Take a break.
I’m up to my ears this week finishing up client work and breathing some life into some projects that I started and then neglected, but I still jumped at the chance to get away for the day on Monday when Ryan had the day off.
We headed up to Whidbey Island, about a half hour drive and 20 minute ferry ride from our neighborhood. We spent the day driving up the island, eating terrible-for-us (but delicious) foods, taking countless pictures of the water, and finally crossing a majestic passage back onto the mainland and then home. It was so needed.
I’ve now been self-employed for three whole months. And while I’ve had some quiet time when work has been slow and I’m not quite sure what to work on next, I’ve spent a lot of time working, worrying, and moving apartments, and more working. As much as I try to get out once or twice a week to have coffee with another entrepreneur or run out for errands and what-not, I still spend the majority of my time sitting at a computer. I love the internet, I love blogland, tweeting and the vast resources available to a decorator and to my distance clients, but I needed to step away from the computer and get out of the apartment.
A long drive is also a good time to talk, and we had some good discussions (not all were business related, but this was!). The last month or so I’ve been sort of bored with blogging. It always seemed like a low priority thing on my to-do list, seeing as it isn’t a direct source of income (I do have a few sponsor spots in my sidebar, but nothing past coffee money). The summer months have always been slow traffic months for me. And as I get closer to my three-year blogging anniversary this December, I’ve wondered if I’m just running out of things to say! I have been unmotivated to write posts, brainstorm new ones, or (worse) I’d think of a great timely post and just never get around to writing it until it was “too late”.
Luckily, with a little escape and quality time with Ryan, I’m feeling rejuvenated and newly inspired. Ryan is always a good sounding board for my frustrations and offers great perspective. We agreed that blogging not only contains the roots of my business, but provides a very basic way for me to continue to steer the direction my business, brand, and readership go. Since being back Monday evening, I’ve written some of my best posts of the summer and drafted several others that will debut within a few weeks. Not to mention a new refocused emphasis on connecting with my readers and offering free tips and decor ideas – the best free marketing a girl could ask for!
Others may have more sophisticated methods of capturing blog post ideas. I tend to start a new post in my blogging dashboard with a title and maybe a blurb of what I’m thinking or a photo and credit. Then I save it until I sit down to do a bunch when I get the writing bug. Right now I have a nice little drafts file, and I’m hoping to continue to always have something in the works.
My lesson learned this week: get away. We entrepreneurs (and especially you Midnight Hustlers) may not get “real” vacations for a while, but you can probably spare a day or half a day to go do something just for the enjoyment of it. You’ll be a much better business owner when you come back to your desk with a clear head and fresh air in your lungs.
Want to catch up on Maggie’s first three months of full-time entrepreneur? Check out her full report.
Photo is by Maggie Morgan, from our trip to Whidbey Island.