Truthfully, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social lockdown hasn’t affected my daily life much at all. What it has affected is my business.
Many have posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other places that the national quarantine’s enforced inactivity can be put to creative use. Learn a new craft or work on a new project. Perhaps you have a story simmering in the back of your mind that you always meant to write, but never had the time or inclination to start. Now’s the time, folks! If you have rough draft, take this time to self-edit and refine the content and find an editor. (I’m available!) If you’ve thought of starting a blog, you’ll never have a better chance. If the idea of writing gives you the willies–but you know you have a great idea–then look into hiring a ghostwriter. (I’m available!)
Or maybe, just maybe, occupy your time by reading a book or six. Buy them. The overwhelming majority of authors do not earn a living wage from royalties, so they appreciate every sale.
The lockdown will result in many businesses shuttering forever, especially small businesses that can’t afford to pay their employees when they’re not selling enough (or at all) to cover expenses. The effect will ripple with unemployment figures soaring and the unemployed turning to the government for help. The Great Recession from 2007 – 2009 will feel like a mere blip on the historical timeline of world economics.
People who have never had the opportunity to work from home now have the opportunity to try it out and determine whether it suits them. Those who lose their jobs may join the gig economy, starting up small businesses of their own. Others may decide to retire early. Businesses that survive the oncoming recession–perhaps even depression–may find themselves fishing in an even more shallow labor pool than before. The gig economy will explode, becoming a brutal environment that chews up and spits out freelancers like an asphalt milling machine.
It won’t be pretty.
I knew the lockdown would have a negative effect on my finances and it has. Already hard to come by, gigs have grown even more scarce. Worse, take a look at the major freelance platforms (Fiverr, Upwork, Guru) to see that cheap buyers are demanding even higher word counts on tighter deadlines for a lot less than the already insultingly paltry fees offered.
It’s enough to make any freelancer weep.
What really makes me despair is the number of vendors who accept these terrible projects with their low, low fees. They–and the opportunistic thieves who offer such projects–undercut and undervalue the services we freelancers provide.
I can’t complain too much, though, as my husband is one of those employed by an “essential service.” He’s still working. If it weren’t for him, we’d be in a world of hurt.
So, with the “extra” time I have resulting from an abrupt and huge slow-down of work, I obviously have more time to work on the latest manuscript. And I have. I expect to finish the draft within another week or two, at which time it will be turned over to my editor, so she can work her magic on it.
I have created some possible covers for the new book.