Creating Content in the Time of COVID

Image may contain: possible text that says 'Don Miskel: Your favorite author you've yet to read.'

I am of the opinion that everyone has a story to tell in their own unique way. Many get intimidated because they feel their tale has already been told. And, though there are definitely similarities when it comes to the human experience, I guarantee you can put another spin on it.

Four weeks into the pandemic lockdown and many folks are bouncing off the walls, knitting straitjackets for the kids, their significant others, or maybe even themselves. Why not write a story about it, from a comedic perspective? Why not develop characters that can be woven into different scenarios that can be told to the kids before bedtime? Those are two examples of how inspiration can be gained from any situation.

Looking for how to get started? Here are a few things you can do:

– Jot down a few key words or a theme on which you want to write. Worried about this quarantine lasting for the remainder of the year? You may be able to create a character undergoing a similar circumstance. Maybe she is being held captive by space pirates that have tentacles for arms and legs. Maybe it’s a husband and father who is seeking employment after his company has folded because the mortgage is overdue.

– From there, find out what the character wants. Freedom? A new career path? Figure out all the obstacles that stand between and how (s)he can triumph.

– Not so much into writing fiction? No problem. Keep a journal and, ensuring you’re not divulging anything you want to keep private, start up a blog to post your thoughts. How do you feel about the current pandemic? Do you think there is a hidden agenda underway? Share those thoughts.

– Set aside time to write everyday. To make it a habit, create a reminder in your cell phone that goes off the same time each day. Maybe it’s for an hour after the kids have gone to bed. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning, before everyone else has gotten up.

– Here’s the biggest challenge: keep it going. That means, even after “The Outside” opens up again and the quarantine has been lifted, continue to write.

– Realize that your stuff does not have to necessarily be for public consumption, though there are multiple avenues that allow for inexpensive self-publishing, if you like.

As for Yours Truly, I’m keeping busy. I’ve already begun to map out the next projects I will write and release. Some will be interconnected, which requires some planning as to whether these worlds and characters are deeply involved or simply brush up against each other. This is how literary universes are built (that’ll be for a later blog post). Some of the will just be standalone stories.

The goal is to keep distracted during all the bad news we’re getting via the news. In the midst of the mayhem, create something fresh and new. Your voice is your own.

More into building new streams of income than characters and storylines? Make sure you check out the latest post on my HustleLogic blog:

Ensure Your Hu$tle Fits Your Grind



Don’t decide you’re going to make dance the center of your life when you hate bodily movement. Don’t front to say “I’m gonna churn out X-amount of novels” when you loathe writing and despise reading. Don’t lie to yourself and say you’re gonna be a gazillionaire when you’re not willing to take financial responsibility and change the way you think and do things.

The hu$tle has to propel you more than the dollar signs do. It has to get you out of bed when you’d rather remain knocked the fuqq out. It’s gotta make you stay up late sometimes when you really should be resting. Like love, it should make little sense to the outside viewer, yet propel you beyond your known limits. It’s gotta be like blood flowing through your veins. If I cut you, would you bleed interesting words, catchy phrases, technicolor dreams, and twisted ideas? If not, you probably shouldn’t be calling yourself a writer!

(Something of) A Love Letter to My Scribbling Siblings


Swim to It

Dear Scribblers,

We are a special lot; a peculiar people, if you will. We are those who create from the vast inner space that lies between our two ears. Though we are not God, we exercise a power very much like the Divine. We lord (or in some cases, BROOD) over the paper and the writing utensil. Like addicted physicians, we draft our own prescriptions while attempting to make sense of a world that is just as crazy. We sip the spiked Kool Aid and find ourselves asking for more. Maybe we are insane for holding up the worlds we’ve made like Atlas with a lower back problem, but we DO. We MUST!

The chance of becoming rich and famous doing this is slim to none. And yet, living for the positive review, and the chance at building a fanbase, we carry on. We burn midnight oil and speak of our characters as if they are real. On the planets we fashion for them, they are. Using the mental dust found on our cobwebbed library shelves of experience, we form the clay that makes the heroines, leading men, foils, monsters, and villains that inhabit our universe. We bend and break rules of gravity and physics to get our points across. Not an easy feat to pull off while pecking the keys with our noses because our straitjackets were recently refitted!

I love writers. We dare to strike a match and curse the darkness of boredom and normality. We spin stories of places that may never exist and try to make sense of a real world that does not. We press on. We dream. We write.

Keep scribblin’.