How are you doing in times of Coronavirus? Hope you're all safe and well and protecting yourself by social distancing. Thankfully, online pursuits can go ahead.
We're running late this month. But we have a treat for you today as this month's winner of Cafe Terrace, Anstice Brown, has prepared a wonderful guest post, reaching out to writers at this challenging time.
Thank you Anstice!
Wellbeing for Writers During Challenging Times
With all the fear and uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to contribute something positive for my fellow writers, so here are my tips for staying creative in these difficult times.
With everything that’s going on, you could forgive your muse for forgetting to turn up to duty. Your strict writing schedule may need to be abandoned in favour of a more flexible approach. Try setting a timer for short intervals and writing without allowing yourself to edit. Online writing sprints can help with motivation, as can having a writing buddy to cheer you on and hold you accountable.
Planning can make you feel more in control of your situation. It’s not helpful to dwell on worst-case scenarios, but if you have looming deadlines, you should discuss your options with your editor or publisher. It might be possible to extend deadlines or postpone things in the event of illness or ongoing social distancing. Planning for it now will reduce your anxiety about what might go wrong in the future.
If your day job is currently suspended, you are probably juggling working-from-home, housework and home-schooling your kids. You might need to think outside the box when it comes to finding the time to write. Meetings with your writing crew will have to be via video call from now on (Microsoft Teams is a brilliant tool for this).
However, this unique situation does offer some interesting opportunities for book marketing as the majority of people will be at home and needing entertainment. Here are some ideas:
● Run an offer or giveaway for your books.
● Hold an online launch party or author event. You could invent your own hashtag for the occasion, make custom graphics, run giveaways and fan art competitions and post fun excerpts on your blog.
● Video yourself reading from your book or host a writing webinar and share across social media to generate a buzz.
● Put together a free pack of bookish resources for school students.
● Look into writing for Chatables (https://www.chatables.com/), Amazon Alexa’s new conversational storytelling feature.
Writers are often self-critical but it’s now more important than ever to prioritise our mental and physical wellbeing. Writing should be a welcome escape, so if it’s adding to your stress, I’d suggest you take a break. Soak up some sunshine in your garden, stretch your body, get creative with your kids or lose yourself in a good book.
Now is the perfect time to connect with an online writing group like the WEP, IWSG (https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/) or the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. Join in with online events such as Camp NanoWrimo (https://campnanowrimo.org/) in April/July or The Blogging from A-Z Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/) in April to give you a boost of motivation.
We all have to stick together through these challenging times. If you feel yourself struggling, please reach out to someone for support. Stay safe and write on everyone.
Anstice Brown has a BA in Literature and Philosophy and adores her role as a Literacy Learning Assistant. She lives in England with her wonderful husband, daughter and their mischievous cat, Magical Mr. Mistoffelees. Her short story “Sea of Sorrows” appears in the IWSG anthology Masquerade: Oddly Suited (https://books2read.com/masqueradeoddlysuited).
Please everyone, feel free to share how you're feeling. It is a trying time! WEP is a safe place. We welcome your input! Do you have any well-being hints?
See you all at our next challenge - April - Antique Vase. Eyes out for the April 1 post which will explain all, and feature two more writers who've been with WEP for 10 years!
@AnsticeBrown #Covid-19 #WellbeingforWriters #WEPwinner #guestpost https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/03/hello-there-how-are-you-doing-in-times.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, #@LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge