Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Another Way to Look At "Viral" Writing

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Many of us create Facebook posts and You Tube segments hoping they will go viral. But I’d like to make a few suggestions for viral writing defined as writing that continues during social distancing because of a virus.

We have to be creative during these unusual times. Yes, writers can write from anywhere. Because we can continue writing, we have a tremendous responsibility to bring hope to those who are at home reading. During these last weeks we have had to become creative about what we produce, but God has prepared Christian writers to spread hope to others. Here are a few suggestions for 2020 viral writing.
  • 1. Meet all your deadlines, or better yet, be early. Not only will that please your editor but it will clear your plate to move on to another project.
  • 2. Start that book or article you have always wanted to write but never had time. Schedule an hour or two every morning and only work on a new project.
  • 3. Use an online platform to start a new writers group or set your current one up to function on line. It’s amazing how much you can glean from an online group. Not quite the same as being in the same room but it does give us face-to-face contact and a feeling of being together.
  • 4. Use your writing to keep your family close. Here are a few examples.
    • Write a letter to your parents to let them know how much you appreciate them. If they are in a nursing home or retirement facility they will love getting extra mail.
    • Mail a cute card to each of your grandchildren.
    • Start writing a story with your grandchildren, taking turns writing scenes.
    • Email a joke to your grandchildren first thing every morning. Only send the question. Leave the punch line for them to guess.
    • Think of someone who has been an encouragement to you in your writing or some other way and send them a handwritten thank you.
    • Check your church shut-in list and write cards to those who live alone.
  • 5. Other ways to keep your family close might include drive-by grandparent visits if you live in town. You can sit in the car and watch the children play in the yard or with neighborhood friends. Or create a family online conference call. You can see each other clearly and exchange news of what is going on. This works well, especially if you live in different cities.

Whatever you are doing with your unexpected time at home, it most probably includes some kind of writing. And, as you do your viral writing, don’t forget to pray for those on the front line of the global virus that is unlike anything our generation has ever seen.


Linda Gilden is an award-winning writer, speaker, editor, certified writing and speaking coach, and personality consultant. Linda is the author of 19 books and over 1000 magazine articles. She enjoys every meeting with editors and knowing we are all part of the same team. Linda’s favorite activity (other than eating folded potato chips) is floating in a pool with a good book surrounded by splashing grandchildren—a great source of writing material!


  1. Excellent advice, Linda. We've done some of your suggestions already.

  2. Love these ideas, Linda, thanks for sharing. I made homemade Easter cards for my out-of-state grandkids. I was surprised at how much fun it was and may do it again next year.

  3. Such great ideas, Linda. We had our Word Weavers Meeting, Iowa Chapter, via Zoom on March 30. It worked so well! Thanks for all of your suggestions. Loved them.

  4. Wonderful ideas! So sorry the Carolina Christian Writers Conference had to be cancelled this year. Looking forward to next year. :-)

  5. Thanks so much, Linda. I'm already doing several from your point #4. Thanks for more ways.