There is a lot of doom and gloom out there right now…so in true Aussie fashion I thought I’d have some fun and explore ten essential items we writers may need to survive and thrive in an Apocalyptic world. It’s time to band together to keep our spirits high, so come and share all your ideas! →
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, more and more countries face the threat of overburdened healthcare systems and economic losses that put millions of jobs and livelihoods at risk. This disease impacts all of us in one way or another. I have family in the high-risk category, and it’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be working from home indefinitely. But what I find equally as concerning are the ransacked supermarkets, and the fact the elderly and disabled are being knocked around in the aisles or full-on robbed in the car park. It’s madness! Complete and utter madness.
That’s not to say there aren’t stories of kindness and generosity, but sometimes it feels like you have to dig pretty damn deep to find them. There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there…so in true Aussie fashion I thought I’d have a bit of fun and write a lighthearted yet timely post about the things we writers should stock up on! I believe that now is the time to band together, as a global community, and keep our spirits high in whatever way we can. So if you have any ideas for how we can do so in the coming weeks and months, I’d love to hear all about them!
The supermarkets may be empty, but our writing spaces don’t have to be! I could have gone on and on about all the things that are necessary to a writer’s productivity, but I decided to be strict with myself and pare the list down to ten key essentials. And looking back, I realise they are probably relevant to all kinds of people, not just writers! Do you agree with my selection? Tell me what’s on your list of essentials in the comments below.
MORALE // A sense of humour
The Number One essential for surviving any kind of hardship—Apocalypse included—is to maintain a sense of humour. This does NOT mean you should make light of the situation, but when your options are to laugh or to cry, I know which I’d prefer! Laughter really is the world’s best medicine, and high morale is what gets you through the tough times.
STRATEGY // A planner
If you’re facing down the end of the world—or an extended time in isolation—then you’d better have a plan or strategy in place! And what better way to organise yourself than through the use of a planner? Whether it contains a structured daily routine, or a list of things to do when boredom sets in, having a planner handy will keep you from going insane.
GUIDEBOOKS // A stack of novels
For those of us who aren’t experts in Apocalyptic survival techniques, a guidebook is probably a good idea. And do you know what? I’m confident that, if you look really hard, pretty much any novel sitting on your TBR pile will have some kind of tip or trick. So if there was ever a time to plonk yourself on the couch and mow through your shelves, it’s now!
SHELTER // A place away from everyone else
Just like shelter is a basic human need, so is taking some time away from others with whom you might be trapped in close confines. I mean, even extroverts need alone time, right? If finding your own physical space is not 100% possible, and drastic measures are called for, then it may be time to crack back out your childhood pillow-fort-making skills!
RATIONS // Lots of snacks
Brain food is an obvious essential, right? Not only to power all necessary bodily functions, but to keep your mind sharp and the ideas flowing while you spend what could be weeks shackled to your stories and other writing projects. Snacking is important, but remember that you don’t need to hoard MONTHS of food supplies. Leave some for your fellow humans!
FIRST AID // Your choice of stimulant
Coffeeeeeeeeee!! In my mind, caffeine makes everything better, so my advice is to keep yourself well caffeinated…but not so much that you’re bouncing off the walls. That would be bad. If coffee, or caffeine in general, is not your thing, then feel free to replace it with any other feel-good remedy you like. Once again, this will help to lift morale!
TOILET PAPER // A notebook
Look, I don’t know about you, but toilet paper is a hot commodity in my city right now. I’m not hopeful about getting my hands on some anytime soon, but improvisation is essential in any Apocalyptic scenario. Paper in the form of notebooks may be vital in the coming weeks! I have ever-so-many story ideas right now, and if worst comes to worst…well.
TOOLS // A bundle of pens
The pen is mightier than the sword! Forget knives and multi-tools and ropes and compasses—all you need is a good handful of writing implements to get you through the end of days. Right? Sure we have technology aplenty these days, but it’s always smart to have a backup plan. Perhaps it’s time we all start stockpiling stationery instead…
ILLUMINATION // A laptop
Eh, who needs light if you have a trusty laptop? They have a light all of their own! I hope all you folks have a good Internet connection, but if you don’t there’s actually plenty you can do on your device without the need for WiFi. Writers can most certainly attest to this, but triple-check you back up all your work. Now is not the time for an Apocalyptic loss!
COMMUNICATIONS // A phone
Last, but most certainly not least, a way to communicate with the outside world should NOT be optional! No man is an island, but even if you don’t feel like speaking with family or friends while on lockdown, you never know when you might need to make a call to stock up on any of the above. Writers, it’s time to band together!