Do you have a blog schedule you use to help you publish regularly? I do, but even with an editorial calendar, I still fear missing a slot.
Yes, I admit it. I get anxious about missing a post in my blog schedule.
I’ve written this blog now for more than 16 years. You’d think that by now, I’d have found the magic secret to always coming up with fresh ideas. You might assume that it’s effortless to post day after day, week after week.
I’m here to tell you that you’d be wrong in that assumption.
Mack Collier, the blogger who moderated #Blogchat on Twitter for a decade, wrote about the blank space in the calendar. He talks about how he relaunched his blog after going without a formal publishing schedule.
I owe Mack a great deal of thanks for inspiring the way I handle my blog schedule. Since I don’t have a single narrow topic I write about, I face a challenge each week. I worked out that challenge after reading about Mack’s theme days. That’s why I usually write about Blogging on Mondays, Grammar on Tuesdays and Faith on Fridays. Wednesdays and Thursdays usually tend to be “wild card” days. I write about the other key topics on those days. Occasionally, I might write about social media or the web on a Monday. I might write about a different topic on a Friday.
Grammar is always the featured topic every Tuesday.
Like Mack, I use an editorial calendar. I chose the WP-Editorial Calendar plugin to help me plan.
But that blank space still worries me.
I posted every day — seven days a week, 365 days a year — for more than six years. Add to that the fact that my “real job” involves writing for the web all day.
I don’t know how I managed to do it that long. But there came a point at which I felt the need to downsize just a bit. So I decided to take weekends off.
Now I use Saturdays and Sundays to strategize, think, plan and write for the week ahead. Some weekends, I manage to get a couple of posts ahead for the new week.
But not always.
There are still weekends that I only get one or two posts written and then find myself writing day to day for the rest of the week’s posts.
I wish I could say otherwise.
The fear of the blank space, that empty hole on my editorial calendar, still gnaws at me every day. I think about when the next blank space is. And I worry that I won’t find something to say.
Mack said he experienced that on Sept. 11. That’s a horrible date and an even worse one on which feel like you don’t have the right words.
I experience it a good bit more often than any blogger might care to admit.
But then that’s the point of blogging: if it were a piece of cake, anyone could do it and everyone would be.
The challenge is to stop allowing that fear of the blank space in your blog schedule to overwhelm you.
There are weeks, honestly, when I’ve considered dropping my posts down to four a week from five. Maybe I’ll do that some day.
I’m just not ready to flip that switch quite yet.
So I battle the anxiety over the blank space, brainstorm and (hopefully) come up with something informative and entertaining. (If I’m lucky, I manage to make something that’s a little of both.)
It’s about using the fear as motivation to push harder, not pull back. It’s not always easy to do. But it can be very satisfying when you’re able to pull it off.