Why I Don't Publish on a Schedule

Photo by  Tim Gouw

Photo by Tim Gouw

Originally Published in: The Writing Cooperative

Writing, for me, can’t be forced.

I see a lot of writers publishing content, every day, for a variety of reasons.

Money.

Discipline.

Personal growth.

For the generation of further ideas.

When I first started writing, it was many successful writers with these habits that I was influenced by.

I thought writing more than I believed I ever could was what I had to do in order to be successful. Success, in those moments, meant gaining a large following. It was the only way I thought I would be taken seriously, or could take myself seriously.

So I set a goal for myself, proclaiming that I needed to publish an article once a week. As I learned more about gaining traction, that quickly became once every three days.

The more content I put out there, the more I’d gain a following…right?

Publishing on a schedule didn’t work out for me. For many reasons.

It Compromised My Intention

I don’t write for a living. I started to publish because I love to write, and wanted to practice putting myself out there.

I had, and have again, the intention and hope that my work will help others become better people, and that it will give them pragmatic and useful advice that they can immediately apply to their lives.

I want my work to be a form of selfless service, through which I don’t expect something in return.

Scheduled post were, for me, baseless. My ego was pleased though…it meant the potential of getting more followers and, hopefully, money.

I Put Unnecessary Pressure on Myself

Writing on a schedule made me force out work that I didn’t believe in.

I didn’t think it was good, but I thought people would read it.

If I didn’t have belief in my work, how could others? It’s the classic sort of ‘quality vs. quantity’ examples.

Not getting work out on time meant failing.

It Took The Moment From Me

When I was writing, I wasn’t present. I lost the sense of self-inquisition and exploration that I was so grateful came about through my writing.

I was aware only of future possibilities, instead of the truth of what was happening in the moment.

But…schedules are good for discipline…

I think that setting goals for can be really useful. Especially for writers.

Sometimes we lack the motivation or discipline to do something, and adhering to set goals can keep us accountable.

But I found that setting other goals, like sticking to writing a set word count every day, was far more aligned with my intentions than simply saying I had to have a “finished piece” by a certain date.

Photo by  Renáta-Adrienn

Time doesn’t dictate the cultivation and development of an idea. In the rush to submit, I therefore lost some quality work.

It’s important to me that I push myself to better myself and my writing, but also that I give the time and space necessary for new ones to grow.

While schedules are important, they weren’t worth it for me.