No, that’s not clickbait.
Coronavirus has affected my writing in ways I didn’t expect, but find unsurprising. For example:
Cheating on other stories
I’m a predominantly speculative fiction writer, and over the years have had tons of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic ideas flood my mind. I’ve acted on a couple, but mostly let them stay in the background to focus on other stories.
In February I finished a story that’s now being subbed. I also started to work on another and got about 25% in. It’s stayed that way for most of March thus far. It’s not that I don’t have words or ideas to throw at it, it’s because I’m being courted by other tales.
My head’s filled with characters begging to be let out. Worlds and settings drenched in ideas integral to what’s happening right now. It’s made me a story cheater, and I hope those other characters can forgive me.
Uploading unedited/incomplete stories
Before the fog shrouding my creativity dispersed, I hadn’t written much for five years. Prior to that “hiatus” I wrote a lot. I’d self-published some of my work (I’ve removed it), and others were either unedited, or unfinished.
COVID-19 made me want to share my stories, no matter what stage they’re at. Some I’m sharing as whole books, others excerpts, but it’s like having my own little “Wattpad” of my stories for people to enjoy.
I doubt I would have wanted to share titles without proper editing or being unfinished before. Sure, I’ve kept some under wraps – those I want to sub, but otherwise I’m good with my shares.
In that way, this pandemic has made me less worried about things being perfect.
Blocking everything else out
This started to happen before COVID-19 escalated.
For a long time I’d been accustomed to living alone. So whenever I wrote, I’d just have to deal with the usual ambient sound – birds, cars, etc. Which I love by the way.
Now I live with my boyfriend, that’s changed. While he doesn’t bother me when he knows I’m working, just having another presence around has been difficult to adjust to. I’ve even snapped at him cause he asked me a question in the middle of writing a paragraph.
With the virus’ impact, he’s home and around more often. I knew I had to deal with my aversion to “human noise” while writing, way better than I had been. I’ve had be more patient and learn how to block him out.
Nowadays he talks to me and I don’t even hear him at times. It’s not being rude. But, to produce in the way I want to without biting someone’s head off, I changed my approach.
Being thankful for the gift of writing
I’m more thankful than ever now for being able to tell stories. It’s an ability that allows us writers to take people from current reality to somewhere else. That’s a gift.
With so many around the world unable to go out and move freely, information/entertainment is necessary. Writers are providing both these things and I’m one of them. That’s not just a blessing, it’s a responsibility. It’s one I’m happy to have :).