How to Take a Develop-cation …
When you make the decision to become a web writer, you open the door to opportunity.
Actually, that’s an understatement. You don’t just open the door … it’s more like you blow it right off the hinges.
Sure, there’s the huge opportunity that comes with being your own boss, building your own business, shaping your own income, and pursuing your dreams on your terms.
But, it doesn’t stop there.
When you become a web writer, you start to see the opportunity in everything.
Your hobbies can turn into Money-Making Websites. The things you’re passionate about turn into niche markets. Everything you learn about web writing reveals new possibilities from how to help your clients to how to build your own business … even to how you can give back to your community.
If you’re like me, you have a growing list of things you’d love to do, copy you’d love to write, ideas you’d love to test. But, you also have the backbone of your business to attend to, family responsibilities you don’t want to neglect, and other obligations, too.
That list of big ideas may sit idle on your computer, in a file folder, or in a box (like mine), with you wondering when you’ll ever bring any of them — even just one of them — to fruition.
That’s why you need a Develop-cation.
Uh … What’s a Develop-cation?
Think of a fun-filled-writing-explosion of a weekend getaway that allows you to relax and seriously focus several intent hours on developing one of your favorite backburner ideas.
Really, a develop-cation is time away from your mainstream web-writing business and from your other obligations that gives you a chance to make some major strides toward launching one of your new ideas.
It doesn’t matter if you have an idea for an e-book, a Money-Making Website, a new professional web-writing website, a new marketing campaign, a new service package, or a whole new side business … a develop-cation is a great way to move your ideas forward.
It affords you the time and space you need to really sink your teeth into something that’s been brewing below the surface for some time. It gives you the chance to get all your thoughts down on paper or onto your screen, to dig into the details, to begin organizing your plan of attack, and to start executing it.
In terms of momentum, a develop-cation is huge. You come away having accomplished so much in a relatively short span of time. It makes it easy to continue dedicating some time to your new idea and that means you get to the implementation and testing phases sooner … and that’s a great feeling.
Plan a Successful Develop-cation
The keys to a develop-cation are simple.
First, you need to choose your setting. This could be anything from a hotel room in the city to a cabin by the lake to a weekend at a friend’s house (as long as that friend understands that you aren’t there to visit). Ideally you want to change up your routine and remove yourself from your daily work life and other obligations. That makes it easier to focus long blocks of time on a single idea — you aren’t as tempted to fall into your normal workflow.
Second, you need to plan a few stress outlets. When you put in long blocks of time on a project, you have to break it up occasionally with something completely different. This gives your mind a chance to rest and percolate. What you choose is totally dependent on your personal tastes. It might be a soak in the hot tub, an appointment with a masseuse, an hour hike through the woods, or some time spent working on a jigsaw puzzle. Avoid reading, though … when you take a break, you want to get away from words.
Finally, set a date. A weekend works great — a long weekend is even better. Before you go, gather together all the materials you’ll need for the project you have in mind and take them with you. Plan to shut down your email, log out of Facebook, and switch off your smartphone. This is all about you and an exciting project you can’t wait to launch.
Once you kick off your develop-cation weekend, dive into what you’re doing. Make a mind-map, break down your project into steps, and then start tackling your tasks one by one.
The most important thing is to keep yourself in front of your project for as long as you can be productive. When you hit the point where you’re no longer productive, take a good long break and have some fun. Then come back and do some more. Don’t put any scheduling expectations on yourself during your develop-cation … if you wake up ready to work, get to work. If you find yourself wanting to work late into the night, do it.
What will happen is that you’ll make your project the center of your focus for two to four days. You’ll do the other things you need to do — eat, sleep, take breaks — when it seems natural. And you’ll work when it seems natural. You’ll fall into a productive rhythm that feels really, really good. And you’ll be amazed by what you accomplish.
Why Web Writers Need Develop-cations
Just about every web writer I’ve ever met is an idea person. I’ll bet you’re one of them too. You probably have tons of ideas. But, if you never make the time and space to act on any of them, that can take a toll.
The develop-cation gives you a perfect way to bring some of your best ideas to life. And, that can benefit you in so many ways …
- It will boost your confidence. Few things make you more certain of yourself than doing something big and succeeding.
- It will energize your career. Many of your ideas are probably directly related to your web-writing business … imagine what it would be like if you started implementing more of those.
- It will feed your creativity. Creativity is one of those “use-it-or-lose-it” muscles. The more often you act on your creative ideas, the more creative ideas you’ll have.
- It will renew and refresh your drive. Doing something that shakes up your routine is often all it takes to make you fall in love with web writing all over again.
Planning a Develop-cation at Home
Having done more at-home development weekends than those planned off-site, I can say with confidence that the off-site option is better. You have fewer distractions and there really is something about a change of scenery for helping you to focus.
But maybe a weekend getaway isn’t possible right now. You can do a develop-cation at home and still enjoy a huge benefit. The first step is to let your family know what you plan. Then carve out an area of the house where you can work undisturbed. Plus, line up two or three local places where you can enjoy writing — coffee shops, libraries, city parks, art museums …
Then, apply the same recipe as above. Work on your project and only your project for as long as you can really focus on it. Take a break. Do something fun. Then move to a new location and work some more.
Planning big chunks of time to make big strides toward your favorite projects and goals is an excellent way to keep your creativity fresh and to keep your passion for web writing at a high. Plus, you’ll find yourself turning into one of those people that others marvel at … “How do you get so much done?!?”
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