Mind your Language with Emefa Agordoh-Mekpor: Creative ways to remain relevant as a writer during the COVID-19 crisis

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If you write, or relish the thought of writing, hearing about the COVID-19-imposed lockdown would have brought you some relief, among other emotions. You probably thought this would give you the precious time you needed so much to write some more or finish that book. It’s been months now, how far have you gone with your writing? If you are like most people, you probably realised that it was harder than you thought to pen down some words now that you were spending so much time at home.

So, if you are struggling to write, here are some tips for making it easy to write during this difficult time, or not write at all.

Keep a journal

If writing a book or on other topics is difficult for you, you can consider writing a journal. In a journal, you can write down the events of your day and your feelings or thoughts throughout the day. Remember that we are in very unusual times and generations ahead of us would like to know how our lives were affected. A newspaper report is not going to give them the detailed view of how individual lives changed during COVID-19, but your journal can. Years later, your children and children’s children can refer to it as an authentic representation of life during a pandemic. Who knows how far it can travel if the media in the future needs stories of life in 2020?

How do you keep a journal? Think of it as a diary. Just write what you see, hear, think and feel every day. If you can’t do every day, just do as often as you can. Write about the usual and the unusual. Write about the mundane and the spectacular. Write about anything and everything.

Become a columnist

If you struggle to make writing a habit, commit yourself to writing. Sign up to contribute to a column in a newspaper or a blog on a regular basis. That way, you would be forced to write. Many newspapers and magazines are in search of quality content all the time and you could be their answer to that prayer. Although you may not be penalized for failing to submit your write up on time, you are surely going to be motivated knowing you have deadlines to meet. Take advantage to write on any topic in your area of expertise while you can. We may never have this opportunity again to spend so much time at home. Write now so that by the time all this is over, you could have become an established columnist.

Make a video or podcast

Lacking inspiration to write? A lot of writers are generally good speakers and can hold audiences bound with their words. If you are in this group, maybe this is the time to make use of that talent. Since many nations went on lockdown, our social media pages have been flooded with videos of self-acclaimed motivational speakers. Who says you can’t be one? Pick up that phone and record yourself talking. Go ahead, start that podcast where you discuss your favourite subject matter. You will never know how many lives will be affected by those words you will share.

What you must never stop doing

Don’t stop reading. Reading is the fuel of the mind. Reading can transport you to different worlds whiles you are at one location. Reading opens your mind and floods you with a rush of a mix of emotions in a moment. Feeling discouraged? Turn off the news and read your favourite novel. Blocked? Pick up a magazine and let your imagination run wild. Keep your mind active. Eventually, you will gather enough inspiration to write again.

We hope these tips help you navigate through COVID-19 as a writer.

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