As a result of COVID-19, I lost my job back in March. I had a small cushion, but have now reached the point where money is going to get very tight very soon. This is, unfortunately, not a unique position to be in these days, but in this case having lots of company doesn’t make the situation any less miserable.
Ideally, I would be doing a lot of writing, making art, and composing music. After all, these are all things I love, and I have often found myself wishing I had more time in which to do them. Well, now I have the time, so why am I not doing them? Truth is, I’m having a hard time concentrating on any creative pursuits while my mind is preoccupied with worrying about trivia like rent and food.
Here are a few things I’ve been doing to try to keep the muse alive, even if it isn’t currently being very productive:
- Reading. I have to be careful of this one, but I am a real book nerd, and I can easily find myself reading to the exclusion of all else.
- Walking. Serves the dual purpose of providing some much-needed exercise as well as giving me a break from sitting in my apartment. Also: I sometimes get good song/story/art ideas while walking. Sometimes.
- Trying to write a page of lyrics a day, even if they are really terrible lyrics, which most of them are. Collaborating long-distance with a friend in Canada on some new songs.
- Free improvising on an instrument (mine happen to be piano and trombone). If anything sounds worth keeping, write it down or record it.
- Listen to music and/or podcasts that inspire me, or at least things that I enjoy.
None of these are terribly original suggestions, and none of them has solved the bigger problem of income and lack thereof. But by tending even minimally to my inner artistis spirit, I am keeping myself back from the brink of despair.