In Under the Wire: The Pros and Cons of Daily Posting

The tyranny of the blank page.

You may recall that I’m participating in the WordPress 2011 PostADay Challenge. As you might guess, this means that I’ve challenged myself to post at least once daily in 2011.

It’s May 25th and so far, so good (as long as I publish this post within 90 minutes).

But these past couple of weeks, I’ve been having trouble posting every day, and I’m starting to question the value of daily posting.

The shiny side of the challenge:

  • It gets me to the computer. Similar to how I’m better at abstention than at moderation, I’m better at posting daily than posting at a different interval of time. Daily posting becomes a compulsion for me. As long as I keep it up, I can keep it up. But if I stop, I fear this train will derail and I’ll never get my momentum back.
  • I’ve got volume on my side. In college, my writing profs always talked about how the best writers they knew weren’t the ones with “natural talent”; they were the ones who gave their writing two hours a day, rain or shine (mood-wise and quality-wise). They put in their time and cranked out the words, which gave them practice and also gave them lots of chances to produce gems buried in all of the other…stuff. Posting daily, I might not hit the mark every time, but posting daily makes it more likely.
  • Sidestepping the perfectionist. The compulsion to post every day helps me hit “publish” on my posts, even if I think they could use more editing. Because they will never be perfect, they can always use more editing. If I’m going to keep a blog, I need to post, even if that means posting imperfect posts. Which of course would go with the theme of my blog anyway.

The dingy, icky side of the challenge:

  • The volume of crap. It’s one thing to write every day and then pan for gold from the stuff on the page before anyone sees it. But the daily posting plan puts all of the crap out in public before anything but the most rudimentary editing has taken place. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious about posting the unpolished stuff.
  • Needing to post every day. This is the double-edged sword. Even while I appreciate the push to write every day, sometimes I want a day off. If I happen to make a tasty recipe and take a picture of my food that day, I can take a break that day and just post a recipe. But some days, I don’t even have the motivation to do that. If I don’t have the motivation to even photograph my food, should I really subject my readers to the unmotivated writing I’m sure to produce? (You know, like a post comprised of a list of pros and cons about posting?)

Even with my ambivalent feelings about daily blogging, I’m still going to do it. I’m not one to back down from a challenge, even one that I’ve undertaken on my own and that has no tangible reward at the end of it. Looking at my list of posts and seeing one for every single day of the year is all the reward I’m looking for, as odd as that may be. But then, I wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo in November spurred on by a graph showing my progress. Clearly there’s something to this “tracking my progress” thing.

Who am I to question it?

One Reply to “In Under the Wire: The Pros and Cons of Daily Posting”

  1. I always get a good satisfaction of completing a personal challenge and I’m sure you will too. You make some good points on both sides but in the end I think the reward of accomplishing your goal will be worth it and you’ll be a better blogger because of it.


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