For the first time since shelter in place began, I woke up and didn’t check Twitter or Facebook as soon as I grabbed my phone.

I did check my email to see that Julie and Daphne had made comments on a website outline we’d been collaborating on. I opened the document and from there opened another doc we’d been working on waiting to be edited. And another. And another.

For years I’ve struggled to create. Since grad school, I’ve started two different book manuscripts that are collecting dust in my hard drive. For a couple of years I didn’t even finish a single essay I started. I told myself it was because I was juggling three jobs to survive, then my dog died, and then I got a puppy. But really, it was because I didn’t feel inspired.

And while there is a certain amount of rote practice required—the act of sitting down to create even if you don’t feel motivated, of committing to put something on the page even if it’s shit—inspiration does play a role. And inspiration is contagious.

This website has given me a sense of purpose. When we got off our first Zoom call with our polycule with the idea for Poly in Place, I was so excited I nearly couldn’t sleep. Here was a project I could see myself committing to, something that was bigger than myself, something that meant more than my navel-gazing essays. And while writing a blog of my experiences in quarantine still requires a bit of self-indulgence, it feels different contributing to a thing that has the potential to help other people. And what better way to do it than to collaborate with those that I love, the people who get to know the real me?

I wake up in the morning and my brain knows it’s time to write. Perhaps it’s a distraction from the looming dread of out there, a coping mechanism, but I’d like to be optimistic and think that I’ve found a rhythm again. Or maybe for the first time, really. I’ve never been able to say that I’ve had a consistent writing practice. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been still long enough. A life in the Bay Area is a life dedicated to busyness, the constant flurry of work and play where there is always something to do. Maybe boredom really does sow the seeds of creativity.

I don’t ascribe to the belief that everyone should come out of quarantine with a new skill or having done something worthwhile. That is dangerous, capitalist bullshit. I think it’s enough to come out of this alive, and maybe only slightly traumatized. Anything else is gravy.

But the days are easier when there’s a reason to get out of bed. And right now, the polycule, this website, you all, are giving me that extra push.

Krista is a writer, dedicated dog-mom, and someone who loves people and organizing gatherings. She helps other people tell their stories working as a coordinator for a graduate creative writing program.

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