Everyone's telling us to produce more content, more often, for more platforms. Gain exposure, they say. Sell more books. Attract clients.
But at what price?
A new era dawns.
Many of us are using this hazy first week of January to take stock of the year that's passed and figure out our content goals going forward. Maybe you had a stellar year with amazing success stories. Or moved closer to achieving your life dreams.
But perhaps for you, like so many others, last year was a grind.
It's not hard to see why. News on the world stage was bad. You felt powerless to affect change. And in any case, you were in survival mode with work, finances, home and care responsibilities. In short, LIFE. To make things worse, you didn't find enough time to write or create the things you really wanted to.
But rather than beat ourselves up about not hitting the word count on the WIP, let's be real. This relentless demand to generate content at pace–even if we're using AI tools to help–can be soul crushing. We know we have worthwhile stories to tell. But some stories take time.
Fast content is like fast food. Gratifying in the moment but often forgettable.
Does this mean content has lost its value?
Don't get me wrong. There's a lot of great content out there that is highly entertaining, educational and relatable. Scrolling through social media, I'm constantly amazed by the creativity and resourcefulness of people. And it's clearly revolutionary that anyone can now pick up a phone, publish content and find an audience.
But in a lot of ways, content has become a cheap commodity. Instead of a means of expression, it's become a funnel leading customers to the check-out.
There's constant pressure to churn out something, which of course dilutes quality and stunts creativity. The question is, how to carve out time for those projects that need space to germinate? In other words, slow content.
Like Einstein going out in his boat for hours just to think about stuff, or Leonardo Da Vinci staring at a painting for half a day, our brains need time to ruminate and work through ideas by doing nothing at all. But a lot of ordinary Joes and Josephines don't have the luxury of doing that in the scramble of the day-to-day.
Is "slow" content still viable?
Yes. For those who can afford to take the time to make it. I'm not saying I can afford to, but I have to.
I've realised that I won't be able to deliver the required amount of content to amass a huge following or email list. Not by myself with all the other duties and work I have to do. Last year was spent trying to come up with tactics, automations and systems that would allow me to publish more content, in more places, more often. But the reality is, the time it takes me to do this is time taken from my passion projects; the ones that need A LOT of down-time spent just staring into thin air, thinking.
So, I've decided to play the long game and place my bets on slow content.
I don't have a boat, but I think a long, leisurely walk will do the trick, followed by coffee in a place where I can write in peace.
It might be a risky investment that eventually yields zippo financially. And that doesn't mean I'm abandoning social media. I also have a newsletter offering value to story enthusiasts that I'm going to roll-out, but only every month. That seems doable. But I'm not going to continue to spread my content-making abilities too thinly.
I realise this goes against EVERYTHING I read about how to make an impact today. So, I'll be back at the end of the year to report on just how many of these slow content projects I've been able to compete. Stay tuned!
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