Creativity and Coronavirus
Hello dear heart,
What a time to be alive! Like, literally. I knew 2020 was gonna be something, but who knew it would be this??!!!!
As usual, I am here to offer some solace and also a pep talk. Here’s what’s been on my mind:
All the personality tests I take tell me that I am high on positivity and future visioning. So naturally, I’m very curious about what the opportunities are here. I have already stocked my fridge and can only take so much calamity thinking. Now I want to dream about what’s possible.
BECAUSE, I know that, historically, times of uncertainty can also be great incubators for massive creativity. (My medieval scholar friends tell my there was great art made about the Black Plague. I don’t want to read it right now lol, but I’m happy to know that it exists.)
I’m very grateful for my therapist, who has been helping me frame this current moment in a healthy (ha!) way. I have been mulling over what we talked about, and I want to share those thoughts with you. (You can watch this video or listen to my podcast on some thoughts around panicking.)
What are the opportunities? And how can be leaders?
First, leadership. In the absence of national leadership, how are we each called to be leaders for ourselves and our community? I’m heartened by the frequent communications from my city council people. I’m thinking of Italians singing together and jamming from their balconies. I’m gladdened by stories of those who are shopping for their elderly neighbors, for the check-in texts from my friends. I am grateful for the massive opportunity we have to care for each other in ways we may not ordinarily do. And to perhaps improve the way we care for each other for a long time to come.
How else can we be leaders? By practicing compassion, by staying in contact with each other, by being responsible for our bodies and our part in this. When this is all over, hopefully it will feel like we all over reacted. Which means it will have worked. We will have taken good care of one another. We will have led the way to health.
Second, what are the opportunities? In my own community in New York, the closing of theaters is a massive economic and emotional blow. But it’s necessary. And after I felt my heart squeeze with this news, I also felt something in my chest bloom. What else might be possible?
One thing that is possible is to stay present. What are the opportunities available to us if we stay IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT. Later, we will pick up and get back to work out in the world. But in this weird time, what can be made NOW, in the ways available to us?
This is where I am grateful that we live in the Digital Age and not the Dark Ages, We have so much technology for coming together over any distance. I’m hoping my friends livestream their puppet shows to kids who have to stay home. If any of you start cabaret shows on onlyfans.com, I’m 100% subscribing. Will you find away to specialize your art for Patreon? Can you gather your friends for a digital salon with a Venmo tip jar? What podcasts will be created? What novels will be written? What wild and weird work can be made now? How will we partner to help each other? Now is the time to take or offer music lessons remotely, to work on your video or audio projects, to choreograph your music video. A fallow field is soon a fertile one.
What will you make? And how will we – audiences and artists – support each other with our energy and our dollars? You can stay at home but you don’t have to hide.
What I’m doing now:
- Keeping a diary for posterity. (h/t Laura Tremaine)
- Donating to theaters and arts orgs what I would spend on tickets or bar sales.
- Buying gift certificates to restaurants. They get money now, I get food later.
- Donating money to food banks, for those who can’t stock their pantry.
- Putting my book prices on discount.
- Still giving pep talks on YOU’RE DOING GREAT Podcast
- Booking interviews for The Mermaid Podcast (free audio content is gonna be HOT right now!). Will I get immediate money for this? No, but I am building long term authority and in the short term, I get to hang out with mermaids. Winning!
- Walking by the New York Stock Exchange, smudging it with smokeless smudge spray and blessing it with crystals. They don’t call me The Witch of Wall Street for nothing!
- Drinking water, taking vitamins, and trying to remain healthy. (My girl Emily Grace Acupuncture offers herbal consultations remotely.)
- Committing to a writing practice for a new project (and thinking of how to hold writing dates online).
Most importantly, I am making a conscious effort to be in touch with my friends and loved ones.
As my friend Erin Clark says, “If you must hoard, may it be your connections.”
We need each other now, even if that some of that looks like staying apart.
Want to join me? EMAIL ME IF:
- You want to say hi.
- You are an artist or small business with a service or offer – I will promote you!
- You’re an artist or small business who is adapting your work to this crazy time. A voice memo would be even better. I’d like to gather these stories for You’re Doing Great Podcast.
- You want to join a virtual writing date, like a group thing where we gather online and spend some quite time writing together.
P.S. If all you can do right now is lay on the couch, that’s okay. I wrap your tender heart in glitter bubble wrap and send it love.