The Only Thing You Will Read Today Not About Coronavirus
Seriously, I’m not going to talk about it.
There are times in our lives when the world is in flux. Now is one of those times. It’s serious. And as much as it’s almost impossible not to fall into a cycle of panic-reading and pandemic-writing, sometimes we have to take a step back and see if we are writing what we really want to be writing.
I’ve been writing poems about that thing I am not going to talk about and in many ways, I was giving myself more of a creative pass on the content because it was poetry. I was thinking that it was more of a pure reaction than another story about social distancing. But it wasn’t.
We are all in the same boat. We are pressing the hot button. But when everyone is pressing the same button it creates content overload. We watch the news and it’s there. We get texts from our friends and it’s there. We go on social media and it’s literally everywhere. And then we come here and it drowns us.
It’s no one’s fault. It’s timely. It’s smart, as a business decision, to write good pieces about that thing right now, but does anyone else feel like they just want to read a story about puppies? I feel like I need a bedtime story at 11 a.m. each day just because my brain is overloaded with the hyperbolic nature of the news cycle.
Now is the time for us to reach into our creative backpacks a little more. Not that front pocket, but the stuff at the bottom of the knapsack. Underneath all the crumpled pieces of paper from 8th grade Science class. The stuff you can’t bring yourself to start.
If we can all just be honest with ourselves, those of us who aren’t doctors or scientists or journalists, and say, we really don’t know what we are talking about. Most of us are just trying to help and the truth is, I’ve read a lot of smart stories that touch on that thing, but don’t go full rabbit hole on it. I like those.
But as we all know, we live in a clickbait world. People like the blinking lights. And we are smart enough to capitalize on that when we need to. That’s how business works. But sometimes we still need to take a step back, fly up in the sky like that drone photographer you love so much on Instagram, and look down at the landscape and ask ourselves:
Do I want to be one of many or one of one?
From a financial perspective, one of many might be the right choice and there is nothing wrong with that, especially now with so many people getting laid off. But what about those of us who just want to read a story about something other than this thing taking over our lives?
We are already stuck inside. We all go down the rabbit hole each day and read it all. Maybe today we can all agree to write something else. To write something we have been wanting to write, but never had the “time” to. We knew that wasn’t true then, but most of us are faced with idle time right now.
Don’t be the icing on this melancholy cake. Don’t promote content overload. Reach into the backpack and dig down to the bottom. When you get there, search for the story under that last piece of paper. Write that today. If not for us, do it for you.
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