On Slowing Down

Summer Sunset

Happy July to you.

Maybe you have noticed it, too. After the Fourth of July (U.S.) the only kind of reading I look forward to doing is that of a good book — a great story — on a beach, by the pool, or perched on a favorite spot somewhere outdoors.

Well before the heat sets in, when the skies are clear, our disposition gravitates towards sunny. Which means we begin to slow down at work.

Whether you are your own boss or not, it's hard to take yourself to task — especially around holidays. If you're like me, you're still busy writing, planning your work, executing projects, following up with contacts, and so on. All the while pining for the open air I can almost taste outside my windows.

With that in mind, there are some things that we as content producers — writers, marketers, PR professionals, authors, researchers — can do to fight the summer doldrums.

  • Be realistic. Reading patterns are seasonal. If you're a business writer/publisher, you'll likely feel a stronger pinch than most. Take a deep breath, remain true to your basic mission, and wait for the end of vacation season. 
  • Take a break. Post best-of material for a couple weeks and come back fresh.
  • Start a side publication or series on something really new. If it's substantially off-message, preface each post with an explanation that it's part of a limited series. Then write about something that makes you happy, or some project you feel passionate about. The key here is "different."
  • Line up a few guest posts, and return the favor. This is a good way to get some fresh perspective and make new friends.
  • Hit the basics. If you have fewer people coming into the store during the summer months, you'll need to close more deals to fill the till, as it were. There are plenty of site tune-up tutorials around, but a few obvious possibilities are decluttering your sidebar, a new theme or logo, and going back over your articles to see your greatest hits and misses. Write more of the former, and much less of the last.

What else have you done to mix things up and prepare for the next creative wave?

[image of summer sunset, Puesta de Sol de Verano, Victor Nuno]


[updated from archives]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.