Writers in Lockdown
By MJ Moores
Things won’t always be like this … at least, that’s what we have to tell ourselves in order to keep functioning.
We’re not wrong.
Change is happening all the time, and while life right now may be challenging (at the very least), we’re learning to cope any way we can.
As writers, outsiders look at us as ready-made introverts wholly unaffected by the world at large. We’re often seen as keeping to ourselves, typing or writing what our latest muse has presented to us by a cozy fire with our favourite animal or human nearby.
But we know better, don’t we?
Sure, some of us write like that, but some of us thrive on the coffeeshop culture (see the BBC Worklife article HERE), and we’ve formed or are looking to make connections with our personal tribe even as we write. Often, just being in the presence of other writers, talking shop, brainstorming ideas, or sharing our latest efforts brings a sense of community and reassurance that we’re not in this alone.
One of the ways the WCYR has been combating introvert-fatigue (yes, I made that up) has been by transitioning to a virtual platform. Since we can’t meet in person, we’ve jumped on the wild-ride that is meeting online. We’re not only offering our seminars and workshops virtually, but we’ve gone beyond that basic programming…
We have embraced our social media tribe with Facebook LIVE Q&A sessions, and we’ve started virtual Write-Ins. Now, neither of these ideas is new by a long shot, but not all writing communities have ventured over to these online connections.
Our live Q&As are a great way to follow up with a speaker or participate in a short event when life demands so much of our time. It’s empowering to know that we’re participating in a writerly event, even if only briefly.
And, within a matter of five months we’ve gone from struggling to entice writers to attend physical Write-Ins to hosting two amazing 2-hour timeslots for members to meet virtually on the Zoom platform (Mondays at 7pm; Sundays at 9am). Now, it’s not for everyone, but a significant number of our WCYR members have gravitated to this new medium as way of sharing creative space. We do writing sprints; we talk shop; and we connect.
Being alone and being lonely are two very different things (as most introverts will tell you). Sometimes, just knowing that someone else who shares our passion is only a glance or a word away helps keep the muses happy long enough to celebrate getting a few more words on the page.
So, try to keep an open mind about different ways you can stay connected to your tribe – to help fuel your creative energy. Even if you’re not able to write right now, inspiration for the future might just be on the other end of that online call.
Currently, we’re working on pulling together a virtual Open Mic where we can share new work, old work, and writerly comradery as we pay tribute to our craft. Look for more information in our newsletter and via social media.
If you have an idea for another way to keep our tribe connected or you’d like to try hosting a Write-In on a new day/time that works better for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let our Co-Chairs Gary and Mit know. The volunteer team at the WCYR is always looking for more ways to stay connected.