I had a lightbulb moment on Monday that I wanted to share with you guys. It has to do with posting frequency, which I think relates nicely to our discussion about editorial calendars and planning for your blog from last week. But mostly it has to do with expectations that you have for yourself, and cutting yourself some slack.
Let’s back up a little bit. In August, I surveyed my readers (you guys) and while most people said that they like to see one post per day on a blog, the second place answer said less than once per day. I was really surprised! I thought surely everyone liked seeing one or more posts per day on a blog- even though that wasn’t true for myself as a reader! Either way, it didn’t really matter- I was going to be posting at least once per day. I mean, I’d been posting at least once per day on three blogs for a while- I was going to be overwhelmed with content on this new blog!
But here’s the thing: I wasn’t. For the first month or so, I was fine, but after that I was struggling to publish daily posts. There are a lot of reason why I think this has been happening, but part of it is that I’m a lot busier with design work now than I was last fall. And thank goodness. But what I’m finding is that while I love blogging and designing, there are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes only so much creative juice in my brain. And my clients absolutely come first.
So fine- daily posts on my blog aren’t happening all by myself. But here’s the part where I really messed up: I didn’t figure out a way to fix it, or accept it, or really address the issue at all. Each week, I went in with the same expectation. Each week, I failed. And each week, I beat myself up about it. I even felt guilty for not posting on my blog.
This blog guilt that I was forcing on myself every time I didn’t post was and is ridiculous for so many reasons. And the sad thing is that I don’t think that it is at all unusual. I think a lot of bloggers (me included) like to say that we blog because we love it, and I definitely do. That, and it’s one of the main ways that I get design work. But if that’s true, then why am I treating it like it’s a ball-and-chain job? That seems contradictory. And dumb.
For five out the last 6 weeks, I have posted four times on the blog- three posts and a Starred this Week.
It took me six weeks to realize that this idea of posting five times a week wasn’t working for me. On Monday as I was sitting at my parents’ computer, trying to figure out something to post about, it occurred to me that this wasn’t the exception- it was the rule. I’m always struggling to find a fifth post. Why am I doing this to myself?
The point of this post isn’t really to talk about whether I post four or five times a week, because my guess is that a lot of you don’t really care or might not even notice that much either way. The point is that I need to cut myself some more slack, and my guess is that you do too. There is a fine line between pushing yourself to greatness and being too hard on yourself. I think for me, the important thing is to know your limits and pay attention to patterns. And adjust expectations accordingly.
Do you feel guilty when you don’t publish a blog post every day? I do, but I’m really going to try to stop! The ridiculous thing is that at this point, as a reader I literally NEVER notice if a blog goes a day without posting. And if I did, would I be mad or judge them or stop reading? NO. I need to stop holding myself to standards that only apply to me.