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Start writing while you're stuck at home

BY Anna Davis
24th Mar 2020

Well, who'd have thought even a few weeks ago that so many of us in the world would now be restricted to our homes for potentially quite a long time? These are undoubtedly very challenging times for all of us - and for some much more so. But for many of us, this could be THE moment to start writing creatively. If you have time on your hands, there's nothing to stop you from launching into that novel you've always wanted to write, to experiment with short fiction or to set down your life story. And even if you're primarily focused on work or childcare at the moment, you may just find that writing gives you a way to escape or to help make some sense of your experiences.

Some of us, however - and I'm thinking mainly of writers who were already in the the middle of working on a novel or other long form writing project before this current horribleness set in, might find ourselves feeling that our story is trivial or irrelevant at this difficult moment in history, and will struggle to keep going with it. What I'd really like to say to you people - and I hope it's a helpful thing to say - is HOLD ON TO YOUR STORY. We all need good stories - and there will always be a desire for good books.

There will also be lots of people who want to document the situation we're now in, perhaps by writing an isolation journal. This sort of writing can also sit alongside other writing projects that you're engaged in. One brief word of advice though, if I may, is just that you shouldn't be too hard on yourself if the diary you produce feels dull or lacking in profundity. In order to be able to say anything very wise about what's going on, you're likely to need the perspective and distance that will only come much later. For now, just write your thoughts, feelings and experiences in whatever way is most helpful to you - and write for yourself. Don't worry about what a putative reader will make of it.

So now to the point of this blog post: Curtis Brown Creative has an invitation for all you writers - and it's equally for the writer who's mid-project, the writer who's just starting for the first time, and the writer who's exploring the current horribleness through writing about it ...

Weekly Writing Workout

While we're all in this stuck-at-home moment, we're going to give you a FREE writing lesson per week – you can sign-up at any point to start receiving our Weekly Writing Workoutdirectly into your inbox. This will give you access to weekly teaching notes on topics that we think are useful to writers, and there'll be a weekly writing exercise for you to have a go at - something to get your creative juices flowing and to let you try out the different ideas and techniques we'll be covering. The lesson will often come from me or Jennifer Kerslake, and sometimes it'll be written by one of our team of tutors. Find out more and join the Writing Workout mailing list.

We know that writers often like to have feedback on their work, and if you want some written feedback on these writing exercises from one of our expert tutor/editors, you'll be able to get it for £35 per week. However, there's no obligation to pay us anything unless you do decide you want professional feedback.

Write From Home Discount

We're also offering a special 'Write From Home' discount on our upcoming six-week online courses: Starting to Write Your Novel, Write to the End of Your Novel, Edit & Pitch Your Novel, Writing a Memoir and Writing Short Stories - and for a limited period we're offering a £50 discount on these courses (so the price is reduced from £225 to £175) use code WRITEFROMHOME50 to get this discount. Additionally we're offering students of these courses the chance to get a 30-minute video-call or phone tutorial with one of our tutor/editors, based on the material they produce during the course (for most of these courses that means 3,000 words plus synopsis but see individual courses for details). The discount and tutorial are only available for a limited period while we're all isolating at home (and the tutorial comes in addition to the report-service we already offer on these courses). To find out more, click through to the course that interests you.

Selective Online Courses

And for those who want the very best of the Curtis Brown Creative online writing experience, apply for our upcoming three-month online novel-writing course, taught by the fantastic Lisa O'Donnell. This course features intensive interaction with the tutor and with our literary agents. Applications close Sun 10 May.

There is also one HW Fisher Novel-Writing Scholarship place available on this course for a talented writer on limited financial means. Find out more and apply by Sun 17 May.

Twitter Events

Finally - for those on Twitter, you can join in our weekly #WriteCBCsocial events @cbcreative on Thursdays from 11am (UK-time), when we'll be chatting with our community of writers about all manner of writing stuff. And we'll of course continue to run our #WriteCBC Twitter writing tip and task on the first Thursday of each month.

Come and join in with whichever of these courses and writing support networks is workable for you. Get support from us as you develop your writing. As writers we are always alone, but we don't always have to be lonely.