Monday, April 21, 2008

The Master Schedule

When I signed on to post a blog post every day for a year, I knew it would be tough going. One reader even predicted I would become bored with the gimmick. Well, it’s nearly a third of the way through and I have for the most part succeeded. Rather than force a lot of drama and anxiety into my blogging, it has given me some pace and structure.

The rules of Blog365 state that any blogpost anywhere counts and even allows for things like Flickr uploads to count. While I haven’t resorted to Flickr tricks, I have used some gimmicks. I really write three separate blogs: Foma* (I like it when people include the asterisk), my flagship blog: Dowd Report, “written” by my Maureen Dowd obsessed alter ego, Mo MoDo; and China Sights, a photo blog of my visit to China last year.

The key is that China Sights is the safety valve. I have a nearly unlimited reserve of pictures to blog about that make for a quick and easy post when the time crunch gets too great. I’m so guilt-ridden about using this shortcut, that I will often post three or four related posts in rapid succession which can be a bit dizzying depending on what order you read them.

The structure comes from the publishing schedule of Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column which comes out Sunday and Wednesday. I like to post about these as soon as possible while they are fresh. So a typical week of blogging works like this:

Sunday: Dowd Report. I usually have all morning to read the column and research the silly pop culture references that are my focus. I try not to get to worked up about the politics itself because plenty of other people do that already.

Monday: Foma*. If I have a lot of free time on Sunday, I can leisurely work on an entry to be posted later. I often also spend Sunday uploading pictures to Flickr or doing other nuts and bolts maintenance.

Tuesday: Foma*. Since it is one post per day and the Monday entry is usually up in the morning, I have a day and a half to come up with the next one. This is usually posted late in the evening.

Wednesday: Dowd Report. This is the most difficult post of the week. I try to get it written and posted before I go to work. I’ve learned to hack the url of the NYT columnists pages, so sometimes I get a sneak peak at the column Tuesday night so I can collect my ideas.

Thursday: Foma*. If I can get a Foma* post written by Thursday morning, that keeps with the general every day-and-a-half pace I like to keep.

Friday: Dealers Choice. I sometimes write posts about what other bloggers have written about the latest Dowd column as a Dowd Report Blogwatch item or I’ll have something time sensitive I want to get into Foma*.

Saturday: Any Of The Above. Depending on what I posted to on Friday, I will do one of the other two blogs on Saturday. I like to make sure that either the Friday or Saturday post is to Foma* so that I don’t go too long between posts.

So in any given week I will have posted at least four times to Foma*, twice to Dowd Report and once more to whatever strikes my fancy. This may sound very rigid, but it’s really quite flexible and has taken some of my procrastinating tendencies out of the picture.

Now if only I could get the rest of my life into this level of order, I’d be doing fine. But I can only control what I am in charge of.

BlatantCommentWhoring®: Do you blog on a routine or whenever it strikes your fancy?


Dave2 said...

I blog whenever it strikes my fancy.

That just happens to be every day. :-)

trusty getto said...

When it strikes my fancy. I don't have interesting enough things to say every day!

Anonymous said...

I go in these fits and starts, it seems. There are times when I want to address something but don't necessarily have the phrasing right (I have a habit of torturing sentences as I write them), so I toss it out. Then it's something like ten days between posts. Other times it's just plain easy and I'll do several posts in a week's space.

2fs said...

Fancy divided by available time. There are some days when if I decided I wanted to blog every day, what would result would be hurried glop. (As it is, there are a couple-few of my entries that are little better than that.)

Anonymous said...

I've been running on fumes, blogging-wise, for over a year. I used to publish almost daily -- now it's whenever both the spirit and the energy move me. Man -- kids are hard work!