A Pep Talk to Writers and Poets

My fellow writers and poets.

WordPress has become saturated, positively inundated, with overnight blogs with one main point of discussion: COVID-19.

Meanwhile, I have noticed a sharp decline in your releases. I’m not calling anyone out, I am merely pointing out.

You guys, I’m begging you, do not stop creating. Do stop from releasing. What you have to say is still relevant now IF NOT MORE SO. Think about it from a reader’s perspective. Would you want your regular readers saturated in the despair of the current state, or would you offer them some respite?

I know. I know. Who coaches the coach? Who counsels the counselor? Many of you are down, uncertain, and frankly, uninspired. I get it. But those, too, are your words to claim and express. Let people know they aren’t the only ones.

I’m bummed out by the lack of engagement. I’m bummed out by the lack of work from such an inspiring group of folks…please continue to release. Even if what you have to say is down and uncertain. That’s part of the human experience too.

I recently made the decision to discontinue all submissions for publication as, from a business and a productivity standpoint, it would be a waste of time as so many publishers are deferring or withdrawing all publication efforts. But I tell you what, I’ll still be posting my nonsense. I need to. I have to.

If I read one more startup blog about COVID-19 I’m going to Hulk-out and start throwing things. I need the work of my fellows to keep me inspired.

Please keep going.

PS – I recently placed “The Kiss” back on AWC. Talk about Hulking out (I was pissed). I got a nod from a publisher and boom, f*cking COVID-19. “Intuition” is still pending. I’m certain I know the outcome of that one too but until I’m given official word, “Intuition” will remain off AWC.

With Love,
Christina Schmidt, MA

Published by Christina Schmidt

I'm an author and live in the vibrant city of Austin, Texas. Cheers, y'all.

30 thoughts on “A Pep Talk to Writers and Poets

  1. I admit, I have stopped writing. Occasionally, I will write up a rant or two, but I have stopped work on my current novel. With all the stress of having to go to work each day, keep my patients, staff and myself safe, and the sleep disrupting nightmares, it is difficult to use my imagination to create.

    When not working, I have a constant pit in my stomach.
    When I sit to write, that pit widens and deepens.

    I wonder – What’s the point? No one buys and reads my stuff anyway. And even though that has never been my driving force to create, to use my gift to tell stories, at the same time, with the illness and death, and fear of illness and death, permeating the world, I keep asking that same question.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perfectly sound point and equally sound experience. My reflections were not meant to be exclusionary, more my reaction to a decrease in activity from the writing community here on WordPress and an increase in COVID-19 startup blogs, often regurgitating facts. As someone who comes from a mental health background, I know this reaction is a reflection to control information because many feel out of control of the situation. Even so, the onslaught is reinforcing the helplessness. My point is, keep it going. Offer a reprieve to others with what you can, while you can, and not just for the sake of others but for the self too. Even if our stories or poems reflect COVID and the current state of things, it’s still honest to the human experience, releasing those thoughts and feelings are as necessary as anything else. I suspect you write much for the reasons that many of us do – to get it out. Get the thought out, get the feeling out. Whatever it is that currently thrills us or devastates us. I’m published, by a legit publisher and everything – shall I tell you how well my sales are? I could but I would only embarrass myself. My point is, Short Story, you have something, a gift. Just in your comment to me I felt gripped by what you had to say. Your gift, and how you share it, and how often you share it, will vary from time to time, don’t quit on your gift. And thank you for your contributions to this nation’s current crisis, as well as your artistic gift. You’re serving up so much good, it will return to you in time.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I’m guilty of having started writing a COVID-19 Diary – Life Under the Cloud and publishing it on WordPress.

    At the start of 2020, I had two writing goals. Getting novel number one into print, and finishing my second novel, a murder mystery spoof, by the end of April.

    Then COVD-19 began getting in the way. Like you, I have stopped all submissions, and I haven’t touched my WIP for over a month. I’m writing about 1000 words a day, but I just can’t seem to focus on the WIP.

