This isn’t the post I’d planned to write for today. This isn’t the post I wanted to write for today. To be honest, I wanted to pretend the Coronavirus crisis wasn’t happening— not because I’m a bury my head in the sand kind of girl but because I’m dealing with so much trauma and grief in my personal life right now for reasons that have nothing to do with COVID-19 that the idea of dealing with all that and worrying about a global health pandemic seemed more than I could bear.
But as the founder of See Jane Write it is my responsibility to show up. I’m not a doctor. I’m not an official from the CDC. I can’t answer your questions about the intricacies of Coronavirus. Like you, I’m just out here washing my hands, practicing social distancing as much as possible, and trying not to touch my face. (No, I’m not hoarding toilet paper.) But I can tell you how I think we as writers can try to make the best of a horrible situation.
Here are 7 things writers can do during the Coronavirus crisis.
Writers gonna write!
The best thing a writer can do during this time is, well, write! Coronavirus has canceled almost everything and if all those cancellations have left you with unexpected free time, use that time to write. Work on that book or that blog. Write that essay, short story, poem or pitch that you’ve been putting off. Complete that online course you signed up for last year and never logged into.
Related Reading: How to Start a Blog
Reading is fundamental.
I always say good writers read good writing and Stephen King said “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
If you have free time, use it to read that book on your nightstand or the next selection on your TBR list.
Related Reading: How to Read More in 2020
Get content with your content.
As content creators, we can stay consistent by staying ahead. Use your downtime to plan your blog and social media content for the coming weeks and to start creating those posts. If you’ve been putting off revamping your website, now could be a good time to work on that, too.
Related Reading: How to Create Content Consistently
Use your power for good.
As a writer or blogger, you have influence. Use that power for good. If you do plan to write about COVID-19 be careful not to put out misinformation or feed people’s fears. Encourage preparation not panic, caution not craziness.
Remember that these are precarious times for small business owners (which includes freelance writers and bloggers) so use your influence to encourage people to support creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses online with their dollars if they’re able or with referrals and positive reviews if they’re not.
Related Reading: Redefining What It Means to Be an Influencer
Hang out with your squad — virtually.
Online education and communities will be more important now than ever. Get more active in your favorite Facebook group or start one of your own. If you’ve never done a livestream or webinar, now is the time to go for it. Go live on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to use Zoom and host an online masterclass.
Starting March 18, I’ll be doing a free Facebook Live series on 5 Things Every Writer Needs. You can learn more and RSVP here.
Also, be sure to join the See Jane Write Network Facebook group.
Keep it clean.
Clean your house or at least your at-home workspace – especially if COVID-19 means you’ll be working from home now. Keeping your workspace clean will not only help fight germs but may also help encourage you to write.
Related Reading: Why You Should Clean Off Your Desk Today
Above all, take care of yourself!
Maybe the writing you do during this time is simply writing in your journal to try to keep calm and make sense of everything that’s going on right now.
For those of us who struggle with anxiety and depression, it is especially important that we practice self-care during this time. If you need to talk to a professional, try signing up for an online therapy app like Talkspace if you can afford it.
Self-care looks different for different people. For me, it looks like going for walks outside. Maybe you want to use your downtime to just binge on Netflix. Just do what you need to do for you, even if that means deciding to do nothing else on this list and using any and all free time to rest — which may be all you can do if you’re working from home and homeschooling your kids right now.
If you need some simple self-care ideas, you can find some here.
Be well and wash your hands!