We are finally here! The When post. I’ve been dreading this one. Mostly because I have no idea how to answer it. Karandi once wrote a very interesting post on what time of day to publish in order to optimize your schedule. You should maybe go read that so that you don’t feel like your stop by my blog today was a complete waste of time…
So today I wanted to look at the “when” question as a true/false proposition. As in when you should publish something and when you should just leave it in your draft pile forever (or at least, a while). And I am not the right person to ask. Clearly I have zero blogging filter. Honestly, I have very little free time to dedicate to this blog, so if I manage to more or less complete a post, it’s going up. I simply don’t have the luxury of weighing my options if I want to stay on schedule.
Besides, my general view is, when in doubt, publish! Maybe it was a mistake, maybe you’ll get a lot of flack for it but that will still be a learning experience. If you realize the post was hasty and didn’t properly express your point, you can always post a correction/clarification/retraction. You won’t be making the same mistake twice!
At the end of the day, I am not the press and I have never pretended to any expertise. My responsibility is to distract you for a little while. It’s ok if something isn’t perfect the first time around as long as I do my best. But that doesn’t mean everyone sees it that way.
I find that the two most popular reasons to hold back on publication are:
Being a Perfectionist: wanting a post to be absolutely perfect, typo free, impeccably researched and unimpeachable in its conclusions before you hit that publish button is a very admirable goal but it’s also a bit unrealistic. Sure you’ll get quickly and relentlessly corrected in the comments if you get anything wrong and you may even have the occasional reader point out all your grammatical faux pas, but that’s a reality of existing on the internet. You should probably be a touch more diligent than I am if you want to make sure you’re properly understood. In the end though, as long as you’re generally happy with your post, that’s great! Of course we can always do a touch more editing or proofreading but it’s ok. Your readers want to know what you think more than they care about impeccable spelling. At least, I hope; and
Controversy: A lot of people stay far away from subjects that could get readers riled up. That’s a bit silly in my opinion. A teacher if mine once told me that saying anything of any importance is going to upset someone. When ideas matter they stir up feelings. That’s no reason to stay safe and inconsequential. No one learns that way. It’s a nice speech and I agree with it. However I also stay as far away as possible from certain topics or from reviewing certain shows. You gotta pick your battles, right? So if you’re holding back from publishing a post because you fear the backlash, I wish you would share it anyways but I completely understand if you chose not to. I probably wouldn’t either.
On the flip side, considering how sharp comments may affect a blogger is useful too. Of course you are entirely entitled to your opinions and to sharing them. But sometimes more sensitive writers could interpreted them as reasons to stop posting. It’s worth keeping that in mind, especially if you enjoy a diversity of viewpoints and ideas.
Tricky timing is another reason I’ve personally pushed back posts or thrown them out all together. There’s a spooky WordPress synergy that happens from time to time and you end up coincidently writing the same post as a fellow blogger and scheduling them for very close release. Since I read a lot of blogs I actually see this happen on an almost daily basis. It’s not malicious or plagiarism it’s just plain old coincidence but you still feel bad about it. With so many active bloggers in the anime community if course topics are bound to repeat, as long as your post is not word for word, there should be no problem in publishing it.
Of course, if you want to push back your release a bit just so your common readers will not be reading similar thesis over and over again, that’s fair enough. Let me tell you though, it happens all the time, so don’t feel too bad if it happens to you.
You know this post is not all that useful. I’m going back to you should always publish posts. Even bad ones are a learning opportunity. If you stick your foot in your..? I guess mouth isn’t the right word here… Keyboard? You might be lucky enough to have readers that set you straight. Or maybe you’ll end up uselessly arguing, that’s fine too. We don’t always have to agree with each other.
I guess if you’re not doing anything dangerous like doxing people in your posts or illegal, I see no reason to hold back. Some of the most interesting and insightful posts I have read, I completely disagree with. Except the ones that say Natsume is boring. Maybe I’m just lacking in imagination though. Can you guys save this post and let me know when you should avoid publishing a post?