Happy belated St. Patty’s Day! While working the other day I had an epiphany that is important to share with any writer inundated with work. It all began like this…
Search engine algorithms are continuously changing to raise the importance of content, so I’ve been quite swamped. After a full day of writing content for every category of products under the Internet sun, my eyes start to cross a little and I know it’s time to take a break. On that particular day (St. Patrick’s Day) I neglected a necessary break, but luckily for me my two colleagues (Internet Marketing Strategist Lauren Crowley and Pay Per Click Expert Kevin Dacey) ran into the room dressed like this.
After a hearty session of laughing/mocking, I learned a few things from this moment:
1. Exclusive Concepts is an incredible company. Our team consists of top experts in the SEO field who are constantly researching and brainstorming new and inventive techniques that produce results for clients. These people are brilliant. However, we know how to balance professionalism and fun. The Big Guns running the company understand that a team that plays together works more closely, cohesively, and therefore effectively. This atmosphere also allows ideas to flow more freely, so we are truly able to perform for our clients. So watch out – you never know what kind of headband or hat your expert might be wearing…
2. The above being said, a serious attitude about work is important, but sometimes too much concentration without a break can be counterproductive. Laughing at those two only took about 5 minutes away from my current assignment, but allowed me to return to it with a clear head. This is an important lesson for writers, especially – small breaks every now and then are like a breath of fresh air. It sounds like a simple solution, but it can be hard to justify when you’re busy. I promise, step away from a project if you’re experiencing writer’s block and you’ll return a much better writer.
3. This one is the most important lesson. To a writer, editing is like breathing. You don’t really think about it – it’s second nature, not something you think about, just something you do because you can’t function without it, etc. It should not be that way. I cannot tell you how many pages I edit from clients that are riddled with typos, and I assume it is because they did not mindfully edit or they skipped editing entirely.
Editing is a crucial part of the writing process, and involves more than changing typos and fixing grammatical errors. It should involve studying every sentence to avoid redundancy, awkward composition, and erroneous information. If you edit when your eyes are crossed, you will not perform a thorough job. I was editing when my leprechaun-esque colleagues waltzed in. When I returned to it after taking a step back from the copy, I caught things that I otherwise would have missed. Nothing was necessarily wrong, but the composition sounded much better after I consciously edited it. Be mindful of your editing and you will have much cleaner content.
So let that be the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow. I realize it sounds blatantly obvious, but it’s something that should be pointed out because too often taking small breaks and editing consciously are taken for granted and can be detrimental to producing quality copy.