Let’s get right to the tee: writers of all genres are probably rejoicing in social isolation. We all hope that there’s a silver lining to this dumpster fire of a year. However, all my writing friends are quickly realizing that they need community and some structure to produce their art. I asked a few humans what their go to exercises, ideas, websites, and approaches to up their game during the pandemic and the isolation that comes with it. So as Mama Ru says, “You’d better werk…”
- Go find new writing blogs to follow. The right blog will encourage and empower you to write and express your passion for the written word. Great sites like The Write Life have lists to help you get started. A lot are tip driven, but many such as John Scalzi’s Whatever blog is outstanding. A big name in Sci-Fi writing, he is a smart, biting, sharp and hilarious blogger that is a must read to encourage your inner voice to come out. Even if that inner voice cuts deep.
- Join online writing groups or courses. Right now, tons of local writing organizations are holding events and readings online. Go watch them or participate! One in my area, Alexandra Writer’s Centre, has moved online with their writing salons. You pay a small fee, and get to still be a part of a writing community, via zoom. Also online are lots of free writing courses, usually through your local library’s digital resources.
- Read a book! The Writing Cooperative says it better than I ever could so read this essential article. reading widely outside of your genre is vital to the creative process. For me, the biggest reason is to know more that can inform my overall brain into thinking outside the norm.
- Watch a movie on writers. Sounds weird a bit to sit and veg out, but maybe seeing someone else’s journey will urge you on. A great list is at Paste Magazine with some good suggestions, but my favourite is the surreal and darkly funny Sunset Boulevard (1950). William Holden as the floater in the pool Joe Gillis is cracking good, especially as he tries to navigate the worst client ever in faded movie star Norma Desmond. Yikes!
- Go find the happy, positive news to inspire your ideas. I believe in a lean diet of news and social media: a bit is okay but don’t eat the whole bag. Do a simple search in google with “happy news” and you’ll see lots of great articles that don’t talk about the crap-tastic barf of the world outside. I love the Good News Network, which takes a more happy approach to life. Because you know there’s so many people who will be writing on Covid19 and dystopian novels to make you gag.
Stay active and writing out there, and let me know how it’s going with your own art. Stay healthy, happy and wash them hands!