Life is kind-of sort-of almost back to normal where I am. Our province has been re-opening businesses and recreational centres and the general population is able to go outside our homes much more often.
However, there is still an air of caution and worry in a lot of these places. Going to public places isn’t the carefree experience it once was. We’re still encouraged to wear masks, to physically distance ourselves from strangers, to obsessively wash our hands. And because of that, there are still some things that I’m missing as a writer that I can’t quite enjoy just yet.
Lurking in coffee shops.
One of my favourite ways to write is to go to my local coffee shop, buy a tea or hot chocolate, and set up a little work space with my laptop and get to work, surrounded by the bustle of baristas, babbling customers, and foot traffic.
But these days, I can’t go to the coffee shop to sit there for hours when I can just as easily order something to go or make something at home. My days of coffee shop lurking are still somewhere in the future.
There aren’t exactly a lot of people that I can see from my dining table office. Some folks will walk by every once in a while, but it’s just not the same as seeing them interacting with strangers, having in-depth conversations, attending casual job interviews, studying for their exams. There’s a world of people out there doing interesting things that I can’t spy on anymore for authorly inspiration! And speaking of inspiration, I’m missing…
One of the biggest ways I feel inspired to write or come up with new ideas is from traveling. After visiting a fancy English garden, the beauty of it all ignites my soul. When I visit a museum in a far away place, I’m inspired by the stories of people unlike me. These days, I’m having to travel virtually or through other forms of art like books, music, podcasts, pictures, and tv.
I know I can technically go to a bookstore to buy something, but one of my favourite activities (I’m a huge nerd, I know) is to go to the bookstore with zero intention of buying something, but just browse the shelves and gaze longingly at all the empty notebooks, and make my already long to-read list longer. But during a pandemic, going to a store without the intention of buying something doesn’t seem like the responsible thing to do, so I’ll have to hold off on that activity for a little while longer.
It is so tempting for me to rush back into these activities now that public places are opening up again, but I have to remind myself that it isn’t just about me – it’s about my impact on other people, too. It’s about being part of the solution. For now, I’ll have to continue writing from home, traveling virtually, and browse my kindle bookstore instead of the real thing.
What are you missing because of physical distancing?
Enjoy the journey,
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