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Editorial: What I Learned As A Creative One Year Into A Pandemic

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

One year ago,

I planned a trip out to California to meet with some artists, businesses, producers, and more. It would’ve been my first trip to the West Coast. I would’ve lectured at Virginia Union University for a marketing class about how I network within the various hip-hop, poetry, and Virginia communities. If that happened, I would have lectured at every four-year university in the 804; already lectured at VCU, VSU, and the University of Richmond at that point on numerous things back in 2019. Then COVID hit us HARD.

To give a brief summary of what I am: a poet, quasi-emcee, journalist, and health professional. A Swiss Army knife of different things would be the best way to describe me. When the pandemic hit, I know it affected plenty of rappers, poets, and business owners of all aspects in harsh ways. At the beginning of March, before COVID testing was even available, I went through the severe symptoms of COVID. Shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue, constant diarrhea, and more. I was sleeping for ten to twelve hours on a daily for two and a half weeks. At the time I didn’t know I had it until months later when I became more educated on COVID through my health job at the time.

While bouncing back from the illness in late March, I was a part of the RVA Rap Elite March Madness tournament. It was a sixty-four emcee competition where the page would post two emcee’s sixty-second videos and whoever had more comments won the rounds. I saw that as an opportunity to promote my poetry. Then as a writer for FeelGood RVA, I saw it as a perfect time to interview video director Alex Acosta (visual credits for Flo Rida’s “My House”, Styles P, and Netflix to name a few). We talked about how he balances his health with a busy job as a video director.

I kept writing to stay creative. I even did some murals at a local community center with some close friends and kept posting poetry on Instagram and Twitter. When every profession outside of the health field hit a simultaneous pause, I saw it as a way to create and find inspiration through the stillness. There were thoughts of publishing a book at the start of COVID, but that didn’t happen until later on in September. I was constantly in online open mics via Zoom and Instagram lives, published articles for the likes of RVA Mag along with numerous articles on FeelGood RVA from interviewing social media strategist Miche