Updated: Jan 16
Writers and freelancers are used to a healthy dose of uncertainty when it comes to clients and income. You can be poor one month and rich the next.
So, when the Coronavirus hit, it was status quo for many writers. For others, work took a dip before rebounding. In the time in between, many writers dusted off projects that had been waiting on the back burner for far too long.
The latest Question of the Week at Eat Like a Writer was a call-out to writers about how their writing has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Some writers have picked up writing for the first time, while others have adapted their writing to fit the current climate.
At the start of the pandemic, I lost two of my biggest clients. I panicked a bit, but focused on covering the pandemic and how it was affecting business operators. After a while, I gained two new clients, and started this website to boost the visibility of fellow writers.
In March, the senior editor of Writer’s Digest wrote that the only thing that could keep writers from carrying on their work during the pandemic was fear. With so many book festivals, conferences and book signings cancelled, writers turned to outlets such as Zoom to offer streaming book launches and tours (via Poets & Writers).
Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, some far more than others. The following is a small peek inside what’s been happening with writers.
“For me, it's been both good and bad, actually. Good in that I've been home far more than usual so have been more productive as a result. I've released two books over the summer, and am having my historical romance series made into audiobooks which will release in the coming months. I've also started writing another story to release next year. So the time has been put to good use. Bad in that I am often distracted and unable to focus. When that happens, I turn to administrative tasks and research, or pull out a book to read for pleasure and further distraction from our current reality.” --Betty Bolté
“I’m a Contributing Editor at The Writer Magazine and author, most recently, of Better with Books: 500 Diverse Novels to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019). I worried, when the pandemic forced my husband to work at home and my 13-year-old to do school on Zoom at home, that I'd never write again. Perhaps in response to the fear of losing income and career momentum, I began to freelance more than ever. Over the past six months, my brain's been working overtime, and I've had Covid-related feature articles in The Washington Post and Upworthy, and social justice-themed pieces in Romper, Parents, and Brevity. I haven't been this busy--or this creative--as a writer, in years. I find interviewing people around the country to be particularly gratifying; I tend toward positive, optimistic features that highlight good people doing good things, and it's been such a pleasure to talk with these interview sources over the past months, and to highlight their work. As a creative writing professor for Southern New Hampshire's MFA in Creative Writing Program, I've been fielding student concerns that they can't concentrate, can't write during this time of upheaval. I tell them to install a distraction blocker on their computer and train themselves to sit down for an hour or two during a set time each day and cultivate writing as a habit and a method of survival during the pandemic.” --Melissa Hart
“I've been a full-time freelance writer since 2016. I've worked with brands such as Skyscanner, Plann App and Neil Patel, and I've been published in Matador Network and Culture Trip. In February, I lost all my travel industry clients due to COVID. In response, I shifted my niche to CBD and then to digital marketing. I optimized my LinkedIn profile to attract clients and sent out at least 10 cold emails to potential clients in my niche. Shifting my niche, pitching my a** off, and re-positioning myself as an expert in the digital marketing niche has allowed me to stay afloat and land contracts that pay as much as $400 per blog post. In terms of travel, I've started getting more work in that niche since South Africa relaxed our lockdown restrictions to allow local and international travel again.” --Lauren Melnick
“I'm working on a new book that is due to the publisher on October 26 but my progress is horrible with my kids in the house doing e-learning. With constant interruptions, I can hardly get a word down. In the past, I've written complete drafts in less than a month. This one is taking forever, I don't think I'm going to meet the deadline, I'll probably punt until next year!” --Mike Moyer
“I'm the author of 10 nonfiction books (mostly marketing how-tos) and run a commercial writing and marketing consulting firm offering all sorts of written documents from resumes, to press releases, to entire books. My most recent book is Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World (endorsed by Seth Godin, Chicken Soup's Jack Canfield...) Since I take businesses beyond mere "sustainability" (status quo) to "regenerativity" (improving): I write many materials that focus on how to turn hunger/poverty into abundance, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. In the last few months, I've given a lot of thought to how the pandemic creates opportunities for this kind of deep social change and environmental healing--because, after decades of being told that society can't pivot, we've just proven that yes, we can. I've just begun querying on a new book, "Leveraging the Great Pivot: How COVID-19 Creates Opportunities for Racial Justice, Economic Advancement, and Environmental Healing." This concept has also shown up in my monthly newsletter, blog, and daily Facebook gratitude journal.” --Shel Horowitz
