Well, that escalated fast.
Honestly, I've been thinking and mulling over and wondering what to write (and resisting the urge to make terrible jokes because too soon?).
So today I'm going to share what I'm doing while the world goes into lockdown.
Because I think a lot of people who don't usually work from home will be working from home suddenly, while the amazing superheroes of healthcare and cleaning and people who make the world run smoothly are cracking on.
And I thank those people from the bottom of my slippers and beyond. You fucking ROCK.
Musing the First
I don't know about you, but scrolling social media is never particularly good for my anxiety. And right now, it's like a stick of dynamite.
But if you're social distancing (which is a good idea) and self-isolating, social media can be incredibly helpful, right?
So what to do?
Use it sparingly. I'm choosing what I read and what I click on carefully. I'm getting my advice and news from calm sources and I'm minimising contact with the guy waving his "end is nigh" placard.
Musing the Second
I'm a writer. I write every day. I'm always banging on about how wonderful writing is because it's true and I am right. Writing is incredible for many reasons.
Here is one specific reason: when you write stuff down, you take away stuff's power to panic you.
This morning, I woke up anxious and incredibly worried for all the people who are being directly affected by this pandemic. Then I sat in front of my blank page and emptied all my feelings onto the paper.
I'm still concerned; I'm no longer sitting with a knot in my chest and feeling anxious.
Musing the ThirdThis is easy to say but it's worth saying anyway: worrying about things we have no control over is exhausting. It zaps our energy and it zaps our free will.
I don't want to be swept along in a panic, with the fate of my business decided by external events.
So I'm making a plan.
What can I do to ride this out? What can I do to support my clients, my friends, my family?
What can I control?
Listen to what's going on, follow official advice, stay safe – and use this time to work on your business.
What will you do differently next time (because there will be a next time)?
What can you put in place now to get back on your feet fast when this is over (because it will be over and things will get better)?
Make that plan, then start putting it into action.
Musing the Fourth
DO NOT STOP MARKETING.
There are voices out there on social media who will seek to shame you for marketing during a crisis. Ignore those people. They are speaking from fear and lack.
Now is not the time to stop marketing.
Now is the time to figure out what you can offer to your customers and clients. How can you help them from afar? What can you do to help them survive and thrive through this crisis?
If you stop marketing now, this crisis will continue for you long after the pandemic has passed.
You're a business owner; you're full of good ideas. Put your brain to use figuring out how to offer services to people to help them for the next few weeks.
If you can offer stuff for free, by all means do it – but if, like most of us, you're not in that happy position, do not let other people shame you into stopping your marketing.
Musing the Fifth
Books and online shopping and distance learning will weather this better than face-t0-face business – do you offer any of those things? If not, now's the perfect time to create something and put it out there.
Hop on my free 29-day writing challenge to get you started and spark some ideas.
And even better: grab a copy of my book and start writing your own book. If you're stuck inside, what better time to write will there be?
Stay safe and wash your hands, peeps!
p.s. I have all the feels for people running restaurants, gyms, shops, and bars. This is going to be totally shit for a while. Then it will get better. Do not let it defeat you.
Start Writing Your Book Today
If you want to learn more about how to write, self-publish, and market a book for your business, snaffle yourself a copy of How The Hell Do You Write A Book? Then check out the blog and podcast for more articles and guides. If you want a little (or a lot) more help, find out how you can work with me.
Vicky Fraser is the founder of Moxie Books and author of How The Hell Do You Write A Book and Business For Superheroes. She helps business owners write life-changing books, connect with readers and new customers, and grow their businesses. When she's not doing that, she's hanging from a trapeze by her feet.