By: Traci Kenworth
“Always thought being a writer would be one of the most useless things you could be in a zombie apocalypse, but it turns out arts and culture and storytelling is what helps us get through. Along with science, doctors, nurses, delivery people, farm workers and supermarket cashiers.”―
Going through this crisis is going to be an experience we won’t soon forget. Are there things you now have time to do?
- What do you expect to learn?
- How can you use this time to grow?
- Are you trying to be productive or using this time to recharge?
- Do you think it’ll bring families closer or tear them further apart?
We have a shelter-in-place here in Ohio, one of the hardest hit for the corona virus. It hasn’t cleared the streets. In fact, I see more people than ever going out. How has it affected your area? Your job, life or goals?
Do You Work from Home?
Some of us have taken to bringing the work home. Who would have ever thought our office would open up there? We still work a nine-to-five job, some stretching into over hours as before only there’s no commute. Everything done via chat. Only some of the chat apps out there had problems with hackers and took a nosedive. Others of us have worked from home for a long time now. Doing what we can here and there to bring in income from freelancing to writing full-time.
Things look precarious right now. A lot of businesses are pulling back, and either laying people off or furloughed. Bookstores have closed unless they have an online store.
The publishing industry has taken a significant hit as well, with fewer manuscripts sold, although some agents say they are still accepting submissions. A lot of houses are pushing back the publishing dates of the inventory they already have. It stands to reason; any WIPs will take even longer to see print.
Is Your Writing Less of a Priority?
So, what as a writer should we do? Write less? Hold off on our works? I think the answer depends on each of us. It’s okay if the writing valve isn’t working; it’s not about getting the word count on any given day, either.
In times like these, it’s natural not to feel inspired or like your WIP is even that important considering what’s going on. I bet not a whole lot of writing happened after 9/11. We grieve in our own ways, and who knows how long all this will go on?
Is Taking Classes a Good Thing Right Now (Online, of course.)?
It’s always good to improve your craft, and learning online is a safe alternative to the classroom in our current situation.
A good friend got me a subscription to Masterclass, something I wouldn’t have been able to afford on my own. So far, I’m taking courses from Neil Gaiman. There’s a lot of different disciplines if you’re not interested in writing. There’s design, DIY projects, decorating, just about anything you could think of actually. Try it and see. They allow you to review classes beforehand, so you know what you’re getting.
I’ve always wondered why I didn’t pursue writing in college, although I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about doing so. Instructors who forced students to write their way so that they had to spend years retraining themselves. Those that found genre writing shoddy at best. I’m sorry, but literary writing is NOT the only important writing out there. I’d rather be doing something I love then have to write for a grade based on what the teacher wanted.
That’s why I enjoy learning online. You can get a lot of information on YouTube as well. There are excellent, expert instructors out there on every subject.
Are You Using This Time to Read?
Have you been able to read during this? I admit I haven’t. At first, I was even busier, taking my daughter to work, running errands, getting myself to the doctors.
Now, most of the doctor’s appointments are virtual, saving me time and money. It’s been awkward to get my phone level for my doctors to see me on the screen, but I’m starting to navigate that better.
I’m getting back into reading, and it is making me feel SO much better. For a while, I can escape this world and its pressures. I can soar to new heights. Watch characters facing obstacles and winning in the end. I think that’s what reading has to offer a lot of people: comfort.
Who doesn’t want to read about those who have it worse off than us? We also get to cheer on the character who defeats evil. And that’s always a feel-good read.
Reading can educate us:
- Narrowing our differences
- Learning from others
- Caring about diverse people
- Overcoming our fears
There are all different types of people. Good and bad. Hopefully, we can avoid the bad. But what if we’re experiencing them in the wrong perspective? Maybe they just look dangerous. They could be our savior in times of darkness. The point is: fiction brings us closer together.
Who doesn’t love the elves, hobbits, and dwarves of Lord of the Rings? How different are all of them? And they found a way to work with humans who they mistrusted. Indeed, if they could bury their differences, we can too?
Families: Our Main Concern
Moments spent with loved ones is precious. Perhaps, if nothing else, this crisis has taught us that. It’s brought families closer together. I hope that doesn’t get ripped apart by the day-to-day “normal” when we return to our regular lives.
My hope is that we can still smile at each other, say hello and not cringe at the sight of one another. I hope there aren’t a lot of divorces or break-ups over all this. That would be a shame. A crisis should unite us, not drive us further apart.
As a family, we should brave this together. Not apart.
- Hold on to one another.
- Hug each other.
- Engage in conversations and truly listen.
Life is about living. Together. Nobody says there won’t be hurt. But we can get through it as long as we have each other.
Bio: Traci Kenworth
Traci Kenworth writes all genres of YA as well as the occasional historical romance. She lives in Ohio with her son, daughter, and four cats, chasing snippets of whatever story she’s working on at the time.
She has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Writing saved her during a dark period in her life.
She is forever grateful to God for this way out of the darkness and into the light. That’s the type of hero/heroine she writes about, survivors and those they love. Her writings show others a way back when they think everything is lost.
Her character’s stories give the reader that most welcome gift – hope. Some other things she enjoys: genealogy, riding horseback, and, of course, reading.
Follow Traci on her adventures of getting published.
Find out what Traci is up to on Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing