If you’re not careful, writing too much might make you a worse writer.
I don’t mean in the sense of the mechanics of writing.
We all know practice makes perfect when it comes to eliminating missed commas, smoothing out awkward cadence and unlearning misused words.
No – I’m talking about the terrible thing that happens when you fill your time so full of writing that it pushes out other critical parts of becoming a better writer.
I’ll admit it – in the frenzy that is trying to keep up with publishing schedules, market my business in new ways, stay in shape (which you think would be easier working from home) and maintain some sort of life away from the gym and the keyboard, I’ve spent markedly less time actually learning, testing and growing in my knowledge.
I’m not a martyr – just a guy who has taken on too much.
Has my work been worse?
That’s hard to say – though engagement numbers seem to have dipped.
And if I’m honest, I sometimes feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the idea barrel or looking for a fresh coat of paint on an old bit of knowledge.
To be healthy, growing and in love with what I do, I’m planning to try a few things:
First, I’m going to take more breaks. Go on vacation. Walk away from the keyboard. Put a gap in the ol’ publishing schedule. Come up for air, and stop feeling like I *must* publish.
Second, I’m going to schedule learning. All I really mean is set aside (and protect) time that’s purely for reading, testing and going on mental adventures. I need new experiences, new theories, new challenges and new ways of testing my mettle so that I can share them with my audience.
And finally, I’m throwing in some fun. Virtually 100% of my writing work right now is for profit. But while I do love writing website copy, landing pages and the odd blog post, I’ve got all sorts of passion projects (web comics, humor pieces and more) that I’ve back-benched in the name of making money.
I plan to dig some of those out.
Now I ask – not as an obligatory ending to my blog post, but because I’m seriously interested – for other career copywriters, what do you do to make sure you stay sharp?
Drop me a comment, or just shoot me a line @JoelKlettke.
I’m more interested in your insights than your vanity social metrics 🙂