I hope everyone is doing well despite the pandemic. I wanted to give everyone a little hope, humor, and inspiration today amid all the doom and gloom. I also wanted to start off the post by giving you some bonafide resources to keep up-to-date on what’s really happening. There’s definitely a lot of fake news spreading around the internet like wildfire.
First off, I wanted to talk about the top five reasons as to why the coronavirus is not such a bad thing for us writers:
- Everyone is stuck at home with their nearest and dearest, and they’re probably bored and looking to escape their family for a bit. This means that people are going to want to dive into a story or a movie, making it the perfect time for us to get creative.
- You’ve been quarantined! And have no excuse not to write. Forced isolation with nothing to do means that you can finally sit down and finish that novel you’ve been writing for years or to start a new one. Did I mention that Camp NaNoWriMo is starting next month?
- No one has gone through something like this. We have a host of new themes and topics that can be discussed in our stories. For example, we can do a piece on being stuck in an airport, the toilet paper shortages, if governments should be allowed to quarantine people, etc. No one has lived through a pandemic in the height of the internet. There’s a bunch of challenges and triumphs that can be gleaned through this situation.
- This is an excellent opportunity to market yourself and your work. We have a captive audience. People are looking for distractions from their everyday reality, which means that a lot of media is being consumed every day, and that means your writing could become popular with the right social media marketing strategy.
- There are a lot of organizations out there that are worried about creatives right now (see this article by the Globe and Mail). The starving artist image is well and truly alive, and a lot of organizations (like Springboard for the Arts) are jumping to our aide to make sure that we get paid for the work we do. Finding an organization or someone to help you get your story out, there may be more feasible than you think. Plus, you’re quarantined and have the time to look for an agent.
I’m sure I can come up with a lot of other benefits, but I think these will do well enough for now. As I pointed out in point three of my listicle, no one has gone through this type of thing since SARS or 9/11, which comes with a lot of new challenges and themes for us to explore. However, I want to make sure that everyone has the correct information at their fingertips. Remember: research is the backbone of a good story.
With that in mind, here are some excellent resources for you all to check out to keep up to date with the latest and greatest on COVID-19:
- World Health Organization – they’ve got updates and explanations for what it is and how to prevent its spread.
- The Government of Canada’s website (or your local government’s website) – these are good for keeping up to date on what’s going on in your area.
- Your local news outlets.
- Harvard’s website – another good website for definitions of what the virus is, the symptoms, and how to combat it.
- This BBC article has some interesting visuals that go along with it.
***Please, please, please, do read critically through the articles you find online. Everyone has gone a little crazy over this virus, which has led to extreme measures to be taken, which can have negative impacts on everyone across the globe. We need to make sure that we take a look at the language/wording of the articles along with cross-referencing the information in those articles with other trusted sources. Writers are very good with words and know how to elicit specific responses from their readers – this power can be used for good or evil, and we should always read “real news” with a critical eye.***
In all seriousness, please stay safe, everyone, and be kind to those around you. Your friends, family, and neighbors all need your help just as much as you need theirs. So wash your hands and don’t hoard toilet paper.
We will resume our regular posting schedule this week with our discussion on imposter syndrome.
Until next time!