During the last national COVID19 lockdown in the spring and early summer, I kept a daily lockdown blog. The lockdown was an unprecedented event, at least in my lifetime, and I wanted to document in a small way the events of my lockdown. Each day, usually in the evening once I had finished work, I would give an overview of my day and posted it on this blog (search for lockdown blog in the search bar if you want to rediscover these entries), and while I was able to keep up the blog throughout the lockdown, I cannot deny it had an impact the on the rest of my writing (read nothing much happened).
With Johnson announcing a second England-wide lockdown to begin from the 5th November, my thoughts went once more to reviving the lockdown blog. While this new lockdown is less restrictive than the first, I could certainly see the benefits of starting the Lockdown Blog 2. Yesterday, I asked followers on Twitter and Instagram their thoughts, and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of restarting the blog.
For those of you interested in writing, you may well know November is considered National Novel Writing Month, of NaNoWriMo for short. The idea is to commit to writing at least 50,000 words of a novel you have planned, with the goal of having a complete (or almost complete) first draft of a book within a month, while receiving support and encouragement from friends online in the process. It’s a great idea, and I am sure there will be some amazing pieces produced over the next month which will be on the shelves soon.
Anyone who has been following this blog will know I tend to avoid setting myself word count goals when I am writing. I find the targets too restrictive, and kick myself if (should that be when) I miss a goal. Instead, I set myself the challenge of writing something each day, no matter how brief, which has been successful in helping me finish my first novel. I will not be taking part in NaNoWriMo for this reason, but I do intend to write more regardless.
One event I had planned to take part in, before the idea of Lockdown 2 was even on the cards, was FlashNano. A side event to NaNoWriMo created by Nancy Stohlman in 2012. Rather than writing a whole novel, the aim is to complete 30 flash fiction pieces, one each day of November, in response to daily prompts given by Nancy. Attempting a Lockdown Blog, FlashNano and writing more generally in one month is too much when I am working full time as well.
So I have had to make a choice, and with a heavy heart I have decided to not restart the Lockdown Blog.
Instead, I have decided to make use of the flash fiction pieces I will be writing as part of FlashNano. I had planned to write just for me, maybe sharing a couple of pieces as I went along, but instead, I have decided to publish one piece each day in lieu of the lockdown blog. One piece of flash fiction in response to the daily prompt, and hopefully this will give you dear readers a little bit of pleasure in what could be a challenging month.
Nancy releases the prompts each morning, but as she lives in Colorado, I do not receive them until mid-afternoon. To avoid rushing out a piece each evening, I have decided to publish one day in arrears. I have the prompt in my inbox for today already, so I will try and write something this evening, before publishing the first story tomorrow evening, and then a new story each day after that. This is not exactly the return of the lockdown blog, but hopefully it will be just as popular as the old blog was.
The next month (plus?) is going to be challenging, but hopefully I can bring a little light to people’s days through my writing, and would encourage all of you reading to share the joy as well. While we once more have to be physically distant from each other, it is by coming together in other ways we can get help to pull each other through.