At the beginning of this journey I set a goal of writing a blog per week. This seemed to work the first 3 weeks, but then I fell into …well…everyday life. I have a full-time job, family, friends, appointments, etc. It was very ambitious of me to think I could write a blog per week.
Assess your life situation
Here’s what I was thinking – I wasn’t. I was so excited by the prospect of actually writing and having a support person, that I ignored everything else. I have always been one to over commit and this is a perfect example. At this stage I could write a blog per week, but it would be a bit crappy and not very enjoyable for me if I am rushing. I would also learn nothing. So here’s my advice on what to look for before committing to a weekly piece of writing;
· What is going on in your life right now – this includes any stresses or annoyances you may have. A crappy mood will make you write crappy things.
· How much time do you have – be realistic. How much spare time do you have to chill, read, watch tv, so on. And then how much of that time are you willing to commit to writing per week.
· How much time do you need – I never actually assessed how long it takes to write a blog. I sort of allocated 2 hours per week. Not enough. A piece of writing includes writing it. But also the research, the editing, the uploading to your site and formatting. It’s a lot more than 2 hours!
Assess the workload
How can you assess the workload? Rose suggested using an app like Toggl. This is a simple to use timing app. It’s a stop/start timer with the option to name the tasks. I am currently timing this blog (even if I only remembered during this paragraph!) I am aiming to get into the habit of timing all copywriting related tasks. This way I can build an accurate view of the hours I need to write a blog, or research certain topics.
Writing is one thing, but what about the research that goes with it? You should also include the time spent editing with the client or the person giving you feedback. For example, each time Rose gives me feedback, it isn’t a simple edit. I research the styles/methods she’s suggesting. I look at other copy. Then I do my own take for the next blog…sometimes I am still not happy, so I re-write things. I usually spend at least an 2-3 hours on the research.
For me research also includes the time to learn. I am learning new skills at the moment, that takes time. It should take time. Ensure to have you time to read, practice writing, browse copywriting websites.
Why do we need to know all this?
How would you like to quote a client 5 hours work, but then spend 15 hours working on it? You wouldn’t. You would be cursing yourself and your client!
WHAAAA?! THIS IS TOO MUCH!
Is it? Or is it a perfect upfront investment to your future writing? This will be a huge learning for me. I over commit constantly and say yes way too much. Being able to assess the time I need to write and research, will help when quoting clients in the future. Rather than guessing, I will be able to quote the exact time I need to complete something. Being fair on myself and the client.
It also allows me to assess how much time I need to put aside currently to write, learn and move closer to my career change.