If You Are What You Eat, Do You Write What You Read?
Making part or all of your living from the skill of writing copy for clients can be exhilarating, but it can also turn into a dreaded grind. If you find yourself primarily writing blog posts for your clients, you’re probably reading a ton of blogs as well. While it’s useful to stay up-to-date, it’s also good to get away from the noise of the web to calm your mind, get reacquainted with a different voice, and feel recharged about the work of writing and reading.
The Blog Slog: Blog Writing Service and Your Media Diet
We live in an increasingly connected, social, information rich world. This world allows us to translate the skill of writing into a lucrative freelancing service, but it also means we spend more time with our eyes to the screen, consuming the same types of media that we’re putting out. Some studies suggest that the average social media user receives up to 285 pieces of content per day. A diet that heavy in content can make you feel like you’re writing in an echo chamber, that you’re just rehashing the same Buzzfeed article you saw last week in new, SEO ready clothes.
This sort of mindset—that you’re just one of many cogs in a fast turning wheel—can turn writing into a chore. It can also zap your unique, fresh voice, the individual perspective that we all naturally bring to the table by virtue of having our own special snowflake history of life experience, reading history, and idiosyncratic sensibilities. Our writing becomes stale, and our clients start looking for the next voice in the ever-growing choir. Bummer!
So, how to avoid the social media burnout? For starters, try to limit your social media content intake, especially on days when you know you’ll be working a lot on the web for writing jobs. When your writing day is done, try shutting down the computer and spending at least 15 minutes or so with one of your favorite books or a high-quality magazine. Reading the work of the authors you love can remind you of why you started writing in the first place, and hearing the rhythms of language that aren’t designed for the fast-paced world of the web can give you some extra inspiration next time you hit the keyboard.
Stop Scrolling and Read!
When scanning the web for relevant content, we tend to cut corners, as a recent article on Slate made clear. Scanning and skimming is a smart tactic for time management when you’re on a deadline, but try committing to reading at least one long-form story of interest to you per week; sites like The Rumpus and Salon are great places to find quality essays. You can find great joy and inspiration in taking time with every juicy, nuanced, language-loving sentence, and it can help reset your busy, meta-description/SEO savvy brain to keep you fresh and recharged for that next batch of blogs.
Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.