Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Author Toolbox – 8 Lockdown Tips for Writers in COVID19

May 21, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

We are all feeling the repercussions of isolation, social distancing and lack of ‘normal’. It has affected everyone in a multitude of ways. For writers, who are normally ‘isolated’  in their writing life, there has been a change in atmosphere, inspiration, alone time and creativity. (Or lack thereof).

Whatever your normal routine, be it the impact of family at home, remote working arrangements or lack of access to resources, we can adjust.

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Here are a few tips to try (or not):

  1. One of the best options I have found is a virtual writing time. A group of us ‘meet’ on Sunday’s for a couple of hours. And although for the most part, it is a silent meeting, knowing we are connected helps with motivation and makes us accountable. We share what we will be writing at the beginning of the meeting and then summarize what we achieved at the end.
  2. Outside time – this is vitally important to refresh the mind and body. It can be a walk, a bicycle ride and a hike. Whatever, works best for you within the confines of the social distancing parameters.
  3. Writing space changes. It sounds odd but even a reorganization, a new arrangement of objects, a vase of flowers – can make all the difference. Maybe write in a different area of the house.
  4. Reserve writing time. Make a commitment to write for a certain amount of time each day. As we all have favourite times of day to be creative – this can be before everyone gets up, when they are all asleep or maybe a time when you can be alone in the house. Don’t add to your stress by putting a word count on this time. It can be to write, of course, but also to plot, edit, note down new story ideas or even read some research.
  5. Enter a contest. This idea will either spur you on or not. To create something new can be a good way to engage your Muse. Even if you decide not to submit your work, it is a great way to spark your creativity.
  6. Online writing workshops. There are now lots of options for online workshops and courses. Maybe it’s time to hone your skills? I enjoy the monthly creative workshops my local writing group organizes. They are held on the last Saturday of each month. (Link here for May’s workshop: https://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/event-details/creative-writing-workshop-online-3 )
  7. Writing prompts are also a great way to refresh the writing brain. There are a lot of sites and books available on the internet. Try a few, whether they are images, word collections or story starters. You never know where they might take you. Again my local writing group has prompts every Saturday, if you want to try. Link: https://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/our-blog

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What have you found to help your writing during COVID19?

 

Wordsmiths Collective Thursday – Virtual Writing Groups

April 9, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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Yes, we all know writing is a solitary pastime, however we do need to connect with others writers from time to time. In this virtual age many of us have connections across countries as well as in our own place in the world. This is achieved with local writing groups or through the wonders of the internet.

With our imposed isolation those precious moments of physical connection have been extinguished for the time being and ‘virtual’ has become the norm. We have all seen the virtual book readings, book launches and promotions. The greatest thing as far as I am concerned are the growing number of virtual writing groups.

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I have such a group, who link up on Sunday’s for three hours of writing. We can see each other and there is a brief hello and details of what project we are tackling. Then it is heads down and write! At the end we report on progress and feel accomplished. We may not be ‘together’ but we are!

The added benefit is that we are accountable and that drives us to write. No matter the circumstances there is always a way to stay connected.

Happy writing!

Have you found an online group to write with?

How did you discover it?

Did you start one?

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3 Dimensions Conference Review…

May 26, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Sorry for the late post I have been volunteering at another event today! The 3 Dimensions – Write, Edit, Publish – conference was amazing yesterday. It was certainly the total opposite of today’s word – Hebetude – definition: the state of being dull : lethargy.

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I was assisting my publisher, Dream Write Publishing at their table in the marketplace on Saturday, where numerous other vendors were in attendance. Once we had set up the table we waited for the first influx of attendees – there were over 300 – to arrive and browse. With a constant supply of refreshments and snacks everyone was well catered for. After each session we would have another influx of interested people asking about Dream Write’s services and buying books, so we were kept busy answering questions and handing out information for Dream Write but also our writers group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. It was a great interactive day with excellent networking opportunities for everyone that attended.

391408_10151410996526441_290387572_nIn all there were 24 separate sessions from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. Linda and I attended the Friday evening wine and cheese reception and then enjoyed the keynote presenter, Alistair MacLeod in conversation with Shelagh Rogers. She is host of the CBC’s The Next Chapter and the interview was recorded for a future programme.

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Today’s event could not have been so different! I volunteered with my daughter at her reptile club’s Spring show.mainbanner

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