• Pandemic Writing: What Are You Working On?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in CoronaVirus     Comments 60 comments

    Discussion question: What are you writing during this pandemic?


    During this weird time I wanted to run a bunch of discussion posts where we can all keep in touch and talk about specific things like what we’re writing and what we’re reading, and general things like… how we’re making it through this. Find links to the other posts at the bottom of this one.


    For this post, let’s talk specifically about what we’re writing during this pandemic. We’ll have another post (link below) about how we’re writing, so that’ll be the place to talk about our approach (mental and physical) during this situation and the ways in which this lockdown (whether it’s coming to you or already has) is affecting, or will affect, your writing life.

    For this space, let’s just share with each what exactly we’re working on.

    Are you continuing with your WIP? If so, tell us about it. Novel or stories? Nonfiction? What kind?

    Or does this situation have you working on something new? If so, how’s it going so far?

    If you want to share any passages from your current work, don’t be shy! Paste ’em in the comments below.


    Here are links to our other three discussion posts:

    How we’re writing, during this pandemic, and how it’s helping keep us sane

    What we’re reading during this pandemic

    A general discussion post where you can talk (or vent) about whatever you want: what’s the vibe in your house, your town or city, your state, your country? What movies and TV shows are you watching? How much toilet paper do you have left? How weird is this?

    Stay safe, friends. Stay healthy. Stay home, as much as you can.


    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2020 writing project you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. If you have a manuscript that’s ready for some editorial care, check out our various critiquing, editorial, and proofing servicesJoin our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    Joe Giordano

    I’m writing a novel, working title: The Art of Revenge. Funded by forged and stolen paintings, rogue Russian intelligence agents convince Kim Jong-un to smuggle a WMD into the U.S. and only Anthony Provati and the mysterious Valentina Esposito can stop them.

    Joe Giordano

    Thanks. Joe.

    stephen Glick

    Joe sounds good! I have not learned how to place a good guy in my book without them dyeing a terrible offal death.

    Joe Giordano

    Thank for your interest. Try giving him a brother who you can kill off instead. Then your protagonist can do a “John Wick” on everyone responsible for sequel after sequel. Best regards, Joe.


    Hi, I hope you are doing well. I am not sure IF I am struggling or in some ways IF I am starting to feel more grateful. During this time, it reminds me of the daily freedoms and myriad of choices we usually have. I hope to not take the simple things in life for granted after this. Just being able to buy toilet paper never seemed overly exciting until recently. When I went to the store to buy much needed items for the family; like toilet paper and extra Ramen noodles; it was shocking to see the entire shelf… Read more »

    Jennifer Pommer

    I know what you mean about the shopping. There is an interesting book called “MIG Pilot” from the late 70s or 80s based on a true story of a Soviet MIG pilot who defects to the West by flying his plane to Japan. It’s written by Barron. He compares food shopping in the Soviet Union and the US.


    Thanks for reading. And I feel grateful.

    Fred Grewe

    working on my third book … this one is based on the questions attributed to God in the Bible … premise is, if God knows everything then why is She / He asking questions? My take is that they are great for existential reflection …

    Elissa Malcohn

    My projects are the same as they were pre-pandemic: (a) journal writing, (b) 366 (long description of that project at https://www.writebynight.net/abcs-of-writing/writing-goals-2020/#comment-59259), and (c) freelance gigs. Here’s a journal excerpt: 3/19/20 1:03 AM. Johns Hopkins has changed the scale of its dots, which had been threatening to obliterate the underlying text. The dashboard for the FL Dept. of Health has changed its layout, too. Part of the story here is how the data presenters are adapting to these accelerating numbers. Check arrived from [one client], covering February and March. Whenever my next errand run is, it will include the bank. Meanwhile,… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    As a native New Yorker, my heart aches for you all up there. Stay safe.


    Lockdown won’t affect my writing process much. Mentally, yes, because I’m trying to stay focused and reasonably optimistic in the midst of all the fear-porn. I encourage my writers group, via email, to keep working on their projects, as I stick with mine. It is therapeutic.

    Frances Wiedenhoeft

    A book of poems, A Case for Earth: Poems of Connection. I live in a place where I have the benefit of wild places all around, forest, prairie, streams, rivers, lakes. I have since my earliest memory. Of course I feel a connection to our earth and want to save her. It occurred to over the past few months how many people are disconnected. They have never felt dry prairie grass through their fingers or felt a rivers rushing water through their fingers. I have written a series of poems to try to help people learn earth like you teach… Read more »

    Frances Wiedenhoeft

    Close to normal. I had made some adjustments based on caring for grandsons who were out of school. Now my daughter is laid off, so she is home.
    I hope you are all safe and well, and once again thank you for your outreach to writers. I appreciate your site even though I haven’t interacted much.

    stephen Glick

    I have passed the 40,000 word mark on the next great horror novel (There is something wrong with Joey)I can only hope Ha. I am reading (The Chill)and just finished (Doctor Sleep).I am waiting for Koontz’s book (The eyes of ?/Darkness)cannot wait!

