Authors have long been known for isolating themselves from the world to build their own. International best-selling author of the Venators Series, Devri Walls, is no different and has spent more than her fair share of time working from home. Since many people are having a trouble adjusting to this brave new world where being trapped in the house is the normal, we decided to ask her how an author does it. Honestly, if anyone can give great advice on being alone for extended periods of time, it’s a fantasy writer. Here are Devri’s Top 10 ways to live your best life while quarantined.
Get ready for the day. Hear me out. First of all, if you’re showered and dressed in decent clothes, you might actually do that job that has suddenly been moved to your home kitchen table office where your toddler is dripping milk across your very important documents. But equally as important, what if this quarantine finally spurs the ancient elven races to descend from their hiding places and retake Earth? All I’m saying is that if Legolas comes walking down my street with that long golden hair flowing out behind him, I’m going to want to look good.
Stop staring at your phone and reading everything you can find. Here’s the deal - I did it. I read all the things. I’m scared to look at my screen time count…IT WASN’T PRETTY! So, before you start leaving blubbering social media posts about how you’ll miss the society you once you knew while quoting Shakespeare in preparation for our return to days of yore, walk away.
Create something. Anything. It’s hard when it feels like things are falling apart around you. Take back an iota of control and start up those piano lessons online, build your website, read that book, redecorate the room that’s been driving you nuts, get a garden ready, teach your pet dragon not to set your beard on fire, build that meditation tree stand. You do you!
Find your quest mates. This life is a crazy adventure, and some of us have lost sight of that in our modern world. Well guess what? Life just demanded that you slow the heck down and look around for a second. Find those that are important to you and cling tight. Live alone? Losing your mind? Guess what? This is the easiest year ever to have a quarantine. You can live video chat with whoever, wherever. It’s like magic! The most amazing, socially-connecting magic ever! Trust me when I say that Arwin (one of my favorite wizards) would be most impressed.
Take your magic potions. A magic potion is critical! What? Why are you looking at me like that? All right fine, there’s no potion. It’s vitamins. I’m talking about vitamins. But it’s a fact that having a healthy body is important.
Read the books. If I had a dollar for every person who told me, “I’d like to read but I don’t have time,” I’d be a ka-billion-jillya-naire. And instead of writing this post, I’d be recording some uber-swanky video from my own personal island that I purchased just for this quarantine. Guess what we’ve all got now? Time. So hey, pull that old book off the shelves, order a new one from your favorite local bookstore for delivery, choose an eBook or download an audio book. The book world is so accommodating these days - take advantage.
Dance party in the living room. I have no fantastical basis for this suggestion; I just feel like it’s a good, solid plan. Music, exercise, fun, and laughter. With no one other than your immediate family to make you embarrassed. Now is your time to let those dancing shoes out of the box. Fine print: Cats and dogs are included as family. Also, goldfish. I’d add chinchillas but I have it on good authority that they get a little judgey.
Eat well. Look, we’ve all said that we’d love to cook this or that but we don’t have time. I made sweet and sour pork with fried rice last night. How long did that take me? Two hours. TWO HOURS, people! Think I have time for that on a normal weekday? No. (Nor would I have had time for the second degree burn on my thumb from frying said sweet and sour pork.) Maybe today is the day that you finally make that attempt at homemade bread. Will you ever want to do it again? I have no idea.
Find your Zen. Life these days moves at breakneck speed. Article after article has been written about how much stress the constant barrage of things that need attention creates. You’ve just been forced to slow down. No, you can’t attend the after-work get together, and little Johnny won’t be making it to that birthday party after all. Even though many of us are working from home and trying to juggle new distractions, the fact is that your social calendar just cleared up. Let’s figure out how to live at a lower level for a while. Who knows what heroic things we can accomplish when our lives and minds are less cluttered?
Find your moments. Even in fiction we can’t write all bad all the time. It’s not sustainable. And what I mean by that is that YOU the reader cannot and will not sustain it. It’s too heavy, too depressing, you literally can’t handle it. So, we add breaks, moments of light. Sometimes it can be as small as a smile and a sarcastic comment. Living life in the darkness, even if it is dark, is not sustainable. You must find the light in the small moments throughout the day to hold onto. They are there if you look for them.
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