Like most of the other writers and illustrators I talk to these days, I am in a creative wasteland. I’m often in a crappy mood and even take a dive into a darkness sometimes. I lack ideas, never mind motivation. I worry about the future financially, about my family. Oddly, I don’t worry too much about the virus (knock wood) because I think I’ve been smart the handful of times I’ve gone out over the past three weeks. Actually I have no idea how many weeks it has been. Feels like about seventeen. But I do second guess every cough or sneeze, even if only momentarily. Then I remind myself it is allergy season.
Most of us work from home normally. So why does being told we must work from home make it any different? It doesn’t. Yet here I am, since even before we were first instructed to stay home, not creating much of anything. Every morning I sit in front of the computer or go back to my traditional studio with a cup of coffee, pour over the new Covid19 stats, obsess about that, the economy, and the ineptitude of the administration. Then try to draw. Or write on somedays. Typically, I’ll produce nada.
Of course I know everyone will tell me to turn off the TV, quit reading the news, turn on some music. And I DO do that every now and then. It even helps every now and then. But when I am trying to draw or write while listening to music—or even in silence—I get a case of the lonesomes. And this is probably harder than any of the distractions listed above.
Living alone is okay. I like it most of the time. If I want to see people, I go out and see people. Not being able to do that, or being advised not to do that is difficult. It makes you want to see people even more. I was surprised how quickly and deeply you can get lonely in this situation.
I am so thankful for social media where I can chat and laugh and keep up with others, where I can give and receive support, where I can meet others for a virtual happy hour and where it doesn’t seem like I am completely alone. Except for when it does.
Again, I love social media and all it can do to keep us connected, to having a virtual. community, but I. Miss. People.
Kind of a lot.
So, I’ve started making art and words and giving myself a break on what exactly I create. It doesn’t have to be the start of a new book idea. It can be whatever I want. I’m just gonna make something, for cryin’ out loud!
What I’ve ended up creating is some quarantine-ish, comic-ish kind of commentary. The one below I created a couple days ago. I like it and maybe I’ll do some more. At least it is something…