Celebrating my daughter’s birthday this weekend in lockdown was so different to previous years. Instead of having friends around the table, chatting, giggling and singing as we brought out red velvet cake – my daughter’s favourite – she opened cards sent through the post and chatted to friends by video call.
Despite the lockdown, she got to see and talk to everyone she cared about and went to sleep, that night, under the glow of her new fairy lights, feeling that she still got to celebrate her day.
During challenging times, it’s as important as ever to celebrate. Maybe even more so. Not just birthdays and anniversaries but the small things too.
Right now, routines are shaken up, plans are put on hold, but the ability to keep going is an amazing thing. This isn’t a time for guilt if goals aren’t hit, things aren’t going according to plan, that book isn’t progressing as fast as you’d like or that story idea won’t come.
If you feel up to using the lockdown to be ambitious with your writing, fantastic. Go for it! But, if not, take the pressure off, write for the joy of it rather than for the drive to get somewhere. Let writing lift your spirits rather than dampen it. Celebrate just turning up, putting your pen to the page, jotting down some words as much as you might celebrate when you hit a big goal.
Have that cake, that bubbly, whatever makes you smile. It’s important to feel good and lift your spirits (safely of course!).
To be a writer, all you have to do is write.
It’s not a rush, a race or a competition. You don’t need to be published yet, have won an award or receive literary acclaim although all those things are wonderful too.
Just turn up, as often as you can, even if you have just five minutes sandwiched between home tutoring, Zoom calls and all your other demands.
Let writing be a joy, a moment for you.
Celebrate every word!