Tuesday, 24 March 2020

#WEPwinner #guestpost - #Anstice Brown - Wellbeing for Writers During Challenging Times

Hello there! 

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.

Start Small
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.

Make Contingency Plans
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.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome
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. 

Be Kind to Yourself
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. 

Reach Out
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.

Author Bio

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).

 Thanks Anstice!

  • 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!

Please tweet!

@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


  1. Thank you Anstice. Lovely tips for writers - and for life.
    I really, really hope the current pandemic is replaced with one of kindness, starting with ourselves and spreading.

    1. Sue, I've been wondering how you're going. All in lockdown? We're not venturing out very much. I can work from home. I'm streaming my lessons.
      Keep well! Thanks for your amazing support.

  2. Adapting is all we can do, and glad you made that one of your tips for writers. It's always good to have those kinds of reminders. Congratulation again on winning the WEP Challenge.

  3. A lot of authors are offering free books and other options, which is a win for the readers and for the authors.

    I'm finally at a point where I am not frantically editing, reading, researching, or sending out review requests, so I actually wrote in my own story last night.

  4. Hi Denise and Anstice - thanks for this ... I'm sure for many your thoughts will be really helpful. I'm actually going to achieve a lot ... which will take the stress out of a re-organisation of life ... and be ready for whatever I feel like doing in a few months. There's a couple of groups here that are asking people to write articles, or ring people up ... so we're helping others that way ... in other words I'm busy ... guess that's the best way of going - I'll be there for April WEP ... good luck to one and all - cheers Hilary

    1. I know you will be reaching out in every way possible Hilary. We’ll get through this. Stay safe.

  5. Not focussed enough to stick to any one thing. So writing in fits and starts and reading from my favourite comfort books to calm down. Which is part of the advice here :) thank you.

    Stay safe and well, everyone.

    1. I always read a ton Nila. You should see my bedside table lol. Our libraries closed but you should have seen the queues to borrow - panic borrowing. We were allowed to borrow 60 books! Australia expects to be in lockdown for 6 months.

    2. Six months! - sounds excruciating! But we have to do what we have to do. Uncertain times. But...On the plus side, 60's quite a pile of books read :)

    3. You have great leadership in Australia! Our supreme leader is looking to open for business on Easter!

    4. I really don't think that's a practical proposition, Renee. Unfortunately. POTUS will have to revise views. Lifting the lockdown too early will be further disastrous, imho. Stay safe, you and family.

  6. Thanks Anstice. Thank you so much. This is so needed in a crisis like this where my muse seems to have abandoned me. I hope each one of you at the IWSG remains healthy. Take care and stay safe!
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

  7. This is a perfect post for our current circumstances. Thank you so much for your wonderful advice!

  8. Hi Denise,
    This is really very helpful post.

  9. Thanks Anstice - great tips!
    Hope everyone is able to stay home and stay safe!

  10. Just the perfect post for such a trying time. Thank you Anstice!

    I've found myself falling into a deep blue sea of misery, despite the beautiful view I have out my window. The city has just shut down the 'grand strand' the beaches, and are telling everyone not a resident to leave by noon on Sunday.
    It does get tougher and tougher to turn it off and tune out. But at least we creative sorts do have an outlet - I'm sure a lot of our angst will show up in our writing.
    Be safe, be well! Keep reading, keep writing, and I know we are all praying!

  11. Great post, Anstice. Thank you.
    Hopefully, in these trying times, out turnout for the April challenge would be impressive. Or anything, really, as most people concentrate on what's happening in their neighborhood. But WEP is a great distraction. Sort of our own Decameron.


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