Writing in the Midst of COVID-19

You might think that as a university professor I would have more time to write in the middle of a pandemic. After all, I taught online most of the spring, which saved me a forty-five minute drive each way to and from work. However, online teaching takes a great deal more time than in-class, especially the first time I prepare a class. This year, my school is switching to Canvas, a good program, but the requirements are more stringent. Canvas has weekly modules, and in addition to the syllabus, there must be detailed instructions on what the students must do each week. That takes many, many hours of work. Writing has had to take a back seat for now until I prepare all the courses.


There are some advantages. Once my classes are in canvas, I have already made out the tests, and running a course involves only taking attendance, teaching, and grading. Whether I teach in-class, as is the current plan, or online, doesn’t matter now since the groundwork is completed.


If any of you are writers, I wonder if the pandemic has helped you have more time to write. I pray none of you have lost loved ones or been severely ill yourselves. Those of us who are theists pray for the best until a vaccine is found or herd immunity occurs. The former is much better, since the latter implies at least an 80% total infection rate in the population.


One thing you can do as a writer is think about future projects or consider revisions on a current project. Sometimes revisions begin in the unconscious when you are doing other things, and suddenly, when you return to writing, the solution to a problem pops up in your mind. You can also read in your genre or read solid literary fiction. You cannot be a good writer if you are not a good reader.


For those who are readers and not writers, I wish you the best and hope that you have found some good books to read during this unusual time. May we soon be spared from this virus and return to normal.