Writing Ideas for a COVID Summer

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You thought your summer writing events were all lined up. Wrong. Comic cons, writers’ workshops, and book fairs have all been canceled. What’s a writer to do? Make the best of the new normal. Let’s explore some writing opportunities you can do from the safety of your own home. 

Writing Opportunities I Lost to COVID

This summer, I was scheduled to attend a few Comic Cons with a group of friends. I belong to a group of writers whose books are genre-adjacent to my own Urban Fantasy novels. We split table fees, hotel rooms, meals, Uber rides, laughs, and lots of post-con cocktails. Every year, I look forward to my summers with these friends. We travel all over the country, meet new people, and sell our books to new audiences. 

Well, that’s not happening. In the name of health and safety, we postponed our trips this year. Many of the Con showrunners allowed us to move our deposit to next summer. If luck is on our side (and all the scientists seeking a vaccine) we’ll hit the road in 2021.

Another missed opportunity–a writer’s retreat to work on my newest novel. Again, the virus lurking in the shadows didn’t allow for gatherings with strangers. I totally understand. Also lost, all the library events and book store signings.

C’est la vie. Le Sigh.

Writing Opportunities I Gained

So now that my dance card is empty, now what? Well, I’m always complaining that I don’t have enough time to write. Being a teacher, I normally have a lot of time to write in the summer. Not quite this summer. With our school scrambling to figure out the Fall schedule, I have more professional development days than I ever wanted. BUT! I need to nourish my soul. Especially after the Spring we all just experienced. Since all of our family vacations were canceled, perhaps my new work-from-home time will balance itself out.

The following are my over-ambitious plans for this summer:

  1. Carve out more writing time. And, when I say writing, I mean planning. I plan on outlining my next novel. I’ve already bought two boxes of colored index cards and have started taking notes. Then, maybe, I’ll start pushing out chapters.
  2. I’d like to wrap up the audiobook of my first novel. Over the winter, I had the opportunity to work with a voice-actor. We’d been going back and forth, finalizing the piece, then COVID hit. Sadly, the project was put in the back seat. Time to move it to the front! 
  3. While cleaning out closets during COVID-Spring cleaning, I found an old manuscript written over ten years ago. It’s a YA horror novel and it was my first full MS. Yes, it’s a mess. But I think I might take the time to clean it up, dust it off, see if it’s any good.

What Will You Do? What Could You Do? 

So, what are you doing this summer? Maybe one of my ideas from the last section will spark a light inside your poor quarantined soul. If not, here’s a list of possible avenues for you to explore:

  • Write a Musical! Camp NaNoWriMo starts in July and they’re challenging you to write a Musical! 
  • Try writing a short story in a genre outside your comfort zone.
  • Check out some of the Writing Prompts here on Inkitt.
  • Now’s the time to find a writer’s group. Maybe connect with other humans. 

Whatever you do, be sure to take care of yourself and those around you. Check on your elderly neighbors from a safe distance, maybe write them a note! But most importantly, wear a mask in public and wash your hands–and your keyboard. 

Do you have a topic you would like us to cover? Let us know about your suggestion. 


About Author

Heather Rigney is a fiction writer, blogger, journalist, and art teacher based in Rhode Island. Author of The Merrow Trilogy--a dark, historical fantasy novel that deals with homicidal mermaids, the colonial suppression of women, and a present-day alcoholic funeral director trying to make sense of it all. Her writing has been featured in Motif Magazine and Stone Crowns Magazine. By day she teaches art at an all-girls Quaker school and at night she tries to be creative while avoiding too many sweets. You can read more about Ms. Rigney on her website: www.heatherrigney.com

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