By: Hannah Lewis
As I sit here trying to type out the beginning of this post, I can’t help but reflect on how alike it sounds to the speech heard by Rufus Scrimgeour in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1: “These are dark times there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.”
What the United States and the rest of the world is experiencing right now is something that no living human being has ever gone through; at least, not to the degree things have escalated. This pandemic has brought everyone to their knees— and reminded us all how delicate the balance of our lives is.
Not only that, but the United States is in the middle of the biggest human rights movement it has ever seen. We are going through a new awakening; and it’s easy to feel that your very way of life and thinking is being challenged. How then, is anyone supposed to write, feel creative, or maintain self-discipline, when everything feels like it’s bursting at the seams? I have compiled a short list of tips that have helped me continue to write (admittedly, sporadically) during this time of rebirth.
#1: Make a list of the feelings you have experienced during this time
It seems like a gigantic feat to sit down with all of these emotions you’ve been feeling the past few months and try to make something from it. It helped me tremendously to isolate those feelings and reflect on why I felt those things. From there, it’s easier to take an idea and roll with it; whether that be in poetry (my preferred), painting, journaling, making music, fiction writing, etc.
#2: Once you’ve made the list, pick a feeling you want to dive deeper into
Maybe there is one particular emotion you’ve been experiencing more than any other. This period of time at home has made me feel a mixture of positive and negative emotions. At one point I’m feeling terrified and alone— at another, hopeful and determined. Choose one you’re particularly drawn to and start with that.
Begin imagining what that feeling might look like, sound like, feel like, or even the colors you associate with it. Try to think of new and interesting ways to represent that feeling. If you’re into story writing, maybe create a character that reflects that feeling with the little behaviors they exude. If you’re into painting or drawing, run with the color you associate that emotion with and see where it takes you.
It might be a fun project to write a poem or create a painting, whatever you prefer, with all of the different emotions you put down. It’s a good way to keep yourself motivated and continually creating during this time.
Staying creative is difficult under normal circumstances; it’s okay if you’re having a hard time. You aren’t required to come out of this quarantine with a book written, and it doesn’t reflect poorly on you for using your time in a way that makes you comfortable and happy. More than anything, the most important thing to do now and in the near future is to stay vigilant and continue to fight for human rights— however it is you do that. Happy creating, and remember: Black Lives Matter.