Isolated in my passion: finding my writing in a pandemic

Luke Krchak ’21 speaks about what it means to be a young writer during COVID-19.

It was the end of junior year and things were finally looking up. Then the pandemic hit. When school was first closed in March because of COVID-19, I was happy to have more free time. Being able to sit down and read more, getting the time to write my first novel, it was both a blessing and a curse. 

Sure, I got the free time to follow my passion, but there was a lack of socialization that made me feel isolated over the summer. COVID-19 has made my writing unique, in that I tend to add in that feeling of isolation in my characters.

COVID-19 has made my writing unique, in that I tend to add in that feeling of isolation in my characters.”

— Luke Krchak

Over the summer I took a six-week online fiction writing class from the University of Iowa. It had students from all around the world. It was a good way to improve my writing and to work with fellow writers. We had to write a final project that showed everything we learned in the class. I wrote a short story titled “Mr. Conroy”.

When school came back on, I chose the online option. The online program got rid of the old nine to four school day, bringing a more irregular schedule. I used to draw inspiration from the average school day, but now I take more from movies and books.

I continued my tradition of taking a full course load. This usually would make me more tired when I came home from school, but since it is online, there is a better allocation of free time. 

Before the pandemic, I would do most of my homework at school, so that I would have the most free time at home. My parents would drop me off at 8:20 before school, so I would have a half-hour before school for homework. I spent most of my lunchtime in the library working on homework since I brought my food from home. Then I would have another 45 to 60 minutes to do homework until my dad would pick me up.

That led to me working all day with minimal breaks. Now I can reallocate my time to break after school, to be rejuvenated to work on homework.

This freed me up to write more and to have more free time in general. At the end of the day, though it didn’t matter if school was in person or online, I would continue to write.