Hey cHEwY gum gums

As we all get used to this new normal of quarantine life, I’ve been observing what my writer friends have been doing. For some, it’s business as usual, writing their new book or project. Others are still under a cloud of sadness or shock and haven’t written a single word.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I haven’t used the extra home time to smash through What About Thao (don’t tell my editor haha). I’ve been jotting down observations about the pandemic for my side stories/projects, learning how to edit my YouTube videos and reading books. It’s productive procrastination but it’s procrastination nonetheless.

A writer’s mood and feeling are important, but it’s different for everyone. Writers can use their sadness to produce some of their best work. Others can block it out and find their happy place in stories.

I’ve never waited to get into the right mood to write. I just persisted with varied results. Words either flowed or dripped out. My own feelings and moods rarely mattered. I remember being distracted and worried about other things, but still smashing through a manuscript. I’m more affected by the environment or timing. I tend to write more on a plane or when there’s a looming deadline. In the end, I trust the process. My manuscripts get done and the books land on the shelf.

I feel for those writers trying to get out of this sadness funk. This is no ordinary sadness. It is like all the Avengers of dark emotions all coming together; the worry about family and friends, the anxiety of life being flipped upside down, the fear of the unknown, oh and there’s the Hulk.

For me, I am struggling to shake off this feeling of dread that 2020 will be a write-off (no pun intended haha). That this will be a lean year. It’s not the kind of feeling you want when your next book comes out in September haha. Who knows, maybe things will get better by then.

I just want to reach out for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by all of this. Own that sadness. Take it out for a walk. Feed it with some hot chocolate. Turn that sadness into whatever animal or object you like (not an elephant because Peter Carnavas already has dibs on that haha). It’s going to live with you for a bit, so you might as well get used to it. For me, I like to run with mine and stare at the blue skies for a bit. Little joys are everywhere if you look for them.

I am thankful that I don’t dwell with these feelings for too long. I distract myself with other things, or work on something else. I take heart in knowing that feeling sad is a natural response to this pandemic. And that we’re all in this together.


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree


  1. Kat says:

    21/04/20 @ 9:08 pm 

    This rings true to my heart. Thanks so much for writing this. I like having lots of different projects that require different emotional spaces. Crocheting is good for these times. Writing is tough when Iā€™m sad these days. Sometimes drawing or painting help me. Always creating art of some kind is therapy for me. Thanks for inspiring us all. Kat

  2. Oliver says:

    22/04/20 @ 11:09 am 

    Thanks for reading Kat, I love the sound of all your projects keeping you emotionally sound as well šŸ™‚ Take care!

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