Challenging the Post-a-Day Challenge


My partner Sara has requested I quit the Post-a-Day challenge—a plea she’s made repeatedly.  She’s asked me to not post on the weekends and would prefer I not post more than 4 days a week, so we can spend more time enjoying our lives together, especially during these 2 short months she’s not responding to a disaster in some far-from-home, developing country.  God himself only knows what remote corner of the planet she may work in next, long hours under enormous stress.

Is there another option?

She whole-heartedly supports my blogging, my writing, really anything I want to do—just not my obsessively posting 7 days a week, especially when I’m not a person who can write, or create anything for that matter, quickly , quietly, or without a lot of fuss. 

The medication that manages my illness does not allow me to create as easily as I once did.  It’s difficult to concentrate.  My writing sometimes fails the fluidity test.  Even in a second draft, sentences stumble.  I revise maniacally, anguish for hours over words.  It’s excruciating.

Especially for Sara.

And Sara’s concern is clearly justified.  I’m obsessed.  I stress over stats.  It has to stop.

But being one who agonizes over most decisions, I’m struggling to step back.  I enjoy the challenge.  I love to write, even if it requires long hours and endless effort. 

I wish the editors at WordPress would create an alternative between the Post-a-Day and Post-a-Week challenges, an option for those of us who want to write much more than once a week, but not quite as often as every day.  Why not a “Work Week Challenge?”  Maybe even a “Weekend Challenge” for folks who work Monday through Friday.

Why not a Weekend Challenge?

I adore blogging; I love my readers and the sense of community we share.  But I love my partner and my family much, much more.

I don’t want my passion for posting to stand between me and the most important person on the planet, a partner who praises my effort but knows when it has gone too far.

Has the Post-a-Day Challenge challenged anyone else’s relationship?  Would you support alternative challenges?

54 thoughts on “Challenging the Post-a-Day Challenge

  1. Personally- I think the Post a Day challenge is self serving for Word Press- who wanted to boost blogger numbers- which had dropped by over 100,ooo bloggers within the space of a month at the end of 2010. Ditch it and don’t look back. Not worth it and you’ll have better content in the long run anyway. Your readers aren’t going anywhere. I fully support your decision not to post every day, to post whenever you feel like it, and NOT to feel guilty about how often that happens to be. Luv you.

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  2. I think the Post A Day challenge takes its toll on everyone– not just writers but the readers of blogs as well. (It’s exhausting to keep up with 7 posts every week times x number of blogs!!)

    I’m with amblerangel: ditch the post-a-day challenge and spend some time with Sara. We’ll still be here for you when you’re able to write from a better head/spirit space! 🙂

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  3. Hi, I’ve been enjoying reading your blog, but it’s not a test. It’s about challenging yourself to write what you want to write and to keep at it. As a complete beginner blogger, but an every day writer, a friend challenged me to join her in the postaday challenge ‘to see what happens’. I have found the discipline of the ‘once a day’ has focussed my mind remarkably. In the process I’ve learnt a lot about the ‘virtual’ world, and been surprised by what I’ve written and who has read it, but if I felt it was adversely impacting another aspect of my life I’d stop. It is a challenge I have set myself; I don’t regard it as something that is being policed from outside. I think you should decide for yourself how frequently you want to post, and then do that.

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    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I don’t feel any pressure from the outside to post daily, i.e. like I’m being policed exterrnally. My policing is an internal drive to engage intensely with something I love. And, frankly, I adore blogging. This kind of interaction with readers is almost intoxicating. And you are so right–it does improve one’s writing skills. I’m a much better writer now than I was several months ago.

      I so appreciate that you have been reading and hope you’ll keep coming back!

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  4. I agree. I could never post every day and Joe would probably murder me if I did. Blogging takes up enough time as it is!

    Post when you feel inspired, forget the WordPress challenge, and I think you’ll be happier in the end. (Regardless of those pesky stats that we all obsess about.)

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    • You are certainly right that the challenge is not needed. I just think it’s fun to be a part of it–part of a group that is attempting something important. I think though that more variations on the challenge would draw more participants. And, yes, it does take TONS OF TIME to do it well! Thanks so much for taking the time to join the converstion. Hope you’ll keep reading———

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  5. I deliberately did not sign on for Post A Day, because I knew I’d make myself crazy. It’s good to write something every day (though I don’t), but requiring oneself to produce something ready for publication every day is, I think, a strain for most of us, even without the time factor.

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    • That is EXACTLY the difference! Writing every day is one thing, but writing something every day that is ready for publication is another! It ‘s a lot of pressure for those of who are perfectionists–only want to publish quality posts. I say amen to this, Jevcat!

