It’s exactly a year since I started this ‘Quarantine Diaries‘ series. I consider this a kind of ‘blogiversary,’ as prior to this, I had only posted the odd short story and a few excerpts from my work-in-progress novel. How the world in general, and my life in particular, has changed over this time!
The first entry
I reread the first entry in this series, to gain further perspective on how the pandemic evolved, and came to take over all of our lives. What I read in that entry is a lot of fear and uncertainty. At that point, nobody really knew how deadly this thing was going to be, how fast it would spread, or how easy it would be to catch. I was looking at the numbers, and decided to pull the kids out of school two weeks before the official lockdown started. Little did I know it would be the last time they would attend school until September, and the last time they would attend school in Spain.
Even then, I realised that writing was going to be therapeutic for me. I didn’t realise that I would end up writing mainly poetry, but I found this to be most therapeutic of all. I chronicled our relocation to Slovenia later in the year, and I wrote my way through all the mixed emotions that this threw up. I’ve also documented my struggle with PMDD, in hope that my words will raise awareness of the condition and offer hope to other sufferers. I am pleased to report that one of these pieces has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming anthology from Indie Blu(e) Publishing.
My writing journey
Over the past year, I have built my audience, both here on WordPress, as well as on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you to all who have followed me and offered words of support and encouragement. I have had my work published both online and in print, and received recognition from outside sources, most recently as Spillwords Author of the Month. This time last year, I wouldn’t have dreamed any of these achievements. I have always been a writer, in one form or another, but for some reason I lacked the self-belief to share my words with others. It took a global pandemic to shake my world up enough to make me get on with it.
The next part of my writing journey is to move into publication, which I will be doing with my forthcoming project, The Anthropocene Hymnal. Submissions are still open until the end of the month, so do take a look if you are interested in raising awareness of the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. I will be donating royalties from this project to WWF, so your words really will make a difference.
A note of gratitude
I wanted to end this entry on a note of gratitude. Once again, to everyone who has supported my work and encouraged me to keep writing over the past 12 months. Secondly, that I have not lost anyone close to me due to covid-19. I know that many people have, and my heart goes out to them. Thirdly, that despite various trials and tribulations I have managed to keep writing, and grow as both a writer and a human being.