Walk Away From Your Copy
One of the most valuable steps I build into timelines for any writing project is ‘walk away’ time. It is so important to me that I have time to walk away from a close-to-final draft.
‘Walk away’ time allows me to:
- Think about the copy while I do other things, allowing new ideas to arise. This is nothing new for creative types – don’t the best ideas always pop into your head when you aren’t working on the project?
- Eliminate the stress of writing copy at the last minute. I feel that it’s never a good idea to hammer out important content under extreme pressure.
- Return to my copy after a break and look at it/revise/review with a fresh set of eyes.
- Take pressure off of getting it exactly right on the first draft, making the early stages of writing much less daunting.
Building in this extra time also provides a buffer against sick days or other unexpected changes of plans. I might not end up getting my time to walk away, but I gave myself some scheduling wiggle room.
When building timelines for my clients, I always build in this ‘walk away’ time, though it may not be visible to them. For example, if my deadline to get content to my client is on a Wednesday, I treat my deadline to myself as Monday. This is why I would never give myself a Friday deadline. Though I make every effort not to work over weekends, giving up the Saturday/Sunday walk away time would be foolish! Even if the only result is a quick tweak or review on Monday morning before sending the assignment in.
Walk away time: alleviates the pressure while creating room for new ideas and improvements. Make time for it!