Locked In: Writing in a Pandemic
Written by Amelie Tsoungui Messina
Remember when the world shut down for at least 3 months? We were all locked in, completely shut out from each other. It was during that time where many of us sought comfort in things we could do online and in person. For us writers, it was either a creative time or a real slump. Writing and articulating the ideas that fly around in our heads is already hard enough, but it can be beneficial to us if we are “forced” to go on with it.
What I mean is that as a writer you constantly have to be on your feet thinking about new materials, so quarantine was a good time to develop our millions of ideas. In college, they always tell us, your best ideas come from when you go out and experience things, well we were shut down, so that was not possible. See not everyone is alike, so many people, like me, felt inspired, but there was so little inspiration for others. If being in a pandemic taught me one thing, it is that humans think more alike than anything. We saw a burst of pandemic inspired shorts/scripts come up, and different ways that projects were being made.
Here's one short that I watched during quarantine and is about the pandemic.
The way I stayed inspired during the pandemic was virtually through my friends, music, and dreams. I am a weird thinker and I follow a very strict routine. Any time that I step out of that routine, I fall apart. I know that sounds horrible, but quarantine tore my routine to shreds, so I decided to turn to friends and music to help me with ideas. I would listen to a song and imagine a movie for that song. My friends would tell me crazy stories and I would find ways to think about how to write a script about it, that lead me to write my first feature film! I stayed very active during quarantine and it has pushed me even more!
In a way, it was a physical setback for the industry but a creative push for many writers. I cannot help but think about how many tries during the months before quarantine that I spent trying to come up with ideas that I swore would be the project that “makes” my name. I usually ended up not developing the projects deep enough and therefore discarded them. That is until I took a class that helped me find a way to place my ideas. See the most difficult part of being a screenwriter is the development process. It takes a long time to figure out what makes your screenplay move forward.
Another short I watched during quarantine!
Though we all have the passion that writers do it can be hard or even easy when you are locked in with nothing but your thoughts and the same news cycles about Coronavirus running 24/7.
What are some ways you've been finding motivation to write? Comment below or show us your workspace on IG. Tag us @dtdproductions
Bridget Johnson is the president and co-founder of Dare to Dream Productions. She writes and directs thought-provoking films that inspire others to follow their dreams.
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