Plenty of things happen on my side of the screen that most people don't get to see.
There's the abundance of scrap paper with potential post ideas and basic outlines scribbled on them. The endless list of unfinished posts saved in my Drafts folder, a few of which have been there for over a year now.
Ever since launching the blog in 2018, my methods have changed a fair bit. One thing that has remained constant, however, is my preference to write my posts well in advance.
Believe it or not, I'm intending for this post to go up in late June, but I'm actually starting it on March 23—about three months ahead.
Why so early?
Let's break that down.
Time And The Lack Thereof
The main reason I like to be several weeks ahead of when my posts are intended to be scheduled is simply a matter of time.
Specifically a lack thereof.
These days, I'm working forty hours a week and have only my thirty-minute lunch break to dedicate to writing, which is usually spent blogging; I try to devote my days off to my fiction projects where possible.
You'll usually find me hunkered down in the breakroom with my phone or tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard. The bulk of my blogging happens here, save for editing and formatting that I'll do on my laptop at home.
When you only have thirty minutes in a day to work on things that can sometimes require hours, you need more days to accomplish those tasks.
Writing blog posts ridiculously in advance is sometimes the only way keeping up with them is at all manageable.
Spares And Subs
Although it's rare, I may have a post ready to go that I decide to postpone.
Though it's usually only moved by a few weeks down the list, there's one post that's been put off indefinitely.
For example, I had written about how frequently I'm asked why I didn't go into teaching and my reasons for not pursuing a career in that field, with plans for a follow-up exploring some of the other careers that either require or benefit from having a degree in English.
This was right around the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We as a society were left to figure out how to make so many things work from a distance, including school over Zoom.
With so many teachers having to adapt quickly and facing what was undoubtedly the most challenging moments of their career, it felt inappropriate to drop a post about why I didn't want to go into that field.
This left me with a two-week gap, but having a handful of posts prepared in advance meant all I had to do was reschedule enough to fill in those spots without significant difficulty.
The Throes Of Research
Sometimes, I'll want to write about a particular topic but want to have a better understanding before diving in.
This was the case with my post on May-December romances. It was a term I'd heard numerous times but wasn't too familiar with.
When there's a post that's more exploratory, I want to give myself enough time to properly look into it. This way, I can feel more confident in sharing my findings as well as my own take on the subject.
Research, as all writers know, takes time. Add that into the limited time I have for writing the actual post, and I can sometimes find myself working on a single post on and off for weeks.
Each of those weeks, meanwhile, needs a post ready to go, so having several on deck makes the process a little smoother.
Generally speaking, I like to stay at least one month ahead when it comes to blog posts, but that's not always the case.
There are posts that I won't write as early, such as my annual check-in posts because it's impossible to know how much progress I've made by that time until I actually get there.
On some occasions, I might feel inclined to give my take on a topic circulating on social media, specifically within the writing corner of Twitter, which can bump the already-scheduled post down the line. So in one way I'm, but I'm also getting ahead because I can fill in a later week, but it can sometimes create a little havoc depending on how quickly the newly-inspired post needs to go live.
For the most part, however, I'm able to stay ahead of the game, making it that much easier to keep things on track and moving at a steady pace.