A Day in the Life of a Writer During Quarantine

There’s a lot of negativity bouncing around on the internet these days, so I thought I would post this funny little blog that documents a day in the life of a writer during the quarantine lockdown.

Who knows? Maybe this post will be of interest to future historians wanting to know what life was like for a writer during the pandemic … but I doubt it. Hopefully you’ll see a little of yourself in the following post, and hopefully it will give you a little giggle.

Stay calm, stay sane, and keep writing.

Enjoy!


4:30 a.m. Wake-up. Plead with my brain to shut up and go back to sleep. You don’t have to be awake right now! No one is awake right now!! When pleading fails, I try bargaining. If you go back to sleep right now, you can have pancakes for breakfast, and drink the expensive chai, and work on projects that you actually like and …

4:45 a.m. Try to creep out of bed like a ninja so I don’t wake my partner. Sneeze three times, drop my phone, open the door too slowly resulting in a hideous creak that is reminiscent of a ghost with ill-intent …

5 a.m. – 5:10 a.m. Meditate, or at least try to meditate, but the inside of my brain looks a little like this: Inhale, exhale, ribs swinging, inhale … What should I do today? Should I work on the next chapter or research instead? Oh, crap, my breath, right. Exhale, inhale … I think I want avocado on toast for breakfast. Man I’m hungry. Should I eat before or after I walk the dog? Shit. Inhale, exhale. This continues for ten minutes or until I check the time and decide eight minutes is good enough.

5:10 a.m. Make a cup of tea and open current read (The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich). Ignore dog who is staring at me: provided of food, decider of walks.

5:30 a.m. I cave beneath the pressure of those unblinking, unshifting eyes, and take my persistent hound for a walk.

5:40 a.m: Circle around a couple walking towards me on the footpath. Wish them good morning. Wonder if they are the only other humans I will speak to today.

5:45 a.m: Photographs some roses in the park, post them on Instagram. #grateful. #pandemicsurvival.

6:30 a.m. Arrive back home, hound paws my legs until I get her breakfast. Raises her front left paw in anticipation of ‘shake?’ I grab a stick-note and write: do not be ashamed to dance for your food. Today might be a good day for pitching lifestyle listicles to online magazines, Seven Tips for Decluttering Your Home, Five Tips for Working from Home, How Not to Murder Your Roommate. 

6:30-6:45 a.m. Write out a to-do list in an effort to feel in control and orderly. It won’t look that bad once it’s out of my head and onto paper. Oh, the lies we feed ourselves.

6:45 – 6:50 a.m. Light a candle. Fold to-do list in half. Can you see where this is going? Oh, the joy of tiny, controllable fires.

6:50 – 8:30 am. Open WIP document. Slip into alternative world featuring talking animals and ambitious women.

8:30 – 9 a.m. Wonder how much longer my partner can possible stay in bed for. Doesn’t he know it’s a bright beautiful day and that I am f**king starving and want to have breakfast?

9:01 a.m. Maybe I should just have breakfast without him? Selfish bastard.

9:02 a.m. Scroll Instagram while boiling the kettle for another pot of tea. Stomach grumbles. WIP continues to bite at my heels.

9:05 a.m. Wander back to my laptop, tea in hand, only to discover that my partner has manifested at the other end of the table and that he appears to be in a state of mid-morning-desperation that can only be solved by caffeine. The dog leaps out of bed, drops her stuffed toy animal at my feet, and glares at me: the almighty player of fetch.

9:45-10 a.m. Cross fingers, pray to the Gods of Delicious Breakfasts and cut open an avocado. It is brown. Yet again my prayers have gone unanswered and we instead have pancakes with a side of virus-update chit-chat.

10 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Interrogate my partner: are you okay? Are you bored? Do you want to do something today?
I don’t have to work.
Okay, well, look I do have to work today, but only a tiny bit.
What’s with the candles? The pile of ash? Nothing, really, just my schedule for the next three months.
Fancy another coffee?

10:05 a.m – 12pm. Left breakfast dishes to bored-out-of-his-mind partner, and return to writing desk. Open email and loss an hour of my life. Bookmark five MUST READ articles that I have no interest in reading right now.

12pm – 12:30pm. Decide that I really need to move my body, so I play fetch with the dog until even she becomes bored.

12:30 – 2pm. Open an audio file that needs transcribing. Swing between loving the process and wondering if one day all this typing will lead to arthritis.

2pm – 2:30pm. Break for lunch. Talk about virus again. Remove pile of ash from table.

2:30 – 4pm. Battle a dreadful case of post-lunch sleepiness. After twenty minutes of white knuckling through my draft, I realise that I am incapable of producing anything meaningful right now. Convince myself that watching hawk videos on YouTube counts as legitimate, important “book research”.

4pm – 4:02pm. Too early for wine?

4:02pm –5pm. Realise that I need to draft my next batch of blogs, so I bribe myself by writing while also replaying a write-in livestream. My attention is divided, so the blogs aren’t the best. Except for this one of course, this week’s blog is EPIC! GOLDEN! MAJESTIC!

5pm. Dog senses a slight change in the quality of the light, a drop in temperature, an increase in early evening precipitation; she launches from her bed, sits loyally by my chair and stares.

5:05pm – 5:55pm. Owner, mighty providers of walks, obliges her faithful hound.

6:00pm. Feed dog, crack open a bottle of wine, Google bread recipes.

6:10pm. Open pantry in search of inspiration. Upon finding no yeast or flour (the last used for this morning’s pancakes), I reside myself to the fact that I will not be making a load of rustic, instagram worthy bread for dinner. Top up wine glass. Rice and veggies it is.

7:00pm. Dinner, more talk about the virus. Another glass of wine. “Discuss” whether tonight should be a movie night or a reading night. Flip a coin. I win.

8:00 –  9:00pm. Read until the lines on the page begin to blur and become a mess of squiggles. Wonder how much longer this will continue on for, and whether I can sleep past 5 a.m. tomorrow morning — knowing that I will be unable to bribe my inner-task with the promise of pancakes, odds aren’t in my favour.


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