By Megan Walrod
I often set aside weekends for Solo Writing Retreats. Whether I’m writing copy for my own project or a client’s, weekend time is prime real estate for tapping into the “focused flow” of writing genius!
Several months ago I set aside a weekend for this. It was going to be just me, my Mac and my Muse. I was really excited and had high expectations.
But even with the best intentions set, I made some big, very common, very painful mistakes. The kinds of mistakes I COACH my clients on how to avoid. As I found myself in the “deer in headlights” pose I felt totally humbled.
It took a girlfriend to help me see what I already knew. She snapped me out of the fog and into a focused flow. I had to laugh. Then I had to write about this experience so you could avoid the mistakes I made and use the strategies below to have a much more enjoyable and productive writing “retreat” (whether you set aside a weekend, like I did, or a day or a few hours).
Mistake #1: Fantasy Expectations
I had a fantasy of getting dozens of emails written for several promotional campaigns and a couple chapters written for a book I was ghostwriting. Up until Saturday morning this seemed doable. Realistic even.
Saturday morning came and I felt like I was at the foot of Mt. Everest, expecting to reach the summit by sunset. Agh! I froze with in-action. Where do I start? This is TOO BIG to climb in one day!
Mistake #2: Time Warp
I looked at my weekend as two big time blocks: Saturday and Sunday.
It seemed like there was so much time to get it all done and yet…
Time vanished quickly; it seemed like the sand falling through the hourglass was on steroids.
Mistake #3: Whirling Dervish of Distraction
I made writing my #1 priority that weekend. But when I woke up on Sunday I had a surge of energy to go through all my boxes that had been in storage in Colorado and which were now sitting in the corner of my house in California.
What a great thing! I thought. I’ll follow the energy, get this all organized and put in the basement, and then have a clean clear house to write in. That will be great feng shui.
Three hours, three loads of laundry, and a dozen trips up and down the stairs later, I was showered and the house smelled of sage. Ahhh… everything was now in its place.
Except my copy.
So WTF, right?
Here I am a copywriting coach. I COACH my clients through these experiences. So while I was definitely humbled to find myself in this place, I was also deeply grateful to have the tools and wisdom I needed to overcome these mistakes.
Here’s what I remembered to do, and you can do too, so no more “deer in the headlights” moments for either of us! Instead, use these strategies to tap into a focused flow so you’re more effective with your writing sessions.
Strategy #1: Approach Your Copy Like A Piece Of Cake
Rather than taking on the entire email campaign, start with the first email. Rather than the entire sales page, start with one section. Rather than the first chapter, start with the first few pages.
Whatever piece of copy you’re tackling, break it down into pieces. You usually eat a piece of cake one bite at a time, don’t you? Approach your copy like your cake and you’ll be way more effective.
(Another big writing tip? It’s okay to be messy – when you’re writing your first draft and eating that delicious piece of cake!)
Strategy #2: Chunk Time
Set a timer for 60 or 90 minutes. Pick one of your bite size goals. Dive in and write.
When the timer goes off you have a choice: take a break or if you’re in a flow and want to keep going, set the timer for another 10+ minutes. However, frequent breaks to move your body and celebrate your progress are essential.
Strategy #3: Use Handcuffs
Make sure the laundry is done and your boxes unpacked before diving into a designated writing time! Put the phone on silence. Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. Commit to not checking FB except on your breaks (if even then). And as a last resort, handcuff yourself to your chair!
So there you have it: copy, cake and handcuffs, oh my!
How’s it get any better than that?
Put these three strategies into action the next time you sit down to write and voila! Writing your copy will be (like) a piece of cake.
About The Writer
Megan Walrod, Founder of Live Your Yes, LLC, is a copywriting and book coach, and #1 bestselling author. She shows savvy women entrepreneurs how to create heart-based marketing materials so they attract more clients, authentically. Megan encourages her clients to “Live Your Yes,” knowing that when we live an inspired life, we are more magnetic and create greater success for everyone.
Find out more about Megan and receive her free gift here: www.meganwalrod.com