Sunday, April 19, 2020

Stuck at Home—What's a Writer To Do?

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

We could agree that most of the country if not the world has been given the orders to stay home. As writers, at least to this one, my first thought was no problem. I’m a writer and I stay home all the time to write. No big deal. 

Until it was. 

The old cliché and song, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it's gone, really hits home right about now. I seriously thought I stayed home a lot. Seems I didn’t. 

I miss my monthly writing group meeting where I commiserated talked with other writers about the elusive word count or block in my story. I long for my critique partners to once again sit around the table at that place most writers hang out in a group to sharpen each other’s writing sword. You know the one, first letter is P.

But this serious virus storming the world won’t keep us writers from meeting. Nope, we have been given tools that allow us to gather. And more than six feet apart, too. 

There have been Facebook lives with great teachings. Zoom meetings set up so we can look at the screen, sometimes Brady Bunch style, and see their pretty faces—or handsome ones. We laughed at whether we should stand up and see who actually is dressed as nicely as they are from the waist up. But then the protests of a few answered that question for us! Ha, we know who’s wearing yoga pants with their fancy top. MmmHmm, we know.

During this time of keeping apart, take advantage of a more empty schedule. 
  • Organize your office or writing space. 
  • Clear out files and table tops of old papers not needed any longer or that have changed in the industry. Please tell me it’s not just me that keeps it all. Every. Handout.
  • Go ahead and finally shred that pile of papers waiting to be shredded.
  • Oh, here’s one probably for all of us … clean out the email inbox. Info I saved in an email from 2014 about how to do something on social media is probably okay to delete. 
  • Look through your Documents area on your computer, are there any documents saved that need to be added to a folder? Or, should you start a folder to gather similar information into one spot?
  • Take the time to organize photos you’ve taken to use for memes so you can actually find them when ready to create a new meme for your social media. 
  • Take a journal or notebook and find a comfy spot in the sun. Brainstorm your next article, blog post or book. You have time, why not do a couple of them. 
  • Pull out note cards or stationery and a pen to write a friend or two in the lost art of letter writing. I’ve had fun with my Christmas presents of new fountain pens – and of course, pink ink!

Whatever you choose to do during this more quiet time at home, set yourself up for success for the future of your writing. This is a perfect time to attack those little round to its that we often don’t get to. I’m a list maker and have been working down my list the last week or two. Some days I cross off five items and add three, but I still feel good that I’ve accomplished something. Having a more organized space will help you as you continue in your writing.

I’ve shared a few things that have happened in my writing world during this current situation, so please share with us what things you are doing to keep yourself occupied during this stay at home season of our life.


You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog:  Email:


  1. You never fail to share a smile Ms. Tammy! Thank you for the encouragement and the tips; and I'll keep my polo shirt and PJ bottoms and big fuzzy slippers to myself thank you very much. :-) God's blessings ma'am.

  2. Teeheehee! I won’t tell, Mr. J.D. — it will be our secret!!

  3. I am writing every day. Reading and writing. Writing and reading. :-)

  4. Bingo! for the first 2. Peering around the mess that now surrounds my laptop, I was encouraged to dig beneath the papers, handouts, & snack bags and found a picture of one of my 3 sisters (not sure which) from at least 25 years ago, a spiral-bound journal with all but 3 pages left in it - 3 pages of plot ideas from seminar at least 5 years ago, and an untouched "Daily To-Do" list from January 9, 2018. I've spent way too much time in cyberspace and not enough peeping through what has been within 2 feet. Thanks for the nudge. (or was it a kick in my PJ-covered backside?) Always enjoy your posts.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

    1. Look at you gettin’ all organized and stuff, Jay! And there’s no judgement from me about your office attire!

  5. This may sound crazy, or something, but I am a loner who always spends a lot of time at home anyway. I am not affected by the isolation or the social distancing. To me, it's normal. The only difference is that I visit some online prayer meetings and pray for those who are sick. Under normal circumstances, I would be attending church services on Sunday and Bible Study on Wednesdays. I do worry that my loved ones remain safe. I end every email to them with this: Stay strong, Stay safe, Stay healthy, stay home!

    1. Nice! Prayers our best tool, not just now!

  6. I have enough to do with editing, however I'll never lack for something to do with your list! Good to see your smiling face.

    1. Glad I can inspire you some, Sally! I had a blast meeting you last year at DTR and enjoyed having you in our small group! Would love to do it again!

  7. Thank you for the humor and the great list! At my most recent online critique meeting, it was telling that no one suggested standing up!