Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Sunday Musings: One Step at a Time…

with 4 comments

Well, it’s Sunday again, so I figured I’d better write something. Here we go…

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a number of issues. The world at large seems stifling…the fact that Covid-19 rages on, and that “real life” remains so constrained, definitely does not help.

A week or so ago, my father told me, “So, what’s the big deal? Your life hasn’t changed that much since the pandemic.” His view was that I mostly do everything I’ve always done, except for wearing a mask while I do it.

Maybe that’s true. But it doesn’t feel that way.

As a writer, I observe things more keenly than most. And what I’ve observed is that societally speaking, we seem to be in a free fall. We’re tired, we’re frustrated, we’re angry, we’re definitely not happy…and the few who usually try to find bright spots mostly seem to be muzzling themselves. (Except maybe for posting various cat and dog pictures; they’re nice, but don’t make up for everything else.)

I know I usually try to concentrate on something positive, or uplifting, or at least interesting. And the past few months, I’ve been in a rut of my own that has made it hard for me to do any of that.

Why? Well, I think part of it is because 2020 has been so difficult. Everything I’d wanted to accomplish has been slowed significantly. And that’s extremely vexing.

One of my writer-friends sent me an essay that I wish I could find right now. The essay pointed out that sometimes, rage is your friend. It may stop you from writing in the short-term, but providing you do not give up, the rage can give you enough energy to keep going until you can write again.

But in case rage doesn’t do it for you, consider it from a different angle.

A book I read years ago called THE QUOTIDIAN MYSTERIES discusses just how these fallow periods in our lives can lead to greater creativity in the end. We seem to need these empty spaces with regards to our creativity for some reason, just as fields need to be left fallow every so often.

In other words, we have to trust the process.

And speaking solely for myself, I have to believe that this fallow season will come to an end, and my creativity will reassert itself as soon as it possibly can. And providing I stick it out, the words — and the stories — will come back full-force just as soon as they possibly can.

What are you doing during the pandemic to best utilize your creativity? Or at least keep yourself from running around, screaming? Tell me about it in the comments!

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 25, 2020 at 3:02 am

4 Responses

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  1. I’ve used my downtime to study writing as a craft, and to hone marketing skills. I’ve read a lot of books and have also rededicated myself to writing. Oddly enough, this has been a productive time for me. I’ve written two full books this year and I’m working on a third. I hope to have four or more next year. So while life itself sucks, I’ve been able to be productive while I’m cooped up. The productive period — that I like. The rest? No. I know we will get through it. The world will never go back to what it was. It may suffer even more for a time, but I believe good triumphs and the future will bring hope. I write science fiction, and this year has felt like I’m slogging through a depressing dystopian novel, but I believe there will be lighter fare ahead.

    Kayelle Allen

    October 25, 2020 at 8:54 am

    • I sincerely hope you are right, Kayelle.

      It’s good that you’ve been so productive. I’ve been able to be productive as an editor, but my writing mostly has just been elusive. I hope that somehow, some way, the logjam will break…but until then, one step at a time. 🙂

      Barb Caffrey

      October 25, 2020 at 9:24 am

  2. Hi Barb I admire you for finding the positive in a situation which some might have found very distressing, if not destructive, in the creative sense.
    Being retired to a certain extent Covid isolation and disruption is not hitting us as badly as others, though it is indeed a very strange time. We in ‘The West’ suddenly finding we are not immune to the trials which always seemed to affect ‘others’.
    Actually Covid spurred me on a bit, I was working on this final volume of my fantasy trilogy which had gone down some surprising routes and kept thinking ‘I must complete this in case I catch Covid and get laid up for months and months with fatigue’ So I did that, and now await the cover from a friend of my son’s. Meanwhile Vols I & II are being re-edited again just so the continuity flows…..
    And wouldn’t you know it another related work is starting to nag, set 25 years on after the events.
    Slight cloud on the horizon my marketing skills are zero and Kindled they may be, but selling not so much…Ah indie-self publishing.


    October 25, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    • I’m glad to hear from you, Roger. And I’m very glad you’ve been so productive. 🙂

      Barb Caffrey

      October 26, 2020 at 11:16 am

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