Hello everyone! I hope you are all staying healthy!
As writers, the concept of needing to revise something should not be a new one to us. We write something, and then we revise it again, and again, and again, and a few more times for good measure before we finally query or publish it.
However, the idea of revising our lives due to COVID-19 has come as a shock to even those of us who are most experienced in making revisions. You’d think that the one activity that wouldn’t be affected by social distancing is writing. (Think about it. You usually do it by yourself at home or in a coffee shop.) But even writing hasn’t been safe from unplanned changes. Libraries are closed, writer’s groups have to find new ways to meet, and conferences are postponed or canceled.
At the beginning of 2020, I designed my entire yearly plan for writing around a conference in June that I was planning on attending. I devoted the first six months of the year to writing and the last six to querying. Now, that conference may or may not take place; the organizers are still waiting to see where we’re at with social distancing come June. On a more positive note, some alternative workshops and online activities for writers that didn’t exist when I created my 2020 writing goals have become available.
As a result of all the changes, I had to seriously consider whether or not my original writing plan for this year was still the best one to follow. To give myself some much needed clarity on what to do, I summarized my writing priority for the year in one sentence: My goal for 2020 is to get something published. With that goal in mind, and after a lot of thought, I gave myself permission to scrap my original writing plan and adjust it for our current, everchanging situation. I then started looking at the options available to me and chose the ones that would get me closer to my end goal of publication.
My Revised Writing Plan for 2020:
- Start querying the materials that are ready for agents and editors to read.
- Write a picture book and participate in the free online Peer-to-Peer Picture Book & Chapter Book Manuscript Critiques program offered through the Pennsylvania: East chapter of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.
During this time of constant change and uncertainty, give yourself permission to adjust your plans (this does not only apply to writing plans). Life looks different right now. It’s not comfortable, but if you search for the positives in the situation, you might be surprised by what you find.
Stay healthy, and happy writing!