Writing in a time of Pandemic
18 June 2020
Carolyn B. Leonard
How is your writing going during these very strange times? I find my mind unable to stay fixed on anything for more than a minute or two.
Normally, when we write, we enter solitude. We can shape-shift into anything, anyone, anywhere. But now? I cannot concentrate. I start a paragraph and find myself off the subject onto Facebook … or watering plants or wandering in the yard. Anything but doing what I must.
In the past weeks each of us have already experienced daily news that is shocking, unexpected, unpredictable, unknowable; we’ve felt much that we have not felt before. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring. One day bleeds into the next and it is hard to plan. I am thankful the top line on my computer constantly gives me the current day and time. That is now the stuff of our lives.
Everywhere at home and around the globe, people are sick, caring for others, cooped up with kids, losing their jobs, going hungry. From a beloved young family member who suddenly lost her husband and is dealing with the daily economical and financial needs of a family, to Tommy whose son just committed suicide in what should be the most robust time of his life. A close friend has lost her job, others wondering if they will be in the next list of layoffs. A child with eye problems, others who need medical care but do not have insurance or funds.
I’ve felt, in a way, silenced by all the noise and cries around. What can I do or say that will help others?
When you imagine that you have shape-shifted into a particular animal or a different person in a different time or place, you can begin to experience your life from a different perspective.
In these strange times it may still seem like there’s nothing right to say, so imagine you are a pebble on a beautiful but now deserted beach. Or seeing the world through the eyes of a sparrow. This will allow you a wider worldview, and expand the boundaries of your mind. For me, since I love history, I plan to ride a time machine back to pioneer days when focus was on finding food for the next meal and protecting myself and family from the elements. That seems easier than what is going on here and now.
I hope this exercise will help you find your purpose again.
Wash your hands and stay safe!
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Carolyn’s blog for November 2019.
THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH . . .
It seems like it has taken forty forevers to get to this point, but it has really only been a year. I am told that nine months is the average to give birth to either a human baby or a print baby, and that does not include the time it takes to compose and write the book.
I am finally into the final FINAL process of getting my latest amazing creation, THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS IN AMERICA, on the public market. The Advance Reader Copies for endorsers were delivered today, and the available to public date is tentatively set for November 15.
From the time a publisher accepts your manuscript, begins final proofing, and gets it on their print schedule until you see the final product is usually about nine months. My first publisher did it in three months on WHO’S YOUR DADDY? and I enjoyed working with him before he decided to go out of business. However, it can take much longer. I know one author who has several excellent books in print. She decided to go with a new publisher who accepted her manuscript three years ago. Still no book.
So, because I wanted to be sure to have my books in hand before I leave this earth, I decided to become an Indie Publisher. This is my third experience, but my first with this IngramSpark (IS) company, and it has been quite a learning opportunity. Indie Pub means a good size financial investment. First, you have to buy a program such as Adobe InDesign to create a book. Hire a cover designer, hire a beta reader, a line editor, a final editor, and sometimes, a layout and design artist. For Ingram I had to purchase a new Adobe Acrobat Pro DC capable of creating a special preflight pdf that imbeds the type and does other magical things.
Once I-S Publishing accepted the formatted digital pdf, it went through the printing and binding process, moves to the shipping and handling department, and finally is in my arms.
The Labor was tedious and painful, Delivery was a new experience, and Recovery will be delightful! (If the baby is acceptable.)