Pandemic diary 97: Commitment issues

I gave someone their first guitar lesson last week – we achieved playing a single line from Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen (easy chords). He's 52 and bought an electric guitar – now all he needs is daily commitment. I took up the guitar aged 28 and ended up with a degree in pop music at 38. It's doable!

The thing about doing 97 posts for 97 days straight is that I have noticed an improvement in my writing. (Have you? I hope so.) It flows better, stays more on topic and is, judging by the stats, visited by higher numbers of readers over the quarter it has been running.

I seem to remember someone at pop music college (yes, it's true; that's how I spent the Noughties; blame Fame) saying that that you need to spend the first three months of any creative endeavour getting all the crap out of your system. Often, those few months bring forth things you think are pretty great but are really just hackneyed ideas with beginner's level execution – it's just new and great to you. To 'get good' the journey is long and takes commitment.

As a proud generalist, I rarely get to the three-month stage. Boredom and alternative interests kick in long before I actually have to show any level of proficiency.

But the things I have stuck to over the years – diaries, editing, gardening, walking, photography – well, they have each improved to the level where I get genuine satisfaction out of them. It sounds cheesy, but I get off on a job well done.

So the thing I've been thinking about today is: What next?

Yes, I am embracing the luxury of thinking about the future. After 100 days of lockdown diary writing, what next? What do I want to stick with, work on daily and dig deeper into?

Ha! As a generalist, where do I begin?

Ballet, art, walking, art walking!, creative writing, video essays, bushcraft, ebook publishing, drawing rabbits, collage, feminist activism, horticulture, surfing, fitness, a tree futures project.

I'm pondering. But if I can do X daily then in three months, I'll be through the crapola and hopefully out the other side and on to the good stuff.

If there's anything I've done more of in lockdown, it's been the allotment and collage. Collage is the probably thing that fits the SMART goal and would benefit the most from some dedicated effort. That or some kind of durational walking art – 100 days of walking and video reporting maybe?

Ideas on a postcard, as per yesterday's post.

Quick numbers check

The number of Covid-19 infections has topped 10 million worldwide with nearly half a million deaths. In South Asia and Africa, it is not expected to peak until the end of July.

Meanwhile, the first local lockdown – in Leicester – is potentially on the cards as the city experience a flare-up in number of cases (nearly 3,000 in the past two weeks).

My Zoe Covid app is showing the Midlands R rate as 1.1 – above the target of 1, which is above the UK average and one of the markers for tightening restrictions again.


Today I am thankful for antihistamines. The wind has been blowing that pollen all over the place.

I'm grateful for a long-time friend phoning me and the good craic we always have when she does. She is much better at keeping in touch than I. Thanks T.

Also, I'm thankful for the allotment – the flowers and food crops are all in abundance right now, and it is inspiring. And it looks as if I will shortly be drowning in courgettes…

Courgette flower salad ahoy.

Commission/hire me: fiona [at]

4 thoughts on “Pandemic diary 97: Commitment issues”

  1. So, 3 months to get beginner’s crap out of the way, hmmm?
    I realise I’m a six-weeker hobby-dipper over the last 5 or 6 decades, so this means a massive, corpulent, fermenting crapola build-up. Aggggh!

    Your options sound fascinating! Top three? X

  2. I'd love to see a walking diary blog! I wonder if I got better at a photo-a-day after 3 months. I've been doing it for 6.5 years now and don't really see a noticeable improvement …

  3. Video's not something I've ever really explored, I don't really consume in that way particularly so not sure I'd want to produce. Also the POTD group I'm in is strictly photos only. I go through phases of feeling restricted by it but I think this time round it's The Times.

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