Rebecca's bonnet, made during lockdown, in her front room gallery window

Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect to succeed immediately: You might. You might not. In life things rarely turn out how you expect, why should anything you make be otherwise?

If we become a nation of novelists & even if most of the novels are “terrible” (as so many commentators and gatekeepers all seem to agree they will be), I still think the fact of so many people writing or wanting to share a story would be a fine thing.

Especially if, like Iceland, we also become a nation of people who take time to read and pay attention to the art our friends and fellows create for us.

Sure: some of those people writing and shouting about it, will simply be wanting to show off. See past them and you’ll find many will have made something that is precious to them, in that they found this story or idea and wanted to put out in the world.

And they spent the time they had doing that.

It’s not nothing.

So, if you want to write / draw / sing / play / compose / choreograph / invent / make / pot / sculpt / cook / garden / sew / knit and you can grab a bit of time, space and materials, crack on I say.

Crack on -  and also make space for those near to you who might want to do the same.

(Shakespeare, we are continually being reminded, wrote King Lear during plague season, but he didn’t launder sheets, cook dinner, resolve arguments, live with a disability and sort out the home-schooling).

Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect to succeed immediately: You might. You might not. In life things rarely turn out how you expect, why should anything you make be otherwise?

Often the surprise result is better anyway.

As an occasional writer, I know my characters often have very different ideas about what they want to say and do than I originally thought they would. Like your children.

Keep going. It’s for you. And maybe for sharing.

Whatever you make would not have been made without your idea and creativity. And creativity only runs out if we stop using it and if we stop looking and finding it in unlikely places.

The times call for both science & art. They call for practice, discipline, sticking your neck out, risk-taking AND for creativity to adapt our ways of working to equip the NHS and to strengthen us all.

Yes it shouldn’t have come to this but equally #COVID19 is not the only crisis we are facing. #Creativity and collaboration are needed now more than ever.

Art is needed to help us make sense of it all. A graph with an exponential curve only shows what is happening, not what it means. Art and science are only ever half the story.

And, of course, there are many of us can’t do this now. Who don’t have the luxury of committing hours to writing or making. We have other priorities. We have major calls on our time. Or we’re ill/grieving like I have been.

To be honest, in the last few days, I’ve written a few lines of poetry, I’ve compiled some photographs taken before lockdown got serious. On Easter Sunday, I fashioned a bonnet suspended in my front room gallery window to share with the street. It’s taken all my energy to offer that. And brought me huge pleasure to hear kids pointing out the hat flying in the window.

And that will do for now. For us who are struggling, now is the time to enjoy the art and creativity that’s around us.

There’ll be time for us to be creative when this is healed.