3 personal publishing sins I committed in 2021

I went into 2021 with higher hopes for personal publishing than I produced. It’s no big thing. However, I’m sitting on more blog post ideas than I have time or energy to write.

Here are what I refer to as my three personal publishing sins from 2021:

1.    Lack of a regular publishing cadence

Despite my best efforts, my personal writing is the first to be kicked to the side because of personal and professional stress. Without a regular publishing cadence, it’s hard for readers to discover my work. Improving my writing, points of view, and messaging is made harder.

I have no problems with a regular publishing cadence regarding my writing for sites such as TechTarget. In year 1 of the pandemic, I had an OK cadence with my writing for opensource.com. I can’t say the same about year 2 of the pandemic. The biggest enemies of my personal publishing cadence are billable work and mental/physical exhaustion. It’s been too easy for me to just punt on my personal writing projects because I’m tired, and there was no money attached to them.

In 2022, I hope to develop some worthwhile yet straightforward personal publishing goals that are achievable.

2.    Writing on a whim versus with a plan

While I’m an inveterate planner for the content I write for my day job and the freelance articles I pitch to publications, the same isn’t necessarily valid with what I write for Medium or this blog.

I’ve toyed with the idea of focusing my personal writing on enterprise collaboration. Until recently, I avoided writing about DevOps topics on my personal channels because I didn’t want to steal from Peter to pay Paul and lose out on pitching an idea to a paying market. It was a topic I loved writing about back in the day but got on a path to DevOps and the cloud and never returned to it.

This sin also leads me to spread across too many publishing platforms. My publishing articles to LinkedIn is a lesson in battling an algorithm destined to keep anybody but the site’s major influencers in a state of publishing irrelevance purgatory. Publishing on Medium has improved slightly for me but suffers from having no plan, so I may not publish for months. Suddenly then I’ll publish multiple articles in a row. Now, I’m smitten with Substack but lack a plan to grow my readership. I cannot adequately feed three publishing platforms with a writing hobby.

3.    Allowing stress to win over personal writing

Like so many others, I had my share of personal, professional, and family stress in 2021. Pre-pandemic, I could spend the day at work, hit the gym, then come home and write some more. That second writing shift was a lot harder in 2021 for no good reason. I chalk it up to stress and feeling a bit isolated.

Getting beyond this publishing sin is going to take more work on finding and maintaining balance with all the pandemic has brought already and will continue to bring in 2022.

My personal writing in 2022

That pandemic stress will continue to play a part in my creative process. I hope that my nightly sleep meditation practice alleviates my stress enough to translate into more productivity for personal writing projects in 2022.