Time in a Lockdown   7 comments

Has the pandemic affected your writing? If so, how? Have your writing habits changed in reaction to the ‘different’ world we are faced with?

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Time Dilation in the CVD19 Bubble

This year, I published three books. I’ve never done that before because it takes a lot of effort to write a novel and I have a full-time job and family.

Telecommuting Makes Work More Efficient

I’ve been on telecommuting full-time since late-March and I quickly came to realize that a dedicated administrator can do her job to the best of her abilities and still have a LOT of time on my hands. I usually use downtime in the office to file paper documents or interact with my coworkers or neaten my work area. But with telecommuting, a lot of that went away. I do all of my work electronically, so eliminating paper documents (except for a double-sided cheatsheet I use to remember project coding), so there’s no real filing. Nobody but me sees my work area and there are no paper documents, so neatening is unnecessary (or reduced to a Friday afternoon straightening). I can still interact with my coworkers via email and Teams, but really, we don’t do that much anymore. And, I’ve repatriated all the time I used to spend in meetings because meetings on Teams are about half the length of in-person meetings and you don’t have to go anywhere to attend them. Heck, you don’t even have to wear a bra to them.

At first, I begged for more work, but not much happened along those lines. My personal computer equipment is in the same room as my office, so became too tempting as the boredom wore on. To keep from going crazy, I finished a novel in record time and started the next one in Transformation Project. Then a coworker in Nome retired and I volunteered to take on her workload additional to my workload. The extra work kept me distracted for a few weeks, until I adapted to the new workload and then I returned to filling downtime with writing. That TP novel finished rather quickly and I wrote a third novel (the second in What If Wasn’t series), which I published in October.

So, my process hasn’t really changed, but it has sped up simply because I now have more time than I did before. All my downtime on my money job needs to be filled somehow and I prefer to spend it writing rather than napping. (This, by the way, is what my friends who homeschool happens with their kids — six hours of recommended schooling becomes three hours of actual work, followed by two hours of enriching education, leaving an extra hour for almost anything fun).

What About CVD19 Influence?

It’s 24/7 CVD19 news that you can’t get away from unless you choose to live in a no-news bubble, which I think is isolation. Thus, some of my writing topics shifted. When I blog, I now ask liberty questions with regards to CVD19 restrictions.

Question – Would a national mask mandate be constitutional?

Answer – No, the federal government doesn’t have public health powers. Some state governors have statewide powers, but others do not. In Alaska, only First-Class Boroughs and Municipalities hold those powers and so only the mayors of cities can require a mask — and Fairbanks’ Mayor Matherly would like a second-term as mayor, so he’s unlikely to require his libertarian-minded citizens do anything involuntary.

Topical Influence

It’s no surprise that my writing is delving into government abuse of power while we’re going through a period of governmental abuse of power. Of course it is on my mind and since my apocalyptic series is libertarian-influenced, the characters contemplate what I’m chewing on at the moment.

It’s quite coincidental that Transformation Project has a pandemic in it during the CVD19 lockdown. It’s a series. I planned the pandemic five years ago when I started writing the series about the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.” In fact, it kicked around in the back of my head when I started pre-planning a decade ago. Nuclear attacks, an EMP, government confiscation of food and fuel, winter, pandemic, the fracture of the nation, and eventually … I’m not telling. It’s a slow-moving fire-sale scenario and I’m not telling who is orchestrating events.

But I might be paying more attention to the pandemic than I had planned, simply because we’re in the midst of this one. I’m doing more research — and learning some surprising things about virology and immunology. Maybe it’s deepened my writing on the topic. It certainly given me a perspective on CVD19 that is not shared by many who simply accept the official narrative as if “experts” all agree. They don’t — but that’s another topic from this article on writing process.

Fiction Imitates Real Life

The best fiction is based on at least some version of reality. Transformation Project was inspired by current events and it remains influenced by them, even though Donald Trump never was president in the series (I seriously never saw that coming). But I did foresee some version of this election, so why CVD19 has really only allowed me to write more and faster, the current political situation may influence the series far more than I had planned. We’ll see. If I’m really as prescient as I think I am — oh, yeah!

Posted November 16, 2020 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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7 responses to “Time in a Lockdown

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  1. I really enjoyed this article, Lela. I am glad you are using your extra time constructively for writing.

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  2. Wow, you have been mega-productive! Well done, Lela.

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  3. I’m also able to access my personal computer during my slack moments from work. It’s hard to use the time productively knowing that a new email could pull me into a ‘must fix it now’ issue at any moment.

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    • That has never bothered me. I think it’s because I grew up in small Alaska homes where you’re living on top of one another. You did homework at the dining table while your parents watched the news and made dinner and whatever else. I read an article by Ray Bradbury where he said he always worked in the common room of his house and it didn’t bother him that his kids were playing while he was working. I guess that’s how I am. I can flow back and forth.

      It drives my husband CRAZY!

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  4. There’s a discipline in the rapid hat changing process. You’re good at it or you aren’t. I agree that there has been more time, as commuting is cut out. You’d think people would use that for editing…

    Liked by 1 person

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