Do you debate blogging based on consistency versus inspiration? Are you a slave to the editorial calendar? Do you fear the impending, un-avoidable lack of quality that only comes with consistency? Perhaps, that debate has only been in my own mind.
“Consistency is the last resort for the unimaginative.”
~ Oscar Wilde
Yet consistency is important to our own skill-set. Like any skill, writing must be practiced. That reason alone, regardless of consideration for Google’s search math or serving your audience, is enough to compel me to publish more regularly.
I admit that I’ve been selfish in my blogging. I only blog when I feel compelled to.
Often, since I have a “day job,” my reasons fall under “Life Happens.”
“At the end of the day blogs, Twitter, Facebook are just sites. Sometimes the world is more important than the digital one we live in.” Scott Stratten, “Frequently Futile: How Often Should You Blog”
Consistency in blogging is my biggest nemesis. The last post before this one was two and a half weeks ago, which seems to be my average rate. And even as I write this draft, there is no guarantee that I will publish today.
Admittedly, this is only my 73rd post in a three-year old blog. That’s not a whole lot of writing. I have not arrived; rather, consistency is my goal.
What seems to be my problem? I’m focused (this blog is only about social media). Isn’t that enough?
Part of my problem is that I’ve treated this blog as a vehicle of convenience for me, rather than a place to build a community. How so? The bulk of my posts are responsive. That is, when someone asks a question, I answer it in a post. My thinking is that if I’m going to help one person, I may as well put it out there for the rest of the world, right? When asked that same question, I send link to the appropriate post.
Here’s the problem with my writing strategy. I’m not a Full-Time Guru. I don’t do this for a living. I rarely attend meetups. I’ve been to one conference. Since I’m not in a position where I’m consistently fielding questions, I’m not consistently writing.
One of the tricks that has helped me stay in focus, besides my blog accountability partner (like a gym buddy but for writing), is writing this series.
Though this blog is focused, having a series puts me in a state of mind to think in a micro focus. What are important factors in being social? The answers to those questions are blog titles. Boom, I have a series. In fact, I have six other titles already written and ready for outlines and fleshed-out prose.
For my work blog, I wrote a whole series on how office work is like housework. People love the analogies and the easy-to-integrate-in-your-life-right-now tips. Back in the day, they were called helpful hints. Today the vogue word is life-hack. Since it is work related work-hack is more appropriate, but I digress.
Can you ask yourself a global question then answer it in steps? If your answer is yes, then you can create a blog series.
Time. It waits for no man, woman, or guru. There are 24 hours for each and every one of us. I sold 8 to my employer and with the lunch hour and commute, I’ve lost 11 hours of every day.
My draft folder in my blog judges me.
I used to start drafts in there and come back to add, delete, rewrite, but then they would just be there, staring back at me like puppies I’d abandoned at the pound.
I could hear them speak to me. They asked me why I didn’t give them attention. I felt a sense of guilt. In an attempt to avert those feelings, I simply didn’t return.
How did I overcome? I just started using iCloud Notes. It’s sounds simple. A lot of people use Evernote because they can tag their ideas. That’s just too complicated for me.
I can pull out my phone, type in an idea and access it via iCloud(dot)com anytime. In fact, I’m composing in it now. It brings quite a bit of satisfaction to copy, paste, proofread, find a photo, final proofread, publish, and then delete.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Where do you compose your posts? Do you have a blog series? How do you stay consistent?
Tell me in the comments below or send me a tweet.