Millions of people around the world are isolated and practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, many are stuck at home looking for ways to fill their time. Indie authors are uniquely positioned to be of service right now. The flexibility and control inherent in the independent publishing model means we can turn on a dime to quickly and creatively respond to the time-sensitive needs emerging all around us.
Today, I’m sharing tips to help you identify those needs and tap into your creativity to develop new content that meets them.
People are hungry for information and entertainment. To gain a better understanding of where you can add the most value, take time to listen—to yourself and socially. What’s the first thought on your mind in the morning? What fears are keeping you up at night? What concerns is your partner expressing? What questions are your kids or parents asking? What are your friends talking about online? Make a list of the topics and themes you’re hearing and brainstorm how you can apply your expertise or creative touch to transform them into valuable content.
For example, hand washing is a hot topic right now. At first glance, it might seem like there’s nothing to say about this straightforward topic. But a little creative brainstorming might reveal some interesting possibilities. Take indie author Katie Taylor. A certified child life specialist, she drew inspiration from her experience working with children with medical conditions to create The Super Silly Wash Your Hands Dance to help make the life-saving act of washing your hands more enjoyable for kids. Chemical analyst Jane Roberts released Homemade Hand Sanitizer, full of easy DIY recipes for making hand sanitizer at home since it can be hard to find at stores.
How can your expertise and ideas be helpful right now?
Think outside your box.
These are unprecedented times, so allow yourself to create in unprecedented ways. Give yourself permission to experiment beyond the confines of your normal genre or format. If you’re a romance novelist, hand washing might not seem like a sexy topic to tackle. But when you consider the implications of dating and falling in love in the age of COVID-19, when intimacy could be deadly, new possibilities emerge.
Since novels can take years to write, consider how these possibilities might work in a shorter form, like a blog post, article, short story, or poem. You might find yourself writing a prescriptive blog post about dating from a distance or a humorous essay about a couple’s experience in quarantine. Creative experimentation can help you connect with new readers in a meaningful way.
What kinds of creative possibilities exist for you? [Read more…]