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We’ve been locked inside for over a year. Did you get anything done? 

One of the things we all struggled with over the last year is scrolling through the news, feeling like we’re all doomed. It was a heavy time, one that took a lot of effort and energy to deal with. Compounding that, many of us were locked in with roommates and family, taking away from the quiet time we need to produce pages. 

I found that my productivity ebbed and flowed. And I wasn’t alone.

In a recent Hollywood Reporter article, some of your favorite screenwriters felt the same. Michael Green, the screenwriter of Logan and Blade Runner 2049, said, “It’s not that your engine can’t do it, but you’re spending a lot of energy, and it’s certainly not as efficient. I’ve written less in the last year than I have in my entire career.”

This sentiment was echoed by others. 

“When lockdown first started, everything stopped in me creatively,” said Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland.

Damon Lindelof agreed and lamented Zoom rooms and the slowdown of his creative process. 

Zoom rooms have been trying. It’s hard to form chemistry without being in the same room, and after a couple of hours on the camera, people are exhausted. It’s also hard to pay attention, especially with kids making appearances, cats walking across keyboards, and social media the click of a button away. 

I worked on a couple of projects over Zoom this past summer, and it was so hard staying up and even just cracking jokes with other people. You try to make eye contact and it’s hard to read the body language of when to chime in.  

Vida creator Tanya Saracho said, “I spent six months creatively frozen in L.A. and needed to change the air I was breathing.” She flew out of the country to try to get her creative juices flowing. But that’s not an option for most. 

Not everyone feels like that. I was lucky enough to make real headway on a few projects because I had all distractions removed. It was hard early on, but I made my weekends and nights all about telling stories. It was helpful to disappear from the doom scrolling and just write about a world. 

I’m not alone. 

“It’s actually been a rich creative time,” said Liz Tigelaar (Little Fires Everywhere). “As a writer, so much of your life infuses your work, so just broadening our world has helped me creatively so much.” 

What were your experiences with the pandemic? Did you have time to write more or did you find yourself frustrated by the situation? 

Let us know in the comments.      

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