Blog views and other obsessions – coping with the coronavirus part 2


A month ago I wrote about how I thought the coronavirus was going to affect me. I said, “I’m planning to read and blog more and pay more attention to my Twitter account.”

Was anyone else thinking something like that? Although I’ve been reading about as much as I did before we started sheltering in place, I haven’t been reading voraciously or blogging any more than the regular amount. And my Twitter account has been pretty idle. Some of that is because I am tweeting on my library job’s account, a lot, and by the end of the day my brain is a little tired of coming up with tweets, liking and retweeting other tweets and finding new followers. I’ve also started contributing to a new library blog, writing about three posts a week over there, and by the end of the day…well you get the idea, right?

The other issue has been focus. One result is that I have been reading other people’s blogs less. That bothers me a lot, but I’ll be back to doing that soon too. I did manage to re-watch the first season of The Sopranos and I’ll be moving on to the second season next week. Seinfeld and The Office are also keeping us entertained.

But you know, being healthy and employed means there is no excuse for complaining about anything. It’s just a matter of adjusting to staying at home all the time. And this week I find that I’m doing better. I’m in the middle of an excellent book, A Hero of France by Alan Furst and you’ll be seeing a review on that soon. I also started a new audiobook today during my walk: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. It took me a bit to understand what I was listening to, but I’m already into the story and will blog about that soon too.

I hope you’re all doing okay and that your families are healthy. What has surprised you about all this time at home?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

51 thoughts on “Blog views and other obsessions – coping with the coronavirus part 2

  1. I think I’m most surprised by how fast the day flies by when you’re quarantined. I’ve been doing much more writing than normal. Escaping in my story world is the best way to pass the time…and puzzling. 🙂

    1. Hi Jill. We said the same thing – how fast the days go by. It’s such a strange time, but I think I’m finally finding a groove. Hope you and yours are doing well. 🙂

  2. When the first talk of COVID19 appeared on TV and the “Stay at home” advice came about, I woke up from my lethargy or writer’s block, whatever you want to call it. I saw a good reason to ‘stay at home’ – I NOW had TIME to finish the sequel, the 2. book of my WWII memoir, “We Don’t Talk About That.” A printed version will have to wait, publishers are “busy” – but I didn’t want to wait for my “Flight Into The Unknown – Dreaming of Life and Love in Canada” to take off. So it’s, for now, an e-book, but many people read e-books nowadays anyway. I published it on Smashwords where my other books are; I am impressed by their service and their aim to help with the COVID ‘stay at home’ rule. They have thousands of e-books on sale to help the home-bound readers and the financially affected people. My books are listed at 60% off, it makes a difference. But now, since we are still home-bound, I am working on the 3, the final book of my memoir trilogy: “Set Sail for Life After 50!” I’ll make good use of the time until “normal life” starts again. What will the new “normal” be like?

    1. Hi Gisele – it sounds like you are making the best of the situation. Who knows what the new normal will be like. I think we won’t return to exactly the way we used to live. But I think the longer we have to stay home, the more impact it will have on our new normal. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Quarantine is getting a little easier now that it’s become the new normal and I’ve figured out a way to take an occasional drive! I’m surprised to be reading less. My mind is restless and I’m having difficulty settling into a read (and…my 6 yo grandson who lives with us is out of school so there’s endless distractions!) I’m not in a huge hurry to venture out because I’m sure we’ll get a second or third wave. I’m resigned to staying home for the long haul or until there’s a vaccine!

    1. Hi Carol. Yes, I haven’t been out in almost 2 weeks, although I will go to the grocery store on Monday. We had our groceries delivered last week, but it’s hard to get an open delivery date. I’m lucky that I can get out for walks, we live in a semi-rural area and we have a nice walking trail in our neighborhood. Glad to hear you are doing alright. How nice to have a 6-yr-old with you 🙂

      1. I’ve had better luck getting a pick up time with a Walmart superstore than a delivery with Instacart. We’ve been under stay at home orders here for about 5 weeks now I think….honestly I’ve lost track!!! And the 6 yo is built in entertainment for sure! I love in a nice neighborhood for walking but my guilty pleasure for getting out is a Macdonald’s drive through! 😂😂😂 stay safe!

    1. Hi LA – it has taken me a while. I’m not a super social person but I like to be active and I like to go out and do things. I’ve had trouble being active enough so I’m tired at the end of the day, but I’m learning how to make it work. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      1. I’m not super social either, but I am out doing something all the time. So it’s been different

  4. Barbara, I remember making similar commitments at the start. I could take a look back at the draft of my memoir and perhaps work toward getting it ready to submit to someone to edit it. Haven’t started that yet. Perhaps I’d finish the afghan I was trying to finish for our daughter’s Christmas gift, and I still haven’t reached the end. Started thinking about a sweater for our newest family member, a great-granddaughter. Started and stopped several times, and then gave it up! Reading more — I’m doing fine on that one. On the blog front, nothing much has changed. But social media, I’m so tired of politics I just don’t spend as much time there.

