Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Writing- the pause September 22, 2020

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For some, the pandemic has offered a blessing of time to write that they’ve longed for, and they have taken advantage, holing up at home and writing that novel that’s always been at the back of their minds.

For some, the stress of managing new complications and layers of deadly danger in their workplace or among their family members has shut down all notions of creative expression. They’re in survival mode, and all the stories that were in process have sputtered to a stop.

I’m in both camps. I’ve managed to keep writing poetry, but larger projects eluded me. Added to the pandemic stress, my 90 year old mom broke her hip in April, went through rehab and was released back home, but then she passed away in June. I am executor of her estate, and the magnitude of work required to clean up a life-time of possessions from her house was dramatic.

So here I am, looking at the last four months of 2020. I had a goal to submit 20 times in 2020, and so far, I’ve sent out 9 submissions. The first 8 submissions were in Jan/Feb, to give you an idea of how completely the pandemic froze my world!

The pause.

I just submitted the 9th thing a few days ago. It’s a promise to myself that it’s time to dig out from the pressure. I am pondering ways I can salvage my goal. I aim to spend some time with my unpublished projects and look for potential homes for them. Is it time to try a mass submission drive? Shall I find 11 completed pieces in my computer and send each somewhere? Contests? Journals? Magazines?


There are 15 weeks left in 2020. It’s time to find my lists of ‘where to publish’ (Writers Market, here I come!). If I take a week to find projects in the computer, I can submit one thing a week and maybe even beat my goal!

How about you? Have you been struggling to meet your writing goals amid all the stresses of 2020? Will you be making any changes in the final months of the year to achieve your goals?

Do you have any recommendations of good places to submit?


10 Responses to “Writing- the pause”

  1. John S Says:

    I agree that it has been difficult to write with the pandemic, similar family obligations (though my mother is still living)- my condolences on your loss, political messes dominating the news cycle. I don’t have any recommendations for places to submit, but commend you for sticking to your goal. If you come upon any good submission sites – please pass them along. 🙂

  2. drpassenger Says:

    Here I am With alike formatting as yours… trying to get the momento but something grasp me due to current time. life is bit tough now a days for loads of people.

  3. Jim Stewart Says:

    I’ve been pretending to work on a stalled novel. I like the website to get submission ideas for poems, essays, and stories. There are some good links there. I actually have a lot to say about this process, but I’ll just stop here.

    • Yes, many of the publications and contests I submit to use Submittable. I’ve never used it to search for potential homes for stories though, only when the contest/publisher has the link on their submission page. Thanks for the hint!

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss, and for the compounded grief and difficulties of navigating all of that in the midst of a pandemic. Kudos for picking the threads of your writing practice up again with a design in mind. Therein lies both hope and healing. Wishing you peace and progress! ❤

  5. magicpoet01 Says:

    Dust Poetry/ Island Magazine/ The Mozzie/ Mascara…

  6. sarahtinsley Says:

    15 weeks! Is that all? Now I feel like I really need to get writing… For me, it’s been a bit of both. Periods of staring at the screen and periods of frantic words.

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