How to keep writing when you are rushed off your feet

Sonja Jefferson
Albert Dock, Liverpool

Early morning, Albert Dock

I’m writing this from my bed in the Premier Inn, with a misty view over the Albert Dock in Liverpool. It’s 6am, and I really did have a great night’s sleep – just like they guaranteed. Which is lucky, because this week is absolutely bonkers: workshop in Bristol on Monday; writing frenetically on Tuesday whilst trying to entertain my lovely parents; meeting in Crewe yesterday (thank goodness for long train trips); training course today and then workshop in London tomorrow. And on top of that my son has been ill. Some weeks push you to the edge.

I’m not trying to elicit your sympathy (unless you insist) and I know I’m not alone. We are all busy. The pace of business life, and well just life in general really has upped; running at a speed we never would have thought possible even a decade back.

It would be easy to fall into the ‘I’m too busy to write’ trap, thinking ‘I’ll wait until we have more time’, but judging by the amount of great business coming in the door at the moment I think that could be a while. So here I am, writing. And here are a few ideas to help you keep writing too.

Why it’s important to write even when you’re busy

Here at VC we notice a direct correlation between the amount of good content we put out and the leads that come in through the door. 100% of our business is inbound (we don’t go out and bang on any doors). This IS our business development activity. So if we want to keep our business running we know we have to write.

Last year we made a big mistake. Just before the summer we were in the same situation as we are today – frenetic. We dropped the valuable content ball and suffered big time a few months down the line as a result. Come the autumn, the leads just stopped coming in. It was horrible. I haven’t faced that situation before and I don’t ever want to again.

Content is the fuel that keeps the business development wheel turning. It’s a commitment to your customers to be helpful, and consistent production is absolutely key. Don’t make the same mistake we did!

 

Ideas to make writing easier when you’re rushed off your feet

  • Repurpose what you are already working on. Sharon reviewed one of our favourite B2B websites yesterday (yes, it’s you Velocity ) for our workshop on Friday. That review can be turned into a great blog post, and it’s easier than starting from scratch.
  • Write a batch at a time. When you do get the time, write a series of articles in one sitting. That will keep you going for a while.
  • Make a commitment. Knowing we were going to be busy we publically dedicated this month to content on writing. We spread the word on Twitter etc. so we have to do it. Make a promise, and say it out loud, and there’ll be a heap of people making sure you keep to it.
  • Get organised. Sit down at the beginning of every month, ever week and plan your content efforts like a publishing editor would on a magazine. Our content calendar should help.
  • Get jotting. They say if you want something done you should ask a busy person to do it, and that’s true for writing too.You don’t have to attempt a whole blog post after a meeting, but that time when your brain is overloaded with ideas and firing on all cylinders is a great time to make some really valuable notes to turn into content later.
  • Use your travel time. Trains can be perfect places to write. (Presuming you’re not crushed in a corridor.) No internet, no phone calls to distract you.
  • Find a writing buddy. When you’re very busy and tired it’s easy to run out of steam when you’re writing. Teaming up with a partner means you can help each other out. Pass your three quarters finished blog over to your partner, and let them carry you over the line.
  • Just carve out the time! It’s so important. Prioritise the content, get up an hour earlier…just MAKE time.

 

How about you? If you’re as busy as we are how do you find the time to write?  Do share your ideas here. I for one would love to know.

Other articles you might like:

[A big thank you to my ever patient and supportive husband too – wouldn’t be able to do this without you JJ!]

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4 Comments

  1. Sonja, first off, congratulations on being so busy! Secondly, thanks for a great article and for your honesty within it. I had noticed your slowing down of blogging last year and put it down to you being busy. Of course, what we readers don’t see is the consequence of that. It’s alarming to discover that one’s ‘back catalogue’ will only get you so far and even that still needs to be promoted.

    I love the list of ideas and already have a ‘notebook’, some pages of which just contain a URL, some of which contain a few unrelated sentences – more ideas just thrown on the page to be organised later. Just need to implement a few more of the ideas now…

    Reply
  2. Hello Neil.

    Thanks for the comment. Busy is good, definitely much better than not busy! Interesting you’d noticed the slow down: I am determined that never happens again. There’s about a 3 month lag time, and I’ve never been clearer on the importance of keeping the content coming.

    Creating content to respond to a direct question from a client works so well, using their exact words and tone. I forget that if I leave it more than a couple of days. Notebook is a very good plan.

    Good luck with the content for your new business.

    Sonja

    Reply
  3. I wondered who that was clicking on our site.
    Glad you stopped by — and thanks for these tips.
    I love travel time for writing too.

    Reply
  4. Sharon Tanton

    Thanks Doug. We’d love to explain more and tell you about the Valuable Content Award. I’ll drop you a line, and maybe we can talk in the next week or so?
    Happy travelling!

    Reply

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