Things are tough right now: how do we make the best of a crisis while taking care of ourselves and others?
Part of the way I’m staying sane throughout this pandemic is by connecting frequently with friends and family over the phone and via Facetime, reading good books, going on walks, and trying to focus on work even in a time of crisis. (I am now in not one, not two, but THREE virtual writers’ groups right now.)
If you are social distancing or working from home, this downtime also offers us time to take a breather and see what speaks to us in solitude. Some of us might gravitate towards rest and all the unwatched items in our Netflix queue, some might veer towards getting immersed in our work, and others a mix of both.
You’re allowed to spend this time any way that heals you. Whether that’s doing the 100 baby challenge in the Sims or writing the next great American Novel, there’s no “wrong” way to spend your time social distancing.
Escapism vs. Art as Protest
For me, solitude has always presented answers, but I find those answers by working through my own fiction and writing about my experiences on here.
However, it can feel like art is a “deceitful luxury” if it isn’t addressing the times, as Albert Camus’ addresses in his essay/speech Create Dangerously which explores the responsibility of an artist.
“In the face of such misery, art–if it wishes to continue to be a luxury, must today accept that it is also deceitful,” Camus writes. “Art for art’s sake, which was merely a pleasant distraction for the solitary artist, was precisely the contrived art of an abstract, artificial society.”
The artist must be aware and informed in order to create art that goes beyond a “deceitful luxury” and spur real change.[Read more…]