Three months ago on New Year’s Eve, I think it’s fair to say that many of us weren’t expecting the first major pandemic in over a century would kick off the beginning of the 2020’s, and yet here we are. Movies, conventions, and sporting events are being postponed or cancelled completely. People who work in the medical field, restaurant industries, banks, and grocery stores are busier than ever. This week in the Bay Area, a shelter-in-place went into effect for the next few weeks. Countries like Italy are on complete lockdown. We can’t see any family or friends in person aside from those who we already live with, and for people like me, it’s already driving me bats.
It’s fair to say that this really, truly sucks, and the fact that this whole thing could have been prevented had more wiser decisions been made makes the situation even more unnerving. But until the time machine can be invented, we can’t go back and undo time now. We have to do our part in waiting it out until the curve is, at least, flattened. It’s in these crazier than usual times (because let’s be honest, having Trump as president should never be considered normal) that several silver lines make themselves apparent. Of them all, the ones that I’m going to dissect in-depth is the fact that we now have a lot more time on our hands to both create and supporting creatives.
Have you ever wanted write a novel but never had the time? Is there an album you’ve been sitting on for a while for similar reasons? Perhaps there’s a creative project that you have worked on in the past that, for whatever reason, you had to shelve until the time was right to continue it. Well, the time to pursue all of that is now. While it’s easy to just binge watch the newest show on Netflix these days (which, by the way, you’ll still have more than enough time to do), the same can’t always be said for tackling your creative endeavors. It’s one thing to post 50 times in the span of a month on Instagram on what you want to do and create in your lifetime. However, it’s a completely and more rewarding other thing if you actually do it… and if you’ve been reading me for a while, then you know how big of a fan of I am of Nike’s slogan.
Personally, I’ve been benefiting from this extra time already. I’ve had more time to work on my third novel and other writing projects that I’ve had on the back burner are now receiving some long awaited attention. I’ve been able to focus on my creative hustle a lot more, while being able to enjoy leisurely reading books, while reaping the benefits of having access to streaming services. I’m telling you, it’s just like what the hip hop artist I interviewed last weekend said: A lot of creative projects are going to emerge from this time period with the gift of time we have. Wouldn’t you like to be one of those creatives?
Along the way though, I hope you use this time to support creatives as well, especially those whose hustles are their full-time jobs. Chances are they’ve had vendoring gigs, speaking engagements, tours, and more planned before they were all cancelled no thanks to the pandemic. They’re going to be struggling financially in this crisis, which is why it’s very important that you have the financial bandwidth for it, please buy their products, make a donation to them, shout them out on your social media, or something along those lines. It’s more or less a win-win situation; you’re supporting their business, and if you purchased something from them, you’re also going to get something nice out of it. (Oh, and this sentiment goes for local businesses too, for they are also facing a similar challenge in these times.)
In a similar vein as finding time to create, perhaps there are creatives you’ve been wanting to support for a while, but never had the time for whatever reason. Perhaps they directed a film that’s now available on Netflix, but your work commitments kept you from watching it sooner. Maybe you have a friend or family member who has created a podcast, but you because you stalled, you haven’t had time to sit and listen to however many episodes there are so far. Well, guess what? You now have all the time in the world to do that as well…
…and that’s where I redirect the attention back to myself, and you probably already know what it’s going to be. For over seven years, I’ve been hustling hard for and with my writing, and within that span of time, I’ve churned out results beyond my own expectations, but were not always received from others in as timely of a matter than ideal. As an independent author and writer of other mediums, I don’t have as wide of a net to capture as many eyes at once. Maybe you’ve been wanting to check out what I’ve created for a while now, but haven’t had the time. Well, with a pandemic going on, there really is no better time than the present.
So please, I ask of you: Poke around my website. There’s lots to see. Go read my previous posts on here. You have over six years of content to pour through, with all the time in the world. I’ve had writings featured elsewhere over the years. Please go check them out. I’ve written two novels. Please go read them. I’ve written a short film. Please go watch it. If you ever want to collaborate with me on something (from a distance, of course), please reach out to me here. If I should ever do something for Instagram Live, contact me (@akolaurenlola) and let me know. If you have the means to, please make a donation here, for I don’t make a lot of money from a majority of the writing that I do.
Aside from using this time to create and support creatives, please do what your local government is telling you to do and stay home. Don’t go out if you don’t need to, and show some respect for those who’re putting themselves at risk for their essential jobs. The sooner people take this seriously, the sooner the curve is flattened, and the sooner we can go out and be with everyone we love and care about again.
On another note, DON’T BE RACIST! I am sick of all the verbal and physical attacks that are being made against the Asian and Asian American communities. We are not to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus does not care if you’re an old white man reaping the privileges you were born into. Everyone is at risk. We are getting dangerously close from someone in our community getting killed not from the virus, but from by the hands of a racist.
I don’t know how long this is going to last. We can’t be isolated from each other forever, for we’re not really living; we’re just surviving. Fingers crossed that the curve is flattened sooner rather than later, but don’t let this time at home stop you from creating and supporting the creatives in your life.