Daily Grind

With a title like the "Daily Grind," I suspect you're expecting a post about how I'm acclimating to my new 9-5 job. Wrong. I think this one is more about publishing schedules in new media, but, it's probably a lot more connected than I want to think about.

I suppose first off, I should cop to the fact that I am totally guilty--when I know I'm going to be in crunch time--of writing entries in runs of six or so, and then posting them out one by one, so that the blog maintains a daily publication schedule, and I can put energy when it needs to go.

Second off, I should note that I've been listening to Jared Axelrod's's now daily (or almost compleatly daily, at least of ep ~60-70 where I am now) podcast "The Voice of Free Planet X." I've been listening to VoFPX for a while, and I've always liked it (so if you don't listen to it, you should it's good stuff), but Jared's said something interesting recently--by my frame--that I want to reflect upon.

Jared reported having some trouble keeping a weekly posting schedule, because it was something that you could put off if things got tight and still--more or less--keep your schedule. In contrast, you can't really put off something that is supposed to happen daily more than a few hours or else you don't meet the deadline. I'd also add that in a lot of cases as creators we say--at least to our selves--if it comes out weekly it has to represent a weeks worth of work, whereas if it comes out daily it represents--in most cases--proportionally less work, and just has to exist.

And the truth about writing, and creating--particularly on the internet--is that success is pretty random. Having a story, or a site, podcast, or a video that "works" and becomes popular is not the effect of some transcendental skill, and even a not incredibly strongly correlation to skill; but rather a function of the quantity of output. You got to keep putting things out, keep making things, and the more you make the more likely something is to really "make it."

When blogs first started, everyone praised them because they made publishing online really easy. You wrote something and hit post. That was it. For the most part blogs (and other related media) succeed as we hit the post button more. And this corresponds to our reading style. It takes just as long to read a blog post with meticulously crafted prose as it does to read one that was written in the morning on half a cup of coffee. And the chances are, that posting frequently will lead to more success (where success equals audience size) because people will check regularly updated sites more often than sites that update less frequently.


As a result of this I've made the observation on a number of occasions, that while a firm and regular posting schedule will cement and stabilize a your audience/readership of plus or minus a few percent, you can't "jump" levels simply by increasing volume of content generation.


So I guess there are a couple of threads to this argument the "schedules are good for audiences" and the "schedules are good for creation." Having trounced the former sufficiently, lets move on to the later.

I think clearly we all work at different speeds, and we do different things, I think I do better with this kind of scheduling. It's helped the blogging, for me, and projects like 365 Tomorrows, and Thing a Week, j.r. blackwell's photos and so forth, all seem to be creative successes (and I suspect distribution-increasing successes as well.)

It's just a hair brained idea at the moment, but I think it might be fun to start a project like this for the fiction writing that I'm not doing at the moment. A daily routine would have the effect of a) getting things out there. b) inspiring an increase in productivity, and writerly practice. Also, I think I'm likely as busy at the moment as I'm likely to be at any time in the next couple of years, and I think I feel like I've "got" the blogging rhythm down, and it's time to add a new project. Just a thought, and I'm making no promises, that's for sure. More musings in the future.

Onward and Upward!

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