Blogging in the Time of Coronavirus

Finding time to blog during a pandemic can seem not only futile, but also pointless or even insensitive. Many people are juggling telework, schoolwork and childcare, all from home. Many people are experiencing indescribable suffering, from the loss of income, from illness, or from illness or death in the family. Writing about books may seem silly at best, offensive at worst. How can the world go on pretending everything is normal?

I know I have had less time to read and to write in recent weeks. My situation is better than most, yet I struggle to find the opportunities to do what I once loved. I also struggle to find meaning in it all. I try not to obsessively watch the number of cases and deaths in the U. S. and the world rise, but I cannot help but be affected by the shutdown, and what it could mean for the future. In such a time of uncertainty, musing over literary techniques, cheering on fictional romances, and falling into fantasy worlds simply seems hollow.

However, I still think it is important to try to go on and to recover some semblance of normalcy. The pandemic and the shutdown are likely to continue far longer than anyone had predicted. It is no good sitting on floor and staring at the wall, trying to shut the world out. It is far better to try to accept the world as it is now and to find a way forward. So far, I have been doing that by attempting to maintain a routine, making sure I eat healthy, and making sure I get outside at least once a day for a socially-distanced walk and some exercise. A sense of anxiety never fully goes away, but I get by.

As I reflect on my way forward, however, it seems important not only to maintain a healthy schedule, but also to return to some of the activities I love. Staying at home will be the new normal for some time, and I know I need to do more than simply get by. Finding comfort in reading, in writing, in connecting with others online, is not merely escapism. It is a necessity.

Trying to find happiness in times of misery is sometimes viewed as inappropriate. But wallowing in fear ultimately helps no one. It only makes things worse. Reading and writing are activities that help me relax, give me a mental break from the tragedy around me, and help me process my thoughts. So I’m making a new commitment to continue blogging. Because being at home does not have to mean losing the activities I love.

35 thoughts on “Blogging in the Time of Coronavirus

  1. Shalini says:

    Lovely post. I too have nearly stopped reading, due to blog tours I am trying to get back to it.
    You are right, it all seems frivolous. I am a loner so not going out is not a big deal but being worried for my family does not stop.
    A new normal we have to find, I don’t go out for walks as we are sealed but I am trying to get by

    Like

  2. Maude says:

    I had a few days where I just.. did nothing and stopped doing the things I love because, honestly, it just didn’t seem like it meant anything anymore. But you’re right, it’s still important to keep some sort of routine / activity, even in stressful times like these !

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I kind of feel relieved we’re in lockdown now because it feels more like the inevitable finally arrived and I could stop obsessively checking the news for updates. Things are still changing day by day, but it feels less extreme to learn grocery stores are limiting customers and stuff like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maude says:

        Yeah, now that the actual lockdown is here, at least we know what to expect, so we can adapt our plans accordingly and be just a little bit less stressed out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jordann @thebookbloglife says:

    I love this post, when I first heard we were going into lockdown I was envisioning having loads of time to read and write when in actual fact all my motivation left and my anxiety took over.

    I’ve started scheduling time for myself to read and do some writing and blog. I think I’ve found a nice balance but there are still some days where I’m too overwhelmed to even think about it.

    Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yes! I thought I’d have more time to read, but I am actually reading less! It makes me, sad a little. I like the idea of scheduling reading time specifically.

      Like

  4. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says:

    Hey Krysta, this is such a thought-provoking post! Thank you for it ❤
    I agree, whilst it feels a bit different in these times, I find that sticking to a schedule has been helping me a lot with finding a sense of "normalcy".
    Hope you're doing well, and feel free to reach out if you need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yes! I think a schedule has been very helpful. It’s starting to look like being at home is going to be the new normal for awhile, so I want it to feel normal, you know? Not like I’m just getting by until things go back to…well, not how they were before, but something like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Grab the Lapels says:

    One of my book blogger friends pointed out early in the pandemic that just because some people have more time on their hands doesn’t mean they should feel pressured to produce more, especially for their blogs. I was really happy she said that and noticed that more of us (like this post!) are giving updates about our lives instead of only books. To me, it’s a nice way to connect, and it’s almost like journaling. I had wanted to journal about the pandemic but found myself unable to (I have this weird reaction, like when you hold a cat over about an inch of water in a bath tub). Then, I decided to give myself a break, because I AM keeping a record of things through blogging. Thanks for posting this. 🙂

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Somehow, I feel like I have less time now because I feel the need to produce constantly for work like, “Please don’t fire me, I swear I am doing stuff.” Meanwhile, some of my friends seem to be “working” but doing nothing so maybe I’m doing this whole telework thing wrong.