“I’m an author, speaker and founder of the Dream Life™ personal development program. I've worked with John Maxwell, Jack Canfield and have a global direct sales team of over 500k strong.With my two young sons now at home all day, every day, I was left with very little quiet, and very little writing time. All the energy I normally focus on composing or elevating my coaching skills and personal development program was taken up with dreaming up new ways of keeping these little guys entertained - and myself and my husband sane (and well-fed!) amidst all the chaos. Now that we're all a bit more used to this 'new reality' and have learned to re-focus our energy, I've felt a sudden surge of creative energy over the last two months. This has also been fueled by the fact that my field of expertise is much more relevant now. Everyone should be designing their dream lives, and knowing that I'm flowing in the right direction has helped my words flow again.” --Denise Walsh
“What’s the best medicine for the darkest, and most stressful days? Laughter, of course. So this year, with all its troubles, twists and turns, I’ve crafted more humor into my writing. Because the darker and more difficult things become, the greater the human need for humor. Sometimes, we just need humor to carry us through. In case you missed the point, humor.” --Karen Perry
“I'm a science fiction/horror writer who works from home. Until the Coronavirus came along, I worked from home by myself. There are a number of ways that Coronavirus has changed my writing this year. My kids are now home from school and will be for the rest of the school year. This has really cramped my writing style, as I now have to schedule my writing around their classes. Unfortunately, those online classes can be somewhat unpredictable, as they may end early for the teacher to help one student, giving the others free time. This makes it impossible to set aside a block of writing for myself with any certainty. So now I'm forced to catch snippets of time when I can. It has really slowed down my pace. When I first heard I'd be stuck at home for a while due to the pandemic, I was excited, I mean, it's a writer's dream to have tons of free time to write. But I found I was frozen for a time and unable to write. I got my wish, but now I was afraid I had nothing to say and had trouble getting anything out. It took me a while to get over it, but I finally plowed ahead with a new story idea. Things have also changed for me in that I can't attend writers conferences. Conferences were/are my main place to sell my work, meet new writers and socialize with editors, agents and publishers. I always come home energized and excited about writing, and unfortunately, that just isn't happening this year.” --Matt Betts
“I am a published author of four books - some bestsellers - in the self-help genre. My writing is always based on a deep connection to all of consciousness––that is the case for all my books and also my work as a holistic practitioner and podcast host. My passion for helping people to be more connected to themselves and feeling empowered to live happier lives is especially important right now. This changing time of turmoil helps me immensely to go even deeper with myself, to be even happier, and to feel even more satisfaction because it's a time that asks for more than just go out to have fun and feel happy. It asks for each and everyone of us to go deep inside, to connect, and find well-feeling inside of us, then share that well-feeling with the world––making my writing even deeper and also faster.” --Jacqueline Pirtle
“I started writing more as a way to share my struggles, fears, and anxieties during COVID. I began a blog to force myself to focus on the joy that surrounds me during these difficult times. I also wrote and released a book that I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s called Bursting With Happiness and it focuses on how incorporating small “bursts of joy” can make our lives, and the lives of those all around us, happier. I wrote it during this time because we all need a bit of joy, now more than ever! Throughout the book I discuss the difficulty that I’m having with COVID (as a germaphobe and someone who struggles with OCD this is my worst nightmare come true!)” --Lisa Dimino White
“I write Women’s Fiction mostly and unfortunately, virus or no virus, the battles that women fight everyday have largely remained unchanged and the issues that needed to be highlighted and things that needed to be said before still demand attention. Personally, with social time being cut so vastly, I’ve had more time to read and learn of new writing styles to be inspired by. My writing time has more or less remained the same with social time being exchanged for more family time – I would say I’m writing the same amount as I was before the virus.” --Humeira Kazmi
“Prior to the pandemic I often found inspiration during my commute to work, driving to visit friends or chauffeuring myself on an array of daily errands. A short drive was the perfect anecdote to writer’s block. All of that changed with the pandemic. As the co-author of the self-help book, “EraseNegativity and Embrace the Magic Within,” I knew I had to find another way so Isubstituted driving for daily walks in my neighborhood. Admittedly it isn’t as effective, but it helps (and my fuel costs are considerably lower).” --Sally Marks