    So much for my commitments. I’ve decided it’s going to run its course whether I do something or nothing. Waiting patiently to see what our governor has decided about “reopening” Oregon. It hasn’t looked so good yet. Bob and I won a trip to Scandinavia in August, and we’d like to know that things are looking better worldwide by then. However, we won’t know for a while. So in the meantime, I continue to dream about it!

    Loved reading your post, and look how inspired I was to write because of it!

    1. Hi Sherrey. I think we all had good intentions of accomplishing a lot. I find that I’m doing a lot more work for my job than I thought I would be able to do, but that’s a good thing. I did tell a couple people I was going to teach myself how to knit, in honor of my mother who was a big knitter (she passed away in October), but I haven’t tried that yet. I was also going to journal every day, but I have only written a few times. Well I think this is going to go on for a while, so there is still time to take on a new project. I don’t watch tv news – it’s toxic (IMO) so that’s a good thing. I hope you get to take your trip – thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

  5. I’m working from home and am busier than ever. Just got off lockdown yesterday and was able to go grocery shopping. It was good to get out, even for such a mundane task. 🙂

    1. Hi Lynette – I think that’s what is happening with people working from home – I’m tending to do things even on off hours. It has me a little burned out, but I’m changing that and trying to do as much as I can only during my regular working hours. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you were able to get to the grocery. I went today and it wasn’t too bad, supply-wise. Take care!

  6. Barbara, I think many who expected to use the time for lots of reading and writing are finding it difficult to settle and concentrate on these creative tasks. Once my son was safely home just before the ‘stay at home’ announcement my anxiety was massively reduced. In the midst of this nightmare there are glimmers of joy, nature bouncing back and reclaiming its place, lots of family time which was most unexpected, learning to truly live one day at a time. Still it’s not easy, missing the outings and visits to my mother incredibly much. As we all have many varied interests there has not been a moment of boredom .. I’m enjoying learning Portuguese! I’m glad to hear all is well with you … this time in our lives is one to focus our priorities in our lives and we are all changing and nothing will be the same as before. Take care, my friend. Hugs xx ps. One book I read recently and can highly recommend is ‘The Woman in the White Kimono’ by Ana Johns. Amazing and wonderful, beautifully crafted.

    1. Hi Annika – thanks for stopping by and letting everyone know how you are doing. I know what you mean about feeling better once your son returned. As mothers, we want to make things safe, even when the kids are older 🙂 My focus is returning and I just finished a book yesterday. That’s great you are learning Portuguese. I’m guessing you already speak several languages. I’m English-only though I took a lot of French in high school and college. But if you don’t use it, you can’t really speak it well. I did study German for a year, but just for fun. I think I could order a beer if I needed to. Thanks for recommending The Woman in the White Kimono – I’m going to look that up. Take care and stay health, Annika 🙂

  7. The first week of working from home seemed to last forever, but since then the workweek is flying by. I’m getting that whole if-you-work-from-home-you’re-always-at-work feeling because I’m a librarian who’s doing a lot more social media and virtual stuff for work than we ever used to, plus meetings and webinars, etc. It’s so easy to find yourself spending the whole day on one screen or another. I am definitely finding more time for reading and book blogging these days, but am so easily distracted and haven’t taken on anything very weighty or ambitious.

    1. Hi Laurie – I’m a librarian too so I can totally relate! I’m doing the Twitter and blogging and we are ramping up for virtual programs. I feel like all I’m doing, even during my non-workinworking hourse, is checking views and likes and jumping between platforms and sharing links. It can make you a little crazy!

  8. I am enjoying being at home more and more, Barbara. I told my hubby today that it is the time of the introverts now and I am flourishing not having to go to work and deal with people every day. I’ve even stopped biting my nails!

    1. You are making a really great observation, Robbie. I was very social as a teenager and young adult, but not as much now. I’d say I’m in the middle somewhere, because I do miss seeing my friends. I think when this is all over, people will do things differently and there will be less pressure to socialize. Thanks for reading, Robbie.

    1. Hi Jeff. I just finished A Hero of France. I thought it was very good (it’s short, though). I didn’t look at reviews until today and, while most of them are very positive, die-hard Furst fans were hard on this book. I will definitely read another. He’s a smart writer and I like that! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  9. I’m not terribly productive, but I think that’s because I’m busier than I was before this quarantine since I’m babysitting my two-year old grandson. I also have a hard time focusing, and I think that is anxiety about the situation. It doesn’t help to see our leaders bickering with each other rather than working together to get us through this, and of course I worry about those who are truly devastated by the pandemic, whether because they or someone they know has gotten sick, or they are suddenly unemployed and worried about how in the world they’re going to keep paying their mortgage and other bills. The demand at food pantries has gone through the roof. So, in a way I’m adjusting to the new normal, but in another way, I’m still working on it!

