Increased Productivity in the Time of Coronavirus

Writing is by its nature a generally solitary occupation where for many of us a self-isolation is generally desired during at least part of the process. Now being 78 and a widower it is just me and Hector, my Lab, at home, and I do not have any great difficulty with that. Just as is the case when a plant under stress produces more fruit, I am producing more books. Most of my books are of interest to my fellow outdoor enthusiasts, but my business books are applicable to all.

Finish Old Projects

The readers that I approach with my outdoor writing are those who hunt with muzzleloading guns. This is a small part of the general outdoor market and some things that I do, like hunt with muzzleloading handguns, are a tiny segment of that market. Consequently, I wrote a series of short, inexpensive e-books starting in 2013. After publishing four of that series and partly finishing others, I am now resuming work on the remaining titles. This effort allows me to capitalize on the work that I already did and supply updated information along with making these interactive books by providing links to some of my 800 YouTube videos. To date I have either published or submitted seven of the eight titles, with three being completed during the past 30 days. One of these was an update of "Buying Used Muzzleloading Guns" with added information on other guns and updated pricing. The other two are "Hunting with Muzzleloading Revolvers," and "Muzzleloading Guns for Self Defense." That leaves only one more "Building or Restoring your Muzzleloader" to complete.

These books are part of my general business strategy of "Write once and sell often." These titles will produce small amounts of income for the remainder of my life without my having to actively promote them, although I will through my videos and writings - just as I am doing here. Compared with the returns from interest-bearing accounts at the moment, these are good investments for the money spent. For the few hundred dollars costs for publication they will return a few thousand dollars each in coming decades.

Although you may not be a writer, do you also have some projects that are potentially money producing that have been partly finished that need to be completed? If so, now is the time to finish them and let them start making money for you. Instead of doing once and getting paid once, see if you can develop some that will provide a continuous stream of income.

New Concepts

Although most of my writing has been non-fiction titles, I had written and broadcast some fictional stories over the decades. I was always interested in expanding my writing into new fields such as writing news, copyrighting, and non-fiction magazine articles and books that ranged from health issues, architecture, geology, guns, hunting, and business. Seen from this perspective it should not be thought unusual, that I would also write a novel.

My novel "Father of the Grooms" started out as a concept for a comedy, but morphed into an action-adventure title as it was being written. Within coming days it will be published as a First Draft e-book as "Father of the Grooms" with the subtitle "Murder, Marriage, and Mafia: An American Family Meets Their Sicilian Cousins." This novel had a gestation period of about five years, was drawn from the composite experiences of several families that I met, and was supplemented by a fact-gathering trip to Sicily. After I returned I wrote the novel in nine months. It consist of 36 chapters and some 350 pages, about average for a modern novel.

Like making a risky investment in the stock market, this novel may not pay off, but has the potential of producing a very large return if it does. I am also going to enhance the project's appeal by also writing a screenplay to potentially have it optioned and perhaps produce a movie by 2024.

In your own life, do you have some concept that always seemed to be something that you would love to do, but never had the time to invest in other training or activities to let you do it? If so, now that you are free from work obligations, invest in yourself and see if you cannot get further along towards achieving that goal. If colleges or schools are closed, go on-line and see if you can find some useful courses. One potential source is "The Great Courses" which have videos on almost any subject material taught by college professors. These do not offer exams and credits, but they will provide much useful information on an introductory college level. I have nothing to do with this company, but I did use one of their courses as a general guide to writing my novel.

Help People Solve Problems

I have written three business books. Two of these are published and the third is in the process of being published by Stratton Press. Both have as their central theme the concept of people should develop and start their own businesses, big and tiny, throughout their lives so that they have an independent source of income should they suddenly no get a paycheck, as it happening right now. The first title which is now available on Amazon as a softcover and e-book is "Create Your Own Job: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife." The forthcoming title is "Make Your Own Job: Anytime, Anywhere, At Any Age." The first title was written with middle-managers in mind, whereas the second book is applicable for everyone from teens to senior citizens.

Everyone has their own life experiences. Do you have something in your life that you can use to help others overcome similar problems? Can you write, speak, preach, or lecture? Do you have the will to be of general service to your fellow man? Just because your motives are for what you see is a higher purpose does not mean that you cannot make money by doing them. One of the truisms that I have developed is, "There is nothing in the human condition that cannot be turned into profit by an inventive mind."

Many kinds of support activities will be needed during the present crisis. Can you fill some of these needs for your neighbors and be compensated for it? I do it by producing books, videos, and remote consulting. What can you do?
In any crisis there are opportunities. Find and take advantage of them.

Author's Bio: 

Wm. Hovey Smith is a Professional Geologists, author, and business consultant with a wide range of interests that extends from public health to outdoor living activities. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Alaska and has also studied at the University of Arizona and University of Arkansas. He is the author of some 20 books, has been a podcast radio host, and has produced 800 YouTube videos.