Those of you who have been around for a while might remember that I like to write in layers. If you’re new, the idea is that I typically don’t write these posts (or anything else) in one sitting. I write slowly, building up the layers of an idea over time, which means I always have a few things in the works. I keep an eye on the calendar (I typically post once a week), but I’m usually not too particular about when I publish the things I’m writing. I like it that way.
But today, I’m doing things a little differently. I’m writing and posting in the same day. (Gasp!) Here’s why.
Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with a couple of fellow creative entrepreneurs about the importance of consistency. We talked about content specifically, but the conversation naturally shifted into talking about why consistency in your business is important.
Excited by the whole thing (I love a good creative conversation, and consistency is my thing), I tweeted about it. And I got a great response from someone who reminded me that flexibility is also important.
YES. I couldn’t agree more. Flexibility is just as important as consistency, and might even be what makes consistency work—because it means you don’t stress over perfection. You have a plan, but you know it’s ok if things change.
Flexible consistency is a big theme for me today for a few reasons, two of which I’ll share below.
1 | Consume Mindfully
All last month, I talked about the ebook I’ve been planning to release, called Consume Mindfully: Clarity and Consistency for Information Overwhelm. Last week, I announced my intention to launch it last Friday. You’ll notice it’s now Wednesday, and I haven’t yet said, “Hey! It’s live!” That’s because it’s not. The content is done, but I’m having a few technical glitches. Nothing I can’t handle, but enough to cause a delay.
If I were focused only on consistency, I would be freaking out about not having done something when I said I would. But I’m being flexible, and I’m remembering that every single one of you has had something not quite work out they way it was planned. I’m not alone, and I’m not upset. (Read more about how you can handle it when things go awry.)
2 | Today’s post
I had planned to post about Consume Mindfully today, but since it’s not ready, that means I now have to post about something else. I could have:
a) Skipped a week
b) Put up a post like this one, letting you guys know I needed a bit of a break
c) Polished another post from my writing-in-layers file
All of those are fine options (I don't love the idea of skipping a week, but I wouldn't panic over it). But instead, I decided to:
d) Talk about what’s happening
If I were focused only on consistency, I would once again be freaking out right now. (I worry a lot, so it’s not all that unrealistic.) But the thing is, I don’t need to freak out—because I’m being flexible. First, I already have a few posts in the works, so it wouldn’t have been hard to share one of them instead. But second, I’m willing to break my own rule (the one that says I always write in layers, over time) and be flexible with my process.
So what you can learn from my situation? (I try to always bring it back to you, so I’m not just rambling over here.) Know that consistency is important, but that if you can’t be flexible, you’re just chasing perfection, and we all know how that story ends. Be honest about what you’re facing, whether it’s that you had a technical glitch or you’re just having an overwhelming week, and I bet people will relate to you even more—we’ve all had something go wrong. And above all, be kind to yourself.
P.S. Since we’re talking about consistency, I’ll give you a little peek into the behind-the-scenes over here! I’m hard at work on a class about content consistency, which will include the idea of writing in layers, plus accountability and support to get you writing and sharing consistently—something I know is hard for a lot of people. If you’re super interested, or have things you know you’d love to learn about in the class, shoot me an email. I LOVE hearing from you guys! (As usual, I'll share details with my email list first. You're welcome to join us!)
P.P.S. (Aren’t I chatty today?!) Speaking of consistency and self-kindness, a few months ago (!), I mentioned that I wanted to start writing for myself again. I’ve revived my personal blog, Dearingford, as a place to share my observations and stories. So far, I’ve only shared a visual project I’m working on—taking a photo each morning of 2015—but I’m working on some other, written stories to share. But you’ll notice if you hop over there that I haven’t shared a photo every day. I’m being easy on myself, and while I’m striving to take a photo a day, I’m not letting it derail my whole life if I don’t. Flexibility. Self-kindness. They matter!