    1. Hi Ann – I think I know how you feel. When I look at the news and see that healthy people have died from the virus, my anxiety goes up. The people who have lost their jobs or are on the front lines of groceries, healthcare and other esentials have it a lot harder than we do. I think it’s our job to stay home as much as possible and wear a mask. Take care, Ann. 🙂

  10. I’m surprised that I’m working longer days telecommuting and that ha ing no boundaries between work and home is hard. I don’t like it.

    1. It’s the same for me, Kim. I’m learning to be more strucutred in what I do for my job. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you are well. 🙂

  11. As my writing and most of my reading focuses on Italy, I was steeped in the coronavirus before it blossomed in the United States. At first I was on pins and needles as to whether or not I would have to cancel the tours that I had organized to Italy. I tried to be upbeat for as long as possible… And then I decided to concentrate on the details of finishing my book — working with a cover designer, etc.
    As for my blog, I don’t know what to write about as people seem focused only on the virus. I’ve noticed a big drop in blog numbers from March on and I just got my sales reports for my book. I had thought, “Maybe people will be reading more and I’ll have an upswing in sales.” Just the opposite, if my numbers are any barometer. They plunged in March. So apparently, people don’t want to read about Italy if they can’t go there…
    An an up note, my grocery store now has a limited supply of toilet paper.

    1. Hi Karen – I am sorry about your tour business. That must be really tough. But focusing on your book is a good way to be productive. We know we have to let go of the worries that are out of our control, but that is often very hard to do. Take care and stay well.

  12. Hi Barbara,

    After about a week into the shelter-in-place, I realized now is the time to get things done. We’re still working from home, but it’s definitely different. So, I completed several unfinished essays and began new writing, as well. I also write in my gratitude journal because now is as good as time as any to notice the things we are grateful for. Grey’s Anatomy has our attention and we have a family puzzle set up that my husband, son, and I work on occasionally. Last night, we watched a concert fundraiser, “One World at Home Together” and we were overwhelmed with emotion. Getting a glimpse into the nurse’s and doctor’s days on the job is eye-opening. If our lives haven’t changed much, if we haven’t lost a loved one to the virus, then it’s like living in a shelter while sheltering-in-place, not realizing the true tragic impact around the world. Anyway, we are making the most out of a surreal moment in time and really have nothing to complain about either. I’m glad you’re safe and keeping busy and I look forward to reading your future reviews. Take care and be well, Lauren 💕

    1. Hi Lauren – I am starting to become more produtive and structure my days properly. For me, I need to be active during the day or I can’t fall asleep at night, even when I exercise every day. So I’m learning how to build activity into the rest of my day too. I can’t feel sorry for myself because, as you mention, so many people are risking their health for us and making sure we have what we need and are cared for if we get sick. Plus, I still have a job for now so it’s okay. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay well. 🙂

  13. Wishing you good health, during these challenging times, and for you to successfully carry on. Great post! By the way please join my blog too, if you find it interesting – let’s grow together!😊

  14. Surprisingly, I think focus is a real issue for many. I’ve heard that comment before. Probably because we’re all unsettled and anxious. We’re getting there. Stay well, Barbara

  15. Great blog as usual, Barbara, and a great question. I am most surprised at how OK I’m doing during this lock down as well as my family. We can’t see each other but we text and call and FaceTime and Zoom alot. That’s good. I guess I’m surprised and a little worried about the fact that the lockdown hasn’t changed my life that much. As an introvert I like the excuse now of not having to go out and converse. Rather pathetic. But I do miss hugging my grandkids, dancing and yoga-ing at the studios, and laughing with friends. But as you say, I don’t find myself on Twitter more. I already read a lot, and I already write a lot. I think I am meditating more. 🙏

    1. Those are all good things – I find myself being in touch a lot more with old friends, including one I had not talked to in at least 25 years. I’m walking a lot more and in fact will be heading out shortly. 🙂 Thanks for the visit, Pam!

  16. It is strange ho time gets away from us when we have the time. I planeed towrite and read lots, and despite getting through some books seem to find myself stuck on Modern Art and the Death of Culture. As for blogging, well that’s up and down as usual! Visiting is proving problematic too, I try to visit at least once a week now.

    1. Hi Ste J – thanks for reading. I think we were tricked into thinking that having a lot of extra time would let us accomplish a lot of reading and blogging, but I did not foresee being distracted. It’s better now, but I still can’t read and blog all day. Hope your book is holding your interest now!

      1. I managed to get through it and have gone fir something lighter this time. It’s guaranteed that when life gets back to normal we will regret missing out on things we didn’t get done. Typical!

  17. I probably tell myself ten times a year that I’m going to do more with my blog, blog reading, and Twitter account….and manage to stick to that for about a week :)) The surprising part I suppose is that, since we don’t really have an official weekend now, I’m working every day. I think my last day off was sometime in late February. But at least all that work takes my mind off things!

    1. Hi Tammie – I know what you mean. My library job is only part time, but I find that I’ve spent more time than usually working remotely because it’s a good distraction. I’m finding better balance now. Hope you are too – stay well and thanks for the visit!

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