In the middle of 2022, I realized the last two years had derailed many close writer friends from the proverbial writing train tracks. I include myself in their midst.
In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the world shut down and employers sent everyone home. Bless the essential workers like the entire medical community, grocery store employees, some restaurants that pivoted to provide pickup meals, law enforcement, and many others. The rest of us bunkered down. If we ventured out, it was with masks in place.
Whenever I left home, a fissure of fear threaded my core. Would I get Covid?
As an introvert, hiding from a pandemic seemed like a new adventure at first. I remember watching Italians in high rises serenade each other with beautiful operatic voices in city dwellings. We’ll make it, I remember thinking with a smile.
In 2020, Covid deaths, especially the elderly, piled up. Friends were not allowed to see their elderly parents. My heart broke for those that died with no loving family holding their hand. On the other side of life, mothers gave birth alone, with no celebratory family to bring balloons and love to the newborn and their family.
Zoom or Google calls became commonplace, replacing in-person meetings. The only soul you saw in person was the one or ones you lived with. Even worse, some traveled this epic journey alone.
Bible study groups in my local church met (if at all) outside, standing twelve feet away from each other. Some drifted away and stopped meeting. It seemed too hard. And people still got Covid.
Writer conferences went online. The coldness of not being in the same room with each other expanded while our sense of friendship, support, and community contracted. We all want to say it was the same. But, in the end—it just wasn’t.
My writing goals at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020:
Apply Rewrites to my WIP
Go live with my website
Start a Newsletter
Write articles on birds. (Goes to WIP)
Decide on the type of publishing to pursue
Start third book
My accomplished goals to date (July 2022):
ZERO – NADA – NONE
Many of my friends have experienced the same malaise or lack of writing. And writing gives me great joy! In the movie Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I, too, feel God’s pleasure when I am writing.
We watched new movies along with old favorites. We started watching Seinfeld from the beginning. Why did we binge watch The Chosen, Ted Lasso, the new Emma, and many others? Something about me and my husband coming together, and binging shows seemed to satisfy. But did it really?
What disrupted my—our writing life?
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
And even being aware of our enemy that comes to steal did not help me. I need YOU, writer friends! God wired us to need each other. We know the remedy and, for me most of all, we must start meeting again—loving again—encouraging each other again.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…
Yesterday, I called two people I hadn’t talked to in over a year. One is on my phone’s favorites’ list! Rejuvenated, I called my Great Aunt who turned 85 last year (and—I missed it). We had delightful conversations! It was a good day.
Guess what? Afterwards, I worked on a project that’s been in the submission stage for three months.
Let’s emerge like butterflies that’ve spent too long in the chrysalis. Let’s emerge and let our wings soar. Let our words soar. Let our friendships soar.
Reach out now. Do one or more this week with a friend!
Ping. DM. Write. Call. Text. Walk. Hang out. Coffee. Lunch. Dinner.
Romans 8:38-39 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Allyson West Lewis is an award-winning author specializing in speculative fiction. After an extensive career as a senior Wall Street executive, she’s written a fantasy novel, a dystopian science fiction book and has published short stories in literary magazines and anthologies. She adores her husband, three grown sons and grandchildren. Allyson writes from North Georgia with a Golden Retriever and one irascible Airedale Terrier sprawled at her feet.