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  6. Kathy,
    You read my issue with this issue. I think Post A Day helped me see that I wasn’t alone in this blog. That was a good thing. But, it became a strain and not as much fun, and I felt like it was affecting my family. When I declared the break, I meant it, and I have drawn back a little. I still post most days, but if I wake up without an idea I don’t stress about the need to post. I still read some blogs, but I’m not forcing myself to respond to every blog I read, or even to respond to every comment. You, along with several other people, told me that was okay and that you would still be reading. That truth is even stronger with you, as you carry each of us along with the beauty of your art and words, as well as the power of your story. But, what we want most for you is that you are happy. Sara makes you happy. Be with her. Blog when you want. And ignore Post A Day.

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    • Yes, I have seen you struggle with this shift. In fact, you are part of what inspires me to modify the challenge to fit my needs and the those of my partner. Maybe I will create my own variation on the challenge. I assume that this problem is rooted in the inherently addictive quality of blogging. It’s like a drug, for God’s sake.

      Now I know this maynot be true for most folks, but it is for me. Virtual community is a great thing. And, yes, I totally support your posting, not posting, commenting, not commenting. I know I’m not alone when I say that we all just love Lisa!

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  7. I keep my posting schedule much like a work one. Dedicated time, fixed amount of time. Understand that many can’t do that, but in order to write about life, sports, etc. you have to actually experience/watch them. So…my recommendation would be try to stick to a fixed time of day…or a fixed amount of time…and I totally agree…blog when you feel it, not when you feel someone else demands it.

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    • Yes, yes, yes–one has to live life in order to write about it. Thanks for this important reminder. The only thing I think folks don’t understand is that I don’t feel like anyone is demanding anything of me. It’s me making the demand. The Post-a-Day Challenge has only tapped into my own drive to do more, do better, do and improve. Does that make sense?

      And, yes, a schedule is invaluable. I’m only now learning this. You sound really grounded and balanced.

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  8. I’m with the other commenters on this one, Kathy…I write when I feel like it. I didn’t sign up for the Post A Day challenge because I have enough stress in my life! I would rather turn out 2 or 3 good posts a week than 7 questionable pieces! When I first started, I was posting almost every day, and Jim had a problem with that too!

    Hugs,
    Wendy

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    • I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who has encountered spousal disapproval! Sara has tried to persuade me that a few really quality posts are better than 7 not-as-good ones. Thanks, my friend!

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  9. Down with Post-A-Day. I agree with everyone. While I applaud writers who set aside time to write each day, that is very different than posting each day. Writing includes journaling, editing previous work, expressing thoughts, working on ones novel or short story. Spitting out a post a day can feel like being a human Pez dispenser.

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  10. Why not the “Post-When-You-Feel-Like-It” Challenge? If you’re noticing that something you love doing is taking a toll on your relationship with someone you love above everything in this world…then I think it’s time to re-prioritize. Lord knows that your readers love you and will keep reading, regardless when you update. 🙂

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    • Ha, Ha, Amanda–I love “Post-When-You-Feel-Like-It Challenge”–that’s genius! I don’t know if it’s affecting my relationship negatively yet, but it could. And I think our situation is caused by Sara having 2 more months of not working. Her sabatical is partly what’s challenging our situation. But, thanks, dear A.Hab. for reading so faithfully. I love the sense of community so many of us share with one another.

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  11. We all require different discipline to write and create. What I hear you saying is the daily challenge was your discipline and desire to explore your art and biographical story in a consistent productive way (or at least one way). With the daily frequency I don’t always get a chance to read all your post. So staging your post less often may work for many of your readers . . . and I agree, we aren’t going anywhere. Maybe it’s doing your biographical writing 1 or 2 hours everyday and culling from those writings a blog – even 2-3 times a week. The discipline of daily writing is almost required when you have the goals you have. But it doesn’t have to be publishable every day. So that is my two sense worth! Love that you are taking action to take care of yourself, Sara and your relationship is priority! Good going girl. Miss the two of you. Marlene

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    • This is great feedback, Marlene! Several people have said they miss posts since I post every day. So maybe I am not maximizing my available audience for each most, if I post too often. If that makes sense. I am getting such great information from you all in response to this post, that it helps enormously. We miss you too, my friend!

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  12. Every November I participated in NoBloPoMo :National Blog Post Month and did one post a day. And I understood from the get-go that when I was doing one post a day, I was asking a lot from my readers and I expected LOW number of comments and traffic. When I set off with such low expectations, the one-post-a-day exercise became only for myself and I felt less stressed out about it. Don’t get me wrong: I was still stressed out by the pressure of posting every day, but I was not stressed out about who and how many were reading and commenting. Reading and esp. commenting on blogs, as we all know, takes up a lot of time. I am pretty sure you are not the only one who have realized that you needed to pull back in order to focus more on the 3-D life. 🙂 At least Sara is supportive. I know quite a few bloggers whose families see their blogs as an “enemy”, or at least a competitor, competing for their time. I myself struggle with this a lot. And oftentimes I have to just say, You know what? I need to pay more attention to my real job which actually pays for the health insurance…

    Enjoy your time spending with Sara when she is indeed still at home. We will still be here whenever you post.

