I’d like to let you in on a little behind-the-scenes secret. Since the summer of 2017, to stay on top of my blog’s weekly posting schedule, I have been maintaining a “bank” of completed blog posts.
The original intent was to have enough blog posts stored up for the summer to enable me to pursue another creative opportunity without having to step away from the blog and risk losing momentum or followers.
For more information on how I was able to accomplish this, check out my post: “My New Blogging Strategy: Banking Blog Posts.”
When the summer was over, with the satisfaction of having spread my wings creatively while still keeping the blog active, I appreciated how it improved my relationship with time and with my creativity.
Over time, the benefits of this practice started adding up:
1. Benefit: Ongoing adherence to my blog schedule
One would think that producing one quality story for the blog every week is pretty easy. For the most part, I think it is, but there are weeks when life presents other unexpected priorities.
Similarly, there are some weeks when inspiration is not at its peak. Haven’t we all been there at one time or another?
When that happens, instead of skipping a week, or posting at a different day or time, having a stock of material (completed ahead of time) allows me to continue posting new content each week at the same time.
2. Benefit: Better focus
Weeks when inspiration and free time are in abundance, the goal of developing a stock of extra stories provides a great outlet to channel any excess creative energy.
3. Benefit: Better quality
During a week when inspiration might not be at its best, having extra blog posts means I don’t have to force myself to produce a post when the words don’t come easily, and potentially, for it to not be my best work.
Also, by having a number of stories sitting at the finish line (sometimes for a few weeks at a time), it allows significantly more time to go back and review posts with a fresh pair of eyes.
By stepping away from a finalized post, I am better able to return and catch editorial details that might have otherwise slipped through the cracks for a post that was published soon after completion. It surprises me how I can still catch little things several weeks after a post was considered completed.
4. Benefit: Better adherence to my mission
Stepping away from a completed story and returning with a fresh pair of eyes also allows me to run the material through many personal filters, ensuring the post is consistent with the overall direction of the blog: light, fun, uplifting and kind.
Given the state of the world, news cycles can be pretty gloomy, day after day. The opportunity to reviews posts a few more times helps me to ensure that the negative energy of current events didn’t accidentally spill over into my content.
5. Benefit: “Oops! I forgot something”
In the early years of the blog, how many times have I published a post, only to be struck by an “aha!” moment a few minutes later? Having a post in queue for publishing allows the creativity to keep simmering on the back burner. If perfect wording only hits me later, the opportunity to adjust is still there. Conversely, I have also gone back and removed wording that didn’t sit well with me days or weeks later.
6. Benefit: Confidence
What surprised me was that after more significant “post-production” work has taken place, a sense of confidence sets in. When my blogging process has allowed for benefits #1 to #5 to take place, and I get to a point where I am no longer tweaking a given post, I can move on to other material and to truly feel in the moment when working on it.
7. Benefit: Spending more time on more challenging posts
When I know that the coming week’s blog post is taken care of, it allows me to clear my mind and not worry about the week’s deadline. With that clarity, I can truly give a more challenging post the time it needs, whether in the form of research or intense literary engineering, to keep working at it until it strikes the right chord.
8. Benefit: Opportunity to reject, revisit and rework
Similarly, a solid bank of blog posts also provides me with the freedom to take a draft that I am struggling with and to potentially return it to the “ideas” folder when it just isn’t coming together organically. I am convinced that inspiration will strike when I least expect it.
In retrospect, there was nothing wrong with the way I started my blogging process. Producing a blog post every week, for publication that same week, was a beneficial discipline building exercise in itself. It also helped me in learning how not to overthink a post and when to move on to the next one. However, it was not without its pressure cooker moments.
Over time I realized that working on the blog is not always a linear process of writing a post from beginning to end.
When I have an idea for a post, I never really know how long it will take to get from an idea to first draft to final. To give an idea its full due diligence can sometimes take longer than a week.
Also, the creative spirit has its own ebb and flow. Some weeks, I feel very inspired and can produce several first drafts. Other weeks, my frame of mind might lend itself better to editing those drafts and moving a story (or two) (or three) across the finish line.
By having several posts in queue, ready for publishing, I find myself feeling less pressure about deadlines and can truly focus on the craft of writing.
The bottom line is that when I know that my weekly post is polished and ready, whether I am more inspired to develop new ideas or to finalize posts that have been drafted, I have the peace of mind to go with the flow, creatively speaking, and to confidently produce my best work.
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Sincere thanks for reading!
Have a great day,
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