Betty’s Tips

Happy New Year, Dear Readers,

As we say goodbye to a very difficult year for millions of people, we have high hopes that 2021 will allow us all to be less isolated, less stressed, and more productive writers. So many of us have had trouble focusing on our work, but we’re not alone. See Constance Grady’s I tried to write an essay about productivity in quarantine; it took me a month to do it as proof. Suffice it to say, we are all eager for 2021 to be a better year in many ways.

The announcement of a vaccine becoming generally available in the near future is a good first step toward normalcy, but that alone will not get us back on track. So, until we have all adjusted to whatever normal comes our way, let’s start by trying to jumpstart our writing.

To help with that, I sought out the wisdom of the Web and found many there who would not only commiserate, but give us good ideas for how to push ourselves forward while we wait for the vaccine to arrive at our local drugstore or clinic.

What better place to start than with the “Old Gray Lady” herself—the New York Times. They had an article  back in April on 12 Ideas for Writing Through the Pandemic. Of course, last April, we thought we would be through with this by now. Still, the advice remains helpful to keep our writing juices flowing.

The Write Practice helps us deal with Coronavirus burnout in Can’t Write During Coronavirus?, while Collegeville Institute gives us tips on How to Write During a Pandemic. Las Cruces Sun News suggests that Writing Letters Can Help You Through the Coronavirus Pandemic (as well as keep us in touch with others!).

Writer Unboxed tells us How to Write During a Pandemic Even If It Feels Like You Can’t. CrimeReads website brings us a variety of voices on the topic Writers Under Lockdown: Surviving (and Writing) During a Pandemic. According to LoudounNow, it is even possible to Write Your Way to Better Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

If your writing takes a more academic bent, check out How to Write a Dissertation During a Pandemic from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Or for novelists, consider Scroll.in’s How Do You Write a Book During this Pandemic When Anxiety and Uncertainty Reign Over Everything?

But perhaps one of the most important things we can do is to remember how much we as writers and community members owe to the caregivers and first responders, essential workers and volunteers, scientists and vaccine test subjects, all of whom help us carry on during the pandemic and give us hope for the future. The University of Colorado suggests we should consider Gratitude: What to Write About During a Pandemic.

I am grateful for you, dear readers, and for the many wonderful people in our writing community. I wish you all good health, good times, and good writing in 2021.

Until next time, readers!

Betty Wryte-Goode


Mixed-Up Words of the Month

Anxious vs. Eager

These two adjectives both have to do with a person’s state of mind. While they are sometimes confused, their definitions reveal very different connotations.

Anxious is a feeling of worry or nervousness, often, but not always, about an upcoming event. Example: Sandy was anxious while taking the SATs. A bad score could ruin any chance of getting into an Ivy League school.

In this example, Sandy is experiencing anxiety because so much depends on doing well on the SATs.

Eager is a feeling of excitement or anticipation about an (often perceived as pleasant) upcoming event. Example: Sandy was eager to start school at Cornell in the fall.

In this example, Sandy is excited and looking forward to going to Cornell and believes it will be a pleasant experience.  

Putting them together: While the pandemic has made millions anxious about going out in public, most are eager to resume their former social lives once a vaccine is generally available.

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