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  • Writer's pictureVendela Ahlström

Writing During Lockdown

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Surprisingly I don't mind lockdown. In fact I've been 'enjoying' it. As much as you can enjoy a pandemic that affects the whole country.

Photograph by Agnieszka Boeske

Hear me out.

I was already working from home. From December last year I had decided to live off my few savings until March to write me first draft. So I was basically working from home. I only really left the house for the gym and errands. I didn't have any activities to go to. I was at home, while everyone else was at work or school, writing my heart out.

What did change was that all of a sudden I had my whole family at home. I live with my parents and two younger (one adult, mind you) siblings as well as my boyfriend.

My siblings started studying from home, my parents already worked a lot from home, and my boyfriend started working from home only to be put on furlough. All of a sudden the house was full 24/7. And to be honest, I loved it. My boyfriend works in London and get's up crazy early to get on the train and sometimes doesn't get home after dinner. So, yeah, it was wonderful to have him at home.

It was great to have company in general. Do I get distracted by them? All the freaking time! Does it annoy me? Hell yeah, it does. But do I prefer it over writing alone? Any day. Do I pray for some time alone sometimes? Sure I do, but having proper not-on-their-way-out-of-the-house breakfasts with my boyfriend and lunch with my family on a weekday is bliss.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not naive. I realise that I am very lucky. I live in a house big enough to house all of us. And I have a big garden, in which I work. So I'm not entirely locked in. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, and feel for them. Had I not had a garden I would've gone absolutely mental. I'm not even sure a balcony would've sufficed. And although my family have our fair share of arguments, we get along well.

But I do get cabin fever. There is nothing I'd like more than to go to the remote Swedish countryside and write without any distractions with a view of the water. And I did stumble upon a writers block in the beginning of June, but it sorted itself out.

The weather has helped. I've gulped down plenty of kombucha and stuffed myself with more ice cream than I can count. I've been writing in my bikini covered in sun screen and I've had to stare at my laptop screen with sunglasses on so I don't get a headache from squinting.

Now I sit everyday out in the garden with my boyfriend, who I don't see a lot in a normal work week, and he reads my work in progress and helps me when I get stuck.

So lockdown has not been bad to me. I've been incredibly lucky and if anything I've been living the writer's life. But I wish I could see my friends. I wish I could write in cafés or parks. And the pandemic has itself been awful. Living with the fear of my grandparents getting sick has been unbearable (especially living in a different country from them). Watching the numbers fluctuate every day has been scary. Watching the news (which I normally never do) has not been enjoyable.

But from a writing perspective, it's not been bad. On a 'working-from-home' basis it's been quite good actually.

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