May 22, 2020

Self-Isolation Projects

Today's post is mostly for me, though I'll be glad if it inspires or encourages anyone who happens to read it. I've only recently found myself surfacing from a nearly three week long slump where I had no motivation to do anything other than actual tasks for my job, reading fan fiction and spending hours playing Animal Crossing (but more on that last one momentarily). While these things are all fun (except the job stuff, which is mostly tedious), I personally felt like I wasn't being productive in the ways I'm used to and it was starting to make me feel sad and a little anxious. 

Luckily, and hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by saying this, it feels like my motivation to be productive and get to working on projects feels like it's made a return! I wanted to make a list of my self-isolation projects and activities, partly as motivation to start/complete some and partly as a reminder that I've already managed to do so much (even if it doesn't feel that way). 


fandom bullet journal
Kristin and I had been discussing bujo ideas and inspiration related to our fandoms before self-isolation began. I finally sat down one day and got started working on the pages I wanted to include! I'm particularly pleased that my attempts at lettering and illustration have met with personal success, and it's been fun to think about how the pages will be laid out and what I want to keep track of. It's still very much a work in progress (and will certainly be for the foreseeable future), but I'm proud of what I've done so far. 

fan fiction
It's been nearly two years since I last wrote any sort of fan fiction (though I have many outlines and notes and scenes scribbled down in a variety of places). I started working on a new fic last month on a whim. It's been interesting to stretch my writing muscles again, as they feel a little weak from lack of regular use, and I'm still trying to find my rhythm. But I do know how the story is going to play out and don't have much more work left to do before my first draft of this short piece is done! I'll have to edit it afterwards, but it should be easy enough to do that.

I bake for fun (and much prefer it to cooking, honestly), but in the world pre-COVID, I didn't actually get around to doing it very much unless there was a special occasion. I've been baking a little bit more now that I'm at home a lot, and it's honestly been really great! I have a few more recipes I'd like to try, but I definitely think my cookies are a good staple recipe (and Macky loves them, which is a bonus)!

rewatching all the Studio Ghibli films
Macky and I began doing this right at the start of self-isolation! I wanted to rewatch the Studio Ghibli films just for fun, and also because they bring me a lot of comfort. We've watched only two of them so far (since I got distracted by the anime I'm watching with Rachel), but we already have plans to pick up where we left off starting this weekend.

design my Animal Crossing island
I got into Animal Crossing: New Horizons nearly a month after everyone else, but it is my newest favorite distraction these days. Working on daily tasks every day helps reduce my anxiety, and having the option to modify the island (or my avatar) as I see fit is a lot of fun. I've reached the point where I have more power to customize my island, and I have plans for how I want everything to look eventually! (I also named my island Konoha. If you know, you know.)


more fan fiction
I still have a running list of other fan fiction short stories and scenarios I'd like to write, as well as a larger fan fiction trilogy that I really want to complete. I had an entire week in March where I kept coming up with ideas and dialogue and scenes, and I've got them all written down. All that's left to do, really, is tackle them!

first draft
Apart from fan fiction, I actually also have a number of scenes in my head for a contemporary romance I've been thinking about for over half a year. I feel like it needs a touch more time to percolate, but I've decided that I would like to get a really bare bones draft completed.

knitting a scarf
This felt like a good time to work on more hands on crafts, so I decided it was time to finally learn how to knit (as inspired by my friend Jodi). I have the materials I need to get started, so there's no reason I can't sit down, do my research and get started on practicing my stitches by working on a scarf.

recording songs
I really enjoy singing, though I so rarely do it outside of karaoke or special events. But I'm excited that I have three different tracks to work on! I need to rehearse with Macky (who is the person who helps me refine my singing), but there's no doubt in my mind that this particular project will be completed sooner rather than later.

rewatch Avatar: The Last Airbender
ATLA hit Netflix on May 15 and I've been telling everyone I know to watch it ever since. I loved binge watching the show a couple of years ago, but I'm definitely overdue for a rewatch. Macky and I are planning to get started on this over the long weekend, and I cannot wait to hang out with the Gaang again!

If you happen to be tackling any projects of your own, I'd love to hear about them so that I can be a source of support! And if you're taking a break or unable to work on projects of your own, I hope you'll be kind to yourself and do what feels necessary or right to give you peace in this particularly turbulent period. 


  1. It was great hearing about your projects, and I'd love to get updates like this more often, if you feel inclined to share! Rewatching Avatar and Ghibli movies sounds very tempting, and I've already rewatched Spirited Away recently, so maybe I've already started! My main project for the last couple of months has been final edits on my second book. It's going slowly, with lots of mental health breaks, but I hope to have the book out by the end of the year. Other than that, I've been losing myself in Animal Crossing, The Sims, and A LOT of YouTube - particularly Let's Plays.

  2. It's okay not to feel motivated right now. Do what you can and take time to work through it. It took about three weeks before I could enjoy writing again after the lockdown began. Take care and good luck on your projects!

  3. I've been rewatching ATLA as well, and baking a bit more. I jumped on the bread bandwagon and I was pretty impressed with my first attempt!

    -Heather | Nerdy By Nature Blog

  4. I decided I want to watch ATLAB for the first time all the way through -- but I only allow myself to watch it while on the treadmill - so its a big motivator. Good luck with your projects!!

  5. I need to get back to my bujo too! It's on my list for this week :-D And I'm so curious about what fandom your tackling for your fic- expect a text any second now! Yesss to Ghibli!! Andrew and I are planning on that too once we finish our Marvel rewatch! I obviously share your sentiments re: Animal Crossing! And enjoy Avatar! We blew through our rewatch SO QUICK. It was unsurprisingly, the best.


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