“I am an experienced Spanish writer, author of four novels and a biography on Jewish scriptwriter Salka Viertel. Some of my books are translated into English such as “The Dead Writer”, “Lowering Clouds,” and “The Salon of Exiled Artists in California.” My writing changed this year due to the pandemic and the different confinements that affected my country Spain and later my area of residency in Segrià, Catalonia. In spring I wrote an essay about the Covid-19 as the Coronavirus changed our daily life and everything. This year I was selected for a writers’ program in China but it was postponed, also a conference in the UK. Otherwise, writers are working on long projects and we are usually very focused on our worlds. We were living confined long before the Coronavirus.” --Núria Añó
“I've been a professional writer and editor for 12 years. After ten years working for a global publisher, I left last summer to set up an online editorial business in the food and drink space. The closure of schools meant I no longer had the luxury of tackling writing projects in leisurely, uninterrupted chunks of time. In order to fit my editorial work around childcare, I had to plan and structure my work much more tightly. This helped me keep the work moving forwards, and wherever half hour chunks of focused time became available during the day. Even with the reopening of schools, I've had to continue this approach. With my wife working from home for the foreseeable future, I need to be more agile with editorial tasks so she can use the core office space for unexpected virtual meetings.” --John Bedford
“It is not uncommon for artists to acknowledge that the beauty of their work comes from the depth of their emotions. These emotions, both good and bad, have a powerful effect on how they not only see the world around them, but also how they capture the world around them in their work. Writers are no exception to this. In my own personal capacity, I have experienced a decrease in the amount of work that I would generally be doing on a normal working day, since the pandemic hit and the world pressed the brakes. This decrease has allowed me to work through past trauma and emotions that I only now realize have gone unchecked for most of my adult life. In many ways, this "working through" has offered me the chance to clear out the clutter that was blocking much of the essential emotional insight needed to write more emotive driven content. I have learned to check in with myself, talk to myself and make sure that the substance that gives my work life is unhindered by feelings suppressed due to poor self care as a result of work pressure and obligation. COVID-19 may not have been great for everyone, but it has certainly offered me the opportunity to improve as a writer and an artist!” --Laurie Wilkins
“I'm a freelance writer with a column about brand mascots on Advertising Week called PopIcon and bylines in a wide variety of websites including Business Insider, Fairygodboss, Joy, HelloGiggles, and more. My writing has definitely changed in 2020, but it was kind of in the process of changing the year prior in 2019, so a lot of these changes weren't too terribly surprising. I was, and still am, becoming a lot more intentional with the type of writing I do. In the heyday of blogging, there was definitely more of a 'race' to write more and create more. I've used this year to slow it down. Now I write on topics that are still reflective of this time, but also fun to read and enjoyable because there's a lot of content out there that is truly difficult to read and sift through daily.” Heather Taylor
“My writing has changed in response to how the Coronavirus has impacted the psychological well-being of society. People are in a heightened state of emotional instability due to the Coronavirus. And when I say "emotional instability," I mean that in an objective, scientific way. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the Coronavirus." In addition to the Coronavirus, there's unprecedented political polarization, nationwide protests, and wildfires. Societally, people are more on edge, at the conscious and subconscious level. These external factors are impacting 1) what type of content people want to digest, 2) why they're digesting that content, and 3) how they're reacting to that content. Statista released data showing that "daily mobile internet consumption is set to increase to 155 minutes in 2021." That's nearly 3 hours each day where people are digesting content. Sure, a lot of that content is written by the average person on social media. However, a lot of that content is written by writers. Forbes shared that "Two-thirds of [people under 25] said they use Instagram for gathering news information." This is staggering. People are sharing news content, health content, finance content, and more on social media. Content that impacts the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and financial health of people. These pieces of content are often written by professional writers. What does this have to do with my writing? During this time, I feel like it's my duty to seek truth and write about the truth in an unbiased, un-sensationalistic way. Many writers are capitalizing on people's emotional instability by positioning their writing through a sensationalistic, click-bait-centric, and semi-factual lens.” --Joey Randazzo
