Blog: Why As a Speculative Sci-Fi Writer My Creativity Is Having a Rough Time

Turns out living out your imagination in reality is an instant inspiration killer.

At least when it comes to speculative science fiction.

Perhaps romance writers thrive in a time where giggly dates happen on FaceTime and newly-in-love couples have to wait weeks – or months.. – to see each other again. Or even better: two people accidentally get quarantined together! The possibilities for a good romance story are endless at the moment.

Unfortunately for me, as much as I’ve tried, writing romance does not seem to be my forté. And so I look at the genres I feel most at home in as a writer: fantasy and science fiction.

But again, unfortunately for me, my sci-fi revolves mostly around speculative fiction, which is a broad term for fiction set in a world other than our real one and involves supernatural, futuristic or other imagined elements.

I specifically speculate about the future, like for instance in Erasure. In January, I wrote five short story synopses for five sci-fi stories set in the future dealing with different elements of a possible future.

To this day, however, they lay untouched.

Because a pandemic happened.

Pandemics are a popular topic in speculative science fiction and fantasy, either in writing or in visual or audio storytelling. Because of it, it also influences many other stories with its tropes and story framing.

Because they also do in mine, it is hard to get away from the harsh reality we currently live in. This specific speculative fiction story has become hard fact and it’s difficult to write freely about a future when a trope so popular among creators and consumers becomes part of our shared history in a horrible way.

And so I struggle to find inspiration.

Because speculating about the future is fun. Until you’re living it.

Sending you all lots of love. Stay as safe as you possibly can!

Fellow writers, how do you deal with being creative in this time in history? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments or send me a tweet!


2 thoughts on “Blog: Why As a Speculative Sci-Fi Writer My Creativity Is Having a Rough Time

  1. It’s scary when speculative fiction comes true, but I feel that it’s also an opportunity to examine how far we have come as a society. There seem to be many readers who get some kind of comfort out of reading pandemic-themed novels or stories right now. Especially if those stories focus on the human interaction and minute detail of life under these strange circumstances. You are right about the romance genre. I read an article recently that publishers are looking for distracting types of stories right now. But that also includes sci-fi and steampunk apparently!


  2. It’s certainly not just you. Early in the pandemic I couldn’t even focus enough to read fiction, and writing is a lot harder than reading.

    I still have my fantasy WIP, of course, but in January I was also excited by an idea for a post-apocalyptic type fantasy. Then the pandemic came and reality was worse than I had planned for my story, and my excitement fell down dead. It’s hard to feel what we write has meaning when people are currently living through worse.


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