#AmWriting – Opening Up while Locked Down

Hello! Anyone else finding it difficult to write during lockdown?

I’ve sketched out a few scenes for ongoing projects, but haven’t sat down and churned out a page for weeks and weeks.

One silver lining is that I’m storing up lots of different ideas for stories. Jotting them down eases the (metaphorical) pressure in my head, and it’s almost like actual writing.

This flow of ideas is great, and the like of it hasn’t happened for a long time. I used to get ideas all the time: I’ve got notebooks in the attic from when I was in my late teens and early twenties and they are absolutely saturated with ideas and plans for stories, novels, music, films, all sorts. That most of them never came to fruition is neither here nor there – and probably a good thing, because many of them were rubbish ideas in the first place – not every idea should even be considered, but you should write down as many as you can, and sift through them (or not) at your leisure. But let the flow continue and, like fishing (I imagine), something will eventually bite.

But that kind of idea generation seemed to have dried up ages ago. For years now it’s as if I’ve jumped on any idea at all, and focussed everything on it, to the point of almost ignoring others, or (I’m looking at the garden right now) letting the current one hog all the sunlight, so fresh new ideas become stunted things which shrivel and die.

Why should I seemingly have a flurry of ideas now? I’m tempted to say it’s my brain playing a trick on me: “you clearly can’t concentrate enough to write for any length of time, so here are loads of ideas just to torment you!”

But I prefer to think that, in the same way that many of us are more aware of birds (and other wildlife – we had a hedgehog in the garden last week) and birdsong because of the reduced levels of traffic, the brain – despite the CoronaCloud hanging over all of us – has less distractions, or less information to process, and can therefore be more open to inspiration.

It’s a theory, anyway. Anyone else feeling the same thing?

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