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#56: The Pandemic's True Toll

Hey, everyone!

No writing news, editing news or even art news this time around, I'm afraid... since it's been basically a year since my life became MUCH more burdensome and anxiety has weighed me down quite a bit.

I want to be honest with you, whoever reads these blogs of mine. Because you deserve to see this side of me, just as my future self deserves to see the old me and how I've actually been struggling with writing, art... basically anything creative in general - for the past few months, HELL, probably the past YEAR. And considering the odd coincidence that I resurrected this blog only a month after COVID took over as a major focus in the world, I haven't exactly been too forward with its affect on me and my mental health.

Sure, I've briefly mentioned my anxieties, my family problems (which are only growing worse, by the way) and other new responsibilities that cropped up as the pandemic showed its ugly head, but I don't think it actually reflected on my work... until just recently!

Literally last night (the 30th), I had a moment where I realized that I wasn't being as creative as I usually am. I'm not always thinking about my characters, and I'm certainly not daydreaming about future scenes-- (okay, that one... maybe just a little bit! But it's still rare...) Instead, I've been so focused on staying healthy, staying ALIVE in this crazy world where wearing a mask is considered an infringement of someone's 'rights' and 'freedom'??

But, yes. My focus entirely on that has made it a bit hard to think, brainstorm, and even edit my writing! Thankfully, as of earlier this month, my parents (both of whom are 65+) became fully vaccinated against COVID. Yes, I know that doesn't full protect them from the virus, but it DEFINITELY makes me relax a bit more... I can trust that if they somehow DO become exposed to it, that they won't be hospitalized or die from it. And in other news, I actually just recently received MY first dose of the vaccine and, if all goes to plan, hope to be fully vaccinated by the end of April! So that's the really good news in my personal life right now!

Things SEEM to be stabilizing, but the household still feels like a war zone. I won't get into more personal issues, but just know that it hasn't been easy for anyone in my family. I hope that things can start to relax more soon, but since I'm still putting myself at risk every other week, I can't let my guard down just yet...

I guess all of this is just to say... this pandemic really did a number on both my mental health and my ability to be creative. But that's to be expected, right? I'm definitely not saying my personal experience is in any way unique! Some people have had it MUCH worse! But man... my artistic ability has really slowed down to a crawl in the past few months. I've actually been working on a piece for Easter for the past few weeks, and it's STILL not done! So... yeah, snail's pace I guess! Hey, at least it's better than my progress in the editing department which is practically nonexistent *sweats*

Gosh, this blogpost is getting long and I didn't mean for that to happen. To be very honest, I originally didn't even think this one would be NEARLY this long or wordy. Guess I had more to say than I thought!

Did I have a point? I just wanted to be honest with you (and myself) about what's felt like writer's/artblock for months now and I only just realized why. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I want to find joy in writing again... Right now, I'm really loving the mindless distractions of social media and endless clicker games (looking at YOU, Blush Blush--), and I'm pretty sure editing and intensive focus on art don't count... that doesn't mean I'm giving up. But I might actually take a break in order to clear my head. I've been really struggling lately when it comes to getting ideas out, so maybe a break will help as I wait to get a better handle on my life. I'll really think about it...

That being said, I really hope to see you all next month! Even if it's just to update you on how I feel mentally, and if I've made any progress whatsoever!

In the meantime, please stay safe and stay awesome! Keep spreading the word about my book! <3 And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on any future updates (which includes these blogposts)! Thanks for reading!

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~ Fangs & Kisses ~

Rachel Joy