Posted On: 2021-08-23
Last week I announced a change to the blog's schedule. This change is something I've wanted to do for a while, but I hesitated to do so until I'd pinned down exactly how to make it work. In light of this, I thought today's post should be an exploration of reasons for this change, as well as my strategy for how to make the most of it.
The first and most important reason for the change is that I want to make sure that I am consistently posting high-quality material. Central to that goal is writing posts with enough lead time that I can make revisions without running into the deadline. Up until now, I have largely written these posts the day they go live, so I often found myself working well into the evening, desperately hoping that it would technically still be Monday somewhere in the world by the time I finished. Unfortunately, there have been a few posts where even that was not enough - posts where I found myself deciding whether to post something I wasn't proud of, or post nothing at all.
Changing to a two-week schedule will improve this situation specifically because I am not changing the frequency with which I write these posts. Initially there may be some awkwardness as I adjust to the new process, but the goal of this change is use the momentum of generating weekly posts to (finally) create a buffer of content. Over time, this buffer should create opportunities to revise/cut posts well in advance of them going up on the site.
As I've mentioned previously, writing a post on Monday has helped my project, particularly when I use it to document my plans or reflect on recent work. Since I wrote that, however, my process has changed: I typically pick my topic before Monday itself, so I generally do no actual planning on Mondays anymore. As such, writing on Mondays has become something of a detriment to my process - particularly so when I have unfinshed tasks from the previous workday. Once I've got a few posts in my buffer, I'd like to experiment with writing on different days, to see if there's any one that is as valuable to my process as Mondays were in the past.
One of the key insights that enables this change is that (outside of announcements), there's no actual benefit to posting content as soon as I write it. For the past three years, I've largely assumed that posting temporally accurate content (that is, when "last week" literally means last week) benefits you, the reader. This assumption was the main reason why I wrote most content the same day it went live, but, in hindsight, there was no real basis for it. While I am loathe to write and post precise temporal statements that are inaccurate*, I have little reason to be quite so precise. I've already leveraged terms like "recently" to hand-wave exactly when things happened - and, once I'm using a buffer, I expect such vague terms will be easier both for readers and myself.
Although I currently plan to write entries more often than they are actually posted, that won't need to go on forever. Eventually, I should have a large enough buffer to repurpose some of that time, and use it for other tasks. While I have plenty I'd like to do with this time, it's important that I don't plan out the details of this now: it will likely be several months before I have enough posts to completely switch over*.
It's been a long time coming, but I've finally figured out how best to change my posting schedule. Bi-weekly posts while still authoring on a weekly basis should finally start to build a buffer, and that buffer will provide the flexibility to reschedule the actual writing process itself. Eventually, a full buffer will enable additional benefits, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself in this plan - for now, it is essential that I maintain the current pace of authoring - even if it takes a bit more time before you see it.