Hello, blog. It’s been a while. There are a lot of reasons and excuses for my absence, but most of it comes down to unrealistic expectations and poor planning. In the interest of improving my process for this next iteration, here’s my Retrospective.
What went well?
- I actually launched the blog.
- Great editorial process and feedback.
- I’m pretty lucky that my partner is an experienced editor with a tremendous amount of experience in the publishing industry who doesn’t shy away from being honest with me.
- I feel like I was starting to get better at fitting more into fewer words (see above).
- Good exposure.
What went wrong?
- I underestimated how much time writing and editing each post would take.
- I neglected to take into account time for periodic WordPress maintenance (plugin and core updates, security monitoring, etc).
- This doesn’t take up very much time, but it’s something I’d rather not have to think about at all since it distracts from writing.
- My publishing schedule was too aggressive and added too much stress considering the limited time I have available.
- As soon as I missed my first deadline I stopped posting altogether and actually felt relieved, despite liking the blogging process itself.
- No post backlog to draw from.
- Idea generation, writing, editing, and publishing were all happening just in time to meet each deadline, with no contingency plan.
What could I do differently?
- Commit to a more realistic publishing schedule that allows for more time to generate posts.
- Generate a post backlog to draw from so I can stop the stressful cycle of producing posts just in time.
- Experiment with cross-posting on Medium.com to increase readership.
- Move away from WordPress.
These first two improvements will require discipline but are relatively straightforward and something I can start implementing now. Cross-posting on Medium isn’t strictly necessary, but I’m interested in the experiment regardless of the outcome. And regarding moving away from WordPress – making a move isn’t critical for the short-term, so I need to think this through thoroughly before making any decisions.
What’s a sprint without a timebox? Considering the limited resources I have to invest in blogging, I’ll cap this sprint at 6 months.
So, more of a light jog, really.