I was cruising along just fine before the pandemic. Doing a bit of consulting here, some PR there, and indulging my passion for stand-up comedy with up to 6 open mics each week.
Everything was just fine.
Then came the coronavirus, and it kicked my ass!
I’m not saying I became ill. Not in the least. I was — and still am, thankfully — okay. The ass-kicking was metaphorical.
When Covid-19 came to town, I realised I hadn’t actually accomplished a whole lot. There was the 40,000-word draft manuscript — a PR handbook for business owners — sitting on my hard drive. Since the conclusion of my two-week writing retreat in 2017, it simply felt too daunting to finish and publish.
There was the online course in writing press releases. I couldn’t get my head around the tech. And there was the multitude of ideas for comedy — scripts, sketches, podcasts, maybe even a solo show. But nothing had gotten off the starting line.
Covid-19 had shown me the sad truth: I was a bit of a coward.
I had no problem stepping into the spotlight, putting my work on display when I was confident it was highly polished. But so many half-efforts, languishing on the shelf!
This time was different. We went into “lockdown” here in New Zealand on March 26. Less than a month later, on April 22, I published my first book.
Lockdown Living: 101 Ways to Stay Positive During the Pandemic was my effort at helping people to stay engaged during lockdown. To remain physically and mentally agile, with a series of tips, tasks and tactics.
From getting out in the backyard gardening, to discovering podcasts, from picking up the musical instrument you already own, to sitting down and brainstorming a plot for your first novel, there’s something for everyone.
Feedback has been resoundingly positive, and I’m hoping the book is helpful to people around the world. It emphasises taking a fresh look at the resources most of us already have in-house — like projects we have put on the back burner, or musical instruments sitting collecting dust — rather than focussing on what we don’t have and can’t access. It encourages us to pick up these projects, and bring them to life.
You could say I took my own advice during lockdown. I focussed on what I had in-house — a computer and a head full of ideas to keep busy. It’s enabled me to conquer the demon of a half-finished book, and actually take something to completion.
I’m prouder than ever that I managed to publish my first book.
My question to you is, what’s languishing on your shelf, collecting dust? Can you use this time to transform it into something to be proud of?
My guess is you can.
This post was first published on Medium.
Laura Bruce is a writer, PR consultant and aspiring stand-up comedian from Canada. After two decades living and working in the UK and Ireland, she emigrated to New Zealand in 2019. Lockdown Living: 101 Ways to Stay Positive During the Pandemic is her first book.