In March 2020, I began working as a freelance fiction writing coach in Geelong, my hometown. I was at the end of a PhD in Creative Writing, so the timing seemed perfect. Nobody could’ve guessed that Covid and lockdown were only just around the corner.
For a while, I wondered whether I’d done the right thing. I’d applied to teach at my local university, too, but jobs were being cut thanks to the effect of the virus on the economy. The staff who remained were now working from home. Being a fiction writing coach in Victoria and beyond (sometimes dealing with clients in different time zones such as South Africa and the UK) meant that I was already working from home. My clients were communicating with me via email and Zoom or facetime, so rather than being on a back foot, I realised that my daily work routine needn’t necessarily be affected.
I have no doubt that work has been slower to build during Covid than it might’ve been otherwise, but I’ll never know, because just as I began advertising as a fiction writing coach in Geelong, Covid arrived too.
Now, I’m eight months in, and work is building up nicely – for the first time I have a queue of novels waiting to be edited. I also have a lovely group of writers-in-progress who use me as an ongoing fiction writing coach. This morning I awoke to four emails from previous clients, touching base to tell me how their novels were progressing.
I couldn’t be happier.