      I guess talking about the pandemic can kind of seem tiring, too. The other day I was on the phone and the person said, “I wish people would stop talking about corona!!” Which is valid, but, also, for many of us, not much else is happening.

      Like

      • Grab the Lapels says:

        Most of the blog posts I’ve read are really sweet: dressing up for fun, picnics in the backyard, reading to children, etc. I think it I were on social media I would have a hard time of things. I jumped on my husband’s Facebook account this morning just to see what’s what, and all I saw were negative coronavirus memes and selfies with the most filtered faces I’ve ever seen. It was a quick slap to remind me why I deleted my account.

        Like

        • Krysta says:

          Haha. I find that unfollowing the majority of my FB friends has done the trick! Though, honestly, I find the sappy, inspirational posts even harder to endure. I appreciate the thought, though. At least people are trying to be positive.

          Like

  6. danielle says:

    This is pretty much how I’ve been feeling ever since my lay-off/furlough from my job 3 weeks ago. Now that I have more time to read and write now around the house, I feel like I don’t want to do it lol. Rather than rushing a post or to finish a book to review when I had to work in an hour, for example. Idk I’m just both lazy af and glad to have more free time to myself.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I’m sorry to hear you were furloughed! I think it’s definitely difficult to get motivated to do some things. But, it’s also worth taking time just to relax, take a walk, sit outside, whatever, you know?

      Like

  7. Jennifer says:

    I hadn’t even considered that viewpoint, to be honest. I was furloughed because working for a travel company for retired people was a terrible industry to be in with all this. I went FULL ON into reading and writing and blogging, because I think I would have panicked and depressed if I didn’t have a project to focus on. This has been my method of coping to avoid the things you mentioned. Everyone has their own needs and ways to deal with everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I think everyone’s situation is different. Some people are still working FT. Some are working FT and homeschooling. Some people are getting paid without doing much work. Some people just aren’t getting paid. So the experience is definitely going to come with its own set of challenges for everyone! I’m sorry to hear that you were furloughed. Travel definitely isn’t a great industry to be in now. 😦

      Like

  8. Michael J. Miller says:

    AMEN. I feel all this, too, and I love how you’ve framed it. This was as wonderful to read as it was helpful. I’ve noticed myself struggling with moments where I’ll find a silver lining in quarantine life and then I’ll feel bad for it, like it’s in poor taste to feel with all the tragedy around us. I have to keep reminding myself to give myself permission to feel my sadness and loneliness and grief – to mourn what’s lost in the day-to-day lives we’re cutoff from. And I also need to let myself feel the anxiety of the global situation, the fear that comes with living during a pandemic. But, in that same vein, I also need to give myself permission to be happy, to do the things I love, and the celebrate the silver linings I find when I find them. Even though I need to continually remind myself of it, there’s nothing “wrong” with doing that. In fact, that’s what we need to do to survive. We feel the sadness, we mourn what we’ve lost/are losing but then we also take solace in our blessings.

    While I feel no pressure to write, I feel the necessity you mention, too. I love the community I’ve found in WordPress. I feel so close to some of the writers I’ve met here (yourself and Briana included!) that I sometimes forget I’ve never met them “in real life” XD. But there’s a real sense of community and of family and, as you said, now more than ever those feelings of connection are so important. I’ve also noticed a little uptick in views from random people on the internet outside of WordPress and it makes me smile to think my random musings on the Winter Solider or Fleabag or Batwoman or just living in quarantine gave them something to read as they’re also stuck at home. And I feel a little sense of connection in that and it makes me smile.

