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Writing During a Pandemic

Posted April 20, 2020 7:45 pm
Solitary woman writing in notebook

Undoubtedly our world is filled with an abundance of sadness and uncertainty at the moment. If you’re among those who are not battling more urgent concerns and you’re just trying to figure out how to beat the monotony, this is the perfect time to write. As most of us are at home these days I can’t think of a better hobby or potential source of income than writing and publishing. While some of us draw inspiration from nature, life indoors has its own stimulants and allurements.

Most of the writing advice I’ve read asserts that we should write what we know. If you’re having trouble getting started, think of your days as research opportunities. Write down what you did that day no matter how mundane it seems. You could turn this into a journal and make it part of your memoirs. Even if it’s household chores, playing Go Fish, or putting a mask on to run to the convenience store across the street, I’m sure our descendants will be eager to read what it was like to live through a pandemic!

If autobiographies aren’t your thing, you could also use your journal jottings to create entries for a character’s diary or to invent your protagonist’s backstory. Adding details like day-to-day routines goes a long way in making characters believable and helps place them in time without overtly stating what year it is.

Another idea would be to use the pandemic as a setting for your novel or as insight to write about the near or distant future. Consider:

  • How would human interaction change if everyone was required to adhere to social distancing measures permanently?
  • Would animals overrun the planet if people continued to stay indoors? What animals would thrive? What animals would become extinct?
  • What will the next social media platform look like?
  • What new sports could be created as a result of social distancing?
  • What would the role of robots be and what functions would they perform in a post-pandemic society?

Imagine how our current situation would look in any genre of writing. Science fiction or a non-fiction retelling are the obvious candidates, but they need not be the only genres. What would our current situation look like as a backdrop for a romance novel? What about a mystery? A political thriller?

Creativity can sneak up on us when we least expect it so whatever ignites your passion for writing, once it has been sparked keep it going! If it isn’t about the pandemic that’s great too. Maybe you’ve just needed more time to write or, dare I say it, maybe you’ve been procrastinating. No matter the reason, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

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