Last month, we put out a call for authors to share how their writing has changed over the past year, and how they’ve managed to stay creative during what has undeniably been a challenging twelve months (except maybe if you’re in New Zealand and I’m not even going to pretend I’m not jealous). We got some excellent responses –– too many to fit into one post –– that we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks. Times have been tough as of late, and we’re as grateful as ever for our wonderful and supportive community of KWL writers.

How Have Your Writing Habits Changed Over the Past Year?

“In one word, less – less formal, less routine, less time, and less creative. The world feels as if it is one giant *urgent* distraction. Constant interruptions with another human around makes it difficult.”
Kim Warner

“Distracted by watching the news!”
Carol Tompkins

“I’ve been on screens more which has been unmotivating to use a computer to write. But on the other side of it, I have started blogging.”

What New Practices have you Implemented?

“I *plan* to set formal times to write”
– Kim Warner

“I take many more webinars, to replace the conferences I cannot attend. I plan to continue to take part in these. I can now attend business meetings of writing groups which are too far to travel. One of these groups will continue to provide virtual meetings after the pandemic, which is great. I think many places will have an in-person event combined with a virtual route. I think this will allow many more people to attend and reduce the cost. I envision that the virtual events will not include all of those by actual attendees but might provide more education, meets with editors and agents and keynotes.”
– Jenna Kernan

“I’m allowing myself more time to finish projects than I used to. Luckily, I seem to be staying on track so far. But if I have an off day, I’m no longer as hard on myself as I used to be. Because guess what? Tomorrow’s going to be about the same, and I can try again.”
Liza Street

Any Advice for writers struggling with creativity during this time?

“Try free-writing. This technique is designed to prime the pump, to get something flowing, even if it makes no sense. Just write, stream-of-consciousness style, anything that comes into your head. Don’t think about style, grammar, or punctuation. Just keep writing. If an old nursery rhyme or silly song surfaces, write that. Before long, you will have emptied your brain of the clutter and some ideas that make sense will come to the surface. Voila! You’re writing!”
Sanjiv Makkar

“Try a project that is only for yourself. Give yourself permission to write something completely different.”
Jenna Kernan

“Focus on managing your energy. It doesn’t matter how much time you have for writing if your creativity isn’t flowing or if you’re too exhausted to write!”
Sagan Morrow

“Yes, if you are preoccupied with current events, you are human, it is ok to be so. Many writers are told that to earn money or be treated by their peers as top quality, they must have a certain quantity of output or act out a certain schedule of labor. But this is a falsehood. No writer is less for not writing. The key is finding yourself and if current events preoccupy you then in that preoccupation is writing that you want to do. If anything keep a diary of things you want off your chest. MAking a book comes in many forms.”
Richard Murray

If you have any advice you’d like to share, let us know here!