    So thank you for this post. I needed to read it more than I probably thought I did :). I love what you’ve said here and I’m feeling it all, too. I’m with you 100%.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I think it’s easy to feel bad for finding good moments because there are so many people out of work right now, wondering if they’ll be able to take care of their families, etc. When people ask how I’m doing, I almost feel like it’s some sort of social faux pas to admit I’m able to work from home when they might be about to tell me they or their friends or family members have lost their jobs.

      From our stats, it looks like we are getting fewer views from our regular blog followers. For some reason, people aren’t blogging as much. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe they’re stressed. I don’t know. But random search engine hits are up and older posts are getting views, which is nice. For some reason, a post on my favorite ship from a MG fantasy series is doing pretty well right now.

      But I do think the blogging community is just that–a community and it’s nice to be able to chat with friends and not feel like everything in the world is uncertain and terrible.

      Like

  9. Lois says:

    I find that in such a stressful time, blogging has given me the biggest sense of comfort. The blog is almost like a safe haven and I find it a consistent sense of normality in this crazy time. Like you said, it’s all about routine. So, while I still have to go into work a couple times of the week, I’m also at home more and find that it’s actually given me the time to catch up with myself and actually consider what I want to do with my life.

    Like

  10. laaurensadler says:

    Hi! Just dropping you a line to say I really loved your post. I fully agree with you; I just started my blog amidst the pandemic and it’s helped me stay busy and occupied. It was lovely being able to connect with your post, thank you for it! I hope you stay safe during this time. Lauren x

    Like

  11. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    I agree and think that people need to do what they need to do at times like this.

    I would no way judge someone for continuing on blogging and reading if that’s their sanity saver because levity is needed and I’d much rather someone was able to find joy in their day then succumb to mental health issues.

    I’m in the group of people that are still working albeit from home as my job allows me to do that and because I’m in HR it’s been incredibly full on that I haven’t had time to do as much blogging and reading as I would like. I’ve found myself getting a bit jealous at those who have but then there’s a flip-side in that I am mentally busy through work and my weekends remain a joy to me and I’m not in a pattern of ‘endless days.’

    My husband who is self employed but unable to work at the moment due to the industry he’s in is going stir crazy!

    If everyone spent every day miserable because that’s to be ‘expected’ than it’s going to be harder to get back to ‘normal.’ Carry on doing the happy things and stay safe!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, everyone’s situation is different. I admit, too, it can be sad to see other people with all this free time to pursue their hobbies while they are still getting paid when I am still putting in a full work day. But I am grateful that I still have work and am getting paid. And, as you say, it’s a way to keep busy!

      Like

  12. Charlotte C. Taylor says:

    though I feel much of what you describe, I’m trying to keep on as normal–I feel so bad for the authors with books published during this, especially the debut authors, and I want to do my bit to shine light on their books.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes! I agree! There are so many new books coming out and I’m sure they aren’t receiving the attention they would have. Especially since libraries are closed. Libraries are how I find many new releases. They aren’t being bought as e-books, though, as far as I can tell in my library system.

      Like

  13. Aislynn d'Merricksson says:

    I thought I’d find plenty of time to read, and to work on my end writing. Instead, without the stabilising effects of work routine, I lost what little motivation I had. I agree, working on reviews, or my own books seems trivial and less important than other things right now. The reading did surprise me. Books have always been my refuge. Even when I have to be creative to find a way to read, such as without my glasses. But it’s not right now. I think part is that I don’t want any restraints on my reading, which isn’t possible as I have books I’m obligated to read for different reasons. That being the case, I’m trying to curb future blog tour participations, and clear the decks to read as I please.

    I’m trying to keep to a new routine of waking in the morning and going to bed by 9. That doesn’t always work :/ I have insomnia that acts up at times. I alternate dishes and other chores each day, and I try to make sure I go out for a walk each day. So I have concrete goals to focus on. Yesterday I put together a cat tree and our clowder went nuts over it.

    We’ll all get through this together. Stay safe!

    Like

  14. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Lovely post! I completely agree that it’s important to try and carry on some sense of normalcy. And I agree that connecting with people online is so important right now. Hope you and your family are staying safe and well ❤

    Like

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