Are you tired of staying in the house? Do you fear you’ll lose your mind like Jack from The Shining? Fear not, for I have some tips to help you survive the COVID-19 Lockdown.
While being on lockdown can be stressful, it can be beneficial to writers. And even if you have to work from home, you’ll still have more time on your hands due to not having to travel to work, etc.
So let’s not waste this time. Here are ten ways you can make the most of social distancing/self-isolation:
1. Start a Writing Blog
You can create a blog for free if you use blogging sites like WordPress.com. You can use the blog to share your writing journey and your stories. If you need help setting up a WordPress website, the article ‘Build Your Website in Five Steps’ offers you some tips and advice.
2. Work During Your Normal Work Hours
If you’re not working from home, you can use this time to work on your writing projects. This will help you to keep a routine and give you a reason to get up in the morning.
3. Use Writing Prompts
If you don’t know what to write, you can use writing prompts to inspire you. You can find writing prompts easily on the internet. For example, you can find weekly prompts on the Oldbury Writing Group’s website. I’ll also be sharing weekly photo prompts (photos I will take myself) on my Facebook and Twitter pages every Monday. I’ll be using the hashtag #NJSPhotoPrompts so you can easily find the prompts.
4. Create or Join an Online Writing Group
Being part of a writing group is a great way to find support and make new friends while on this writing journey. However, there are times, such as this COVID-19 lockdown, when we can’t attend writing group meetings. And this is where online writing groups can help, which I explain in my recent ‘Setting Self-Doubt on Fire’ post. So you can join an existing online writing group, such as my Setting Self-Doubt on Fire Squad, or create your own.
5. Start Work on a New Big Project
If you’ve often said, ‘I wish I had time to write my novel (novella, short story collection, etc.)’, then now is the time to start. Take this gift of time and make good use of it.
6. Write Something You’ve Never Written Before
If you’ve always wanted to write a screenplay, song, poetry, etc., now is your chance to experiment.
7. Use Your Time to Read Wide
Reading is a great way to improve your writing skills. And it’s important to not just read books in your genre of choice, but also to read books in genres you’ve never read before. And if you can’t afford to buy loads of books, you can borrow them from your library — you may not be able to borrow a physical copy of a book, but you can still borrow e-books.
8. Do a Writing Course
Doing a writing course is a good way to learn the writing craft — it’s something I did when I started my writing journey. You can choose to do a paid course, or you could do the free courses, which is what I did.
OpenLearn has many free writing courses for you to do. And you even get a free statement of participation once you complete the course. Not sure which course to do first? I recommend you try the Start Writing Fiction course.
9. Listen to Podcasts
Last year I discovered the podcast world, and it’s amazing. You can find podcast channels on any topic. I’ve been listening to writing-related podcasts, such as The Creative Penn Podcast and Write-minded Podcast — I’ll be sharing all the writing-related podcasts I listen to on a future post. I’ve also been listening to true crime and paranormal podcasts.
No matter what genre you write or what subject you’re interested in, you’ll find a podcast that’s right for you.
10. Watch AuthorTube Videos
AuthorTube is another thing I discovered last year. You have writers of all different levels (newbies to published authors) sharing their journeys with you. I find the videos motivating and inspiring.
I have listed my 10 favourite AuthorTubers on a previous blog post. I also want to add Liselle Sambury to the list because you get to see the life of a debut author, and I have learned so much from watching her videos — it makes me feel that one day my dreams could also come true. Well, my realistic writing dreams, not my dreams of taking over the world.
So there you have it — 10 ways you can make the most of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Dealing with this pandemic is stressful for us in so many ways, but we will get through this.
Oh, before I forget, you can find my latest ‘Setting Self-Doubt on Fire’ post at the link below:
Stay safe and keep writing, folks!
You can also join my Facebook groups: Setting Self-Doubt on Fire Squad, which is for writers; and The Nicole J. Simms Squad, which is for readers who enjoy my stories and want a sneak peek into what I’m working on before anyone else.
Also, I’ve also created a Nicole J Simms YouTube channel. On my channel, I will be sharing videos of my performances, trips, writing group adventures and my stories.