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As I’m reading poems written by our new poet laureate, I can feel her angst. My friend and fellow writer, Cheri L. Roman, recently expressed her disquiet in her newsletter, Brass Rag Press

In the days since my COVID quarantine, my feelings of deep anxiety have frequently made me unable to accomplish what I want to do in my writing. I write to right, but where do I start? Currently, I feel overwhelmed.

While I attempt to rewrite my novel, Semi-Colon Tattoo, I’ll write postcard and other poems. I cannot concentrate on longer works right now. I’m not reading full-length novels because I lose concentration. Are you finding it difficult to concentrate? If so, you might want to try reading short stories, poems, and novellas. Please don’t totally give up on reading because reading makes us empathetic. If there is one thing our world needs right now, it’s empathy.

To understand some people, I’m trying hard to do as Atticus Finch recommends Scout do in To Kill a Mockingbird: climb into their skin and really walk around in it. Reading a book gives me the ability to identify with others. I think it may be the only way I can keep from sinking in despair.

If you need to escape from your reality for a while, I suggest burying yourself in a good book.