“I am a Senior Writer for Bassmaster Magazine and write about fishing, boating and travel for a number of other publications, websites and television programs. My wife and I also lead anglers on fishing vacations to places like Alaska, Panama, Mexico and Brazil. We realized that there was a need not being met -- convincing the "average" angler that they can experience "bucket list" destinations, so in February 2020 we started a blog/website. The goal was to give traveling anglers a full-service site which encompasses destinations, travel tips, food and gear. You might think that March of 2020 would be a terrible time to start a website about (mostly international) travel, but while we certainly aren't celebrating the pandemic, we're making the most of it. Fewer options outside of the house have given us more time to research, interview and write. Our initial goal was three pieces of content a week, but we quickly increased that to five a week with the extra time. The limited trips that we have taken have also led to extra writing opportunities, like this one for Alaska Sporting Journal. We've encouraged lodges that are closed down to send us favorite recipes, so that people can feel like they are in fun places even if they're stuck at home. We are certainly ready for the pandemic to be over, and while we are certain that travel will never be the same, we've tried to make the most of that, rather than regretting our bad timing.” --Pete Robbins
“When the pandemic hit earlier this year, we were literally inundated with updates from clients, partners and customers regarding COVID and their response. I got so tired of the barrage, I personally determined I would completely avoid topics even remotely related to coronavirus. In a world where the continuous news cycle has nothing but COVID topics, I wanted to make sure anything I produced was counter to that. While our writer team of 20+ folks has been weaving COVID topics non-stop into their pieces, I've personally gone the other direction.” --Nate Nead
“My writing, for both myself and our clients has been to ramp up the humor and frame our articles, emails and press releases in a positive manner. Highlighting the company's news as well as providing tips and tricks on how the different companies are coping with lockdown both professionally and personally. All of the team are being more light-hearted and fluffy in their writing and using a passive voice to help convey support and friendly tones. It's been very well received, so much so that we are likely to keep with this style even when the pandemic has passed.” --Brett Downes
“The Coronavirus has greatly changed my writing because it has become so apparent to millions of people that life can change in the blink of an eye. I have always stressed to readers that they should plan and save for their future, that living on a shoestring shouldn’t be a habit, and that no job is permanent. However, this year proved my point. Even teachers and healthcare workers I know (who everyone assumes have secure job because of demand) have been laid off. In response to the Coronavirus, one of the articles I wrote was titled “We Don’t Work for the American Dream.” In this article I explained that, for many people, the American Dream consists of a 30-year mortgage, 2.5 kids, 1 dog, 2 cats, cell phone payments, the best cars, little league expenses, prom dress payments and Netflix. However, that is not our dream. We work for our freedom. We work to be free from debt. We work for the freedom to spend our time the way we want to without the worry of bills in the mail. I encouraged others to critically think about what they are working for and how they are spending their money. 2020 has proved that nothing is certain (not even a good paying job) and everyone needs to make sure they are financially prepared for anything.” --Lindsay Ralston
“My writing has changed this year in one simple but important way: More Time. As most social obligations and other responsibilities fell by the wayside due to event cancellation and fear of COVID-19, I found myself with a boatload of additional hours at my fingertips. Rather than live in a constant state of anxiety over events out of my control, I decided to do what I know best: write. My reviews improved rapidly in a short period of time, becoming more focused and stylish all at once. The output also became more prolific; instead of one review per week, I was able to crank out five per week at maximum efficiency.” --Ryan Lambert
“I've been a freelance copywriter for over eight years and for the first time ever, I've had to adapt my style for every client because of Coronavirus. Although some industries have been affected worse than others, in general, I've had to adopt a much more sensitive tone. Businesses can't just pump out content with the jovial, everyday vibe that has been the fashion in recent times. The reality is, people are worried. Business continues because things still get bought, but not in the same way. Not right now, anyway. As a writer, we must be aware of the big picture.” --Matt Press
“I’m a PR professional, (as well as an RN with a Masters degree). My writing usually includes business client media releases, One Sheets, blogs or social media posts. However, I am also a published poet and teach Haiku workshops in person and online. As the unprecedented event of Coronavirus/Covid-19 'hit' in March, I experienced many emotions: uncertainty, fear, anger, bewilderment, confusion, empathy, stress, etc. I swiftly channeled many of these emotions in writing poetry. I subsequently submitted to and was published in two poetry anthologies, an online magazine and also a print newspaper. Writing poetry was therapeutic, cathartic and relieved some of the stress of the unknown.” Susan J. Farese
