14-Day Creative Challenge — Perfect for Quarantine, or Anytime
Lock-down … Self-isolation … Stay-at-home … Quarantine …
These are frightening words that are now part of our everyday vocabulary. But rather than feeling fear or anxiety, this situation can be an opportunity for creativity, education, growth, and reflection.
Staring at large chunks of open time can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned writer. Rather than tackling your biggest challenge all at once, consider each day as an opportunity to improve your writing, your business, or your personal growth in small bites. You’ll enjoy the sense of accomplishment, and each step will move you closer to your next goal.
Here’s Your Challenge
Every day during the next two weeks, choose one of the projects below, or create a few of your own. Some will take as little as 10 minutes, so you can definitely fit something into your schedule every day. Alternate between technical skills and fun tasks where you simply let your creative juices flow.
1) Connect. One of the best ways to avoid feeling isolated is to keep in regular contact with others. Start a peer group or reinvigorate a group you haven’t talked to in a while. Challenge someone to join you in this quarantine project and compare notes daily.
2) Organize and decorate. If you work from home, you need a space which inspires you. Try these easy and inexpensive ways to perk up your work area:
- Declutter your desk to find important things easily
- Rearrange the furniture to create better ergonomic flow so everything you need is within arm’s reach
- Hang inspirational pictures to help you brainstorm and stay focused
- Paint your room or your desk a different color to brighten the space. During quarantine, some paint stores are offering curbside or home delivery of sample paint chips.
3) Get on LinkedIn. Create or update your profile, write or post an article, comment on someone else’s post, and reach out to new connections to expand your network. The next person you meet online could be your next client.
4) Be creative. Doodle, draw, paint, color, assemble a puzzle, turn on some music and sing at the top of your lungs while you dance around your kitchen in your pajamas. Improve your writing skills by engaging all five senses and funnel that energy into generating new ideas.
5) Start or finish a writing course. The best copywriters are always reading and learning something new. If you’re one of the many people who started a course but had to put it aside, now is the time to pull it out and get it done. This is not a one-day activity, but you can start today and make some solid progress.
6) Create a Dream Board. Grab some poster board, magazine pictures, personal photos, inspirational quotes, travel ideas, and anything else that inspires you. Design a board you can keep near your computer to remind you why you’re writing and where your writing will lead you.
7) Binge-watch. Not medieval fantasy sagas or heart-wrenching family dramas … instead spend time watching the free Inside AWAI webinars available on AWAI. These 60 to 90-minute episodes are not only educational, they are entertaining as well.
8) Improve your online presence and skills. This is one of the most challenging projects. Create or update your personal website. Write a new blog post. Learn new techniques and shortcuts on MSWord or Google Docs. Practice with online editing tools to improve your punctuation and grammar.
9) Start or organize a personal Swipe File. Chances are, while you are doing this you will read or re-read some of the best examples of copywriting and learn something new along the way.
10) Take a Masterclass. You can choose from 12 classes offered by famous writers, or try an unrelated class which speaks to you. For example, you can learn about music, interior design, directing, business, cooking, outer space, and more.
11) Study the experts. AWAI offers a curated collection of successful direct-response letters and ad samples from some the best “A-list” copywriters. These resources are available free with The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting or you can research direct-response copywriting samples online and review your own Swipe File for top-notch techniques.
12) Free write. Set a timer for 10 or 20 minutes and just write. Don’t edit. If you’re stumped for ideas, AWAI offers free persuasive writing prompts to get you started. Remember, writers write, every day.
13) Client prospecting. Prepare a list of dream clients and then research the websites of your top five. Dissect them to determine the client’s tone, voice, and copy needs. Maybe they could use a timely blog post, or they might need a complete website audit. Create an email pitch or LinkedIn message to reach out with your best ideas.
14) Seek inspiration from others. Check out AWAI’s Case Studies to read about other writers’ backgrounds and how they succeeded in creating their writer’s life. Chances are you’ll find someone with a story you can relate to.
Two more weeks sounds like a long time to be stuck inside. With the right mindset, you can use this extra time at home to your advantage … and you might have some fun along the way.
How are you spending your “self-isolation” time? Share suggestions for your fellow writers in the comments.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
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