It was a dark and stormy night.

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, creativity, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 1 Comment

by Lisa Loraine Baker

It was a dark and stormy night.

How about a dark and stormy year?

Covid, lockdowns, green zones, purple zones, elections. Oh my!

If any of these things affects your writing, you’re not alone. Following are a few pitfalls from this year:

  • How can I concentrate on my story when the one in the news is so engrossing?
  • Does my story matter when the world is falling apart?
  • What? Another hurricane?
  • I thrive on social interaction, even if it’s between other people (something for every introvert) and I can’t leave my house!
  • How can I get more story ideas/dialogue study by eavesdropping in a local restaurant when sitting six feet apart is mandated and everyone is masked?
  • I’ve watched all the Lord of the Rings movies, thrice! I need a real-life Aragorn.

In the midst of all the above, there’s hope for our creativity!

  • Apps exist that are actual cafe recordings. You can hear the clatter of dishes and indistinct conversations. It’s rather soothing. Other sounds to engage your background senses range from white noise to rain.
  • Zoom. Yes, we all know this ubiquitous app that many people use for meetings (PJ bottoms and turtleneck sweaters!) A friend and I have regular “Zoom-sessions,” where we mute our audio but leave the video on so we can have the feel of group work. Waving arms to grab attention aside, it makes working “alone” fun. And yes, we do pause to talk and catch up. It’s good to see another human!
  • And the learning goes on! There’s not a time when I haven’t gotten great story ideas and instruction on our craft by listening to various pods.
  • Enroll in an online course. We all have time to learn!
  • The best place? The Bible. Period.
  • Speaking of the Bible. Do you journal? Do you have a crayon or colored pencil? Add some pizzazz to your journal by drawing. How would you depict David as he heard from the prophet, Nathan? How about Jonah as he sat under the vine? Perhaps the experience of a different creative outlet will get your juices flowing again.
  • You might even get to the point where you say what I often do, “I don’t curr.” (Thanks, beloved niece, Jenn, for that great word). Yeah, we in fact DO care, but just saying that is a stress buster. Say it with me. I don’t curr.
  • Prayer. I know; I should have written this as the first option.

All this stuff will soon pass, and we will once again see people without masks. We will get to embark on trips to the grocery store, sans masks, to get our much-needed fix of chocolate and coffee. Maybe we’ll take two trips and get one thing each trip just to be with other people!

In the meanwhile, laugh often, love with abandon, and write about it.

Lisa Loraine Baker: a rock & roll girl who loves Jesus. She and her husband, Stephen, inhabit their home as the “Newlyweds of Minerva” with crazy cat, Lewis. Lisa, an award-winning author, writes for Lighthouse Bible studies,, has a new website coming soon (, and an upcoming novel.



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