Writerly Things 7/20/2020: When Things Unravel, You Make New Plans
Oftentimes, in the midst of life when major changes occur, we stumble and try to find an even keel. We’re not quite sure if we should go on with things the way they were before. Change radically. Or fall somewhere in between. This pandemic has been like that I’m sure for everyone.
If You Wrote Before This.
Should you continue? Do you change the subject matter? Become a bit more serious? Or do you try to lend a bit more humor to your work. To lighten the mood for others. Perhaps still, you write about the world before all this. Trying to ignore all the changes that will come to pass.
Who would’ve ever thought we’d need to wear masks in public to combat the spread of a virus? That we’d need to religiously sanitize everything to abort any possible chance of it getting to us. And still, some people have done all these things and fell victim anyway.
Like a lot of others, I quit writing during these past months. I even quit reading for the most part which is bad for a writer. Those new ideas that we chase flee when we give them no sunlight. They need to grow. Otherwise, they just shut down and die. How many ideas for stories I wonder have been lost by all of this? How many are still falling to the side?
Sometimes, it takes a while to reach down inside of us and pull out the strength to start again. Both in life and in writing. We’re not always going to get it right. There are obstacles ahead, for sure. The time to begin again resides in each of us. Perhaps you’re not ready. That’s okay. Your day will come.
If you are ready, you may need to look at things differently. Rearrange your former schedule. Especially if you’re working from home or the kids are out of school. The way things are going, maybe they won’t go back in fall either. With flu season upon us, they’ll likely close and reopen often to check on Covid-19. After all, how will they be able to tell the difference?
Back to rearranging. I’ve slowed things down a bit with my schedule so out of tune. I’m switching nights to do edits one night and writing the next. This will keep both in motion and help me not feel so rushed. I’ve tried to take the pressure off when able because who needs that? They’ll be time enough for that during deadlines.
When you do start again, take it slow. Don’t run a marathon. Just concentrate on getting one paragraph down the first night. Do that for a couple nights then increase the output to two paragraphs. Build on things like that till your back to where you want to be.
Schedule in reading time just as well as writing. Reading is an important tool to learn your craft better. It helps you to visualize how your story frame should be. Don’t copy, of course. Just think like someone setting up a scene for a TV show. Bring in the scenery. The props. Finally, the actors. Set them Watch them perform the story for you. This is part of getting into the flow. Letting your story come to life.
Do that often enough and you’ll be on your way. Have a great week, take care, and God bless!
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