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    • Again, this is telling me so much. It is indeed a burden to readers. And actually it hadn’t occured to me that I might get a better response to each post if I posted less frequently.

      I will indeed enjoy my time with Sara–that’s what matters most! Thanks so much for these important reminders, Lin!

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  13. I can feel your agony. Listen to Sara. She knows you best. Blog when you can and only when it doesn’t take over everything else. We will all understand.

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  14. You know what’s funny? I think the formal Post-A-Whatever Button makes me nervous. I always post at least once a week but I feel like committing to the button sets that in stone! I say, write enough to make your heart happy. Stats be darned!

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  15. Kathy.

    This is a healthy step back for you. I think you already know it.

    When you are again breathing in deeply of the love and care you can receive face to face with Sara, who loves and cares for you and wants what’s best for you and your soul and your health…you will probably wonder how you ever got to this point.

    Everything in moderation–I, too, went through the “stats and posts and comments and community” phase where everything–EVERYTHING–was about being connected…

    connected–online–in cyberspace.

    that’s a meager connection (fun though it is, and with many blessings–don’t get me wrong…)–especially when we see that our lack of attention on the homefront, with ACTUAL human beings who have been called to love us, and to whom we have vowed our love and care…are shriveling, bit by bit, day after day, waiting and wishing for something, anything, you might have left to give them.

    I’d rather read you less, knowing you’re touching, loving, talking, cooking, laughing, writing well and without deadlines, and being in the company of those you love and who love you.

    be free (from the “Challenge”–which I think is disingenuous on the part of WP–more for them than any blogger…be free from the call of the stats…be free.)

    many blessings, my friend.
    jane

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  16. Sara…I totally understand where you are coming from…..really….. you are totally correct on your views of Kathryn’s blogging time….

    (Psssst….Kathryn….do like I do and sneak onto the computer in the dead of night….) 🙂

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    • Mark, you ALWAYS make me laugh, always–and hard! You are too damn funny, my friend

      And, by the way, I read your entire comment to Sara, and she said that I already sneak away in the dead of night—which actually is true!

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  17. I concur with the consensus (there’s a switch!) – Post a Day is a WordPress version of a happy meal – it gets you in and hooked so that you keep coming back for more, and WordPress stands to benefit by becoming the blogging platform of choice.
    Ignore their buttons, and blog from your heart’s desire, not theirs.

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  18. Feel I’m coming a little late to this post but as a complete newbie to blogging I just wanted to say this discussion is absolutely fascinating. It seems to be getting at the very heart of why any of us blog. Of course in my own selfish way now that I’ve found you I will miss your daily posts if you do decide to post less frequently but I really do hope that if you do that, it really is because it is what you(underlined and in italics!) want to do. You obviously love it, are brilliant at it and are very, very inspiring.
    Good luck whatever you decide!

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  19. I used to write on another site – not a true “blogging” forum, but close – where the month of November was christened “NoJoMo” (November Journaling Month). All who participated wrote an entry every day that month. It was much easier to commit to something like that.

    I say, write when you want to write. Don’t do it because WordPress wants you to, but also, don’t not do it because your partner doesn’t want you to. Find a happy balance and stick with it.

    Also, you could always post a photograph (or artwork, as I’ve seen you do) without any written explanation. Still counts!

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    • Thank you, Mark, for this important reminder–as an image might be a good option for tomorrow! Also, it makes sense that it would be easier to commit for a month as opposed to a year. Heck, a year is along time!

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  20. I think the PostADay Challenge is a bit much. That said, I was already committed to posting daily before the challenge rolled around (as part of my outdoor commitment) so I signed up only because I was doing it anyway. It is stressful, and very difficult to keep up with everyone who is blogging on a daily basis. I’m looking for ways to cut back while still keeping my commitment (which will probably involve auto-posting occasionally).

    If it weren’t for my original commitment, I would gladly join you in a less-than-daily challenge. Go! Enjoy your life and spend time with Sara. 🙂

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  21. I think the post-a-day challenge was a great idea and it got me really writing for a while. But like you, it became an obsession and a source of stress. I work full-time. I have a husband and kids. It wasn’t fair to them that I spent all of my free time with the laptop and I was beginning to feel guilty for basically ignoring my life in favor of my blog. I quietly dropped out and feel much calmer. I can write when the spirit moves me and choose not to when it doesn’t. I hope you find the same!

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