Imagine for a moment …
You woke up early this morning, and you’re motivated and ready to write and submit several new articles to take your article writing to a new level (on a Saturday, no less).
You turn on your computer, and as the machine boots up, you consult your article idea notebook and start brainstorming in your head about your first article.
With confidence high, you open up your word processing program and an Internet browser window to check emails. Suddenly, a message pops up on your screen, “Network Connection Failed. Try Again Later.”
You think to yourself, “Ugh, not again,” and you proceed to reboot your Internet router. As it’s rebooting, you start typing the article and put checking your email on the back-burner. An hour passes. You finish the article, and, after a quick review, you’re satisfied with it.
You go back to the Internet window to submit your article to EzineArticles and the Internet is still down. You try everything – rebooting the router again and then rebooting the whole computer – nothing works. You’ve been hit with a case of Internet downtime that’ll last until you can get in contact with your ISP.
There are tons of different reasons why you might experience writing or submission downtime (e.g. your ISP connection dies, your computer crashes entirely, you’ve picked up a bad case of writer’s block, maybe it’s self-imposed, etc.).
Arm yourself with a “Downtime Plan” to prepare yourself for these situations. The plan is made of a checklist of things that you can pick up at a moment’s notice. Items on the list don’t need to be done to move forward, but they help your overall organization and results. Here are some places to start:
“Downtime Plan” Ideas
- Update Your Editorial Calendar – Jot down your next month of articles. Building a schedule like this will help you accomplish what you want to accomplish and help you write on a regular basis.
- Review Your Strategy – Sometimes we get so caught up in doing, doing, doing, that we have no time to reflect on the vast amount of progress we’ve made and evaluate that progress for what it’s worth. Stepping back, reviewing your article writing plan and examining how it fits in with your overall goals is a valuable activity to help you polish your strategy.
- Plan Other Distribution Channels – Always have a printed list of your published articles on-hand. Look at each article and ask yourself, “Where else could I use this?” Make note of anything you can come up with.
- Brainstorm Article Repurposing Ideas – Take your printed list of published articles and think about ways that this material could be easily repurposed. Could you build a teleseminar or video around a group of articles? What about a podcast or webinar?
- Simply Write – If your Internet is down but your computer works, you can still use a word processing program to outline or write out articles without submitting them. If you’re left completely without a computer, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and pull out a pen and paper.
- Head to the Local Library/Bookstore – Pick up books written by other experts in your niche, and do some research to give your writing new angles. When you finish reading, you’ll not only have acquired the knowledge for multiple new articles, you can also write a book review article with your analysis of the content.
- Become a Student of Article Writing – Educate yourself on the art and science of article writing. Stay at the library and use their Internet to do some research on effective article writing strategies.
Downtime, self-imposed or not, will happen, so it’s a good habit to keep hard-copies and digital copies of your work available at all times. That way you always have a plan to convert downtime into productive time.
Have any other downtime plan ideas to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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