I have been wondering this for a while: Has it been easier or more difficult for really creative people to cope with the forced isolation brought on by the pandemic? I asked several Twisted Road authors about their experiences of writing during COVID. The response below is from S. W. Leicher, Author of Acts of Assumption.
Why do children invent imaginary friends? To have the companionship they don’t enjoy elsewhere. To provide themselves with reassurance. To stretch their minds.
Why do adults invent imaginary friends? To survive a pandemic.
I have been one of the fortunate ones and I thank my lucky stars for it, every single day. When COVID knocked New York City on its back last spring, I was able to keep myself safe and sane. I was already semi-retired. I was neither alone in my apartment nor living with a group of people whose comings and goings were beyond my control.
And I had an idea for the sequel to my novel.
I couldn’t go downtown to meet with clients. Couldn’t sing with my chorus. Couldn’t go to the gym. Couldn’t have friends and family over for dinner. Couldn’t even have those marvelous serendipitous conversations that New Yorkers have with the person sharing a subway pole with them as the Q train lurches across the Manhattan Bridge.
But I could sit down at my desk every day to fill my head with conversations and adventures and questions that clearly related to but also definitely preceded the grim and consuming crises of 2020. I could chat once again with the old friends who peopled my first novel. I could share a subway pole—or a garage in the South Bronx or an office in a Jerusalem yeshiva—with a slew of new and intriguing characters.
At one point, when I was excitedly testing out a potential plot sequence over dinner with my poor captive-audience husband, he looked up at me over his plate of rice and beans and said: “Susan—you know these characters aren’t real, don’t you?”
“What?” I replied. “They aren’t?”
Being a writer can be a lonely pursuit. When the muse strikes, it can mean six and seven hours a day in front of a keyboard, all alone, seven days a week. In a time of pandemic, however, it provides an incomparable oasis, an escape, a wonderland of marvelous companions to tide a person through hard times.
Find out more about the author and her writing at her website, swleicher.com
Or you can order her book HERE
Do you have a story about surviving the pandemic? Send us your (very short – 500 words or less) story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post our favorites.