Launching a Blog in the Time of COVID-19

This wasn’t the original plan. This wasn’t my original blog post. The plan was to launch my blog at the beginning of the new year. How easy it is to get sidetracked.

I am relatively new to writing with the intention of being published. My life changed last fall when a series of serendipitous events led me to brainstorm a concept for a book. Somehow, I have managed to make time to complete a first draft of a book proposal. Sometimes I amaze myself with how committed I am to this project. And, of course, this project includes building an online presence.

As I have been writing parts of the book proposal, I have simultaneously been spending time writing pieces for my blog, with the goal of launching in January 2020. However, I needed help. I needed professional help. Enter my friend, Meg, who has been building her online presence for years. Meg is a life and business coach who has previously worked in media, so she is much further on the blogging learning curve than I am. I knew she was my go-to person. Except I kept delaying going to her.

Aside from working full-time in healthcare, I also sometimes have to work weekends. So that interfered a little bit with scheduling. I was going to need a chunk of time for Meg to teach me, and I had to make room for that in my calendar. If I am being honest, it was more than just work getting in the way. There was anxiety about putting myself out there. Hence, there was procrastination. There was the need to save money so I could compensate Meg properly for her time. More time passed. There was a full weekend seminar I wanted to take. More time lost.

Finally, finally, I caught wind that Meg had moved her base of operations not far from my home. We had tea and a catch-up meeting where I was able to verify that she had time in her schedule to help me set up my blog. About ten days ago, I committed to having Meg spend half a day with me on the project. We met last Saturday. Things were looking good after our tutorial session. I spent the next day, Sunday, exploring the website builder so I could get comfortable with all of the tools and functions. I felt certain I could launch within a few days.

Then a pandemic was declared.

“…I have spent the lastweek unfurling mytight, anxious body…”

- Margaret Healy

I got distracted. I was concerned for my health and that of my loved ones and co-workers. I was worried about traveling to and from my office, as was required by my employer, and inadvertently contributing to the crisis. I wanted to stay home and do my part to “flatten the curve,” yet my hands were seemingly tied. Anxiety began to set in. Semi-paralysis followed.

Long story short, I have spent the last week unfurling my tight, anxious body, and I have managed to get permission to work from home. I’ve fought the urge to scroll endlessly on social media and The New York Times for updates on the pandemic. I’ve spent too much time on my email account, trying to pare down an overwhelmed inbox. And I’m getting back to my writing.

I have to remind myself that writing is a means of coping for me. Coping mechanisms are a form of self-care. Sometimes writing doesn’t feel like self-care because writing is hard work. Work is the last thing I feel up to doing when I am feeling anxious. Yet being in the midst of your emotions is the best time to tap into yourself and your experience. This is when you can learn the most about yourself, through self-reflection.

This Sunday morning, Meg did a live event on social media. She offered some insights, suggestions, and encouragement for getting through the days of being mostly homebound. She shared a lovely idea about wisely using the extra time we now have on our hands. This idea was about staying curious and turning that curiosity inward as we approach our own self-reflection. I’ve decided to make this concept a guiding principle as I re-approach my writing for my blog.

“Curiosity + emotional reflection + writing = magic.”

- Margaret Healy

Curiosity + emotional reflection + writing = magic. At least it does for me. What I mean by magic is the experience of thoughts you didn’t know you had, bubbling up from inside you and flowing down your arms, through your fingertips, and onto the page. For me, the magic happens when I actually sit down to the computer and put my fingers on the keys. For other creatives, the magic may happen by the very act of putting the brush to the canvas, strumming fingers on strings, or by getting oneself physically out onto the dance floor. 

I have to get through a lot of resistance to get those fingers on the keys, yet when I do, I am rarely disappointed. Putting my fingers on the computer keys is the synergistic element that connects me to Spirit, to my flow, to my, sometimes unconscious, inner knowing. I end up creating something that I couldn’t fathom was possible just by thinking. 

“We need the gifts that are your magic.”

- Margaret Healy

It’s like making a loaf of bread. You can mix the ingredients precisely, you can punch and knead the dough to perfection, letting it rise just the right amount. But the dough won’t turn into the magic of warm, soft, delicious bread without the element of heat. The acts of writing, painting, dancing, creating, make magic. We need more magic in this world. We need the gifts that are your magic.

This evening’s writing has been a journey toward resetting my intention for launching this blog. I have a few more days of writing and building, yet it will launch. I can’t let current events derail my goals.

The original intention of launching my blog was to invite creatives to join me on my writing and publishing journey. This intention still holds true, yet, given current events, I hope to also share support, validation, and encouragement for those of you who are impacted physically, mentally or emotionally by the pandemic. 

I look forward to sharing with you, and to hearing your experiences. Please take care of yourselves and be gentle with yourselves and others. We all are doing the best we can.

I send you, dear readers, all the best for health and well-being in mind, body, emotions and spirit. I thank you for stopping by.


 Mari - 3.22.2020