While locked up at home, there is a lot we can do with our time. For writers and those who aspire to write, there has never been a better time.
Your commute is gone. Your workload might have decreased. Or you might finally have an excuse with your family to hideaway in a room of your home and work (and that work can be writing).
Over the last few days, I have used my time in isolation to write more. The one question that has guided me is this:
“How can writing make this situation better?”
The time is now to write, and here are some strategies to keep in mind.
Write to inspire
People could really do with some inspiration right now. The media is beating people’s brains to a pulp with fear, panic, and endless commentary. Everybody is an expert, sort of.
Pandemic writing can inspire us and it can be an escape when the world feels like a prison sentence served at home, thanks to a virus. You don’t have to be Martin Luther King with words either. Share your stories, point of view and advice, and add just a touch of positivity.
End your piece on a high rather than a low.
Make us feel slightly better about our situation based on your experience. Assume everything is going to be okay even if you’re not entirely sure.
Inspiration is nothing more than small doses of positivity spread through your writing. Don’t overthink it or think it’s not you.
Write from the heart
Emotion connects us during a pandemic. It makes us listen and puts a temporary stop to our fears.
Write what you can and touch our hearts. Tell us how you’re feeling. Share your raw emotion unfiltered, despite what your boss might think. If you have never done so, write from your heart. Show us the power of humanity. Give it to us straight without all the verbal foreplay.
Make us feel, so we can listen and then recover.
Write to be helpful
People need a lot of help right now. Many of us don’t know how to work from home or use all the latest software tools needed to live our lives and be 100% digital. If you know something, share it.
Write up a listicle. Create a step-by-step strategy. Share a few resources you find helpful. Your everyday observations, hacks and strategies might seem silly to you, but to many of us they are life-changing.
If you don’t know how to start writing on Medium, make your objective to be helpful instead. Don’t write for everybody either. Write for a small audience.
Write for single mothers who have puppies.
Write for the people who studied English as a second language.
Write for the medical workers in the hospital who are exhausted.
Instead of “12 Ways to Thrive” give us “3 Helpful Tools Mothers Dealing With Two Kids Can Implement Over 60 Days.” Make your intended audience specific so you can find your target audience faster.
Or just write the first sentence
If everything I have just said is overwhelming, write one sentence on Medium.
Start with writing a few headlines.
And then write one sentence below each headline.
This is the silliest little writing hack I’ve ever learned and it really does work. Write the first sentence and you’ll find yourself finishing the story. Don’t judge your output and focus on the habit of writing on Medium.
You can use this global pandemic to start, or transform your writing practice. Before you know it, the Coronavirus could be the reason you get up each day and write and make a living from your art in the future.
You may look back one day on this difficult time in history and be thankful you used it to start writing.
The best writing habits are formed in a global shutdown. Make this time an excuse to start writing no matter your skill level.