Creatives in the Time of Social Distancing

Crazy times, right? Hard, frightening times for some more than others–if you’re sick or know someone who’s sick, if you’ve lost your job or have to take time off without pay, if you’re trying to juggle anything with caring for children–homeschooling or not. I’m counting myself on the incredibly lucky side–I have work, I can do it at home, I’m being paid, and my family and friends are very much able to social distance and are taking it seriously enough to reduce my worry.

And in the midst of everything you/we might be going through, there’s trying to maintain some sense of normalcy, to stay committed and attentive to the things we have always tried to spend time with, keep focused on. For me, that’s writing; for you that may be writing or something else creative–painting, crafting, playing an instrument, cooking. It’s not easy, right? But it’s possible and–at least in the kidlit world–there are lots of creatives out coming up with ways to support us.  Because creatives create.

If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen a lot/most of these opportunities. But I’m going to list a few here that I’ve noticed that may give you a few moments or even a few seconds of beauty, peace, inspiration. I’ll try to keep the list updated as I see more. Also, please add any of your own discoveries in a comment.

  • Erin Dionne has a couple of things going. If you follow her on Facebook (and you should), you may have seen her Captain’s Log posts the past few winters–posts that led to her recent picture book Captain’s Log: Snowbound, She’s started up the posts again, bringing humor and empathy to the current state of things. She’s also started sharing a Friday video on her Facebook post–unfortunately, I don’t seem to be technically savvy enough to post a link here. They’re definitely worth scrolling through her page, though.
  • Susan Taylor Brown has, for a while, been posting daily on Facebook about things that are making her happy. Recently, she’s been adding photos to share “a pause to breathe.”  Her work is lovely–follow her and start seeing them on a regular basis.
  • SCBWI is, as usual, making sure we’re taken care of during this time with a series of free digital workshops. They’ve also launched SCBWI Connects.
  • Not specifically COVID-19 related, just a tip from me to other picture books writers: If you write picture books, this may be a good time to go back and read through Storystorm posts at Tara Lazar’s blog.

We can also do a lot to support other writers and illustrators who may be hitting their own bumps right now. Book Riot has a list of ways we can do that. And you can always support authors, illustrators, and bookstores by shopping at your indie’s online site.


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