Although our version of normality has completely been flipped upside down with everyone living under Lockdown with cinemas, theatres, art galleries, museums, football stadiums, shops and restaurants closed and all film & TV productions shut down, there are small signs of recovery.

Real life has shifted online as Zoom replaces Skype in popularity and meetings of all description take place: family & friends, cocktail parties, quizzes, book clubs, etc. Cancelled Film Festivals have banded together, creating an online group festival, We Are One: A Global Film Festival. Many top theatres from The National to The Hampstead are streaming their theatre productions.

In creative terms, some Writing Groups are also finding Zoom essential, for example, staff at the long running US comedy series, Brooklyn 99, are currently writing a new series using this method. Netflix, HBO, BBC & ITV have all recently commissioned programmes specifically about this unique time. Film & TV production will never be the same with social distance ruling for cast & crew, so inventive but safe ways to film have to be used. No-one right now knows when productions will get the green light. Broadcasters, producers, cast & crew will have to be patient as will the general public.

Talking about creativity brings me to the delicate subject of HOW WILL WRITERS COPE AT THIS TIME – while no-one really wants to see an obvious drama about this pandemic, documentaries being a more appropriate area. However, there are multiple ways to base stories on the EFFECT of this pandemic. I already know of some contemporary projects being re-written, taking the pandemic into consideration, otherwise it wouldn’t be creatively honest.

Now that no-one has the excuse of having no time to write, we recommend, the following to help any writer capitalise on this once-in-a-lifetime situation. Don’t forget US inventor, Thomas Edison’s famous quote about hard work being, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” and Pablo Picasso, who said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

1/ Focus on your best idea and start writing, a lot, every day.

2/ Research, now you have so much time to investigate every aspect of your characters/story.

3/ Stick to a daily routine and force yourself to write a minimum of words per day.

4/ Get dressed every day, eat decent regular meals and try to sleep well too.

5/ Exercise daily – yoga being good for concentration or ideally get a dog.

6/ Stop avoiding the difficult problem areas in your script or book and try to solve them first.

7/ Don’t spend many years on one project – instead, start something new – even in a completely different genre or style, this too could lead to fresh inspiration?

8/ Don’t worry about staring out of the window or into space as this is part of the creative process.

9/ Keep other interests or hobbies, good for distraction.

10/ Build a thick skin – take constructive criticism well. Who doesn’t like a compliment? But don’t be naïve to expect a life without rejection or negative criticism.

Here are more quotes from unique talents; “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word” Margaret Attwood and “Writing for me is a very lonely part of the process…I usually veer between crushing self-doubt and an over-whelming sense of triumph”, Taika Waititi and “I am lonely sometimes, but I dare say it’s good for me….” Louisa May Alcott.