Unfortunately, publishing quantity is often better for your finances than publishing quality. This sad reality is a reason why we find it difficult to create sustainable writing routines. We sacrifice both mental health and physical wellbeing, pursuing a professional writing career.
We’re told that we need to publish daily if not multiple times a day to be successful. Yet when you look at the reality of the situation consistent publishing can be impactful even if it isn’t daily.
When I began setting up my writing business the first thing I did was google how many articles I need to write a month. It’s eleven… by the way. So I made eleven my goal.
Before I did the research for myself I despaired, I had heard the news that I had to publish every day. Sure that’s one way to get on the fast track to success. It’s a legitimate business strategy. I, however, had been there, done that, and realised that I didn’t want to live that way.
I wanted to make writing my job, which meant I had to be a good boss to myself. Unsustainable deadlines and ridiculous turnarounds made me hate writing and myself. I felt worthless, both as a writer and as a human being. I couldn’t keep up with the content mill. So I decided to make a change.
I took those eleven articles a month to heart and set up a writing routine that I knew I could stick to. I still publish way more than eleven articles. But that’s because I wanted to stick to specific publishing days.
I started publishing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I haven’t looked back since. Now I’ve been writing for a long time and I have finally developed a schedule that is kind to me.
To publish three articles a week, I do a half-hour brainstorming session. Along with three hours of writing, and three hours of editing in a week. Bear in mind this is only article writing time. I have other projects going on that take more time but I’m focusing on weekly publishing for this article.
During this time I often end up overshooting my goals and average five articles a week. I stock up these articles so that I can have sick days, holidays and mental health days. Again this is part of sustainable living.
I recommend giving yourself more time than you need for your writing schedule. I was unkind to myself, I used this same timeframe for publishing five articles weekly. This would be fine most days. But I found it very difficult to get ahead and prepare for breaks so when my body decided to get sick I was screwed.
Working ahead of yourself helps you take the time off when you need it. It also has the added bonus of making you feel on top of things and slightly more professional.
You’ll need to start by considering how much content you want to publish per month. Then figure out how much you can realistically get done in your writing time frame. Readjust your content calendar or your writing time allowance accordingly. The key here is to not put pressure on yourself. If I need to, I can take a half-hour break and my publishing calendar won’t get damaged. We all have good days and bad days. Plan achievable goals on your worst days. You’ll find that you can reach your goals, often exceeding your schedule. This will improve your mental health, quality of life and your relationship with writing.
As always, I cannot wait to see you on the bookshelf.