You deserve this kind of warm weather downtime. You need long days of lazy moments in order to replenish your creative resources. A good break is what you need refill your well of patience and compassion - for your clients, your family, and yourself.
In order to make time for those guilty pleasure novels and to be truly present for the firefly chasing, you have to make the hours you do work a heck of a lot more efficient.
What part of your business needs to become quickest and easiest as the temperatures rise? The thing you’re most likely to ignore and procrastinate about -- your blog and your newsletter writing.
Your business needs you to keep writing this summer, but you need summer to be like summer
It may be tempting to hang a “see you in September” sign on your blog, but you’d be missing a valuable opportunity. Many people use their “lazy” summer time to Google fresh solutions to their problems and do that professional research they never have time to do during the average work week.
Imagine this: while you are on the beach with your kids, someone is replying to your email newsletter and asking to set up an appointment that will guarantee you have enough money to pay for that last week of summer camp.
That is so much more likely to happen if you stay present online during July and August by publishing quick, meaningful blog posts and keeping in touch with your list.
The one thing you have to do to produce those quick, meaningful summer blog posts (Hint: it’s not about brainstorming ideas or composing a killer title)
You need to simplify.
For many creative entrepreneurs, “simple” is a bad word - it implies facile and “simplistic” and your work is deep and meaningful (dammit!).
Or, “simple” is an impossible dream. When a business sits at the core of your livelihood, your creative output, and much of your sense of self, it’s bound to be a nuanced, multilayered affair.
If you feel like the business is entangled in just about everything, writing for your personal stories for your beloved clients is anything but quick and easy.
Yes, friend, you are as rare as a glitter dusted zebra-striped unicorn and as complex as Superstorm Sandy, but your next blog post doesn’t need to be - really!
Two ways simplify the story and produce blog posts before they even miss you at the beach
1) Give 25%. You had a flash of insight during your morning jog? Jot down as much as you can then walk away for a while.
Come back to your notes and ask yourself how many ideas were really included in that flash of insight. It wasn’t just one perfect ah-ha - you were pounding the pavement for a good 45 minutes! You don’t want to get stuck inside writing a 3000 word epic. You want to offer up 750 words of succinct quality content. Either strip away all the extra stuff and toss it as the unnecessary padding it is or save it for next week’s post.
2) Recycle. Didn’t have a stroke of brilliance during your run? (Because, honestly, it’s vacation and there was that last bottle of chardonnay that just had to be finished before bedtime.) That’s great.
Go back and read one of those wicked long posts you dragged out of yourself over the winter. You know, one of the missives that you yourself have trouble reading all the way through? Pluck out one idea and expand on it. Or, if you’re proud of all the content because it’s central to your brand vision, break it into an easy-to-digest list and pare down the language for your lazy summer readers.
Simple writing takes practice
There’s this delicious Italian word, "sprezzatura.” It means “studied nonchalance.”
Someone who exhibits “perfect conduct or performance of something (as an artistic endeavor) without apparent effort” is simply glowing with the qualities that marked a successful 16th continental century courtier.
I learned about sprezzatura when studying Yeats as an undergrad. If anyone slaved himself to produce a line that was achingly simply and painfully profound, it was that Irish poet. But, he kept it up for a lifetime and became one of the greatest writers who ever lived.
You, my sweet summer friend, may also be destined to earn a Nobel Prize one day. I won’t stop you from delighting in every difficult task related to reaching that great height, but I will remind you that the blog posts your writing during the summer of 2015 are not going to make or break your chances with the Scandinavians.
It’s hard to simplify your ideas and to offer the quick and easy version of your brilliance because something as foolish as enjoying the sunset demands your attention, but if you’re going to be worthy of that next client - or that Nobel Prize - you have to give it your best shot.
I'm here to help you discover your own simple writing style. Let's talk about how hiring me as your writing coach can ease your summer writing load.