Sovereign Standard, Issue 24 It's one of those working-vacation weeks. You know the type -- you hope to be at least semi-productive and still have a good time (all the while ensuring that your own deadlines don't kill anyone else's relaxation buzz).
I think I'm managing this tightrope act as the girls and I visit the folks back at home on Cape Cod.
Juggling and magic shows, long days at the beach with multiple sunscreen applications, and mom trying to get some client stuff done after everyone is asleep… You know, the usual.
I started to write a post about why the internet is like sharing news with a big, noisy family.
There was an outside possibility that it was going to be the best thing I’d ever written. Honestly though, the Red Sox have a better shot at the pennant than I have at making that post worth more than a “that’s nice” comment as you, dear reader, return to your “if only I wasn’t working right now” daydreams.
But now, I'm typing this at the breakfast table. In case you didn't know - laptops and eggs and that beautiful noisy family on a perfect Cape Cod August morning don't mix.
The few paragraphs I had written about how the digital world is like endless summer have about as much life in them as a deflated beach ball. Because I love you, I am going to spare you all that.
I could slam the laptop shut and climb back into a bed full of sand rather than hit publish (the joys of sharing a sleeping surface with an 18 month old who naps right after the first beach trip of the day).
Instead, I am writing about what’s not really worth saying.
Do not pour another precious hour into a blah, blah, blah blog post that you can’t even be bothered to care about until you pause a moment.
Is it time to step away from the keyboard?
Ask yourself: Is it worth writing anything at all?
The answer is NO if you don’t have a steady commitment to your newsletter and blog reader.
Don’t force yourself to meet some personal, arbitrary writing deadline if you don’t really have anything to say. You run the risk of losing them forever because you couldn’t bring your “A” game.
The answer is YES if you have a palpable enough connection to your readership that they’ll care about your well-deserved vacation or your writer’s block or the distraction that is keeping you from doing the “real” writing.
Just be cautious here - the same “make the reader the hero” rules apply here. Your hard working readers want the best for you, but what’s in it for them as you share your bliss and your struggles?
The ultimate test: do you have a Call to Action?
The clincher question as you decide whether or not to spend another summertime minute on a blog post: do you have a call to action?
A call to action is that thing you ask your reader to do at the end of each post (sign up for the list, listen to this podcast episode, attend my next event, etc.). It’s the raison d’etre for any particular post on your business blog.
When you know what your reader to do, it’s pretty easy to write them in that direction.
If you’re too busy thinking about whether the kids are getting a burn or whether the next drink will have an umbrella in it to think about what your reader should do when they’re done reading, it might be a good idea to skip posting an article this week.
My call to action for you
Trust the present moment. Observe the needs of your business and the tides of your life.
Write when you’re called to.
Step away from the laptop when you can.
Bring your best to your family and your readers and give each group the time they really need.