Maintaining Focus While Social-Distancing

By Debbie DeCiantis

How can a social-distancing writer focus on 1) writing progress and 2) spiritual wellbeing?

If you’re getting plenty of alone time, writing should be easy, right? But you’re still living in unfamiliar circumstances, perhaps removed from routines or places that inspire you. If you’re surrounded by children or other adults who suddenly find themselves without school, play dates, work, and outings, togetherness (as welcome as it may be) obviously forces a whole new writing paradigm.

Change can be good, but it can also be uncomfortable, stressful, disruptive. It may prompt unsettling thoughts, moods, lack of motivation. So what’s working (or not working) for you as you navigate this sea of changes? 

  • Finding a new home writing spot (inside or out) that works better for now? 
  • Setting different routines for meals, physical activity, family or social time, screen time, and business (including writing)?
  • Modifying schedules and productivity goals to allow more space for interruptions, more tolerance for “small” gains?
  • Devising games and rewards to motivate yourself, to encourage cooperation? 

As helpful as some or all of these adjustments may be, their effectiveness is not assured. What is certain, is that God has not left, has not changed, has not forgotten or ceased to love His children. Five minutes on any news outlet or social media platform today reveals widespread anxiety, frustration, and questions, even among Christians. At the same time, we’ve probably never seen so many posts of spiritual songs, encouraging Bible passages, or historical parallels (I personally love the ones about Noah’s Ark) to others who have endured trying times. 

No post or routine change will automatically raise your spirits or jump-start a writing masterpiece. But grounding today’s reality in the unchanging nature of a good, true, and beautiful God Who is the source and guarantee of life, is our lifeline. Cultivating this awareness allows us to find our blessedness in being connected to God “like a tree planted by rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever [it] does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you, Emily for writing this! I am getting a lot done as I revise, tweak, and revise Half-Truths. I have also introduced a new “reward” to myself. I bought a box of pastels and after several good writing days, I get to play with art! Something I’ve always wanted to do. But even better, I am having longer and better quiet times. Drawing near to the Lord is precious!

    • Hi Carol! This was actually written by Write2Ignite team member Deborah DeCiantis, I just posted it on her behalf :-)

      Introducing a reward is a great idea! I haven’t done any art projects for a long time, but now is a great time to start! Enjoy

  2. Pam Halter

    This is so encouraging! It IS hard, being here with my husband and special needs daughter when I’m used to having the house to myself during the day. It’s like one long weekend – and I can’t wait for Monday to get here! haha!

    And it sure doesn’t help that my computer crashed. I have to share my husband’s computer, and he’s working from home, so I’m limited. I have a small generic Ipad I can work with for writing, but I don’t have the internet at my fingertips to check on something or do some research.

    It’s so funny, in a weird way. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the table with a magazine and said, “What did I do before the computer & internet? I guess I did this?” Then I realized I had young children before all what we’re used to now. They kept me plenty busy. And I was church secretary for a while. Then I homeschooled. Seems like a lifetime ago.

    • ALl of us are getting used to having to share space that was normally our own, Pam. I hope you can eke out some time on your Ipad–and who knows? Maybe you’ll write something totally different because you DON”T have the internet!!

  3. Good ideas here! I reward myself after a full day of work, by watching a mystery with my hubby.☺️

  4. Thank you, Deborah, for this encouragement!

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