Powering through

The publishing industry has come a long way since 23 March, but there’s still a long way to go. Time for a second wind.

By James Evelegh

Powering through
Photograph: Martins Zemlickis on Unsplash.

Getting through the Coronavirus is turning into a bit of a marathon. There often comes a time, usually at the 18-20 mile mark, when a runner hits a “wall”.

Many publishers are now hitting their wall. They’ve put in a huge amount of effort but are beginning to wonder if they’ve got enough left in the tank to reach the finish line.

The early gung-ho spirit has been replaced by the weary realisation that there’s a long road ahead, that the publishing landscape might have changed forever, that some of our furloughed colleagues will not have jobs to return to, and … there’s still no vaccine.

The challenge is to find a way to power through this wall. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Pat yourself on the back: you’ve come a long way and you’re still in the race.
  2. Remind yourself of the positives: the economy is opening up and GDP is (slowly) rising. People and businesses are generally behaving responsibly. Because of the changes you’ve made, you are now better placed to face the future.
  3. Top up your positive mental attitude. Don’t be deflated by noises off. Yes, jobs and businesses are suffering, but you can’t do anything about that. Simply focus on your own team and titles.
  4. Recommit to your end goal. For a marathon runner, it is completing 26 miles & 385 yards. For publishers, it is having a viable business when this is all over.
  5. Don’t focus on the finish line, because that’s too far off. Concentrate on the next thing that needs doing and do it. Keep doing that and you’ll eventually get to the finish line. To swap sports for a minute, think of the next few months as a five set Wimbledon final. Roger Federer will not start the match worrying about how he’s going to play the final game. He will start by focusing on the very first point, and then the second and so on.

That’s all we can do, remain positive and take one step at a time. See you at the finish line.