As we near the turn of the year with a hopeful promise of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, I wanted to stop and consider any writerly lessons I’ve learned from the quarantine isolation and social distancing experience since the experiences may eventually be used as grist in the fiction writing mill.
Fortunately for me, quarantine didn’t impact my daily writing output. I’ve followed the same routine I had pre-COVID, working on my WIP (e.g., Work in Progress) during the mornings and taking care of any marketing and promotion or other author business related chores in the afternoon.
I suspect this routine sameness directly correlates to the fact that I don’t have school age children quarantined at home.
A surprising lockdown silver lining is the availability of
online writer’s conferences. I love attending conferences and conventions.
They’re my reward for doing the creative writing work. I’ve always had
international conferences like St. Hilda’s Crime Fiction Weekend in Oxford,
England and Bloody Scotland on my radar, but in 2020 everything went online and
best of all, free. There were no more excuses for not setting aside the time to
attend them and I joyfully signed up. I’ve now been introduced to an expansive
brave new world of European crime fiction authors with distinctly non-American plots
and writing styles. It’s been an eye-opening opportunity with lots of room for
new personal writerly growth.