Want to Know What I’ve Been Doing During ‘Lockdown?’
Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t Writing

By Ruth Barringham

I’ve been reading online lately about many writers who’ve used this never-ending ‘lockdown’ period to hit-the-ground-running with their writing. It seems they’ve been super-productive, while the most productive thing I’ve done is read the latest book I bought called “How to Have a 48 Hour Day” (ironically).

Somehow I thought it would be natural that I’d do the same as these other writers. I began well, but after the first week I got totally sidetracked and I was so busy doing other things that I all but stopped writing.

You may be wondering what I was doing with everything closed and nowhere to go.

Thankfully, here in Queensland Australia, we haven’t been as ‘locked down’ as most places so this is what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks (in no particular order) -

Drinking too much wine. With no bars or restaurants open I’ve been forced to drink at home and you can bet I did, with some wine-drinking sessions starting as early 4 o'clock in afternoon. My husband Dean and I have drunk too much on some occasions but boy have we talked and laughed a lot. And the more we drink the funnier we get.

Days out. We can’t go far but we’ve been to many places and walked on the beach, through forests, and picnicked in the park.

Friends. We've visited a few people and have had a few visitors ourselves. Usually I don’t encourage visitors but with nowhere else for them to go I’ve graciously allowed it. :)

Intimacy. Dean and I have had plenty of time for romance and intimacy. With no kids at home and no pets, our time is our own so we have become like a couple of martinis - anytime, anyplace, anywhere (life really is great).

Gardening. We've also shifted millions of weeds out of our garden which was long overdue, because I believe that gardens are for sitting in, not for hard labour.

Dog sitting. We’ve had our daughter’s little dog come and stay with us a couple of times so there was plenty of playing and walking.

Movies. We’ve dug out lots of old DVDs and watched them again while I got plenty of knitting done. We even watched my favourite Night M Shyamalan trilogy, Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. Such dark psychological goodness.

Football. We’ve been watching re-runs of our favourite Rugby League team, The Brisbane Broncos, winning all their Grand Finals, with lots of cheering and lots of beers (yes, there’s been even more drinking).

Reading. Our local library has been closed for the last few weeks but they’ve been putting out a 3-tier trolly of free books every day, so I’ve collected quite a few, and I’ve been getting plenty of reading done. Plus I’ve been re-reading some of my own books about writing and marketing.

Coffee. Dean and I have been having extended coffee time. We do enjoy sharing a big pot of coffee mid-morning and recently we’ve been taking more time to sip our coffee out on the veranda in the autumn sunshine, and chat.

Family. We've also spent time visiting our daughter and her fianc√© as they only live a 30-minute drive away. I’ve also been taking them some homemade food, so cooking is another thing I’ve been spending more time doing.

Laughing. Dean and I have also spent evenings doing nothing but talking and laughing. We do enjoy laughing and can easily sit and talk about trivial and silly things and laugh and laugh.

And yet, although I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time in ‘lockdown’, I feel itchy to get back to writing again.

So I’ve been devising a writing plan-of-action and I’ve also been looking at my old websites, articles, and my ideas notebooks and it’s all been so inspirational and motivational and now I feel ready to get back to writing again.

And I’ve started with writing this about how I haven’t been writing (another irony) during the last few weeks which surprised me so much because I felt SURE that I’d use this COVID_19 break to write more.

I think instead, I needed a distraction. A rest.

But now it’s onwards with my usual writing routine. Not that it’s ever much of a routine, but at least I usually do write every day.

And right now while I’m writing this, it’s 9 p.m. so it’s time for another glass of Pinot Grigio.


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