April 1 question – The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?


Firstly, I hope everyone in all communities – not just our writing community – is staying safe and well in these troubling times. This pandemic seems to be more like something out of a novel than real life, but we will pull through it and get out at the other side.

Personally, we are all fine at the moment of writing. We are lucky as a family to have all escaped (so far) without too many problems aside from the obvious inconvenience but necessity of the partial lockdown. My brother is a paramedic with the NHS, and at times like this I could not be more proud of him and all the brave workers risking their lives for others. Mark – this one is for you.

No doubt everyone is feeling the stress and strain of the current situation, but my writing has definitely taken a hit from all this. Over the last few weeks, the rejections from my initial novel submissions have all come through at once, so the little hope I did have has now been extinguished – for now.

I recognise that rejection is part and parcel of the job, but no matter what you have already heard or read about, it still comes as a bitter disappointment to have it confirmed.

This might be another catalyst for my struggles with the new novel, who knows. I guess that with everything going on, it is easy to feel a bit depressed about things, but I will not give up. Neither should anyone and everyone else in my situation.

Writing has proved to be an escape from these testing times. It feels a lot harder to sit down and craft a chapter at the moment, and inspiration seems to have abandoned me. Every sentence is hard work at the moment, but I’m sure I am not alone in that.

So no matter how hard it is to get words onto the screen, my writing is my way of being able to not forget, but put aside the troubling times we exist in. I want to be a writer, and they say that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it.

It is difficult fully focusing on it at the moment, but it is also a good exercise in blocking out everything else that is going on around me – even if it is only for a few minutes or hours.

Stay safe everyone, and keep writing. Don’t let this situation detract you from what you do best – and what you enjoy doing. Like mine, your words maybe a little gloomier and darker than normal, but at least they are words that YOU have written. There are a lot of people who can no longer write anything any more, and my heart goes out to their families.

I am going to send off my manuscript to some more agents this week. They may not get it for a while, but it will be waiting for them when they are ready.

Don’t let this virus put you off your writing. Be determined, and stick to your goals. Our dreams may not be far away at all.