On Writing

Write Like It’s Your Job: Quarantine Edition

Write Like It’s Your Job: Quarantine Edition

When I set out to name this year Write Like It’s Your Job with quarterly and monthly goals, I had no idea how the year would change…and how soon.

While some have taken this chance to write more with slower schedules or less outside commitments, others have struggled to create or keep to their writing rhythms consistently with all the changes and news of coronavirus and racial injustice. While my outside schedule has slowed, I have not found my hours more free.

How do you write like it’s your job when the future is unknown?

For years, I had the thoughts and goals of a published writer, but I did not have the discipline. It would come and go with pregnancy and childrearing, and–perhaps, rightly so (but that’s another discussion). I had the desires, goals, and even ideas to make a career out of writing, but not the practice.

So now, when my kids aren’t walking up every two hours and the chaos of motherhood has been normalized (and everyone can pee on their own and get their own snacks) it is easier to have a writing routine an stick to it.

So what does any of this have to do with writing in quarantine?

  1. It is what it is. Sometimes other things take precedent, sometimes you just have to do what you need to do to get by.
  2. Feed your soul and creativity. Try another creative outlet that’s not writing. Who knows, creating in a different manner may inspire and focus your writing.
  3. Write when you can. Twenty minutes. Thirty. Try a writing prompt. Let your brain follow that new idea. Don’t hold yourself to words counts or self-imposed deadlines.
  4. If you want to see steady progress, write just a little day by day. Bird by bird.

Goal Update for March & April…and May & June:

In March, I went to Saga Writer’s Conference. Learned a lot. Took pages and pages of notes. Felt overwhelmed, but also inspired.

I’ve joined as the poetry contributor for Wildflowers, a creative magazine for girls, with “Dandelion Toes” for the Spring issue and “There’s Magic in the Water” for the Summer issue (printing now).

I did fairy tale retelling workshop with Jen Campbell. Sign up for my newsletter to read my retelling of Hansel & Gretel in the July edition of Between Worlds.

I prepped a few story bibles for my next historical fairy tale retelling.

I continued working on The Sea & All Its Stars. Yes, still. But there’s hope in the dark tunnel of first drafting. After I thought I was done with the first draft, I found on a read through three chapters in the middle that were still in outline format. Gag. I’ve been slowly working on finishing those and getting distracted with more research. Someone somewhere is going to care if I don’t use the correct Byzantine naval terms, right?

How has your writing been during this season?