Let’s not allow the virus to make us fearful of each other - Emma Richardson column

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. Picture: Emma Richardson

Exmouth author Emma Richardson. Picture: Emma Richardson - Credit: Archant

Author Emma Richardson writes in her latest column about how the coronavirus lockdown affected her own creative productivity

I lost it. My mojo.

Despite vast amounts of undirected time during lockdown, my creative productivity has dropped to an all-time low.

I looked for my mojo in online shopping, but it wasn’t there. I looked for it binge-watching Netflix and it wasn’t there.

I even looked for my mojo weeding the garden (repeatedly), baking far too many cakes (when I could get hold of flour) and sorting out the wardrobes of the entire household. It wasn’t in any of those places either.

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There was nothing else for it, in desperation I became one of ‘those people’… the people who read self-help books. I turned to a book by Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes (other self-help guides are available) called Shine. It’s full of ridiculously positive good stuff about how to live a happier and more successful life. Most of it is just good old common-sense, but there was one chapter that really stood out. It’s Andy’s #1 easy-peasy strategy for helping us to live a more fulfilled life – he calls it ‘Plot Twist’: learning to view something that’s gone wrong – a crisis or a problem – as a plot twist in the story of our lives. He encourages the reader to see that all good stories have plot twists; it’s how we choose to view and respond to them that helps us to overcome difficulties in a positive way.

I decided to regard lockdown and my lost mojo as one of these plot twists, taking each day as it came without an expectation of being creative. The funny thing is, in doing just that, I’ve had the headspace to work out where my mojo went. It’s in the interactions with other people – friends, family, colleagues, just plainly and simply other people.

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Slowly and surely, I’m getting the mojo back – getting back into society wherever it’s safely possible, and this whole episode has made me realise that our human connections are good for the soul – even if we must be at arm’s length for now.

As we all inevitably emerge into the ‘new normal’ face-masks at the ready, let’s not allow the virus to make us fearful of each other.

Shine: Rediscovering your energy, happiness and purpose by Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes is published by Capstone.

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