If you visit my collection of writing prompts you will find 11 weeks of prompts that were posted to our Facebook community and the prompts we used to guide our weekly writing jams – all focused on exploring our new lived experience in a world that is both familiar and terrifyingly changed. While I believe many (all?) of these themes and questions will hold up even when we are finally on the other side of this pandemic and living either in either our brave new world or a dystopian hellscape, they are certainly topics worth exploring in the now. As I wrote in the original blog post, writing is a way for us to capture the moment, to vent our emotions, and/or examine our current state of being. Any and all of these things are important work that writing is ideal to address.
However, not only the events of the pandemic but also our current political reality certainly makes it worthwhile examining the greater state of the world and what the future will bring which brings me to an important theme that ran through so much of our writing and discussion during our spring writing retreat: do we want a return to the status quo or do we desire an improved world? Which of these is our utopia and which of these our dystopia depends greatly our view of the world before the pandemic. Halimah Marcus shared an interesting interview with author Ted Chiang that explored this issue and might provide some fodder for your own thinking and writing. Think about this quote from Chiang as you write:
We need to be specific about what we mean when we talk about things returning to normal. We all want not to be quarantined, to be able to go to work and socialize and travel. But we don’t want everything to go back to business as usual, because business as usual is what led us to this crisis.
Don’t forget to share your writing using the #JustWrite hashtag.