The Reasons Most of Us Don’t Publish Every Day
I suspect most writers do not make it their goal to publish content every day. We might think about it every day. Sometimes we even agonize about it. I certainly do.
Do we really need to guilt ourselves into frequent output? I’m not making a living as a writer — not yet anyway. I also have a fulfilling, and at times stressful, full-time job. For a full-time writer, the prospect of publishing daily is more realistic, perhaps even necessary.
If you spend even a short time reading tips from other writers, you’ll read time-and-again how we must generate more content — daily content is prescribed to become the best writers we can be. But do we really need to publish regularly to become our best?
I’m not comfortable posting daily. Even if I did have unlimited ideas and topics to write about, I feel like my work's quality would suffer. I feel as if the pressure to generate something daily in the blogosphere, just for the sake of adhering to some self-imposed streak, will only contribute to unnecessary stress.
The thinking behind frequent output — posting an article once or even twice daily is the more you put out, the more chance there is, something will stick and resonate with a growing audience.
If your goal is to get a quick following, this could be a good strategy in the beginning. I respect the discipline and tenacity behind the strategy. And there’s no doubt that your writing can only improve by showing up regularly and staying on task.
This discipline is a much more respectable course than those who follow writers, hoping that the writer will reciprocate and follow them back in return.
There’s also much to be said about the long game. That is, publishing less frequently and focusing on quality, well-researched content that educates and inspires. This seems more logical for a writer who takes the craft seriously.
After all, isn’t writing an art? If it is true art we are hoping to achieve, why put it out there just for the sake of getting eyes on it? A painter wouldn’t open a gallery and display all the trash they’ve created, hoping that someone will come upon that diamond-in-the-rough.
A real artist puts on display their proudest, carefully-curated pieces in hopes of inspiring and maybe getting some well-earned recognition for their work. We can write daily without publishing daily — does the exercise alone not make us better writers?
Even writing simple email exchanges to co-workers and friends can be turned into an exercise in better writing. I look at everything I write as an opportunity to practice clarity, conciseness, and sentence-structure.
I look to where I can inject humor and levity to make it a more engaging and fun experience for my readers. Yes, even in business communication, this is my practice.
I’d be thrilled if I could publish something I feel terrific about on a schedule of once or twice weekly. It’s a long game for me. I think it’s the only game I can play and feel good about at this stage in my writing journey.
Does this mean we have to strive for perfection in our craft? This, too, can be a great source of frustration. I heard something during my morning meditation today. It’s called the 80/20 Rule, and it makes good sense.
Rather than aiming for one-hundred-percent, it’s about accepting “very good” as “good enough”.
With the 80/20 Rule in mind, once you surpass the eighty-percent mark, it becomes increasingly difficult and time-consuming to inch closer to one-hundred percent.
The last twenty percent of the work takes eighty-percent of the effort. It‘s no longer worth aiming for perfection when considering the time and stress factors.
Truth is an illusion — at some point, we have to let go. Letting go is a challenging proposition. We need to practice flexibility, openness, and acceptance.