    Writing in a comedic vane is my comfort zone, but finding my funny in the current climate, has been a challenge. That said, thanks to WordPress’s Discover Prompts, I have published a few lighter-hearted posts over the last week.

    Thanks for sharing your post. It’s been a wake-up call for me. I might blame COVID-19 for many things, but it’s not going to steal my creativity. Instead of writing about life under the cloud, I should be trying to write my way out from under it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tessa, “Instead of writing about life under the cloud, I should be trying to write my way out from under it.” I love this. And I love the courage of your thoughts and your willingness to share them. I’m guessing you have a stellar WIP. You will give it the attention it needs in time; we all put our work down for a rest now and then. Goodness knows. Thank you, again, for your reflections. They lended much needed perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m finding the opposite – While I thought I would have all kinds of time to write now, it seems a lot of my fellow bloggers have, too! I am beginning to have to delete more blogs without reading them, or I will NEVER get to my own writing.
    I post once a week, and I will never post something just to be posting. If I have nothing to say, I say nothing. (That hasn’t happened yet, though. 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, I just responded similarly to another comment. Time is truly consumed. In my private correspondence with fellow authors and poets, the “down” feeling negatively influencing work and blog production was felt more so at the beginning of all this. But yes, perfectly true. But if this is where one’s energy is then that is where it needs to be. I hope my fellows in the literary arts will remember their blogs in time. Although I will say a lot of poets are still sharing. I agree, NEVER post just to post. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve noticed a dropoff in publications and felt it was related to COVID-19. Perhaps, some writers and poets are too distracted to write and others tend to pour all of their creativity into writing about the virus. I write mostly poetry and prefer to keep it upbeat. I tend to avoid posts relevant to the virus because it’s enough to see it constantly in the news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfectly true. A lot of distraction to be sure. Also, a healthy dose of what you indicated. I reach my fill of COVID news daily and I don’t want to see more of it, creatively speaking, than I have to. Perhaps that’s selfish. The human experience is the human experience. A poem about the virus is not less relevant than anything else posted. My angst is more to do with information regurgitation with pop-up COVID blogs. People trying to control their fears by repeating information or people trying to capitalizing on blog numbers by feeding into the fears of others.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I may be hated for this, though, I’ll say it without shame or recourse or further explanation. And, Christina may moderate it right out. If she does, that’s of course fine. THIS is her domain.

    Time is too valuable.

    2 weeks prior to the shutdown, I opened back up my blog after a 5-year radio silence (another story).

    There you go.

    You see, I feel, Yes, the strong survive… in all the times in between times like now. But, not now.

    Up on the mountain, above treeline, at 14.300+ feet, you’re on the ride. A storm comes in, and you’re still day-dressed, shorts and a T-shirt. What was 73 degrees F, after the sun drops below the crescent of the bowl, is now in no less than 4 hours 19-degrees F in late October.

    You’re there. You’re bleeding at the summit with no water, by yourself, nothing but yourself. And, now it’s dark. Sand-Aid bandaids NOT by Curad, you pack into the sanguine flows with sand. “I’m done. I want to get off this. No more. I can’t take anymore.” Life’s not a ride like that you can get off of. At that time, you live, or you do not live. Statements lie that… just don’t mean anything. You can’t just intolerate the situation to make it better. It is what it is. Like now. One of those times in between.

    Up there, above treeline, in 19F, daydressed, you can’t just say, “I’m done I want off. I want to go home.” Well, you can. You can sit down, and not moving for several hours in a row, freeze, and die. So, you can’t. You can’t waste that kind of energy reserve up there, can’t even have the slightest inkling of think about it. You have to focus everything you have on what works By adapting. Otherwise… Nature. It’ll kill Ya!

    So, you keep moving. And, you keep moving WITH Nature.

    And, that’s my point. You see, I see the, “only the strong survive” statement. That is dafuqin simply bullshit. No charge. No anger It just is. The strong survive in the in-between times. They certainly do, when it’s fuckin’ easy, and they can delegate or rather most times abrogate. Like now, though, they’re often gone when it matters, or attempting to lead a charge into… NOPE. STOP. Not comfortable with where you’re asking me to go. Just Pause. No leading the lemmings over the cliff ‘cause the govt Said I could go back to the office.

