I am among the millions of Texans affected by Winter Storm Uri. That meant no power, no electricity, no heat, unreliable running water and most of all no cellphone service. We have no generators and what little power that flowed through our devices in case of emergency contact came from the power banks we charged nights before.
I spent my hours conserving every amount of juice I had until the storm was over, or at least until the power came back on long enough for me to recharge. Black ice covered the roads around my neighborhood, leaving my family and I with no way to seek warmer shelter without fear of getting into an accident.
When I wasn’t playing a round or two board games on my switch, I did nothing but eat, sleep and read on my kindle. While it helped pass the time, I had to monitor the battery life of all my devices. What I would be hours in fun was now only enjoyable in small increments.
Despite the long blackout, the night was bearable. My family and I keep our spirits up by making light-hearted jokes about frontier living. When it got dark, we cooked dinner under candlelight and made small conversation. Most of us camped out next to the fireplace under mountains of blankets to keep warm before bed.
I was, and still am, eager to get back to work on building my writing career, on finishing blog posts long overdue, and especially on plotting and world building. When the storm hit, my aspirations froze like the ice on the roads. I wondered how I might stay productive when I had very little access to anything. Not wanting to make this post any longer than necessary, I want to recap what I did to keep myself occupied during the storm.
Due to lack of electricity, my laptop became a last-minute power reserve. Instead, I ended up reading whatever I could find in my kindle library. I didn’t just read books on entertainment, but also read up on how I could better myself as a writer. I’m a firm believer that it’s always good to keep several books in your reading arsenal. If I grew bored with one book, I switched to another and keep my mind active.
I read more self-improvement books in between my morning naps. In the evening, when I wanted to settle down right before bed, I read for entertainment.
For self-improvement, I chose:
- The Business of Being A Writer by Jane Friedman
- The Blog Startup by Meera Kothand
- The Profitable Content System by Meera Kothand
- Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn
I’m always trying to improve my writing business as there is a lot that I still don’t know. I recommend anyone who is serious about turning their writing into a business to read those books.
For entertainment, I chose several books from X. Aratare. I am a big fan of X. Aratare and all their works. Every story I pick from their collection, under both X. Aratare and Raythe Reign, I’ve enjoyed thoroughly from beginning to end. They are the kind of writer I aspire to be. X. Aratare has built entertaining and immersive worlds that any reader can fall in love with. Like them, I also want to be a source of inspiration for other writers who aren’t ashamed to write stories that explore forbidden romances.
The books I chose were:
When I wasn’t reading, I kept a notebook close by my planner. I didn’t use my laptop because if I needed power, I could siphon what little electricity it held and have a chance at communication for another day.
Though it had been a while since I wrote it in a notebook, I can honestly say every writer should have at least one in case of emergencies. Having a notebook gave me time to slow my thoughts. I focused on a thought and deliberated on whether it was important to my writing or jot down ideas to use for later.
I debated whether I should post this. After much thought, I wanted to share my experience in case anyone is out there feeling alone or isolated during these times.
I want to say that I’m blessed on two accounts. First, I have a roof over my head. I know there are many who are without home and those with homes that are still vulnerable to this storm. My thought and prayers go out to both and I hope yours does too.
My second blessing is that I was with my family when Winter Storm Uri hit, so I had others to keep me company. For those of you who have become isolated in your apartments because of the storm, I hope this post makes you feel less alone. With the weather being how it was, I know firsthand the difficulty that came with connecting to friends and family.
I hope that those who are reading this are staying safe and warm until the weather improves. As a side note, I want to wish everyone a happy belated valentine’s day. I hope you had an excellent weekend.