Does Lockdown stifle or encourage creativity?

It’s been one year since the pandemic began and lockdown became a part of our lives….time enough to ask the question ‘Does lockdown stifle or encourage creativity’?

Birthday flowers given to me by a neighbour – perfect for my daily warm up exercise to get the creative juices flowing.

I believe the answer to this question ultimately lies in the attitude we bring to each day. This applies whether in lockdown or not.

Most importantly do we have a routine that works for us? Pre lockdown many might have had routines imposed upon them. Certain trains to catch, times to be at the office/school etc…but without those imposed routines, life is quite different.

A year ago, at the beginning of the first lockdown, I was very aware that many people were in what I call the ‘New Years resolution’ mode. Excitement reigned as people ordered all sorts of art supplies, knitting, and sewing kits, and of course cook books galore and indeed it seemed that many got stuck in.

We had beautiful weather during the first and second lockdowns…which allowed people to be creative with their gardens, balconies and windowsills. Generally speaking spirits seemed high as creativity blossomed throughout our communities. The little rainbows that began to appear in neighbourhood windows were uplifting…..and I am sure fun for the children to make, plus it helped them to feel that they were part of the bigger picture, and consequently making a difference.

Having posted tutorials on my blog for many years, I was delighted to see thousands of others doing the same, catering to all sorts of creative endeavours. Then there were the millions of people jumping on board the ZOOM experience, all of which seemed to be a great idea.

It gave me hope that through this pandemic experience – lives could be changed in many positive and lasting ways.

Working from home meant that families were able to spend more quality time together. Without long commutes people appeared to have more energy and zest. We were able to take time to hear the birds…..

I could see by mid summer that people were getting restless….I didn’t hear so many people talking about their new hobby or what they had just learned through an on-line seminar…I started to hear people say how bored they were and that all they wanted to do was get back to ‘normal’………….

TO ZOOM OR NOT TO ZOOM….

Even those who had taken on Zoom with great gusto….were beginning to say how tired they were of their screens and communicating with groups of people in little boxes. And then I began to hear people say – that they had so many ZOOM appointments that they didn’t have time for themselves or to pursue the hobby that they had begun to enjoy! Fragmentation was taking hold which is a big enemy of creativity.

In other words the wonderful new lessons we were starting to learn at the beginning of lockdown were being lost.

Summing up…I believe that lockdown has encouraged creativity for many people…..

However, as was the case pre-pandemic – we need to bring consistency, structure and most importantly routine into our lives so that we may benefit fully from this time. The attitude we bring to each day is vitally important.

Enjoying a creative endeavour during this period will not only bring a sense of fulfilment and tangible evidence of who we are, but will also be highly beneficial for physical and mental wellbeing.

Janet

37 thoughts on “Does Lockdown stifle or encourage creativity?

  1. louella.miles@writers4management.com

    Thanks Janet. Sorry, it’s been a bit of a week since you responded and currently drowning beneath boxes and lack of space to work yet. Will sit down in a sec and read with interest! Xx

    [X]

    Louella Miles

    [Logo]

    Writers4Management

    Tel 07876 681359

    3 Campbell Close Twickenham TW2 5BZ ________________________________

    Reply
  2. Laura Kate

    My thoughts on the lock-down fatigue: How are the children? For those with parents who are comfortable spending every hour of the day with them, they are probably flourishing. For those whose parents were mostly away from them during the day, it could be going badly.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Thank. you Laura. I have written about this on other blogs….how difficult it must be for parents with very little money in cramped accommodation trying to home school and do everything else. Regardless of our situation…there is no question that routine and structure do help and are necessary for us all to keep our sanity.

      Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I think we all miss physical interaction. I live and work alone and so often go days without seeing or speaking in person to anyone. Which is why for me routine and the creative process are so important and I think this is true for many others. This too shall pass my friend…:)

      Reply
  3. Andrea Stephenson

    I think there was a bit of a boom in creativity last year – and often I heard about people creating in different ways – like painting when they usually wrote. There’s definitely been some fatigue in the more recent lockdowns, but personally I’m feeling much more inspired than I have for a while.

    Reply
  4. davidjrogersftw

    Dear Janet,

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post. Lockdown encouraged my creativity.

    For the last year the question for me, a writer, has been what would be more powerful in me, the fear of contracting COVID and suffering and dying or the need to write no matter what emotions had hold of me, even fear. At times my mood sank and my fears rose as the numbers of deaths here climbed geometrically–50,000 dead, 200,000, 400,000 –more deaths than the populations of major cities, and the urge not to write, but to brood over more important things than writing would nag me–writing was too unimportant to think about.

    But then I would write and with writing came a forgetting of terrible things, and during those work hours, all fears disappeared, the terror of dying held in check. All that was important was that I finish that essay or that story or poem that it represented my talents well. Doing that was not unimportant, but the most important thing.

    I must stay safe and well so that I might take care of my wife and might write. I work and complete creative things as though saying, “You can scare me to death COVID, and even take my life, but you will not deter me from the work I have been committed to since I was seven years old and said to my mother in the kitchen, “Mom., when I grow up I will be a writer and I will write beautiful words.”

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning David, and thank you so much for this lovely and powerful comment.
      What you say is so true….the power of creativity can overrule the fear of death. This is something I have experienced several times. It would be all too easy to dwell on the horrors of it all….but where would that get us? Whereas when we delve into a creative project our mind is brought to. a state of peace. Fear is removed – there I sonly one thing that’s important and that is the project.
      May you continue to create and write wonderful essays for us all to enjoy and learn from. Never forget your words to your Mother when you were seven years old…They are a like a cornerstone for. your life. Best wishes to you and the family and yes, stay well my friend. Janet X

      Reply
  5. snowbird

    Belated happy birthday. I love your flowers and your demonstration, beautiful. We do need to try and stay positive and live in the moment, there’s always something to enjoy each day. Lockdowns are far more bearable in spring and summer, I’m looking forward to sowing seeds, spring is around the corner.xxx

    Reply
  6. akunSLOT

    I agree we able to spend more quality time with family when working from home.

    But if you don’t have the right equipment at home like at office, it would ruined your work, and believed me it’ll stress you out.

    Reply
    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      I understand that completely….It’s something that we need to change after the pandemic…making technology more of a necessity than an add on. In today’s world it’s hard to live without it….- thank you for your comment. Janet 🙂

      Reply
  7. Change Therapy

    First time I have visited your wonderful blog. Refreshing to read your views on life too, and I will follow you based on the few pages I have read/observed. Your Art is like nothing I have see before and appreciate the breakdown of stages of creativity.
    Thanks
    Steve

    Reply
  8. Pingback: 78 – Creativity * – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking

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