Writing Your Way Through Coronavirus

There are certainly plenty of ways to describe the Great Coronavirus Experience. “Unprecedented” springs to mind. There’s also Stressful. Lonely. Depressing. Ugh.

But flip that “half-empty” glass around and the times we’re living through are also pretty darn exciting: Medical advances at super-nova speed. Heart-warming fits, too – neighbors looking out for neighbors, strangers helping strangers. And how about inspiring – legions of doctors, nurses, truck drivers, cashiers and cops, working around the clock to keep us safe, fed, and healthy.

I don’t know about you, but thinking that way makes my glass feel pretty darn full.

Music lifts the spirit and soothes the soul — even during social distancing. (Image courtesy of TheGraphicsFairy)

It’s certainly a time in our lives we’ll never forget. We truly are “living through history.”

Unexpected as this has been, it’s a teach-able moment for all of us. It’s also a teach-able moment for those who’ll come after us. That means your memoir is a great vehicle to share not only experiences, but lessons, too.

From card games to knitting, pinochle to bread-baking, we’ve rediscovered the enjoyment in long-forgotten things. (Image courtesy of TheGraphicsFairy).

What can you share to help the next generation – and the next – understand what living through this unprecedented time has been like? What have you learned? And even more important, what advice can you give them about how to cope?

Here are three Writing Prompts to get you started:

1.         What little thing that you can’t enjoy right now do you miss the most? Maybe it’s going out to breakfast with your spouse. Maybe it’s telling jokes with the guys at work, now that everyone’s not working. Or perhaps it’s hugging a grandchild (okay, that’s a big thing, actually!)

What a big thing a hug can be! (Image courtesy of TheGraphicsFairy)

2.         What have you learned from not having those things? Maybe you’ve realized it wasn’t actually going out to breakfast that you miss; it’s sitting there holding hands. Maybe it’s not the jokes at work that were so important, it was the sense of camaraderie. Did you discover anything surprising by having those simple things disappear?

Do you miss those crazy guys at work?

3.         And now the million-dollar question: What’s helping you to cope, and might help others someday? Do you remind yourself “this too shall pass”? Does it help to turn off the TV and immerse yourself in a silly novel? What work-arounds and substitutes have you found? (Scrambling an egg at home and putting a flower on the dining table to recreate “breakfast out”? Skyping with a grandchild? Emailing jokes to the guys at work?)
What’s been the greatest source of help and support for you in these trying times? And who’s helped “fill your glass” and brought a smile to your face?

There you go — your Memoir Tips for the month!
Here’s to lifting spirits and sharing YOUR wisdom!
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