Dispatches From a Pandemic: Small Bites

The down time of the pandemic has me doing everything in small bites: write a paragraph here, clean the kitchen. Edit half an essay, walk the dogs. Meditate on my purple yoga mat, write haiku. Balance my mother’s checkbook, read a chapter in another dystopian end-times novel.

I have found immediate gratification editing in small bites. The recipe goes something like this: Combine all elements of the first draft, let simmer for a while. Assemble the pieces in the right flow. Leave out to rise, the sourdough starter of a story. Punch down. Revise. Print, read, revise.

As writers, we already tiptoe along the emotional tightrope between self-doubt and the manic euphoria of inspiration. It’s summer. It’s a weird time in our lives. Let’s embrace our short attention spans. Let’s lose the “shoulds” and accept what is.