I set a goal this year of trying to write two posts each day, thereby building up a backlog and taking the pressure off on those days when no good ideas come to mind. I’ve done a pretty good job at that. Until now, however, my threshold seems to be about a 12 day backlog. In other words, at any given moment, I generally have about 12 days worth of posts scheduled in advance. For the first time this year, however, I have exceeded that margin. With the writing of this essay, I know have a backlog of 16 days. Today is March 21, 2022, which means you won’t see this post until April 7.1.
The last thing I want to do, however, is give the impression that I am able to sit down and write two posts each and every day. Yesterday, for instance, I wrote nothing. I had ideas ready, but just no urge to write. Instead, I spent much of the day making my way to the halfway point of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Today, on the other hand, I had a rare writing spree: I wrote four of these essays today, including this one. Writing sprees like this are rare for me. It is not the writing that is the problem. I aim for 500-600 words for these essays2 and four of them together add up to 2,000 words, or just about a day’s work of a typical full-time novelist. But a novelist is generally writing toward one unified work, while I write about whatever comes to mind. Jumping from topic-to-topic, while fun, can be difficult3.
Much more common is one or two posts each day, with an occasional day that no writing gets done. Indeed, a typical week probably looks something like: 2 pieces on Sunday, 2 pieces on Monday, nothing on Tuesday, 2 pieces each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and nothing on Saturday. That’s 10 pieces a week for, or more like 1-1/2 posts per day, as opposed to the 2 posts per day that I aim for.
A day like today is nice, however, because it makes up for missed days. And I finish for the day with a list of posts I am eager to write about tomorrow, helping me to continue this little spree of mine4. Still, it is also nice knowing that I’ve got some essays in the bank, so to speak, to help keep me afloat during the lean times when the writing just doesn’t happen.
Written on March 21, 2022.
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- That’s seventeen days, but I left a gap on April 2 for a post I will be writing tomorrow, the final part of a three–part series that I think you will enjoy. At least, I enjoyed writing it very much. ↩
- Often overshooting my mark. ↩
- Today, for instance, I wrote two posts on radio essays, one on World War II, and this one on writing. ↩
- For the record, this post came in at exactly 499 words. ↩