I play indoor soccer. I had a bit of a break after I injured my ankle last summer. But I’m back into it now.
I missed it a lot. It’s also surprising to me how much skill, stamina, and speed I managed to lose during my six months off. It’s coming back. Slower than I’d like, but faster than when I was first learning the sport.
Here’s the thing. I watch a lot of soccer. Both of my daughters have played. My husband and I have both coached their teams. My younger daughter still plays… and has for eight years.
So I know soccer. I know how to move the ball. I know when to pass and when to dribble. I know to not panic when a defender is approaching me. I know where I’m supposed to be and how I’m supposed to move off the ball.
But knowing and doing are two very different things.
In my game last week, I was playing as a defender and the other team made a bad pass. I knew I could get to the ball first. (I did.) And I knew that when I got to the ball, I had time to take a touch or two and make a good pass to one of my forwards. (I didn’t.)
Instead of doing that, I got excited and hit the ball hard. It was a beautiful ball. A long, hard arc. To absolutely no one. It was the prettiest turnover you could ever hope to see. And I knew, I knew, as I was kicking the ball that I was doing the wrong thing, but fear took over and I did it anyway.
In the heat of a soccer game, that panicked response is easy to understand. But it happens in the slower-moving world of web writing, too.
Think about it. I bet you know what to do to build your business. You know you need a website. You know you need to actively market yourself either every day or every week. You know you need to build connections and to grow your reputation.
But are you doing it?
For a lot of writers, the answer is no. When the moment comes to act, it’s easy to panic and do the equivalent of punting the ball to nowhere. You do the laundry. You surf Facebook. You make a grocery list.
Next time you find yourself doing something other than what you intended, ask yourself, “Do I know what I need to be doing right now?” If the answer is no, figure out what your next step is. If the answer is yes, then go for it. I promise you won’t have a defender sprinting at you when you do.
New on the Site
A topic-specific website is a successful vehicle for accomplishing two vital web-writing goals — earning more income and establishing your expert status. Find out more about how this works in our latest Roving Report.
Legendary copywriter, Gene Schwartz, is famous for saying that your headline has only one purpose: To get your prospect to read the next sentence in your ad. How you write your headline depends on your prospect’s state of awareness. John Torre shares tips for writing to state of awareness, right here.
Just as musicians make time to listen to music, and artists look to other art for inspiration, writers must make time to read. Candice Lazar shares her tips on what to read to give your writing the most benefit.
Mark Your Calendar
March 23rd: By making marketing a daily habit, you can put an end to the feast-or-famine cycle. But you need a way to keep up with your marketing that doesn’t demand too much time, so you don’t dump your marketing habit when you get busy. Join us for a live interview with Michael Katz where he’ll show you how to market in short bursts so it’s easy to stay on track.
Around the Web
Robert Kelly’s BBC interview gone awry was a refreshing moment that went viral last week. For us work-at-home types, though, we can learn some valuable lessons.
Sometimes it’s okay to take the easy route. Heather Lloyd-Martin explains.
How do you start your day? Here are some secrets on what highly productive writers do in the morning.
Do you publish in a rush? If you do, you may be missing some of these SEO steps.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!