The Writer in Quarantine (or Fiction in the Time of Covid)

There is the assumption that all writers are solitary creatures, sitting hunched over their respective keyboards, oblivious to the world around them. Therefore, to be in confinement/lockdown/quarantine/stay-at-safe/sheltering-at-home has no overt effect upon them. For the most part, there is a ring of truth to this. A slight ring. Not a peeling of bells.

The truth is most writers I know and have known are social creatures. We enjoy the communion of each others’ company to: revel in our current Work In Progress; get sly feedback without being a part of a critique group; get new ideas for agents/editors/publishers; gloat; cry; drink. A writers conference, for example, is the epitome of that communion. New ideas, social networking, drinking.

There is an impact that many acutely feel, myself included. In reflection, there are positive aspects but without the gathering we feel less likely to complete our current journey. The available technology can bridge the cap.

I have finally submitted the final installment of my historical crime fiction series, the Ark City Confidential Chronicles, while actually starting on a new series in April, almost a year after formulating the ideas and initiating the research. I continued working on my presentations for the OWFI Conference where I was to be a presenter but which, sadly, was cancelled. The Conference Chair invited all speakers to next years’s event and I graciously accepted. I’ve been reading more, watching old noir films on Amazon Prime, and reveled in the research associated with writing historical fiction.

On the other hand, I have not been able to go to the library or the county’s historical museum. I have not gathered with a small writers group I have been a part of to just say “Hey, what’s up?” I have gone grocery shopping, visited my mother-in-law with my wife, a few walks around the neighborhood and one in a park, and to the mailbox and the liquor store.

We as writers embrace the world for knowledge, experience, and inspiration. Not just the stored memories but the views of an ever-evolving world. While what goes on today is creating a new normal, it would be sad if our ability to experience…Life were diminished because of masks and gloves and social distancing.

Writers respond to the world around them. It will be interesting to see what emerges from our collective imagination.

1 thought on “The Writer in Quarantine (or Fiction in the Time of Covid)

  1. H.B., Congrats on completing your series! BIG accomplishment. I’ve been fine with the opportunity to stay home, read, write, and participate in writer meetings on Zoom. What am I not planning on doing as I climb out of my cave? Reading any books-in-progress that will be marketed about surviving the pandemic. Peace out, Jim


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