“My writing has changed in a number of ways. Some of my writing is infused with a lot more humor, as laughing is one way that I've been coping with all the changes. Other times, I've noticed that I'm a lot more sensitive, objective and diplomatic in my writing, as I recognize how this pandemic has united us globally but with varying degrees of trauma and suffering. Overall, I'm much more aware—and perhaps more considerate—of my audience and their experiences.” --Renee Frojo
“Given the COVID pandemic, content writing needs to be much more careful. First of all, any mention of the pandemic gets fact-checked extensively to ensure there isn't any disinformation. Second, we're trying to be part of the solution and tailor our content to help people learn new skills and start remote businesses.” --Domantas Gudeliauskas
“I am the Proprietor at Pugsquest, a company focused on Pugs and their care. My writing has improved greatly during the Corona Virus because of the extra time that I got from the lockdown period. I was able to put in more time, thought and effort into the writing therefore giving it a better structure and depth. My writing has also become more frequent. Even when I do not post it, I created a habit of writing everyday so that I could sharpen my skills and incorporate it into my daily routine. Lastly, I now write out of passion compared to how I previously wrote out of need. By making writing a daily habit, I developed a liking to the process and I now write more intimately and with intention.” --Jay Scott
“Covid 19 has absolutely impacted all aspects of my writing process - the thinking, planning, creation, social media and marketing. Indeed, it has focused my work much more as a process from start to finish. Releasing a book in the midst of a pandemic has changed the “how” of marketing sans book signings, live audiences and news feed competing story lines. No matter how excellent or relevant any author’s writing is, the reality is that we have three big stories this year - Covid, Civil unrest, and an election. This creates for authors, especially, Indy authors, a unique and demanding challenge for book release and promotion. Couple this with the challenges each of us face to stay in the moment and to stay healthy and balanced and you have a recipe for difficult writing times. When I speak with fellow authors, we have one more added challenge, that of what does the story look like. Namely, we don’t want to wallow in all-things-pandemic, but we also don’t want to write a story that is unrealistic or unfathomable. I was already at work for my new novel “The Egg,” the story of two sisters who emigrate to the US during the pandemic of 1918 and the legacy and lineage they leave to this day, when Covid became a global concern. To leave out that there is a current pandemic would be ridiculous, and to write about a world on the other side of this pandemic can’t yet be imagined. However, that is what good authors do. Imagine. “The Egg” will now have two sets of sisters, in two different pandemics - each set leaving a legacy. Covid has changed process and product, but not the deep urge to tell the story." --Grace Sammon
"I’ve been a business writer since 2014 and this has been quite a year for writing! In March and April, my writing productivity suffered due to the pandemic. There was so much uncertainty in the world. By May, I had found my way back to writing. Since then, I wrote a short business book (“The Marketing Blueprint.”) Further, I have used the added time at home to build a new daily writing habit. Every day, usually before 9 am, I write for a minimum of 15 minutes for my own projects. This habit has significantly improved the consistency of my writing output.” --Bruce Harpham
“I am a freelance writer and for the last few years have been writing books for hire. Covid put two such projects on indefinite hold. Early in the lock down, I found it hard to focus on the one paying book project I still have so I started writing my memoirs and posting one story from them each day on Facebook. Being cut off from many of my normal activities has been enforced writing time and I have never been so prolific. I have written over 250,000 words on my memoirs since I began on March 14. The first volume of them, If You Weren't Here, This Would Not Be Happening, will be published in November." --Walter G. Meyer
"I've been a writer for 30 years. Nothing has changed more during this pandemic than the process of marketing and promotion. My seventh book, Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity, was released on August 18, when many bookstores and libraries are still closed or doing curbside delivery. Typically, with a book's release, I'd be approaching those places do a program or workshop associated with my book, which always results in sales. Now, I have to pivot programming to online versions of the in-person events. I've had to do the same thing at my workplace as a program coordinator, but many libraries and bookstores have not pivoted their events to online. I've been doing some fun podcasts and radio shows, but how I miss those in-person events where I can interact with my readers.” --Mary Potter Kenyon
