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Such is the Life of a Writer…

The Royal Furry Highnesses, awaiting their dinner...

A lot of media attention has been given to the negative aspects of what is going on in the world today, especially with us all enduring the enforced social distancing/isolation. I’m sure many people are going stir crazy at the moment, not only because they can’t go out socially and get together in person with friends and family – or even go to work, but also the added stress of financial insecurity topped off with having children at home twenty-four/seven.

Even for people who already worked from home – like my fellow-writers – it’s not an ideal situation. I consider myself lucky, as I have no children to keep entertained or home-school (though the fur kids – AKA the Royal Furry Highnesses – still like having me ‘on hand’, for all their needs).

So all in all, my life hasn’t really changed all that much, except that the in-person activities I usually attend are postponed for the time being. One of those was my writing group, but I have circumvented that problem by hosting the meetings online, on Zoom. So I still get to see my writing buddies face-to-face (so to speak), and I’ve learned a new technology that I mightn’t have otherwise.

Maybe some of you wonder what the life of a writer is like, and imagine some sort of caffeine-driven, owl-eyed and bespectacled introvert hunched over their keyboard, manically punching away at keys for a good deal of the daylight (or night) hours, feverishly trying to come up with ‘THE BIG ONE’ – the story that will touch the hearts, minds, and wallets of readers the world over.

Maybe not.

Speaking for myself, I don’t believe I fit this description. Coffee – sure, but I don’t overdo it. I do eye-exercises and face yoga (yes, it is a thing – google it), and I get out in the yard most days for some exercise (read gardening). And before all the lock-downs etc, I often had paid pet-minding jobs to go to. Now I just mind my own RFH, for love alone.

I get that a lot of writers are self-proclaimed introverts, and I guess I have to admit to some introvert qualities myself – I like a lot of alone-time, mainly for writing. And I tend to think deeply about life, the universe, and everything. But I also enjoy being social, and don’t particularly mind large crowds/gatherings most of the time. I feel I’m pretty ‘people-friendly’ and like to go out with friends, or to events that interest me.

What is my average day like? Probably not all that exciting. I get up, have breakfast, check my emails and social media, and spend most of the day either writing or editing. When the work is done, or my brain goes into braindrain mode, I might play a game or go out and do some gardening. I cook dinner, serve the RFHs their dinner, and spend the evening watching something on the small screen with my husband and cuddling the RFHs.

And of course, to break up the monotony, there are frequent walks-to-stretch-my-legs, showers, cooking, eating, trips out to do some grocery shopping, conversation with the aforementioned RFH’s, sometimes graphic design work and website maintenance – yes, I guess you could call that scintillating!

But then, it’s probably not that different to anyone else’s (usual) workday, except that I don’t leave home for work. No doubt, at the moment most people wish desperately for things to be back to normal – and I don’t blame them one little bit, because I can’t wait for the world to return to its usual routines too.

But I can take solace in the fact that I’m reasonably fit and healthy, and that I consciously fill my life with joy and gratitude for all the good things I’ve got. Especially my wonderful, imaginative, absorbing, solitary career as a writer.

And the Royal Furry Highnesses, naturally.

Keep a smile on your dial until next time, and peace and love in your heart

From Lana Lea and her time-travelling muse

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