By Cortney Connolly
As an artist, quarantine initially felt like a dream; I could focus on my novel that was 80% complete and give myself a cleanse from my previous chaotic New York City lifestyle. I have felt the urge to curate and begin the groundwork for many other ambitions I had, just not had the time to do in normal life.
However, quarantine faced many more challenges than just having free time; it seemed impossible to get out of bed and begin that work I lived to create. First, there were the phases of grief that put me through a whirlwind. It seemed inappropriate to hustle through an international pandemic. And I wasn’t the only one: my friends called me about their frustrations with this newfound inability to work. It was as if all of our outside influences wanted a product that we just didn’t have the heart to produce.
My mother told me to use this time to make something, but, in order to make anything, there needs to be a spark, and the only spark I felt was the stale energy of the depressing news circulating through my house.
Work ethic and efficiency in my previous life defined my daily routine, so as soon as the quarantine slug of unproductively hit me, I began to lose my morale. Creating something felt irreparable to the destruction and pain COVID-19 had marked. Nothing seemed appropriate, or even worthy, to share the same airtime as deadly social and economic distress.
So I came to a conclusion: it was okay to feel unmotivated or even uninspired; we are going through an unprecedented international pandemic. It’s okay to need a minute. Inspiration will not come the same because we aren’t really living life necessary to create work while being cooped up in our homes. The most important things to do through this time were to get educated, learn how you can help, and stay home.
So, if I wasn’t going to create work, I found the next best thing as an artist: to go back to the basics and consume others’ past great works. Instead of thinking of my next great idea, I found it more approachable to dive into books, movies and other great things past creatives cultivated for consumption and to be comforted.
Here are my friends and I’s curated list of great things to comfort and inspire you through possibly our most unproductive and uninspiring period of life.
Stanley Kubrick – The Shining (Film)
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Stanley Kubrick – Clockwork Orange (Film)
The Children’s Hour (Film)
The Platform (Film)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Conversations with Friend by Sally Rooney
Life is Beautiful (Film)
Joe Rogan Podcast
Not All Heroes Wear Capes (Instrumental)
Here With Me – GFOTY
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Cortney Connolly is a content writer and social media intern for Honeysuckle Magazine.