When you really don’t feel like writing

When you don't feel like writing

I really don’t feel like writing this marketing tip today.

Actually, I’m writing this a few days before Friday, when it will drop into your inbox. But I’ve hit one of those days where brilliant ideas are fleeing from me, rather than pouring in like a flood, and I’d like to just skip it this week.

The problem is, I’ve learned that skipping one week will only lead to the same thing next week, and then another. Rather like doing really well on a diet or a fitness programme and being so elated that you take “just a few days off”. Before you know it, Christmas is here.

It’s really come home to me lately that this feeling is something accountants often feel when it comes to anything related to marketing:

  • I don’t know where to start
  • What topic will I choose?
  • I’ll do it tomorrow
  • It’s just this one small item – it won’t make a difference
  • I don’t know what to say
  • I’m not good at writing
  • I don’t like myself on video
  • Our firm is so far behind on marketing that one item won’t help much
  • There’s too much client work
  • ….and on, and on, and on.

So here I am.

To encourage you that these little marketing items matter. They may not feel like they matter in and of themselves, but the combination of this blog post and that landing page and the new favicon and the refreshed logo and that video effort and all the other things makes for a very big marketing splash.

Here’s what I do when I don’t feel like writing, or recording a video, or whatever is sitting on my plate:

Do it anyway.

Taking time to listen to excuses will only delay things further. Put your fingers above the keyboard, or open that file, or pick up the phone to the designer, or whatever that task is.

Give yourself a deadline.

That’s what I’m doing today. It’s 8.15am, and this will be done before 9am when the team checks into Slack with their priorities for the day.

Drink coffee.

Or tea, or hot water with lemon, or have a chocolate bar, or some small thing that you enjoy and which will motivate you. (Tip: don’t spend so long on this that you are merely delaying it further.)

Have a system.

Doing something one time is much harder than doing it every single day, or week, or month. Develop a system that you can just slot right into so you don’t have to think about anything but your topic. My KMT system involves my team, so all I have to do is write the words. They pick the image, prepare the email and social posts, and incorporate it into our marketing.  It makes it far more likely that I’ll write it every week.

Share a win.

To help spur on my own growth, I’m part of a content marketing academy. It has a Slack group that has a lot of engagement, and there’s a channel for #wins. Whenever I share a win in that channel, I get instant support. “Great job!” “Well done!” “I love the video!” “That’s exciting!” It spurs me on to do more winning things.

Share your struggle with someone who will push you.

This is extremely hard to do, because you don’t want to be pushed. But you have to do it anyway. If you think of someone to whom you can say “I don’t feel like writing a blog post today” and you know their response will be “That’s cool mate, neither do I, busy times”, then that’s not what you need.

(And if you don’t have that person, reply to this email. I’ll help you out.)

Get inspired by someone else’s content.

Take a few minutes to see what others are saying and doing around this topic. If the task you’re avoiding is updating your LinkedIn profile, go watch a video about LinkedIn on YouTube. If it’s deciding whether to refresh your logo, read a branding guide

Join an accountability group.

If you know that no matter what you do today, the struggle will appear again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and all the tomorrows, it’s time for an accountability group. The Content Marketer is perfect for this. Our members don’t always manage to show up to every session live, or complete every homework item. But they get help (from me and the community) and the recordings are there, and they always get there in the end. I’m incredibly proud of them!

Expect imperfection.

Most accountants I talk to are perfectionists. I’ve never been one myself, but I appreciate the need for marketing to be good, and even that can hold me back sometimes. Go ahead and keep the perfection dream for accounts and taxes, but let go of it when it comes to marketing. I get emails from people with hundreds of thousands (even millions) of recipients, and the link was wrong. Or the title was misspelled. Or it went to the wrong people. They adjust and move on. You can, too.

And finally, for the days when really, really just can’t do it….

Give yourself grace.

Sometimes it’s time for a rest. You know yourself the difference between avoidance and exhaustion. One of the Profitable Firm pillars is rest, because eventually you will burn out if you never stop.  So, if you need to, just stop.  (Later, once you’re refreshed, you can start again.)

What’s interesting to me is that when I started this marketing tip, my suggestions were short. A title, a sentence. But as I wrote, the sentences got longer and I thought of more things.

Whatever it is, just start.

And have a really great Friday!


P.S. Finished writing this at 8.37. Deadline nailed.