I have a magpie mind; I collect information. But, I fail to accumulate knowledge. Fleetingly, I’ll be a world authority on a subject because I’ve spoken to experts and interviewed thought leaders. All that research benefits my clients, but it doesn’t stick in my head. The last thing I learnt gets pushed out to make room for new words.
Recently, I was writing about retrofitting to replace fluorescent tube lighting with LEDs. The client referred to the phasing out of fluorescent lighting in the UK. One key reason to swap to LED is you won’t be able to buy the tubes from 2023, ‘just as halogen bulbs are banned for sale from September 2021’.
I stare at the screen.
The penny drops.
My home has an excess of fittings that take halogen bulbs – forty-two at the last count. Not bad for what’s essentially two rooms.
With a sense of urgency, I park the technical datasheet and the product page for the latest addition to the client’s new LED product range, and I jump on the internet.
Too late. You can’t get a halogen bulb for love or money. Not one that fits the exacting technical specifications of these fixtures – did I mention, not two bulbs are the same.
The lesson? More often than not, what I write about for a client applies to my life, but I’m so uber-focused I fail to notice. When I had to arrange a mortgage for the home-with-a-thousand-lights, I was surprised at the new criteria, despite writing for months about changes in the market. Ditto, disposing of a fridge freezer proved challenging, even though I had interviewed the owner of a business set up to take advantage of new environmental regulations and should not have been surprised.
All of which is to say, if I gave my own stuff the same focus I give to clients, I would consistently update my website rather than leave it for a year. But what would you prefer, a writer erratically here or consistently working somewhere on your website?