Search

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most”

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

February 24, 2021


I’ve sat struggling for the past hour to come up with something to say in a blog. Perhaps it’ll be about pages, media bios, so I can show you all what an amazing copywriter I really am. It could be a 10 point bullet list on the dos and dont’s of something copy related, or a guide perhaps, like the million or more that have gone before on content marketing strategies or web copy.

Frankly, it’s not.

I’m tired of it all, and I feel nothing.

It’s like my brain has flatlined. Strangely enough, I’m seeing others brave enough to come out with similar sentiments on Twitter, every now and again you’ll hear that same familiar lethargy and general lack of enthusiasm. That strange nether world of no sleep, no motivation, nothing to do and nothing to say. A sense that the world has stopped. I hear copywriters say how hard it is to talk passionately about sundry items and the merits of wallpaper in light of what people have been going through during this pandemic. The lockdowns we’ve had to endure, now considered some of the toughest in the world (UK).

The sense that when it’s over, it won’t really be over at all. Countries will be in different states of lockdown for months and years to come while new variants test the usefulness of new vaccines, and while we’re about to head towards a staggered withdrawal from lockdown I’m not feeling people’s enthusiasm for booking holidays and talk of boozy meetups on 21st of June. Hell, even the 21st of June has been hashtagged (date of final lockdown day in England). At the end of the day, I guess I realise they’re only joking, because without a black sense of humour how else would we have got through this?

Perhaps it’s the lack of sleep that’s getting to me most of all - no fresh air doesn’t help and limited exercise, and with winter weather still with its grip on 2021, there’s little to motivate you into going outside, unless you enjoy gale-force winds and lashings of rain.

Am I a Debbie Downer?

Possibly.

I just feel like I’m not up for playing the Emperor’s New Clothes and carrying on with business as usual. I feel something has to change, because after all if nothing changes what the hell was all this about at the end of it? If we’re no different, if we’re no closer to an improvement in how we are as a community, a global community, as a community of villages, towns, cities? What was all this for if we just go back to what Sarah Wilson describes as ‘connection lite’ communication in her book ‘this wild and precious life.’

This is perhaps what I truly fear most of all, it isn’t the lockdown itself I’m fed-up with (and after all haven’t we all had enough of it now?), it’s the possibility of what comes after it, the return to what was once before. You hear the polite conversations about how much everyone is looking forward to the end of lockdown. But for me, I secretly worry that everyone and everything will remain unchanged, and everyday people’s ceaseless point-scoring and pissing contest mentality will still be there, the never-ending need to buy more, travel more, be bigger, be better. Meanwhile, climate change rages on unabated. I want to see change not just in myself but in the world around me. The sense that all that death and suffering meant something, that we’re not all cardboard cutouts continuing to exist in a vacuum of our own vanity.

What I also fear is that I will be the one left standing, outside of the chaos, as everyone struggles to create a mock-up of life pre-pandemic, not really knowing what it is I’m supposed to be doing next. Will I be left behind, or will I just join in with the rest and tell myself none of it really mattered anyway?

Someone on said on Twitter the other day that it wasn’t enough to be a vegetarian and care about the environment and call yourself a good person, you had to do something more, to stand up for what was right. For her, it was to make a stand against capitalism. I know I’ve not been a great fan of capitalism for a long time, but I don’t know what the alternative looks like yet, socialism didn’t work, how about democratic socialism? Is that worth fighting for? Where do I stand on black lives matter, what can I do from my place of privilege? I might come from a working-class background, from humble beginnings, I might just have been a single parent once and still live on a low wage, but I still don’t get judged on the colour of my skin alone. Is it enough to read up on anti-racist literature - or do I need to be doing something more?

Perhaps I’m racing too far ahead, after all, we still have a way to go yet. The future is an unknown country, we’ve never experienced anything like this before, and we can’t possibly know what we’ll all be like once we’re on the other side of it. I hate comparisons with the war, but is this similar to something they must have felt when the war ended? That something better was going to come along, that they would all appreciate each other more, the enthusiasm for society, community and family life, and when did it start to feel like life was returning back to normal, the same ugly normal like they’d known before?

Today at least I’m throwing the towel in and work will return yet again tomorrow, and I’ll be the same, but hopefully more enthusiastic than I’ve felt today. I can’t help but feel a little concerned about the end of lockdown and not so much because of what lies ahead, but because of what doesn’t. An uneasy feeling of what I want to see but secretly knowing that it won’t. Get in touch if you'd like to work with me: gillianjones@taithcopywritinguk.com

Marc-Olivier Jodoin | Unsplash



8 views0 comments