Publish, publish, publish!

I mentioned in my life-and-writing recap last week that I’ve been publishing something new here each Thursday for the past five (now six!) weeks, which is a marked improvement over my previous record of spotty postings over the course of months.

Keeping to a publishing schedule has been interesting.

On one hand, it’s encouraged me to have a steady stream of words flowing from me. Here’s a look at my Draft writing stats for the past two weeks:

Chart depicting a words-per-day count ranging from 250–3200 over a two week period.

Knowing that I expect myself to put something up on Thursday encourages me to write down thoughts and expand them into coherent pieces whenever I can. This has led me to view writing as something which can (and must) be practiced, and to, well, practice it. The weekly publishing has encouraged that practice in a very effective way.

On the other hand, though, I kind of worry about the quality it promotes. If I’m expecting myself to publish every week, am I expecting something great every week? Well, no. Not anymore, at least.

For a while I thought it essential that anything and everything published here was of the highest quality. Then I realized I couldn’t really measure that; that whenever I published a “greater” piece, the rest would then become of the not-highest quality. It was about this time that I realized that this quality comes naturally with time, through the aforementioned practice of writing. (Although there’s still a lot of not-great writing produced after tons of practice. It’s the same as with any skill.)

The final benefit I’d like to bring up with regards to this regular posting is that it encourages—or, in some cases, forces—me to publish old drafts which might otherwise languish unread, seen only by my own eyes. That’s a sad fate for any writing, I think; writing demands to be read. I’m increasingly of the opinion that it’s worth it to publish your old stuff which you still agree with. It’s good for the soul.

Keeping to a regular writing schedule is important. It helps you practice what can be a really difficult skill to work at. Equally important, though, is to actually publish whatever you’re writing. Even if it feels like it’s shit to you, it’s probably worth publishing.

If it helps just one person or makes them think about something different, there’s all the worth you’ve ever needed.

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