Tuesday, May 12

Quarantine Lessons

Liz and I are big ones for lists and okay, yeah, it’s a cheap and easy way to get a blog written, but you know, sometimes we just need to stop and count our blessings. So that’s what I’m doing on Word Wranglers today—I’m going to make a list of all the stuff I’ve discovered about me as a writer and as a person since the Quarantine started. Ready? Here we go…

          I can sprint. I mean, seriously, I can write up to 861 words in 30 minutes if I’m focused and on the clock. Liz invited a bunch of people to join her in a Facebook group that Alicia Rasley started called Sprintwriters. I’ve been participating in Writing Sprints for at least a month now and that’s how most of the words on the new novel have been written—10K and change.

        I’m better if I stay on a schedule even though it’s so very easy to let the schedule go when the outdoors beckons and I want to ride my bike or take a walk because I’m tired of staying home all the time. So, getting up at six in the morning, coming to my office to work or write and then taking occasional breaks and stopping at five or so makes me more productive, both as a writer and an editor.

     I depend on being able to g-Chat with Liz each day--we both get online first thing in the morning, stick our chat boxes up to the left corner of computer screens, and are pretty much always available to one another. It's not quite the same as being in the same room on a writing trip together, but it's a connection and I cherish knowing she's there if I need to pout or rant or laugh or cry... Being able to have work days again will be lovely beyond words, but for now, this works.

         I’ve been learning to use Canva to create promotional stuff for The Baby Contract, Book 4 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series, and it’s fun! I’m not one moment arty or crafty, but I can work with what is provided free on Canva and I’ve done some simple, but cool stuff. The #writeinmay prompts have been such good practice.

         Although I miss seeing church folks in person, I really love online church. I don’t think it’s because I’m lazy and don’t want to get up and get dressed and drive to the church building on Sunday mornings. I think it’s because we only do one service online, and I get to see all the other great musicians and folks who participate in second service (I generally go to first). So lots of new, inspiring music and the message is always amazing thanks to our two great pastors. It still feels like we are all worshiping together even if we can’t be together. Plus, I can feel my sister’s spirit, just knowing she’s at her house watching, too.

 I’m addicted to my kids and grandkids hugs and  their faces. We’ve had driveway visits and every time, I can see Grandboy holding himself back just like I have to when we first see each other. We’ve both agreed that a half hour of nothing but hugs will be the order of the day as soon as quarantine is over. I also need a to hug Son and DIL—it’s been way too long.

          I’m way more social that I would have guessed. I miss lunches with my freelancer colleagues and my dear friends here and at the lake and new friends here in our new neighborhood. I could probably spend an entire day on Skype or Google Meet if I let myself, just going from friend to friend to stay in touch. I told Husband last night that when this is over, I intend to bring a big group of my friends together for a feast of great food, great wine, and great conversation!

That’s probably not everything I've discovered, but it’s enough for now. I invite you to share what you’ve learned about yourself through this time. Let’s talk, okay?



  1. Great post. I think I've learned that I'm not as social as I thought, although I miss people--especially my family. That G-chat is a godsend--as are sprints. That I look really bad at Zoom meetings. That I still like to cook but am bored with thinking of things. A lot...

    1. I so get the cooking thing. Thanks, Liz!! <3

  2. I've learned that I love my online yoga classes. I didn't think I could do yoga anywhere but at the studio, but I'm loving not having to drive and being able to close my office door and do my thing. What I don't love is how so many plans are being disrupted. My daughter's wedding is supposed to be August 15 but we're not sure yet if it will go ahead on that date. But I do love that people are being creative. Instead of a traditional bridal shower, we're going to have a drive-way shower. I'm not quite sure how it will work but I think people will pop by her drive-way, say hello and then leave. Not quite what we'd hoped for but we'll make it work.

  3. I've learned that I really like not going places but that I miss restaurant food. I've learned that I really like people but I have no patience anymore for a lot of them. I've learned that reading is a balm for me but that I'm turning more to TV because I don't have to think so much and sometimes I just need to zone out. I've re-learned that sprinting is a great way for me to meet my writing goals and I'm trying to figure out why I ever stopped sprinting/chunking out my writing.

  4. What a positive, uplifting post, Nan. It reminds us that we have so much to be thankful for no matter what the circumstances are, and that we can still be productive and adhere to a schedule if we so choose. I think so many people have been yanked away from their daily routines that they feel lost. Fortunately, we, as writers, aren't as put out by this virus upheaval like so many are. Yes, we miss our friends, family, etc., but, as you pointed out, there are ways to stay connected until we can physically connect again. And when that does happen, how very grateful we'll be. More than ever.

  5. I've been lucky in that I'm still out there chugging away. Not much has changed in my life. Although I do miss being able to write in the Barnes and Noble café and browse for new books. And I miss my movies. I don't care what they say, movies at home aren't the same as movies in the theater.