“One thing I've noticed about the Coronavirus and the news around it is that it's just a constant low level of additional stress in your life. At first, I didn't think much of it, and my business has been doing really well this year, but I hit a real wall in early July. It wasn't that I had taken on way more work, I think it was more that I was using a lot of my mental energy reserves on dealing with quarantine and everything that came with it. So to work around that, I started focusing a lot more on fine-tuning my schedule and expanding the timeline of my projects, meaning I'd add more to my to-do list for each assignment. In the past, I'd just have my due date on the calendar, now I'll have due date, outline, rough draft, and where I can add it, a bit of wiggle room for days where I feel like I hit a wall. So I might put an assignment on my calendar a day early from when it's really due to the client to give myself that extra room if I need it. Doing something small like adjusting that way has made a big difference over the last few months.” --Liz Froment
“I write fiction and fantasy when I’m not doing freelance and blog writing. This is how my writing has changed in 2020. Over the last ten months or so, I’ve found that my writing has become much more tongue-in-cheek and less heavy. I think this is because the topic of COVID has pretty much seeped into so much of my business and professional work. Whether consulting for construction projects or creating blogs for pool maintenance, it’s like I can’t avoid the topic. It is, of course, an important subject, but as a result there’s been a shift in my creative work. Dark humor and a move away from heavy themes permeate my stories now. I’ve been able to create a polarity between my business and creative writing: on one side, I’m constantly addressing the inescapable impact COVID has on every aspect of our lives; on the other, I retreat to a world in which the trials of 2020 do not exist." --Rick Patterson
"I've been working professionally as a writer and communications manager for 30 years, and one year ago I started my own marketing communications business. My superpower, as well as my calling, is to inspire people and motivate them to make change. When the pandemic struck, I began blogging about how to communicate compassionately, grief and mourning during COVID, how to take care of yourself during the pandemic, how to build a thriving virtual company, communication tips during a job hunt, how business will change with less business travel, and how to support this year's crop of graduates entering the job market at such a difficult time. After George Floyd was killed, my writing veered toward Black Lives Matter, concerning the weaponization of white women's tears, ways white people can support their Black coworkers (my most-searched article), how not to let BLMwashing become the new greenwashing, and signs of working in a toxic workplace, interspersed with continuing writing and communication tips. In July my call to inspiration turned to podcasting, and now each week I write a blog post about the ordinary people I interview on my Finding Fertile Ground Podcast, each of whom have faced extraordinary challenges. These conversations, many of them intimate and insightful on difficult and tender topics such as racism, have been life giving for me and others during the pandemic. Overall, my writing has become more compassionate, more inspiring, and more connected." --Marie Gettel-Gilmartin
“As a copywriter, I've never been as busy as I have been during COVID. So many business owners whose companies weren't optimized for digital service have rushed to make the change. I've been inundated with clients looking to increase their online presence and connect with their audience through email marketing and blog posts since they can't do it in person to the same extent anymore.” --Jenny Eastwood
“I’ve been writing content about Coronavirus for sure! Anyone who reads our blog is going through the same thing. Anyone can relate to the current events. I keep my writing relatable to the overworked and overwhelmed parent. I let people know that it’s okay to feel what you are feeling. No one is perfect and you will fail and that’s okay." --Stephanie Fatta
“I've been a professional writer for a few years now, but I've been writing ever since high school. I'm a blogger and copywriter that mainly writes about technology. But I also have some experiences in writing a few fiction short stories. In light of the recent pandemic, Covid-19 does not just affect frontliners but also those who work behind the scenes. Writers, though usually work on the sidelines, have also been affected by the global crisis. Since many people turn to written medium for information, writers need to be extra careful about how they write and how they disseminate information. In the past few months, I have learned new health-related words and make it to a point to be continuously informed about the virus. Like before, I only use sources like government agencies, prestigious organizations, and trusted media outlets for information. So I can make sure that the information that I release on my articles are accurate and informed. I follow this practice more firmly than ever since this is a global health concern. So writers such as me need to be extra careful when handling Covid-19 information. It is my responsibility as a writer to double-check the information that I include in my articles. This global pandemic has reinforced my writing to be more informative. Another change in my writing is the volume and the topics that need to be explored. Since many are quarantined in their homes due to recent government regulations, people have additional time to consume written media, so the demand for new content is greater than ever. Be it an article, e-mail marketing, or a short social media post, writers' workload is bigger than ever. As a copywriter and a product review specialist, I have definitely felt the rise in the demand for new articles. Since shopping online has become the new normal, more people need information before making a purchase decision. You need to up your game to give your readers more value and make sure that you cover everything they need to know." --Paul Birung
