Summer! The days are getting longer, the afternoons are getting hotter, and your AC bill is skyrocketing. Time to kick up your feet and enjoy a nice long vacation...right?
Well, yes, you should take a vacation! But also take your longing for summer fun and use that energy for your writing! After all, writing a blog or newsletter is just the same as enjoying a nice beach day!
Plan Your Day (Pick Your Topic)
When you’re planning a beach day, it’s important to check the weather, check the tides, and work with your schedule. You don’t want to show up to the beach, ready to build a sandcastle, and realize it’s about to thunderstorm, right?
Well, the same is true when writing! You want to “check the weather” (so to speak) before you start putting things together for your content. Let’s say, for our purposes, a blog (although this applies to any content you’re putting out there).
What is missing out there, that you can supply for people? Are you noticing that there isn’t any good content out there right now about scheduling, or organization, or writing (hey, that’s me!), or something else that you have a lot to say about? Time for you to fill that spot!
So, pick your topic. Once that is done, we can move onto the fun part!
Pack Your Bag (Outline)
You don’t want to show up to the beach without your book, or your water bottle, or your speaker, right? It’s important to plan ahead and pack a good bag, so you have everything you’ll need when you’re there!
Outlining your blog will make things so much easier when it comes time to write. You want to make sure you have everything you need when you actually start writing. This allows you to see if you need to change things up, if you’re missing something that is key to your point, or if you need to reorganize your thoughts to make them flow better. If you need to make changes, it is so much easier to do so at this stage, rather than when the bulk of the writing is “done.”
Hitch a Ride (First Draft)
The day has come, it’s beach day! Time to get your ride to the beach. Whether you’re driving yourself, carpooling with a friend, taking the bus, or walking there - this doesn’t feel like an actual part of your vacation, but it is crucial to your day!
That’s the first draft. It’s not necessarily the fun part of your writing experience (although I would argue it is what you make of it!), but it’s absolutely necessary.
It’s during this stage that you’re doing much of the heavy lifting. You’re putting your thoughts down, carrying through your outline, and working out those last kinks. It doesn’t have to be clean or final, you just need to “get there.”
Pick Your Nest (Editing)
You’re at the beach. You’ve trekked across the dunes, you’re staring down the waves. Time to pick out the spot to lay out your towel and get cozy. You find a nice blank spot with a nice breeze on the soft sand… you can’t just throw your things down and call it a day, right?
Time to edit. Straighten your towel, balance your water bottle upright...comb through your first draft and make those small changes to make it perfect.
Editing is maybe the most important part of the writing process. Take a look with fresh eyes if you can, and you can pick out those smaller bits of your writing that still need tweaking.
SUNSCREEN! (Formatting, images, and other highlights)
Okay, this is also my opportunity to emphasize how important it is to wear sunscreen to protect yourself from skin damage and ultimately maybe even melanoma! If you’re going to be in the sun for a whole day, it’s just so much more comfortable (and safe) to wear a solid layer of SPF.
Okay, digression over…
Your writing is great and speaks for itself, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! Time to dress up your blog.
Pick out a good image that will draw people in and also be true to your topic (I hope you like mine)! Format your blog to be interesting to the eye, that will keep people engaged and looking forward to your next point. Sprinkle in the effects that will highlight your work, rather than distract from it.
Put on Your Shades and Kick Back (Review and Unleash)
Ah. You’re at the beach. You made it! Time to kick back and relax.
That is, you’ve done all the heavy lifting of writing. It’s time for the finishing touches.
Review, with fresh eyes this time, and make sure what you’ve written is true to you. Whether it is aligned with your original plan, or if you found a new path during the writing and editing process, make sure it still fits with your brand and fills that hole you originally noticed online, that you set out to fill.
Once you’re happy with it, it’s time to unleash it onto the world! Now you catch the rays (clicks) and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
What does your “Summer Plans” look like? We would love to feature your stories or snippets in our next blog! Send your comments to MerriLyn@Assistants4hire.net!
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Written by Jordan McAndrew