How Did this Writer Fare During COVID 2020-2021?
Full disclosure: On March 3rd, I got my second vaccine, now among 10% of the population protected from COVID. And since I’m an Indie Publisher and I’m most comfortable working at home, my life should have changed very little the year of the plague. The light at the end of this pandemic tunnel should shine brightly for me. Right?
As I look back at the year and evaluate, I am pleased about some of the ways this writer managed the world crisis. I released a 40-page short story as did 12 other writers, around the theme of A Friday the 13th Mystery. Each of our stories carried these elements: A murder on Friday the 13th, 13 chapters, a broken mirror, 13,000 words. I set my murder mystery at my local golf course, peopled by bright golfers who rock at sleuthing. I had fun reaching out to my buddies for story ideas as I plotted the mystery.
Late in 2020, I released my second Woman at the Helm novel, WHEN OCEANS RAGE. This novel was a good ten years in the making, with a challenging plot to manage and complicated characters and relationships to wrangle. My heroine’s estranged father is in prison for murder. Gifted with his fishing boat, so what is she to do? Dump a career as drone engineer to fish...or search for a killer?
Not bad to publish two stories, you say. Yet, when I look back at the year, I find flaws in my journey. First, I am an extravert and high dosages of solitary time make molasses out of brain matter. Without a round of golf once a week, I might have suffered a brain freeze! I get my ideas and energy from others, face-to-face, so I can’t wait to rendezvous with vaccine-protected people. And travel! My novels are special because of their exotic settings. Because I wouldn’t fly or cruise, I missed out on two adventures that would have turned into novels.
My slowed-down mind switched my focus from writing original text to tinkering with marketing nuances. I polished keyword phrases for my e-book details and print details on KDP, and I had Amazon add to my category lists. I worked on Amazon, Google, and Facebook Ads, as well, taking advice from the experts. This particular time suck and poor results from ads, assured me I should go back to my favorite role as a writer: creating new stories.
COVID has humbled me regarding the illusion of control. Nothing like a pandemic to render humans helpless. Still, I was reminded of my focus, the one aspect of which I am in charge: my characters, my plot, my themes…my story. Today, I’m back to work at what I do best!