Quarantine and writing

The recent days were a bit of rollercoaster for me. I’ve been always prone to having cold at the beginning of November. This year seemed it could be worse than that…

To say it simply, there were signs that hinted a potential (and not-so-small) chance I may’ve been infected with COVID-19. Fortunately, the test result was negative, but I still remained in home quarantine – while I’m not COVID-positive, I likely had some other respiratory disease. Thus, I had gained unexpected free week.

And one of the first question I asked myself was: could I use this for writing?

The first two days, as I was trying to contact my doctor and schedule a test, as well as communicating with my boss, not at all. I managed to read a bit through the early draft of book three – and saw what an ugly mess it is, as it was pretty much untouched from 2018.

The third day, when I calmed down (the risk of being COVID positive was more about potential dangers to my relatives and co-workers than anything else), I managed to get a bit to it – I made a few minor edits to #2 and a clean-up of placeholders and ‘to do’ markers. But it was only the fourth day I managed to do some actual writing done – maybe 30 minutes worth of random edits.

So, would being in quarantine give a writer chance to work on their writing?

A tough question with unsure answer. First, it depends a lot on individual situation and the amount of stress it may (or not) cause – because this can hurt the mood and focus for writing. Second, it depends a lot on where you are with your writing. For me, who is preparing #2 for beta reading, the tasks remaining are mostly clean-up. #3 is a bloody mess, and the idea of delving into that without having a clear idea what – and how – to solve first sounded so daunting I dreaded opening the file.

Thus, it may end up being about discipline and resolve. I did little for the first days, but after I got some rest, I managed to get some writing done. And while it’s not much, it’s always hardest to start. Now that I did, I hope it’ll nudge me to give it some time a few times per week even when I’m back at work – if I edit two or three chapters per week, it’ll get some stuff done. And while 2-3 chapters may seem like a little of work, the early draft of #3 was written almost three years ago where I was making a lot of mistakes. A lot of it will be complete rewrite – it’s too much telling and not enough showing, pacing suffers, dialogues are bad, there’s a lot of things that have to be adjusted for changes made while drafting #1 and #2… so resolve will be important to turn this mess into something better.

It’s a chance to get this thing moving again. And while it took me some time (and a lot of procrastination by playing games), I’m getting back into it. My usual monthly update will show how well I managed that.

So, that’s the end of a bit different post. I hope you’re all doing well and, hopefully, staying healthy.

And if you’ve been in quarantine yourself, have you managed to write during that time?

The next week, I’ll be back with something more usual for my posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions if you have any, and if not… see you next time.

4 thoughts on “Quarantine and writing

  1. Hey Tomas, I’m glad to hear you’re okay! I haven’t been in quarantine, but I have pretty much spent more than 7 months in lockdown this year. Sometimes, the extra time can be used to write. At others, the emotional rollercoaster will not allow it. I’ve tried to keep myself as motivated as I can, but it’s also important to take the time to look after yourself because health and wellbeing is priceless!! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 11/2020 Writing update | Tomas - the wandering dreamer

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