'Here's one I made earlier' – Are you a planner or a procrastinator?
Who can forget that immortal Blue Peter line? And those horrible cakes made of pet food and butter icing. Ick. But just imagine if someone had always made one earlier for us. (Because of course the presenter hadn't made it earlier. Someone else had.) We’d never have to do anything. Although it would suck the fun out of life too – the being-in-the-moment, embracing-the-process kind of fun.
Anyway, I was thinking about writing, editing, creating, marketing, fundraising – and how to achieve the best results. And I realised that, although I was always pretty impulsive as a youngster, my editing business and my animal charity have taught me that Rome really wasn’t built in a day, and it is good to have one that you ‘made earlier’.
Let’s take blogging. I used to blog because I felt I had to. I would put it off until the last possible minute. But now I LOVE blogging. And I make time to do it each week. Blogging is a way to develop your writing and editing skills, to research different topics and share knowledge and life hacks with people. It’s a bit like journalism without the edginess – with a side helping of showcasing and other benefits. Did you know that blogging is a really effective way to improve your website’s SEO?
So now I plan ahead – it’s built into my diary, because writing is a dish best marinated. I start researching and writing early in the week and then edit (oh so many times), proofread and post later in the week. Each time I read it, I tweak it. I’m an obsessive tweaker! This all takes time but it is far less stressful than having to create under pressure. And it is so satisfying, even if only one person reads it.
Have I mentioned my animal charity lately? Well, between me and my amazing team of admins, our goal is to post every (week)day on our Facebook page (@thesanctuaryangels). And that is no mean feat, considering we have been doing it forever. So, whenever we see a meme, photo or drawing that we know will work well, we check permissions and save it for a rainy day. Then, hey presto, on a busy day we have an image ready to go that just needs a few words and hashtags (e.g. #adoptdontshop, #stayvegan, #alllivesmatter #saveourplanet).
Editing is really no different. A piece of writing evolves – it deserves time and fresh eyes. So, if someone asks me to proofread a 100,000-word thesis in a week, that’s going to be a STRONG NO from me. The best work evolves through a process involving patience and pacing. With each read-through, the words get stronger. You can see on the second read-through what you could never see on the first. Imagine what a third read-through could do! And a fourth, and fifth. In other words, clients who plan ahead get the most out of their process. We can work together, step by step, developing whatever it is you are working on. It’s all about the teamwork and the time management.
Did I mention that I made this blog earlier? Happy Friday!