Questions 3: Being an Author in 2020

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Coming to the end of a very strange year, I was thinking of something I could do for the December Thursdays.  I began to think about how writing, reading, publishing, and the whole thing took a very odd turn thanks to Covid-19.  Some people saw book sales soar while many saw them either drop or stay low.  I read articles about how more people are reading and others say how lockdowns made people avoid books.  I saw authors explode all over social media in an attempt to sell books to those they considered a captive and desperate audience.  I saw others kind of shrug and figure that this really isn’t going to change their luck.  We all have different thoughts and perspectives on how 2020 went, so let’s share them.

  1. Did you find it easier, harder, or the same to write books this year?  Why?
  2. What impact do you think the pandemic had on readers?
  3. Did you learn anything new as an author or reader this year?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Questions 3: Being an Author in 2020

  1. 1. Harder. First I struggled from a mental/emotional point of view with what was happening, and – what I found hardest to process – how people were reacting and behaving. Then things got worse as I started to have to deal with some personal stuff while the pandemic-related restrictions were still a thing, and people were acting in ways that scare and disgust me, making those personal things I have to deal with harder to deal with, not to mention a load more time-consuming and stressful. Of course, then I entered the annoyingly frustrating cycle where I’m struggling mentally/emotionally with so much that I just don’t have it in me to find the energy to even try writing, but because I’m not writing I’m struggling even more, which then makes it even more difficult to write, which… Well, you get the point.

    2.It’s varied. Some people are reading more, some people are struggling to read as much as is normal for them. Then there are those who are back and fourth, so sometimes hide away in books, only to struggle to even read a few words another time. From a reading point of view, I fall in to the latter camp: some days I just want to curl up with a book and forget the world. Other days I don’t get far in my reading, or I end up watching old favourite TV shows instead of enjoying something new. I’ve even had some days when I’ve turned my Kindle on to read, and then decided I really don’t feel like it, so just turned it back off again.

    3. Not really. At least, if I did then I can’t think of what it might be right now.

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    • 1. Totally get that point. Lived it and still living it. The pandemic has really taken a mental/emotional toll on people.

      2. Good to hear you get some writing time. It’s surprising how difficult it’s been with quarantines and lockdowns. You’d think it would be the opposite.

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  2. V.M.Sang says:

    1. I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would do. I think it’s because my husband was looking for things to do and wanted my company to do them. Now that’s nice, but not very good for when you want to write.
    2. Like Victoria Zigler, I think it varied. My sales haven’t changed much. Still a lot lower than I would like. *sigh*.
    3. What I’ve learned is that going out, even for a short time, is important, but that it’s easy to say ‘I’ll go tomorrow.’ I also learned how much I miss seeing and hugging my children and grandchildren. Talking on the phone, or over Zoom isn’t the same.
    And also hugs from friends, too. Yes. I miss hugs.

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    • 1. May I recommend a spray bottle filled with water? Works on getting cats off computers.

      2. Mine just died in the spring.

      3. Zoom is rough. It was fun and intriguing at first. Then it loses its luster. Zoom funerals have to be the hardest. Puts you in limbo as far as closure goes.

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  3. inkspeare says:

    1.Difficult to concentrate with everything that is going on. I am still struggling with a novel that should have been finished by October this year, and I am still in Chapter 6. The state of our country and the pandemic has really affected my emotions, heart, spirit, and mind, and it has been difficult to write. I think many authors feel this way.
    2.Not sure, but I think that people who did not have the time to read before due to jobs and many other social commitments are reading more now.
    3.Not sure if I learned anything new in those areas, maybe more a change of perspective on things I already knew. Maybe because my focus was so out of center with everything that is going on that it has been hard to learn anything as far as writing goes. I have to say that I have enjoyed reading your blog because you usually have topics that are not common in writing blogs. I mean by that the approach you use to present a topic is different and very interesting, sometimes unusual, but adds a layer to the topic.

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    • 1. I think many have been distracted. Others have used their projects to escape the stress. That’s what I did since I couldn’t take the news anymore.

      2. I hope so. Could create a larger reading population.

      3. Focus issues could do that. You struggle simply to maintain skills and productivity. Glad you’re enjoying the blog. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. C.E.Robinson says:

    Charles, the COVID 19 didn’t change me as a writer. I write everyday, and I was heavy into editing and rewriting sections of the book. The change was personal. No traveling to see family in WA & CT. Not doing that until the vaccine is available. FaceTime, phone calls & text message were a lifesaver. I think more people read eBooks & perhaps audio books. And ordered print books on Amazon. This past year, of course, I learned a ton from my editor. So, the first book is a practice book, and the rewriting is key! It will be a better book to publish. Happy writing, Charles. 📚🎶. Christine

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  5. L. Marie says:

    1. It was harder to stay focused enough to write. I altered between panic and depression—not a good state in which to write.
    2. I’ve heard people are reading more. I’m glad for that.
    3. To stop taking things for granted. Also that readers can love you one minute and crucify you the next, a fact to which many popular authors can attest.

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  6. I didn’t have a problem writing this year. I admit it’s gotten harder in the last couple of weeks. I’m finding it hard to write the comedy bits in my stories. Possibly because things aren’t fun right now. I think some people read more, but those who don’t didn’t take up the habit. I think I learned that three books per year wears an audience down. Promoting them certainly wore me out.

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  7. I found it harder to write this year because of all the mental interruptions. There were Covid and the election. Just too much crap for my comfort.
    I think the pandemic turned folks away from reading and more toward other kinds of entertainment. Reading is a solitary event and I think the pandemic forced folks to be together so they naturally gravitated to doing things the whole family could enjoy. Besides most were too exhausted dealing with the reality to stay awake long enough to read a book.
    I did learn that the things that worked in 2019 as far as marketing a book did not work in 2020.

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  8. love the visuals you used.. so funny!
    Writing more than ever which is awesome and my momentum between work and writing hasn’t changed but the book I havd in mind just isn’t materializing as planned.. did i say book? what book? 🤣 Cindy

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