America and the world have experienced something we have never dealt with before. COVID-19 has everyone running for cover. Certainly we need to use common sense and use good hygiene. I’ll leave my political views out of it except to say I believe it’s an overactive media at its best – or worst. I can see how the current events fit neatly into Bible prophecy. I’ll save that for another time as well.
So the country is in lockdown. Does that mean you can’t accomplish anything worthwhile? Nope! This may very well be a blessing in disguise for writers. So few places to go. So few things to do. It’s the perfect time to devote yourself to your next writing project. Or if you don’t write, curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and ten books. Don’t waste the time we have – and don’t complain about it either.
Now, on to something practical. Well, I’m not sure. I’m always looking for new things to try, new techniques to use, to keep the creative juices flowing. I came across something interesting today. Have you ever thought about copying a finished novel? I don’t mean copying it and claiming as your own. I mean taking pen and paper and writing it word for word. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But here’s the payoff.
- You learn commitment – Taking time to handcopy a great work is a great work. You’ve chosen to place yourself in lockdown as you undertake many hours of scribing. You risk writer’s cramp. The sacrifices you make and the commitment you claim will go miles as you set out to work on your new manuscript.
- You learn the hidden, internal structure of the manuscript. How does the author structure his/her sentences? Are they short? Long? What about the cadence? You’ll see things you never thought of before, and I believe in the long run that will help shape your writing. (But you have to use a quality text to copy. It works both ways. If you use an inferior manuscript, it will pull your writing down just as easily).
- You strengthen vocabulary. There can be no doubt, left to ourselves, we have a tendency to overuse certain words. Think about the word but. What other words could you use in its place? Maybe however. How about in contrast? It might even be possible to change it up by using the word and.
There is much more that can be said. however, I think you get the point. I’ve never done this before so I’m hoping to try it in the near future. Let me know what your thoughts are.
Until next week, keep healthy and busy. Don’t let the lockdown get the best of you.