The writer’s challenge

Creative writing is time-consuming, to the point of being impossible in the modern world, but for many quarantine during COVID-19 has provided the time needed to put pen to paper.

Chris Baker, a Screen Arts student at Curtin University, says it has been a blessing in disguise, allowing him to work on projects he would not have had time for otherwise.

“Between a job and doing work for university, it would often be hard to find the time to work on more personal projects, or when you do have the time, you don’t have the energy,” he says.

“With quarantine ending, I know I’m not going to have as much time but having now dedicated extra time to personal projects I want to keep some time reserved for it as I rebuild my routine.”

Chris Baker is currently working on four different creative projects. Image: Supplied.

With coronavirus restrictions halting face-to-face meetings and gatherings, writing and book clubs have had to find new ways to continue working with their members.

The Curtin Writers Club is one such club that moved their meetups and workshops to the online platform Discord, a program similar to Skype.

Assistant Secretary Anshu Pande says the move has seen an increase in people participating and sharing their work, with writers able to directly communicate with one another about their projects online.

Thanks to Discord’s success, Miss Pande says they will be looking to create a hybrid version of the old and new ways the club operates in order to best serve their members moving forward.

And for professional writers, quarantine has provided ways of approaching their creative projects they did not have to the time for previously.

New Zealander Tim Hickson, owner of the YouTube channel Hello Future Me with 600,000 subscribers, explores writing as a creative medium and analyses writing tools.

With the channel acting as his job, Hickson was unable to work on more personal projects like his novel but says the lockdown allowed him the time needed to work on these projects while taking his YouTube content to another level.

Hickson and eight other YouTubers wrote and produced this during the lockdown.

Hickson says it will be important for professionals and amateurs alike to strike a balance between old and new lifestyles once quarantine has been lifted.

“You have to choose to dedicate time to the projects, you can’t just let them happen when you’ve got a spare moment,” he says.

“A lot of people will prioritise socialising coming out of lockdown and that’s totally understandable, but if you’re wanting to keep up that creative flow, then you’re going to have to keep choosing to be creative.”

Categories: Arts, COVID-19

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