Quarantined With Your Clock

We all have a lot of free time so you might as well write. Start submitting those short stories to online (and otherwise) magazines. You can find them on writer’s groups, Facebook and by subscribing to Author’s Publish Magazine. Google them, gird your loins with bravery and send them in. All they can say is no.

There is lots of writing advice out there you can get for free just by doing a web search. I’m a fine one to talk about boning up on creative writing since I have a ton of material I haven’t looked at yet but, I swear, I’m going to. On Monday while I’m off I’m going to force myself to turn off Netflix (the death of writing for me) and read.

http://critters.org/c/join.ht is the link to join a very nice writer’s critique group. My editor said one of the best ways to improve your own writing is to critique others. After you put some credits under your belt you can offer up your own work for criticism. So far I haven’t but I’m gonna do that, too.

Get out your old English textbook or find a free online creative writing course. I don’t think there’s a writer out there that can’t benefit from polishing their tools of the trade. You probably think you’re a fair grammarian but you might be wrong about that. English was my best subject in school but I was floored to find out how much I’d forgotten and how off base I was about things I’d assumed to be fact.

This may sound boring as all get-out but breaking out and reading the dictionary can’t possibly hurt you. While you’re at it, crack open a thesaurus. Words are a writer’s crown and you can’t be effective if you don’t know and love words. http://www.dictionary.com is just one example of online help, a port to a huge database of word spellings and meanings as well as origin. http://www.merriam-webster.com offers dictionary and thesaurus look ups as well as Word Of The Day and a tips and tricks feature for word help.

Right now we have an unprecedented chance to record some pretty wild history as it’s occurring. If you’re a fantasy or sci-fi writer this is golden, baby. Ask yourself a few questions: Was this virus created for nefarious reasons worthy of the Illuminati? How is it going to affect human immunity? What will we do if this thing mutates and we never get out of the house? Are we headed for another worldwide depression? Is your mother-in-law Patient X?

I consider myself very lucky to still be employed, unlike many of you out there in this uncertain time. With the help of God and each other we’ll get through this craziness just as we hurdle every obstacle in out path. Hang in there, cough into your elbow and we’ll make it.

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