Everything has to be relevant now. It’s kind of annoying, to be honest. You can’t even watch a commercial nowadays without seeing people in masks and on Zoom calls.
Aren’t people tired of all this? Doesn’t everyone just want a break? Don’t you want to read a normal blog post without hearing about how it’s somehow relevant to pandemics and social distancing?
Good thing most writers are introverts. Works out well.
But one of the things I like most about writing is that I can go to Starbucks, order my favorite mocha, and sit for hours working on my book. And now… are you kidding? Who can even drink coffee in a mask? And it’s probably illegal to sit in coffee shops for hours anyway.
And marketing? Don’t even get me started. It’s a gamble. The economy’s not what it used to be, so I know a few authors who had to change their publishing plans.
And what about research? I hop on the good ol’ internet to look up a fact, and everywhere I see virus this and government that, and all I wanted was a sample class schedule for the university my character is attending, and all I’m getting is a long list of safety precautions.
There is no more getting together with your writer friends to have a nice, carefree, caffeine-filled afternoon of stories, unless you want to sit in a mask so far away from everyone else that you have to yell to hear each other. I mean, you could always video call, but after just two classes on Zoom, everyone was already tired of video calls.
The next thing you know, NaNoWriMo is going to be illegal because novel writing season happens to correlate with flu season, and flu symptoms happen to be pretty much identical to corona symptoms. Therefore, writing increases the spread of the virus, because that logic is totally sound, just like all the other logic going around nowadays.
My point? Writers, it’s hard. You may feel overlooked because everyone assumes that because you’re a writer you’re an introvert and never leave the house anyway. And even if you are that type of writer, it’s hard. Heck, even if you’re not a writer, this is for you to hear too.
The world is changed.
I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.
When all seems lost, Lady Galadriel’s voice rises out of the golden light of Lothlórien speaking words of wisdom. Listen to the Elves, guys. They know what they’re talking about. Most of the time.
But the world is changed, and writing is not what it used to be. You can’t just expect writers to adjust easily because they stare at computers in their pajamas all day anyway. Writers have feelings too–lots and lots of feelings that get spilled out in the pages of stories. Check on your writer friends; make sure they’re not getting trapped in the darkness of their own minds.
Someone once told me that it’s okay to feel sad about sad things, and I wish I remember who that was, because I would credit them. And I know lots of people react to the changing world with anger instead of sadness, but sadness and grief are equally valid emotions.
Writing may sound like a great activity to do during pandemics, but the truth is, it is so much richer in community. And, like many things, community has suffered. It’s not what it used to be. And it’s okay to be sad about this.
Like Lady Galadriel said, the world has changed, and it feels like the next big disaster is lurking right around the corner. But, do you know what is actually lurking around the corner right now, that no pandemic can get in the way of?
National Novel Writing Month.
And now, without further ado, may I present you with the following covid-free paragraph that has nothing to do with pandemics. That’s right, just a normal ol’ paragraph like the ones from the good ol’ days.
November is, like, a month away already, which means I’m going to be writing another novel, which means this is my official invitation for you (yes, you) to join me! Wanna stay up into the wee hours of the morning with me, drinking coffee and eating chocolate and stringing words together until they no longer make sense? Wanna go on an epic adventure with me, through strange lands yet unexplored? Wanna defeat impossible odds and earn lifetime bragging rights? Of course you do! Join me, and we can rule the galaxy together. (Here’s a link to the NaNoWriMo website, if you’d like more official information.)
I’ll probably be writing more about NaNoWriMo in the future, so keep a lookout for those posts. Happy writing! And as always, feel free to reach out to me if you need something. 😉