Thanks to Linda Dessau for this guest post. For more information about Linda and her work, see below.
There is just no point in putting out a creative, insightful and ingenious article that is fabulously valuable to your ideal client. That is, unless you’re going to follow that up with more content on a consistent basis.
On the other hand, structures like editorial schedules can set us up for fear, floundering and failure. They become artificial constructs that loom over our lives and suck the joy out of whatever we’re doing (and I know that writing doesn’t hold that much joy for some of you to begin with).
Deadlines are interesting creatures. It is often in our nature to coyly watch them approach, throwing them a bone here and there with a little bit of effort, but secretly craving the adrenalin and drama of the last minute frenzy when the deadline arrives.
As this pattern repeats itself, you’ll go one of two ways. You may let the deadlines pass, losing trust in yourself and becoming less willing to risk or grow in your business. Or you push yourself to meet them, sacrificing self-care essentials like adequate sleep, rest, hydration and nutrition, not to mention spiritual and aesthetic nourishment.
I’ve found that if I’m not taking care of myself, I simply cannot do my best work. Those self-care sacrifices pile on top of each other until I’m completely weighed down and void of creative ideas for my blog or my business.
Shhh! Don’t tell the readers of my Idea Generator blog what I’m about to say, because I’ve been harping on them for years about the importance of consistency. But the truth is that self-care is much more important.
To honour this truth in my own work life, I’ve long since removed the word deadline from my vocabulary. I prefer scheduled delivery date, publication date, time line or submission date. If I have committed to my readers or clients that I will deliver on specific dates, it’s important to those relationships and my credibility that I keep my word as best I can, but it is not a matter of life or death.
Schedules help us plan our time and manage our commitments so that we can publish new content as consistently as possible. But remember that your editorial schedule is meant to serve you, not the other way around.
I use a schedule to map out my work time in a way that is sane and manageable for me. And the first slots I fill in are my self-care activities. With this approach, there is plenty of time for both consistent content and self-care.
Linda Dessau is the founder of You Talk, I’ll Write and the Idea Generator blog. She ghostwrites and edits content for newsletters, blogs and social media. Her clients are coaches and others who want to build trust, relationships and credibility while growing a service-based business. Committing to consistency is only one of her 7 Secrets of Content Marketing Success—you can discover them all when you sign up for the free video at www.ContentCreationCapsule.com.