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The challenges of lockdown

29th June 2020 |

I realise from blog posts, twitter feeds and comments from fellow writers that some people have not found it easy to concentrate and focus on their writing during lockdown. Hopefully that will change as restrictions end and our lives go back to something resembling normal. Will it? There has been talk of a new normal. What will that be like? That’s the trouble; no one knows. And that is the challenge. Our poor brains are overwhelmed by a situation that is completely beyond our experience. No wonder it can be difficult to write.

My husband, Peter and I have long had a dream to write a book containing all the tools and techniques we’ve learnt from personal development and our work as leadership development trainers over the past fifteen years. We didn’t expect when we went to Costa Rica in February 2020 that our ten thousand words and skeleton plans would form into a fifty thousand word book, called Finding Happiness after Covid 19 which will be available from July 1st on Kindle.

So how did it happen?

  1. Do a little every day

As we write in our book, so many action plans fail because targets are too high. Set incremental targets and start small. My first book was written when I was a headteacher in fifteen minute spurts between eight o clock and eight fifteen when I manned the phones before my secretary arrived. I often had to stop in the middle of a sentence. It made it easier to get going again the following day.

  • A lapse is just that, not a relapse and certainly not a collapse

If you miss a day, fine. Get back into the routine the next day. If you miss more than one day, something might be going on. Perhaps your target is too high or you’re not really motivated to do this novel. Do something else. A short story, a blog post, a Tweet. But write.

  • Keep the internal dialogue positive.

Instead of worrying and hearing that voice telling us we were useless, no one would read that book, we were fakes etc etc, we accepted it might not be good the first time but we’d make it good. And if one person found one part of it helpful, we’d count that as success.

  • Enjoy the process

Make it a game, a challenge…in other words, make it fun. When we struggled to find images we could use, could use, we experimented with creating our own. We borrowed our neighbour’s’ battered tool box and spent an hour in the woods on one of our Boris walks searching for a spider’s web (Hint and note to selves, it’s quite tricky in summer, better to wait till the autumn.)

Whatever you do, write and keep on writing. This too will pass.

Happy writing!

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