By Linda O. Johnston
I’m busy. I’m always busy. But busy before the pandemic began is a lot different from busy now.
Is that true for you, too?
I’ve been writing forever, and I’m fortunate to be traditionally published a lot. That means I generally have faced a lot of upcoming deadlines. That hasn’t changed, although at the moment there seem to be more than usual.
But my busy-ness before was enhanced a lot by get-togethers with other writers at meetings of local chapters of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and sometimes more. Then there were all the conferences I attended, which often included the Romance Writers of America National Conference, held annually in different locations. Then there were Malice Domestic, Left Coast Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and other mystery-related conferences. I attended at least one a year. And in addition, there were annual conferences locally, such as the California Crime Writers Conference.
And now? Well, some get-togethers are available virtually. I’ve attended some chapter meetings that way, but not annual conferences. I know Malice Domestic will be virtual this year and I keep receiving emails about it—but so far I haven’t decided to go.
That’s all certainly different from before. But things seem to be improving now, as far as the ability of people to meet in person, though in smaller groups, and the necessity of being vaccinated, and wearing masks, although that seems to be changing at least to some extent and in some locations.
So will I go back to the old ways as things open up again? I don’t know yet. Tempting, yes, but I want to feel more secure that I won’t get sick or bring the virus home to others. And maybe I’m getting into bad, more solitary habits this way.
I’ve been delighted, though, to meet some of my fellow Writers in Residence for our usual—formerly—monthly lunch recently!
And you? Do you attend conferences now, virtually or in person? Writing events? Reading events?