By Allison Tait
In case you haven’t heard, everyone’s jumping on board the Reels train to expand Instagram engagement. If you've been living under a rock and are not familiar with Instagram Reels, these are short, 15-90 second video clips. Wait, whaaat? You thought Instagram was all about photos, not videos? Think again. The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, recently announced: “‘We're no longer a photo-sharing app”.
So the Instagram you know and love is evolving. Goodbye photos of your feet, cat and coffee. Hello videos of you doing … well, whatever you want (though we've noticed that a lot of people seem to do a lot of dancing in their videos!). He adds that competitors like Tik Tok and YouTube have influenced Instagram's push into video. So Instagram Reels is where it's at. Reels are very often accompanied with music, so if you want to increase your author profile, they’re worth checking out.
Now, video isn’t my favourite medium, and the idea of creating full-blown productions containing words, music, and video with me as the star seems overwhelming. Fortunately, reels are quick to make, and the short format means all you need is a short writing-related video clip and a few seconds of the right song to layer over the top to feel like a pro. Plus, if you like music as much as I do, then matching the perfect song to offset your visuals is great fun.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll go from daunted to addicted in record time, and soon you’ll be looking for writing-related songs to set the perfect mood. Instagram already has a library of songs you can add to Reels from the app, so I’ve collected a few great choices to get you started.
1. Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
Listen for this line: “I’m sick of sittin’ 'round here tryin’ to write this book”
2. Words – Bee Gees
Listen for this line: “It’s only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away”
3. Paperback Writer – The Beatles
Listen for this line: Too many to choose from!
4. Typewriter – Werner Müller
Don’t listen for lyrics in this one, just add the furious clacking of a typewriter over your clip!
5. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
Listen for these lines: “I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned”
6. Typewriter – Alicia Keys
Listen for these lines: “Writing intentions, you see, such as my typewriter in the corner”
7. Rewrite – Paul Simon
Listen for these lines: “I'm workin' on my rewrite, that's right. Gonna change the ending. Throw away the title. And toss it in the trash”
8. Book Club – Arkells
Listen for these lines: “Now I was heading to the bus stop Matty. You were reading in your room, holed up all day”
Allison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al procrastinates by making reels. Find them at @allisontaitwriter on Instagram.