What to Post When You Don’t Have Time to Post
This post was neither inspired by real life nor dashed off in the ten minutes before I run to work. Would I lie to you? Almost certainly. But here’s how it is — sometimes you just don’t have time to get a post up to your blog on schedule. Whatever your schedule may be (mine’s Monday-Wednesday-Friday, for the newcomers) something eventually gets in the way. The kid gets sick, the dishwasher overflows, you work three jobs already and need to devote your morning hours to stumbling around the kitchen mumbling “ah, ah” like the No-Face from Spirited Away — whatever. Something’s still gotta happen, right? Can’t disappoint the loyal readers, or you won’t have any. So not to mince words, I recommend cheating in the following ways:
Use a Back-up Post. Obviously the best solution, right? Have a small stockpile of “emergency posts” and grab one whenever you’re running late. The biggest problem with this approach is that it requires you to write back-up posts when you have spare time and use them when you don’t, meaning that it’s very hard to sustain if you have more days that are short on spare time than long on it. Wednesday’s post was a good example of one of my emergency posts — a little off-topic; a little more pared-down and less thought out than my usual fare. It was also the last in the stack, hence this hastily-scribbled beast.
Borrow Shamelessly. Read anything funny on the web lately? Link it, come up with a vague justification for why your audience cares about it, and call it a day. This blog has a category called “Writing Links,” and it consists entirely of posts that follow the same formula. Mind you, they were all pretty directly writing-related — cute kitty videos from YouTube may not win the hearts and minds of your audience (then again it might). Use your best judgment. But it’s a good way to generate content without doing more than five minutes of actual work.
Talk Up Fellow Bloggers. Nobody is ever going to be mad at you for telling other people to read their blog, right? And they often reciprocate, making a two- or three-sentence post along the lines of “Busy day for me, but everyone should go check out This Awesome Person because his/her blog is almost as excellent as mine” a great way to get some incoming links for your own page. I’m not going to name any names in this post, because I’ll probably need to link them some day when I’m short on time (also there’s an admittedly-neglected selection of links on the side of my page if you really want to know some of the blogs I’m following regularly).
Con Someone Into Guest-Blogging. I almost talked O Best Beloved into writing today’s post, but she does about as well in the early morning as I do. She started a draft while I was in the shower, and by the time I got out the content read:
Here comes O.B.B. on her pony,
pony pony pony pony,
pony pony pony pony,
pony pony pony.
There are actual words to that song, but she just likes the part about ponies (despite what this and the post about my teddy bear may suggest, O Best Beloved and I are honest-to-god adults). The point here is that you can sometimes get a friend, whether they’re from your personal life or your circle of writing-and-blogging friends, to write a quick emergency post for you. Just remember that they’re doing you a favor, and be sure to tell them it was wonderful even if they wrote a song about ponies. Especially if they wrote a song about ponies!
Apologize Profusely. This is sort of a last-ditch solution, but if it’s all you have time and brain-power for it’s still better than nothing. Swallow your pride, write a few short sentences about not having time to post today, and go do what needs to be done. Go heavy on “sorry about missing today’s post” and light on the details of why (unless they’re hilarious), otherwise it sounds like you’re making excuses and/or whining.
And, last but not least, I highly recommend getting inspired in the shower and writing a quick, helpful set of suggestions on how to deal with your exact situation! Because realistically it’s something that other writers and other bloggers are dealing with, and there’s nothing wrong with pandering.