice if it doesn’t work for you, or it’s worked for you in the past, but not right now, or if you don’t have the spoons to give it a try. Embrace and protect what is working for you; let the rest flutter free.

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