Ladies & Gents:
Hello spring, is that you? I've been keeping a coronavirus diary and noted multiple times that it didn't feel right for spring to still be happening. But here it is. We've had some wild weather swings in New Jersey for it. One day, it was warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt. Then we had pounding thunderstorms, sideways rain, followed by snow. Snow! And now I'm waiting to get socked with 50 to 60 mile per hour winds. All my devices are charged, my chargers for the devices are charged and all of my camping light/power stuff is ready to go if I need it.
I know I've said before about how there are still writing opportunities right now. It's not just me. Here's a tweet from Sean Griffey, CEO and co-founder of Industry Dive:
Last month, I was quoted in Digiday saying that marketers don't like to be advertise against bad news. Still generally true.
Industry Dive, however, is seeing the opposite. Tech vendors & others asking specifically for Covid-19 options.
"Advertising" is too broad to generalize.
— Sean Griffey (@seangriffey) April 9, 2020
He's not wrong. I write for two Industry Dive publications and have been asked to write for a third. Their title Grocery Dive (which is not one of those titles) is absolutely killing it right now.
I know a lot of freelancers are looking for work right now. If you are, here's a suggestion: write down every industry that is busy right now. I like to do this stuff on pen and paper, with fancy markers if I have them. I sometimes do a list, or a brainstorm cluster.
Then look for publications that cover that industry. If you're into content marketing, do the same but for every business with products in demand right now. For example, I was approached to write case stories for a medical cart supplier. The contact said their products were in demand, and they wanted fresh, COVID-19 related case studies to help them stand out against their competition. I turned it down because it's not the kind of work I normally do and I don't have the time (I recommended another writer for it). Almost all of my clients in healthcare, medical technology, government and supply chain need a lot of work right now. I know a lot of sectors (and their publications) are suffering, but there is work out there.
I'd approach these publications/companies with a Letter of Introduction (LOIs), which I've written about before. My freelance guardian angel Jennifer Goforth Gregory has written a lot about LOIs, including about using them right now. Here's a link to those pieces.
Also one more reminder that my ebook about freelancing is just $5 right now. There's a whole section about LOIs. Use code STAYHOME.
"The Rise of Virtual Races" for The New York Times
"Coping with Mental Illness During the COVID-19 Pandemic" for Sharecare
"Why You Should Start a Coronavirus Diary" for The New York Times
"How to Run for 2.5 Days" for The New York Times. I want to do a writer note about this one. I spent four years in college writing for/editing our college newspaper. It came out weekly. A weekly paper was tricky because we had to guess what news would still be relevant/how to keep stories relevant when we could only publish one day a week (we didn't have a website then either). Mike Wardian won this race on a Monday. My column comes out on Saturday, and I knew everyone was going to do this story before me. That's why I did a Q&A. It let me really dig into the details of how he did it, and what happened after. I think it worked!
What I'm Reading
- The Orphan Train by Pam Jenoff. This might sound weird, but I'm not a Jenoff super fan, but I read her books anyway because I don't think they're that mentally taxing. I have some really heaving hitting biographies on my shelf, including one of a Nazi doctor. And I just can't. I ordered a bunch of Jenoff's books through Inkwood Books, which is yes still operating! That way, I have them on hand if I want one.
- The Secret Mistress by Mary Balogh. This really strains the idea of mistress in mistress series. There wasn't much tension in this book, which is what good romances need to have. It was fine, but I've liked other of her books better.
What I'm Watching
- The Detectorists. I gifted myself AcornTV for right now, and I am so glad I did. This three-season series is wonderful. It's funny and beautiful and touching and just so good. I highly recommend it. At first, I did have a hard time not seeing Toby Jones as Dr. Zola from the Avengers movies. Just shows what a good job he did as a disembodied villain in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Nailed It! Season 4. I love this show about bad baking so much! I'd looked into auditioning before, but said nah. I looked again yesterday and casting is closed. Boo!
- Victoria Wood's A Nice Cup of Tea. This is a documentary about tea. That's it. I loved it. Thank you AGAIN AcornTV (this is not a paid placement. I bought it myself, I really did!)
- Oliver & Company. This is…not a great Disney movie. It's a bit mind bending to realize they went from this, which also looked cheap, to The Little Mermaid.
Until Next Time!
Jen A. Miller