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  • Writer's pictureKerry Chambers

My (Un)Productive Quarantine: Calling Myself Out in the Second Lockdown

It's strange. I feel I'm treading on the same ground over and over, but here we are again. Another Lockdown, another disillusion. All these ideas, documents opened and partly written, stories waiting to be finished, notebooks with late night scribblings. Yet when I lay in bed, with sleep alluding me, the minute flying by as each hour strikes hard and incessant, is the only time I have coherent thought. During the day... I'm nothing. As though being awake blurs the imagination.

Up All Night (Psycho Pass, 2012)

Perhaps I'm coming to terms with something. Something I haven't comprehended yet. Here I sit, wasting precious minutes. This blessing of extended free time to watch and read and write... to finish a story I long to. And yet I'm not going. Like the ignition of a shoddy car is going kaput. And worst of all, I can't find the desire to call roadside assistance. I'm just sitting in the car, listening to the occasional rev of the engine, the cars passing by fewer and far between, and the radio blasting, draining the battery. I'm not listening to anything worthwhile, no music that gets me lost in thought. Just some mundane talk show. Voices nattering. Brain-fried.

I'm angry at myself. Why am I reacting this way? Because I've been stupefied? because I've actually been out of focus longer than I care to admit? Or because I'm incredibly depressed by all this? The correct answer is all of the above and then some. The future is looking muggy and strange, yet here I sit blinding myself with useless Youtube videos wondering why I feel inactivated when in truth it's because I am the only one with the password to activate it (hint: it's password123).

Drowning it Out (A Silent Voice, 2016)

So I have something to say to myself:

Listen to me, you utter twit. Read a good book. Watch a stunning movie, hell maybe watch one for the article you're writing so that you can remember why you wanted to write about it in the first place! Stop being a dunce for five seconds. Fall in love with your story and the characters again so you can finish it for yourself and the sister who has been waiting patiently for two months for an update! I don't know.

Turn off the internet if you have to but at least keep Youtube closed for a day. One day, that's all I'm asking. Just one. What more could you possibly watch of The Try Guys and Vine compilations? They're never rare; when are you going to learn that you have seen them all! And don't pretend that you're getting educated with video essays on films and anime you've watched a hundred times. You just want to hear someone say something nice about stuff you like. My god.

While we're at it, when you watch Sion Sono videos, I know you're just trying to convince yourself of which of his movies you're going to buy next. Get your poor arse off of Youtube and Amazon and Ebay and Zavvi and HMV and... Stop palming it off as culture; you're as cultured as a Ham and Cheese sandwich if you're not going to finish you're projects.

Denial (Ouran High School Host Club, 2006)

What did Murakami say: “Don't feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.” If so, you need to stop being one pretty damn quick because you are on the edge of wasting another month of our life. Whip out the world cinema, the anime, go for a walk and get that fresh air you clearly need... something to wake you up. Just wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

Come on, me.

Things fall into place, and it's not always in the way you want them to. But you take it and you work with it. Take those heartaches and disappointments, your frustration and passions and turn them into something worthwhile. Raw though it all may be, it will be honest and true. You will self-therapise, you will come to understand you whilst helping others to understand themselves. You will be free to finish and move on and create more and more. Because you are capable of doing all of that. But Wake up first!

Psychosis (End of Evangelion, 1997)

You have got this. You've done it once... Create again, like you love to do. Get lost in those other worlds and stop focusing so much on this one.

To all the creatives; the world is spinning for now, on it's axis as depressing as it ever was. So look for those things that bring you joy, take inspiration and draw from it. Let's look at the stars and make something magical. Work for you, make worlds that you would love to be in because somewhere out there, people want to join you. Now more than ever they're looking for somewhere to go. Find it for them and welcome them in!

Let's get to it.

Catch a Falling Star (Howl's Moving Castle, 2004)

I am halfway through an article about the fabulous Wong kar-wai and realised I was struggling to finish it. Instead I'm writing from my frustrated clogged noggin and hoping that the ether will absorb some of it out of me enough for me to continue what I have started. Apologies if this is some desperate rambling. It truly is. These are tough times, but we have to keep plodding on, otherwise we won't get to the end of it. Something pleasant might come of it.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

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