#WFH Diaries: Emily Draper of Quirk Creative

Even as parts of the world begin to open up amid the pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Emily Draper, a copywriter at Quirk Creative.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I'm a copywriter and comedy writer (normally) based in Brooklyn.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you? 

I've been spending the quarantine at my mom's place in New Jersey. It's me, my mom, and my mom's cat Ollie.

What's your work situation at the moment. 

I started a new job at Quirk Creative just three days before the quarantine started. It's been weird getting to know all my new co-workers virtually, but thanks to Slack and Zoom calls, I feel like I'm starting to vibe with the group. Quirk specializes in video advertising, so it's been a fun challenge to figure out how we can make new content for our clients without shooting new footage.

Describe your socializing strategy

For the first few weeks of social distancing, I was all about the Zoom calls. I was doing one or two every night. But it turns out, they're EXHAUSTING, especially when they're with a big group. I still do a few a week, but I've definitely cut back. I also try to do more phone chats or FaceTime calls one-on-one. 

Also, my life (and many others' lives) is incredibly boring right now. Other than my experiments in bread baking and at-home workouts, I have nothing to report to my friends when I call them. So I've found it's helpful to have some fun conversation-starter questions in your back pocket. 

What are you reading?

I'm reading Becoming by Michelle Obama and The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Becoming is obviously great. A really honest look at how Michelle Obama forged her own path and what it's like to be married to a literal genius like Barack. The Artist's Way is a 12-week program aimed at accessing your creativity. It's a lot of work, and it took me a while to get on board with the author's spiritual recommendations, but I'm four weeks in, and so far it's very effective. 

What are you watching?

I've been watching The Sopranos since social distancing started. I hate to admit it, but the straight guys were right about this one. This show rules. 

What are you listening to?

I love What a Time to Be Alive. It's a podcast hosted by three New York comedians, where they count down the five most absurd news stories from the past week. In general, they steer clear of coronavirus stories, and just riff on other bizarre news. It makes me laugh out loud while I'm walking alone in my neighborhood, which is a good way to make sure people maintain a six-foot distance. 

How are you staying fit? 

I have these bad boys that I use a lot. I've also been doing HIIT workouts with fitnessblender.com for years. They have thousands of free videos that you can filter by equipment type, training type, duration and body focus. And they kick my butt. 

Have you taken up a hobby? 

Call me cliché, but I'm baking bread and loving it. The New York Times' no-knead bread recipe is a revelation. First because it's super easy. Second because it uses just a fraction of the yeast that other recipes call for, which is good now that yeast is becoming scarce. 

Any tips for getting necessities? 

I'm wary to share my secret, but here goes: The only way to get a grocery delivery slot on Peapod is to sign up the minute the clock strikes midnight—and this is important—Chicago time. So if you live on the East Coast like I do, that means signing up at 1 a.m. It took me three days of trial and error to figure this out.

An awkward moment since all this started. 

My mom walking in on my virtual therapy session. Ugh. 

Best work email you got since this started. 

Not an email, but my co-workers have a Slack thread dedicated to "inspiration." People have been posting snippets and videos about the inspiring ways people and brands have stepped up during the pandemic. There are some real tear-jerkers in there.

An aha! moment since all this started. 

Thanks to social distancing, I'm more well-rested than I've ever been in my life. Obviously that statement shows my incredible privilege—I don't have kids or dependents, and I'm not an essential worker, so I have the luxury of rolling out of bed and hopping online.

That said, sleep makes a huge difference when it comes to my mental health. The person I am on eight (or nine!) hours of sleep is so much more patient, hopeful and calm than the person I am on five or six hours. 

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

To quote newly minted heartthrob Andrew Cuomo: Only God knows that. I am hopeful this will lead us to invest more in social programs like universal healthcare and universal basic income. Also a new appreciation as a society for what and who is truly essential. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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