March 17, 2020
by Samantha Hoffman
Coronavirus. If it were a beer, we could shove a lime down its little neck and sieze the day. But it's not a beer, it's a pandemic, and it feels as though we're living in a movie. Who writes sci-fi? Here's your next novel.
We at CWA have spent the last seven months working on Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference, and as you know we've had to postpone it due to COVID-19. Seven months. For naught. It's quite discouraging and dispiriting.
It's been a labor of love, truly, it's been a blast. Now, there's more to do than I would have thought in order to put the conference on hold; finding a new date, checking in with our presenters, making sure people know and cancel their hotel/travel plans, answering questions from attendees, adjusting the social media notices with new info, storing the boxes and boxes of conference supplies, etc. It's keeping me busy. I'm not finding it so rewarding and it's definitely not a blast.
What am I doing when I'm not doing conference triage? Coronavirus has closed everything; restaurants, bars, theatres, museums. Movie theaters are still open but it's only a matter of time until they close as well. We can still go out. I'm still running, thank god because it's my sanity; I can go to the grocery store or the mall, I can get together in our homes with the few friends who will still do that (those numbers dwindle every day), but there are a lot of hours to fill.
If there's a silver lining to this, it's all the time we have to write. It almost seems like s a gift, right? It's the perfect time for me to finally finish the book I've been working on for five-plus years. At this moment I can't say there's no time to write. And you too: What better to do during this time than complete your WIP/novel/memoir/self-help book?
Am I doing that?
No, I am not.
Part of it is that I'm a bit stuck on my story. I know the begnning. I know the end, but how to get there is eluding me. Instead of sitting at my compouter and figuring it out, dedicating myself to productive thought, maybe trying an outlinine or doing creative exercises or using writing prompts to get moving, I'm seeing movies (until I can't), I'm dusting baseboards, I'm washing the blinds, I'm cleaning the oven, I'm watching Netfilix...
What's up with that?
Do you have any tricks or tips that you use to get past roadblocks like this? Do you have any helpful hints to help me (or you) move my story forward?
Now's the time to write. Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was quarantined due to the plague. Just sayin'.
Writer, editor, personal assistant, private chef, runner (8-time marathoner), film and theatre buff, traveler...
Author of What More Could You Wish For (St. Martin's Press). V.P. of the Chicago Writers Association, Executive Director of Let's Just Write! An Uncommon Writers Conference.
Visit me at www.samanthahoffman.com
Write City Magazine
Write City Review
Windy City Reviews
Book of the Year
First Chapter Contest
Chicago Writers Association
Make a Difference!