the affect of lockdown on writers

Lock-down has not only stifled some writers but has also made writers feel less of one. This world pandemic has probably been one of the most challenging time that anybody has ever experienced before. Especially writers are creative individuals who feed off of daily life such as the intricate details that they see outside : nature, people, distance for the mind to think. These reflections contribute to write incredible pieces. However when they are forced to succumb to a routine of being in one place, seeing constantly the same faces and doing the same chores for an eternal day can restrict their imagination.
And here it comes the writers block!

While many writers are struggling in this current period some are trying to cling to a mere idea floating in their head. Whether it would be the feeling of going mad in this pandemic when someone ‘accidentally’ leaves an empty butter container in the fridge while your bread jumps out of the toaster browned to perfection and leaves your mouth dry dreaming of that fatty sensation of the butter melting into your mouth.

William Sutfcliffe a well known British novelist who wrote the book ‘whatever makes you happy‘ tweeted “I have been a professional writer for more than twenty years. I have made my living from the resource of my imagination. “Last night I had a dream about unloading the dishwasher”. In various other tweets he expresses his difficulties balancing his work and his parental life during this lock down. Finding things to do have also been the hardest , however when asked what kept him through such difficulties, he replied “playing the piano”. Although Sutcliffe is dedicated to being a writer, he is also a dedicated parent of 3 and husband to novelist Maggie O’Farrell . This can easily have an affect on his writing because he is preoccupied with things more precious than work which is family.

William Sutcliffe , British novelist

On the other hand some writers have found themselves prosperous in the making of future novels and film writing. An example of this would be Josh Malerman , an american novelist who authored the Netflix horror ‘Bird box’. Josh completed his sequal to bird box called Malorie during the lock down and he states “I wrote that book while we were in quarantine, I made that movie when I was stuck at home,”. On his twitter he remains positive and continues to refresh his brain with old reads such as books written by Charles Dickens. Some writers thrive in such times when there aren’t much distractions to throw them off of their work.

Portraits of Josh Malerman in Ferndale, MI for HOUR Detroit Magazine

In a recent interview with Clare Povey editor and communities manager of the ‘writers & Artists’ website, we discussed her experience writing her book ‘ The unexpected tale of Bastion Bonlivres’ during lock-down which was announced to be published by Usborne known to be the UK’s leading children’s book publisher.

Questions asked:

Have you experienced writers block during lock-down?

Has lock-down had a positive impact on your work?

How have you been able to write a book during lockdown during challenging circumstances?

Are there any books that you are currently reading?

Brief discussion with Clare Povey

My experience as a teenage writer during this 3rd lock-down has been the furthest from positive, which in turn gave me a slight advantage for ideas to write. This is because my work is directly linked to my personal experiences. I like to translate through fictional scenarios lean more towards the more raw and dark side of literature. A brief example from a piece i had written:

In this piece i truly express what it feels to be overwhelmed by your own insecurities when forced to face them in such unpredictable circumstances. Thankfully from the depths of despair there are always small treasures to be discovered through the art of self reflection. For years prior to the the covid-19 lock-down it was easier to write about things more uplifting and distracting, but for some reason being stuck within four walls exposed more depth in my writing than ever before. However i had my fare share of writers block where i genuinely thought that was it for me. There was so much to think but no words to put it in. Until i became extremely sad one day and decided to stop trying to find the words and just let my hands do the storytelling no matter how simple or complex it sounded.

Question asked to my mother who is also a writer Khalima kamaludin: What has your experience been during lock down and how has it impacted your work?


information to encourage writers:


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