Words On Wednesday

2016-10-12 Blogging Pace Variables

Blogging consists of the intersection of several variables for me. When these variables change in one direction or another, it can mean huge differences in my blog workflow for a while.

Time to Write

Probably the most important variable I have is how much free time I have to write. Even though writing a single post usually doesn’t take very long, it can be difficult to set aside enough time to compose a decent post, format it correctly, and schedule it to be published on WordPress. Sometimes, I’m writing a post weeks or even a month ahead of schedule. Other times, I’m frantically spewing words onto paper on Wednesday afternoon, just to make sure I keep to my regular publishing deadline.

The latter situation is not a pleasant one to be in. I don’t really work that well under pressure, so the work that I put out late on Wednesday is far from my best. Furthermore, it eliminates the time gap that I usually have to revisit a post for revision. If I come back to a post a day or more after I’ve finished writing it, I feel like I can better proofread and revise it. Glancing over a post as soon as I’ve finished the last word means I’ll probably miss mistakes and have fresh in my mind what I intended to write, not necessarily what I *did* write.

On the flip side, writing a post several weeks before it is to be published offers plenty of time for any relevant information to change. If I have plenty of time to knock out a few posts for the coming weeks, I may have to change some of the content or scrap the post entirely if any news comes up. For example, GoPro recently released the GoPro Hero5 and Karma drone. Had I written about any expectations of those before the release, but postponed the post until after they were announced, my information would be dated. At that point, do I revise what I’ve already written or just trash it all?

For the past few months, I’ve had very little time to write posts. Most have been written within a week of publishing, a few within a day. As much as that keeps my information current, I much prefer to write posts at least a week early so I have plenty of time to read back over them and make sure everything sounds right. If I have to make changes to the content because of new discoveries, so be it.

List of Topics

Another vital facet of blogging is my backlog of topics to write about. I keep a document of all the topics I would like to discuss that I maintain as I come up with new ideas. There are also a few items that are just general points, things that I can come up with a specific post about with little effort. Movies, music, video games, and several other topics that have a variety of talking points available at any given time.

As a result of my ability to write versus the number of topics I think about to write on, that list tends to grow gradually over the course of a few months. When it gets past a certain size and the topics begin to grow stagnant, I like to make several posts from that list at once to trim it back down. While I like to have some definite ideas to pull out at any time, especially on those Wednesdays when I don’t have anything queued up, I also don’t like letting an idea sit for months to get stale.

The Balance

Normally, these variables exist in a sort of wobbly equilibrium. Occasionally, the list of topics gets a little long and I have trouble just keeping up with one post per week. Rarely, I’ll knock out a month of posts in just a few hours. As the balance shifts between these two extremes, my pacing of 1 post every Wednesday means my blog always looks about the same.

Sometimes, however, one of these variables undergoes a massive shift. Case in point, I’ve had significantly more time to write for the past week or so. As such, I’ve been writing a lot of posts to queue up and even planned out posts throughout 2017. With so much more time to write, I want to tackle some of the older topics from my list of ideas to cut it back down.

My concern is that I don’t want to exhaust the list entirely, such that I’m drawing a blank when all these scheduled posts are published. Now obviously, it’s very unlikely that I won’t have new ideas over the following weeks and months. However, will I be diligent in recording these ideas in my list? Will the ideas have enough substance to compose an entire post on, or are they more like sub-points for a larger topic?

In the two years and some change that I’ve been blogging, there have been quite a few ups and downs. That’s just part of the natural order of things. Even still, I don’t like the idea of running out of topics or time. My goal is to keep a steady stream of 1 post per week for the foreseeable future. No matter what’s going on in my personal life, I feel like that’s a reasonable pace to keep up with.

Meta:

Words: 901 | Characters: 4754 | Sentences: 44

Paragraphs: 14 | Reading Level: 9-10th Grade

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