“My writing has changed from more nonfiction-based (blog posts, articles, weight-loss books) to fiction-based. Writing fiction provides: stress release, something that's under my control, and an escape to a world that has more certainty than the one we're all living in right now. It's the primary focus of my self-care routine and the best way I've found to support and nourish myself through Coronavirus and quarantine.” --Shelli Johnson
“My professional writing experience spans 20-plus years to include content marketing, public relations and writing for and editing trade, news and lifestyle publications - most recently as editor of San Antonio TASTE magazine. In addition, I completed my first stage play (unpublished) last year, The Cooking Class. I've always been drawn to the written word as well as cooking, two passions that blossomed during my experience writing and editing food for San Antonio Magazine and San Antonio TASTE magazine. A Q&A interview with Alton Brown I read several years ago stays with me. Brown, an early student of theatre, found himself consuming his free time studying cookbooks. Eventually, he married his passions for performance and the culinary arts into food television celebrity. At the onset of COVID-19, I remained busy with client projects. However, a gradual slowing of work led to my own creative awakening. My husband and I, lovers of travel who have always cooked like crazy every weekend, decided to do so even more, and with intention -- to document our culinary experiences, and to share them with others. Our blog, Kitchen Traveler, journeys to a surprise destination each week via our cozy, galley kitchen.” --Michele McMurry
“Since I write professionally but also have a business helping businesses restructure their operations and finances, my blog writing has focused much more on addressing issues around the coronavirus, such as managing in a crisis, managing cash flow when revenue dries up, as well as dealing with stress. My professional writing has changed somewhat because my clients have changed their focus somewhat. They largely have stuck to their original content ideas but, in some cases overtly and in others subtly, shifted the focus to address the various impacts of the coronavirus. For example, for one writing client I wrote an article about the importance of holding onto your investments when the market plummets (assuming the companies remain healthy and sound). For another, I wrote an article about the marketing opportunities that exist when others have stopped marketing. A few clients did push out the delivery dates from March to late April. I only had one client, a firm that lends solely to small businesses, cease all content outsourcing, which included my services.” --Tiffany C. Wright
“My pandemic life has differed a bit from those of my writing colleagues. Early in the pandemic, while my husband and I were on book tour, he had a 'silent' heart attack in a hotel. We flew five hours to get home and went straight to the ED. After double bypass surgery, he couldn't swallow for several months and required a gastric feeding tube. He was in the hospital three times in three months. Instead of lamenting pandemic closures or planning pandemic prose, we were focused on his care. Now that he's 99% well, we joke that his illness transformed me from an award-winning author into an accidental home health aide, a role for which I was not particularly suited. We both did our best. Now that our lives have caught up to the rest of the world, I'm introspective. What is really important? My first book, the running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target, was released in May 2019, and the second, the writing journal, You Should Be Writing, came out in June 2020. When I wasn't traveling to promote the books, I was pitching to media outlets, influencers, and anyone who could help them gain traction. That's no longer my priority. I'm much fussier now about the marketing, making things count. And I'm looking inward. What might be most useful to my loved ones, the world, and myself? How can I write something meaningful in light of how jarring and dangerous the world feels? I'm blogging more and practicing more meditation. I'm drafting a proposal for a new project close to my heart. I'm also connecting with other writers through interviews, which help us both. I crave the community and need to be useful. The results seem deeper, more authentic, and satisfying. Sad that it took a pandemic, but my direction feels more true.” --Nita Sweeney
Can you relate to the writers quoted here? How has your writing or writing habits changed over the last six months? Let us know in the comments.
Read interviews with over a dozen more writers here.