How does the Lockdown affect our writing?

How has the Lockdown affected your writing? Photo by Thought Catalog on

The next Rugby Café Writers meeting (on Friday September 11th) is about Lockdown Writing. How did it affect you? Did you write more, having extra time, or less?

Like you, I felt deeply affected by all aspects of the Lockdown, from having to cancel all my plans, meetings, seeing friends for coffee etc, to coming to terms with being confined to the house for an indefinite period of time. A writer might feel elated at having the opportunity to write without any outside demands on them, to have all commitments wiped out at a stroke – but for me it wasn’t an easy time.

When I sat down to write in my study in the morning, I couldn’t concentrate. I felt distracted by the news bulletins, the footage of so much suffering, and the fear, I admit, of how the illness was going to affect me and my loved ones. So, indulging in imaginative stories, scenarios, imagined problems for imagined heroes, wasn’t for me – I simply couldn’t do it.

Instead, I began to write poetry. I’ve written probably forty or fifty poems since March; about the Coronavirus, the strange effect of ‘social-distancing,’ the wonders of nature and about other things which have been trawled up from my past. I have felt a strong sense of retreating from the world, of looking back into the past, of seeking the security of childhood memories even.

Recently an anthology of Lockdown Poetry was published, following a competition, printed to raise funds for the NHS. I didn’t enter, but our own Rugby Café Writer Wendy Goulstone entered and was short-listed!

Well done Wendy! Her poem about the isolation of being at home is brilliant, and it appears in the volume which you can find here:

Wendy says this: The Lockdown poetry anthology, Beyond the Storm, Poetry of the Covid 19 era, is to be published this month all profits going to NHS. The 106 poems included are those on the short and long lists of a competition organised by Write Out Loud, based in Marsden village, Yorkshire, home of Simon Armitage. It will be an historical record of the current pandemic. There were 2400 submissions.There was no monetary prize, just the opportunity to be published in the anthology. My portmanteau poem Guiltthink, and those of two of my friends, Annette Iles and Patrick Taylor are to be included. The book can be pre-ordered on the Write Out Loud Beyond the Fringe website, £10.00 + £3.50 postage. All profits go to the NHS.

Theresa Le Flem

If you would like to join our meetings – currently online – please use the contact form on this website and we will send you an invitation.


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