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What are the most useful skills to learn while social distancing?
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Write a short story

The pandemic feels lifted from a science fiction. When reality is stranger than fantasy, the opportunities for imaginative storytelling are endless.
Arts Coronavirus Culture Editing Quarantine Writing


At a time where anything seems possible, crafting a short story is a valuable way to bring the strangest corners of your imagination to life. For centuries, the art form has been used to make complex points in a short space. Use all this thinking time, to write something beautiful and important.

The Argument

Sitting down, putting pen to paper, is a great way to cope during lockdown because it encourages expression and provides a sanctuary from reality. Proponents of writing during lockdown believe it can lead to overall mental health benefits.[1] This is based on the idea that writing encourages freedom of expression, a healthy part of development. The practice of writing short stories can be therapeutic, according to novelist Graham Green. [1] Writing short stories is also a great way to work through complicated thoughts and feelings, and can help make sense of the world around us during these confusing and trying times. Writing a short story will not be all-consuming but it will provide for a creative distraction from the reality that may hold productive and helpful mental benefits. It is a creative outlet during a time of high stress and worry.

Counter arguments

Writing can be a useful tool for working through and expressing tough emotions, especially given the emotional rollercoaster brought about by the pandemic. But writing can also lead to more harm than good. Writing is a solitary pass-time and writers will often spend a lot of time alone. At a time where people have already been forced physically apart, retreating to a private space to write a short story encourages anti-social behaviour at a time when we need human contact more than ever, even if it is mostly virtual. Spending hours alone, inside, and at a desk staring at a screen trying (and perhaps struggling) to write can have the opposite effect of emotional expression, leading to depression and and disillusionment.[2] The pressure may add to the existing anxiety and create added emotional strain. Writing can be a great outlet for emotional expression, but it requires a balance. Writers warn of writer's block and writing fatigue, and caution new writers to take the time for self care, taking regular breaks, ranging from hours to days to weeks, in order to relax and recharge. [3] Writing is not for everyone, and for some it can do more harm than good.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 14:17 UTC

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