The last few days have not offered much in the way of creative sustenance. Countries either side of the Pond appear to be disintegrating. Unity is at an all-time low with divides over race, education, membership of various international agreements, health and of course money. Online discussion is fracturing along lines so painful that silence itself is called out as a sign of belonging to the opposite side. So how to keep going in such circumstances?

I have two small suggestions today.
1. Keep a schedule.
2. Smile.

That’s all. We all know how to do the first one, even if we usually don’t or find it difficult. For writing, making an appointment to write works wonders. Even a five-minute time slot (in the bathroom…?) offers a chance for the mind to breathe.

Writers Weekly PlannerI use a bullet journal with the world’s most basic layout to just make notes of what I need to do and what I actually did. The schedule part is literally a double spread for each week with the dates scrawled in and three or four bullet points beneath each one. I don’t do doodles or beautiful watercolor illustrations or scrapbooking in my journal. It’s monochrome and done entirely in cheap black biro. But I use it every day and it goes everywhere with me. I like this bullet journal by Joy Tree Journals – nice thick paper and dirt cheap in comparison to many. Others are available! Including the planner created by me, a writing-specific schedule which I use for big projects. Get it here.

Nathan W Pyle book coverFor a smile, we might need help. Those with pets or babies have a definite head start, but if these are not available then a dose of humour in book form can offer some respite from the chaos outside.

Right now I’m enjoying the excellent Strange Planet by Nathan W Pyle. You can see his cartoons on his Facebook page or in his book (and his new book coming soon!) My favourite is definitely the one where the beings are stroking their three-eyed pet and saying, Who’s a moral creature?!

Weirdly when I just looked at Amazon, Nathan now offers a Strange Planner. So that looks a lot like two birds and one stone. Serendipity!