    Jan Morgan-Swegle

    I just finished a short story for 2 of our grandsons that live in Charlotte. Both of their parents are working from home and are finding that working full time even from home with 3 little boys is difficult. To that end, they ask if I could come up with a story to read to them through the portal, that my husband could illustrate. Since the boys will be out of school until late April or early May, the true purpose of this exercise is to give Mommy and Daddy some alone time and also some time with the youngest… Read more »

    Peter E. Greulich

    Just posted up the story of my drive through the heartland of America last week. An amazing journey that filled me with hope and reminded me of a time when my generation faced a similar crisis: infantile paralysis commonly called polio.

    The Heart of America Is Strong Enough to Defeat the Coronavirus



    – Pete

    Danielle Verwers

    My longer WIP is untouched, but I have written several poems. Tomorrow marks two weeks of social distancing and I feel like I am finally able to get serious again.

    Denise White

    Since i have been in the house I started looking through some of my old poem and journals.. This poem was written to be the prolog for a book about my life since fibromyalgia. I’ve started writing again. Transitioning Well child, I’ll tell you, life for me has been no easy path. I’ve stepped on splinters and cut my feet on broken glass. Flesh torn up, bones laid open, bare. But all the time I’ve kept moving, turning corners, hands out stretched to find the way. Sometimes my eyes were closed, hoping not to see, keeping fears at bay. Baby… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn

    Love this. Cadence, structure, message: stunning. Thank you.

    Torria Stevens

    Thank you for sharing Denise – Bellissimo! Stay safe.

    Torria Stevens

    For the most part, I’m a short-story writer, but I’ve had a blog forever and have just kept adding to it when I get a whim for a random topic. I turned sixty-five in Feb.; so I’m writing a piece on my experience by way of random reflection/s. My angle or theme, as many of my rants are in essay form, are, is based on a meeting I had with a woman who was suffering with lupus, the same debilitating illness as a cousin of mine. Often sharing things about herself, she also offered seemingly proverbial tidbits about time and… Read more »

    Torria Stevens

    Will do Thanx


    I’m working on a short story about a compelling event I was a part of when I used to work in the operating room. Spiritual and existential in turns.


    Creative non-fiction.

    Caron Caraway

    Hello, Caron here in NM I am writing about how medical massage and writing go together. I’ve got 200+ 1 pagers all true about personal breakthrough moments, and am wanting to bring them out of the bottom drawer and collate. Any suggestions, ’cause they’re all biters to revisit. Thanks for any suggestions.

    Caron Caraway

    The theme seems to be the ah haaa, about recognized healing or just bust a gut laughing…yet I have several themes emerging. There’s anger release, healing generated, and memory (ies) needing like lost children to be brought back home.


    Excuse the intrusion…love to hear more about your book and how you are doing. Hope you’re happy.

    stephen Glick

    Hey , hey .I had just finished the Chill. The day before I out bid the world it seemed, to buy Dean Koontz The eyes of Darkness. I am half way into it. It is thus far the scariest book I have ever read! I also have been writing in my journal. You know logging this crap.

    Caron Caraway

    Oh, yeah that’s a scary one. What value is there in scaring ourselves more now..last night I did just that, with what I wrote…and I know we can go in to mental lockdown if we can’t shed fear. So jump up and down, shake it off, write write, right?

    stephen Glick

    Monday I had a first I shed tears when one of my characters in the book I am wring kills herself. I hope that is progress.

    stephen Glick

    David She shoved my 16 gauge double barrel into her mouth. So yes! I had no clue. or recall of the incident.thats my story!

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Last week I found myself wanting to write any story that does not take place on this planet. As I have a science fiction novel in progress, I have decided to focus on that work during this time, incorporating astral projection and remote viewing into my universe.

    Caron Caraway

    Yay sci fi, and don’t forget astral projection goes inny and outy…

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    Today I am on a virtual tour of the Loire region of France scouting locations for a particular scene. Who else is touring?

    Cheryl Guillot Jones

    I am a Google maps person, and picture anthologies. Voyager documentaries on free TV (Pluto and others) have aerial tours that are truly beautiful. I saw one of Germany last week. I would also imagine that PBS has some travel shows we can tap into. Happy trails! (I just aged myself there).


    Searching for a word. What word would describe an old sock that has lost its elastic so rather than staying up on your calves it curls down around your ankles? I am hoping for something better than saggy. Is elasticless a word? I suppose I could just say it’s lost its grip. Other ideas? In my writing a character is using the saggy sock as a metaphor for her current self, body and spirit.

    Shirley Lopez

    I am writing a Biography and about halfway through. But wondered how I could get new work —since I am house bound. But then I realized I have 3 novels of my own started but not finished. So I am going to try to finish at least one if not all of my own novels and get them published. I am sure writing work will come my way. When this pandemic is done perhaps I will have something published once again that I have done. Stay safe everyone!

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