Covid-19. An Artist’s Experience.

Illustration of covid-19 virus.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted to my blog. I’ve been on pause since losing my original website content, replacing it with a new site, and taking a breather from the whole mess! It didn’t matter that I took a break since I lost all my website traffic.

But today is a good day to start again. Because of Covid-19, it’s a good time to do something new; get a fresh start. This post will be about an artist’s experience — mine — under the cloud of a 21st-century pandemic.

How has Covid-19 affected my creative writing? Let me count the ways.

ONE. I was on track to finish my first cozy mystery, Blood on the Bridal Wreath, for an author event on May 9th. The Covid-19 threat allows me to ease up on the deadline.  Since I won’t have to order any books to arrive before May 9th, I have a little more time to finish writing the book.

TWO. I’m also a third of the way through writing my first dark fantasy novel. I was going to apply for a grant to help me pay for a genre-mentor and time to write. I couldn’t find a mentor, so I stalled on this, too. Good news, I reached out to someone who helped me see how I might find one. I’ve since made contact and am waiting for a response. I’ve gone ahead with the grant application.

THREE: I’ve had to reprioritize my thinking from confused & defeated to what I do best: create a schedule.

Create a schedule. It’s all about goals & timing.

Real-world, work-at-home habits are built from goals and timing. Freelance clients ALWAYS come first but my own creative goals are seldom met if they aren’t tied to a calendar and a timer. Why is that?

I do better for others.

This isn’t just about freelance clients. I am an artist who creates for an audience. I want readers and art lovers to see and experience my work. I do better when others are looking at my creations because my work is driven by the anticipation of an audience experience.

But Covid-19 has limited the audience!

Has it? I don’t know that yet. The best way to find out is to finish the works and let people know they are available. This means I have to schedule time for marketing as well – and a lot of it!

What does my schedule look like?

A Monday through Friday work week looks like this:

8:30-10:15 a.m. – Write
10:15-10:30 a.m. – Break. Stretch, let the dog out, stretch. Breathe!
10:30 a.m.-Noon – Write
Noon -1:30 p.m. – Break. Exercise. Walk the dog. Have lunch. Breathe! Whatever.
1:30-2:45 p.m. – Marketing (M, W, F) and other business-related tasks such as blogging/newsletters/search out new clients & creative opportunities (T, Th)
2:45-3:00 p.m. – Break. Stretch, let the dog out, stretch. Breathe!
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Paint
Evenings & weekends are reserved for reading and editing.

Coaching Classes Canceled. Now what?

Another new challenge arrives with the postponement of face-to-face coaching classes. I’m a writing coach, but I don’t teach writing. I teach how to get started on your writing project and keep you going! That’s where writers who struggle get stuck.

Writing*Wednesdays and Write Nite Tuesdays were in their first month when social distancing began. Class participants were learning and writing.

I was offering the classes outside of my area, too, when the Covid-19 virus won out over public gatherings. I am researching the best way to offer these classes online and still have participant interaction. For now, I’m offering the same 4-week series of classes – just not face-to-face.

writing classess flyer

Introductory 4-Week Coaching Classes, $60. Register!

Canceled author events & art shows. Adapt and adjust.

Author events and art shows are public events. Online concerts are fine, but they do not carry the energy of a live performance. It’s the same thing with meeting authors and artists – the energy between people is just more. I’m currently exploring options for the book launch of Blood on the Bridal Wreath. I will likely do a Facebook Live reading, offering signed copies as requested to ship out to readers. But I wonder, can we offer these events specifically through libraries? I’m going to try!

Art shows – not sure about this yet. I have a series in process that I will submit to galleries for a show. Other work, old and new, will be offered with previews online. I’m open to suggestions!

How you can help freelancers & artists during Covid-19.

Hire content writers to refresh your websites and blogs.

Hire a writing coach to help you get started on that book or memoir you’ve always meant to write.

Browse visual art galleries and make a purchase. You may be in your home for a while. Have something new and wonderful to look at!

Buy a book from a new-to-you author!

It won’t be the same old, same old, ever again.

Those of us who don’t get sick are the lucky ones. I wish you all health and wellbeing as we transition into new ways of living and healing and creating.

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