    Mark Twain: “I am a patriot always, always supporting my country. I support the government only when it deserves it”

    Isn’t that like now? Where, YOU decide what feeds your adaptation?

    Like now. The strong don’t survive these times. The adaptable ones do. And, the most adaptable ones THRIVE.

    May I suggest for you to please blog your gig? Please blog your gigs of adaptation full of emotion (with solid boundaries of course). But, please DO? Will you seed community wisdom like that, a blog at a time?

    We need that. At least I SAY we do. I find it of value, and to tenor an tune and tailor all of ou perspectives as we continually adapt towards thrival. We ALL need community to survive.

    Personally, there’s only so far I can go without creative or adaptive influence before I starve. And, though I put in my vote at Mt Democrat at 14,363 ft up and down per the above truncated example, I’m not going to that experience again. Can I go to your blog to experience your particular notion of adapting. Heck. All similar, each unique.

    As Christina expressed, “If I read one more startup blog about COVID-19 I’m going to Hulk-out and start throwing things. I need the work of my fellows to keep me inspired.”

    I’ll concur. If I do, I’ll effin HURL.

    Please dial into what you are feeling in that powerfully clear way you are feeling in that way you are particularly adapting. Can you blog from there, from that? I, for one will listen. You, as only you cane be? That rocks! How do YOU do that? WithOUT Covid-19. Not denial. Not omission. LIFE! Life, NOW! How have YOU adapted? You’ve already adapted? Cool.

    It’s ok. I felt a little ashamed that I started shining 2 weeks before the shutdown, and almost felt to hold back. Almost. Then not. I decided to live again, then. And then, this hit. So, I I.. lived…DIFFERENTLY? NOPE. I fuckin’ adapted. Day by day, what do I need to do differently? Day by day… new day by day rituals… etc, etc, ad infinitum ad nauseum. Just more INTENSELY now… for a while. Then, I decided to thrive on top of it. YES! Ok, I got this. What a NEW opportunity to refresh the discipline of my rituals! Heck. Jump in. Help out the change. Start shaking the tree. What ELSE can drop out?

    Like chaff, from wheat, blown off in the wind. Like the snake its skin shedded, the snake its skin not missed. I started adapting. In one step, I realized I was getting 3 weeks to the gallon of gas in the vehicle without the double commute. Then……

    What’s YOUR THEN?

    How do you thrive in these times? How are you wonderfully adapting?

    How do YOU thrive in these times? How do you adapt?

    I, for one will listen.

    P.s. Christina, pardon (though I know you don’t need it) hijacking your blog to reinforce your point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jordan, crickets weren’t intended on my end I assure you. I do try to get back to all comments but even I admit this was a hell of a week. My filming schedule for my YouTube channel was a bit intense these past several day – even for me – and as I know you can appreciate, Scorpios thrive on intensity. A very intense intensity (haha) as it were but I am ultimately very happy to do it. I released an All Energies just this morning.

      Hope all is well for you, Jordan and thanks for sharing your stories. I can tell you’ve lived a rich life requiring not-so-easy decisions yet propelling forward nonetheless. And your last point was probably the best summary of my post, what can you do with what you have now? What experiences do you have to work with? What sparks you, no matter how small? I am struggling with these things in my own way right now. I intend to elaborate further in an upcoming blog. As always, thank you for your insights and contributions. I hope this upcoming weekend finds you well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Full-on understood, Christina.Your schedule is yours and only yours, and amen to it being a helluva week. My apologies for impatient pushy. That was uncalled for.

        I hope this weekend finds you well as well!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi CHristina, Thank you. Wonderful perspective of yours, and I resonate with it.

        You’re welcome for my considerations. Moving fast, 🙂 , I just don’t like to waste trouble, turn into it to face it really, and just wanted to make sure I picked the actual or fictional fly in the ointment out. Better to err on the respectful, reciprocal, “make sure” side to keep comms clear and unfettered. I appreciate no harm, no foul.

        Have a great weekend as well!


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