Lately, there have been so many posts on editorial calendars on so many blogs. It’s an important tool many bloggers still don't use or don't know how to do it or don’t know how to make themselves follow the schedule. Posts on editorial calendars are mostly about why bloggers need one, how to make one, what to do with it, etc. They’re mostly about how to plan blog posts in advance. Boštjan, on the other hand, approached this question from a different perspective.This post is a reaction to his.
According to Boštjan, an editorial calendar isn’t a list of deadlines for when a post is scheduled to be published. He argues that we take this too literally and feel accomplished only when we press publish. This means that many begin to write when a post is due. It's like being back in college when most students do their assignments when they’re due, rarely weeks or days earlier. Bostjan’s post stresses that we shouldn’t confuse a publishing deadline with writing.
This was a well-needed wake up call. I haven’t really noticed this way of thinking in any other posts about editorial calendars. Planning isn’t only about the final deadline! Boštjan writes, “Never hit ‘publish’, always ‘schedule’; this way, when you have time, or when you’re on a creative/writing roll, you can end up with weeks’ worth of posts.” Brilliant! I thought, that’s exactly what I’m not doing. I am good at planning, catching deadlines, but I never have a pile of already written posts (something that is very useful when using Zemanta). I usually write when the post is scheduled to be posted online. I am though improving, especially since I wrote a post on how to snap out of being a perfectionist and become more productive.
What Boštjan says is, that yes, an editorial calendar will make you more organized. Yes, an editorial calendar will make sure you update your blog regularly. Yes, an editorial calendar doesn’t hinder your creativity. Yes, an editorial calendar is the best strategy for sustainable blogging. He though adds that we shouldn’t view an editorial calendar as a tool telling us when to write. This is what many of us have forgotten or haven’t been aware of. The editorial calendar is not about writing, it’s about publishing.
So the next time when you feel like writing or even get an idea for a post that isn’t scheduled yet, don’t just schedule it, write it right away. It’s similar to when you feel like running; you don’t say, “Oh no, I usually run on Wednesdays afternoon, so I should wait.” You wouldn’t, would you?
What is your take on what Bostjan wrote in his post on editorial calendars? What is your advice how to make yourself write even if the post isn’t scheduled yet?