How writers on Substack approach taking time off
We’re taking a break from Office Hours this week
Today, in lieu of Office Hours, we wanted to resurface this timely post with you:
Taking time off as an independent writer can be tricky.
Writers who keep to a steady drumbeat of posts feel unsure about breaking the rhythm, or not sticking to their promises to readers.
But we encourage writers on Substack to find ways to take some well-earned days away from the desk and recharge their batteries. Last year we published a resource on how to let your subscribers know you are taking time off, including lessons from writers who paused their publishing flow.
A few quick tips for writers thinking about taking time off this summer:
Celebrate the moment.notified subscribers that he would be moving to summer hours, decreasing the number of posts he publishes weekly, to make room for a festival he’s performing at and to dream up the future for .
Lean on fellow writers. Instead of stopping your publication altogether when on vacation, consider scheduling guest posts or cross-posts to go out at your normal publish time. Cross-posts allow you to reshare great writing on Substack with your own brief commentary. Guest posts give fellow writers a byline and access to your audience on your own terms. Both can be scheduled ahead of time so you can set it and forget it while out of office.lined up a series of guest posts last year when she took time off for maternity leave. crowdsourced writers to help cover her time off in July, by putting a call out in Substack Notes:
Resurface popular posts.reran one of her favorite stories while taking a short break from her schedule.
Know your value. While it might be tempting to pause payments while you are out of office, subscribers value your doing your best work, and that requires rest. We strongly encourage writers to keep subscriptions on during vacation or out-of-office time. Subscribers are typically happy to keep their subscription until you return; the logistics are not important to them.
Share when you plan to return.of Embedded shared the exact dates she was away and planned to return from vacation. When taking paternity leave earlier this year, of not only underlined the importance of paid parental leave for both partners but shared the date he planned to return. Read his post here.
Are you headed out of office soon? How are you letting your subscribers know? Let us know in the comments.