Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Life in the Time of COVID-19

April 1 question – The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

I almost don’t know how to answer this question. How is my world in the time of COVID-19? In many ways, it’s unchanged. My husband and I already worked from home, and I don’t have kids who are suddenly underfoot and trying to adjust to huge changes. Our recreational activities are curtailed – no more meeting at coffee shops to write with friends for me, and no more long-sword class for my husband – but the basic meat of our lives remains unchanged on the surface. I know that I am incredibly lucky for that.

But life is much more than the surface, isn’t it?

It turns out that I really, really need social contact and external obligations in order to function. My mental health has taken a swift turn for the worse, which particularly sucks because I feel like I only just got onto even footing with that a few months ago. So I find myself mourning that progress, and worried about what it will take to regain it.

I’m frightened. I’m afraid of what will happen if America in general (and Boston in particular, since that’s where I live) does not take this threat seriously. We could lose a lot of lives. I try not to think about that, but the awareness is still there.

I hope that we can use this crisis to build a better society, one where we value people over profit, but I’m terrified that we won’t. I certainly don’t know how to make that happen. I’m looking to see what small steps I can take to create the world I want to see, but it’s hard. That’s nothing new.

But life carries on! I’m checking in with friends and baking. I go for walks and I snuggle my cat, who is finally living her dream of constant human companionship. I’m knitting and reading and getting some writing done.

I even have exciting writing news! I’ll write a dedicated blog post about it soon enough, but I have a short story published in a new anthology, Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse, which has launched as part of a cat-themed story bundle! That runs until April 15, 2020. So if you need cat breaks, you can get ten different cat books, including Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse. I feel a little weird about doing self promotion right now, but I know that I have been craving light reading, so I assume that others are, as well. Cat books might just scratch that itch, so I figure it’s a public service at this point.

I know that I am very lucky to be able to weather this story in comfort and safety. I hope that everyone reading this is doing alright.

12 thoughts on “Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Life in the Time of COVID-19

  1. Congratulations on your upcoming published short story, Joanna. I hope you’re safe. I can relate to your fears. This is a surreal time. I’m not sure how I feel either.

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  2. Congrats on your published story! And I’m sorry you’re having mental health struggles. Times like these are rough on one’s mental well-being. Like you, I hope this experience leads us to make a better world–but the cynic in me is skeptical. Take care.

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  3. Congratulations on the published story! It’s so strange to find out what we really depend on that we took for granted until those things are taken away, isn’t it? Small steps seem like all we can do at this point, but being in control of your own actions can really help in this out-of-control time.

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  4. Glad your life hasn’t been completely upended. My normal routine has gone out the window but it could be worse. Congrats on the story publication! 🙂

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  5. I will tell my mother about your cat story! She loves those… Glad you aren’t feeling the brunt of this as badly as some. I too, hope we change for the better. One can always hope!

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  6. Congratulations on your story! It’s a great thing to post! I’m glad you are safe and still able to work. I feel like you and want the new society after this hell to be a better place. But watching those in power. I have my doubts. Still, the world has changed for the better, even though the process is slow, it is progressing!

    And like you, I’m fighting every day to look to the positive. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  7. The title of the anthology alone is enough to make me smile! Hang in there, and use all the techy methods we have of staying in touch with the people who matter (without getting sucked, as I have for 2 days, into the swirling black hole of Facebook).

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