I held a free webinar about writing new stories for the post-pandemic world. The big takeaway from the webinar was: Writers DO NOT be fooled by this “New Normal” the media’s trying to promote. Instead, let’s find a new appreciation of “normal,” Let’s celebrate and share the new experiences we discovered in lock down: more time with the ones we love, and seeing how much more fulfilled and peaceful life is when you’re focused on the people you care about. Taking into account the frightening difficulties of not working, but choosing to focus on the good anyway. The appreciation of normal allows life to be filled of small peak moments that can give you real joy and happiness are easily missed in the fray of pre-pandemic daily life. Good stories will help us remember when life tries to lure us back into the rat race.
Here’s an example of how one of my students, a successful TV writer took a pandemic experience and used it. Stuck at home, he realized that he’d never taught his teenage son how to shave, hang a picture, or even gone to a sports event. Stuck in his home, the writer discovered how much he loved being with his young teenage son. He taught his son the rules of basketball, how to be handy around the house and many other things. As a result, he’s so happy that he’s now developing a TV series based on getting to know and hang out with his son. I hope it’ll be a comedy!
In another example, there was a man who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and had tried every remedy. When an experimental drug became available, he went into the hospital for it. But it was the time of Covid, and could not see his family. After 25 days, the treatment had worked a little, but he decided that each day without his family was worse than anything. So he checked himself out of the hospital and went home. He’s still alive as I write this, and he told me, “Before the virus, I was focused on how long I could live, but now I’m focused on how well I live, and being with my family.
These stories reflect the better, more human way to value what ‘s important in life, and telling good stories will help them become part of popular culture.
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Please note that there are four places left in the Rewrite Class beginning May 18, 2020.
Professor Marilyn Horowitz