Writing in the Apocalypse

Okay, the coronavirus epidemic isn't the apocalypse, but it sure feels like it sometimes. The scary part isn't really the virus itself -- it's how quickly the situation escalated and caught us all off guard.

A little over a week ago, my college was simply advising people to wash their hands thoroughly. Now, I'm not even at college anymore. Last Tuesday at around 5 p.m., I and my fellow students got an email telling us to move out of our dorms ASAP. The campus descended into surreal chaos as people struggled to pack and find storage on extremely short notice. Stress levels were at an all-time high -- and that's saying something at a university.

At the time, many of us thought colleges were overreacting with these closures, but now we know it was 100% the right thing to do. My family and I are currently practicing social distancing by staying home as much as possible -- a relatively easy feat, given that all of our usual commitments (such as church and swim practice) have been cancelled until further notice.

At least I can take more photos for my Instagram account now?

It's all a lot to take in, and it's important to realize that emotional stress can take a huge physical toll on people's bodies. When I came home, I tried to look on the bright side, telling myself that I was going to get so much writing done in quarantine. I could keep drafting my YA fantasy, and I could tackle revisions on my YA contemporary based on feedback from my Author Mentor Match mentor (oh yeah, I got into AMM!!!).

However, even though I did have a great FaceTime call with my mentor on Sunday, I haven't done a lick of writing since I got home Saturday night. Part of me feels guilty about that, but I simply didn't have the mental energy to write for a few days. I was (and am) still reeling from the shock of having to cut my first year of college short and return home to a town where I can't even see my old friends because of social distancing. And I'm far from the only one -- everybody on the planet is being hugely affected by the coronavirus.

Yes, self-quarantine often comes with a lot of free time. But you don't have to use that time to get a ton of work done. Taking care of yourself and your mental health should be a top priority.

Stay calm and safe, everyone. And use disinfecting wipes to clean your phone screens. Those things are nasty.

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