Photo by Jason Strull on Unsplash.

On Isolation

Isolation. All week, I worked with students on this topic. It didn’t take much—the word itself as a prompt was enough to get students writing steadily, if not furiously. The results were heartening, one of those welcome, unanticipated side-effects of this viral pandemic.

Writers shared of rediscovering an old pastimes such as cross-stitching and singing. They shared of silence that sounds sweeter. They cast scenes of short tempers over salt shakers under quarantine containment.

What I initially saw as less than ideal—moving live classes to Zoom—became a memorable first: my mother joined my Yoga & Writing class. She journalled about isolation, reflecting, “I’m good company.” At 47, I’m still learning from Mom.

If you haven’t already, find time to write about your experience in this unprecedented time. Memes cheer us up. Bingeing Tiger King perhaps vicariously makes us feel balanced. But writing about what we’re going through really brings us close to the valuable lessons of this experience and helps us understand our reactions to this shocking and uncertain reality. When you’re done writing, you’ll feel better prepared to face the isolation that’s required to come.

I’ve added a new lesson to the site as well: Writing as Conducting. With everyone cooped up, there’s a lot of online content being published. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by just trying to keep up with sites and writers that I follow. Don’t let this one add to your Corona burden!

I’ve always had apprehensions about producing online writing instruction content, because as a teacher I’d rather have my students writing than growing their screen time. What a paradox.

Stay safe, take care of yourself, and stay connected to your writing practice!