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What's holding you back from creating as much content as you would like to?

Stephanie Morillo
πŸ‡©πŸ‡΄ I'm a Technical Program Manager and Content Strategist with an MSc in UXD. I help developers become better content creators and DevRel teams build robust content programs.
・1 min read

It's almost March, and many people set goals at the beginning of the year when it came to content creation. Maybe that's the case for you, or maybe you've only begun on your journey.

If so, how are you doing so far? Are you creating as much content as you wanted to? If so, what's helped you, and if not, what roadblocks are you facing?

Discussion (4)

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_garybell profile image
Gary Bell

I've mentioned on Twitter that time is my great holdback.

So far this year I've kept to my posting twice a week, but that kind of cadence is so incredibly time consuming. It uses up all my free time. If I was to go back 10 years, I'd have had the time to undertake that cadence, and be comfortable with it. But I didn't have a family life back then.

To put figures on it, I generally get 2-3 hours on 3 evenings a week to myself. That is the sum total of my free time before I need sleep. The rest of my time is work, family, or sleep. Less than 10 hours per week to create two articles, review drafts, find or create headline images, create the posts to Twitter, create the cross-posting to Dev to help build the audience. Some days I just don't feel like writing, so that's 2-3 hours lost.

For the first time since November I have no content scheduled for my blog. I have enough in drafts to polish off and cover half of my schedule for the next 3 weeks.

I've got the ideas for what to write, which could sustain my planned output until June with no further ideas. It's just some of those need time to properly research and structure.

Despite my best efforts, I'm going to have to change my plans for content so I can actually do more than just write. I want to be able to learn things and do things, then post about those where I feel there's a benefit to others. If I don't my career will stall because I'm not building my skills, and my content will dry up naturally anyway as I run out of things to write without doing the research.

Plans are great, and I would love to have the time to create more content, learn new things, create or contribute to other projects, and still have down-time. But the reality is that there's only a small number of hours in a day, and I am only human.

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Alex Zherdev

I can definitely commiserate with what you're saying here, especially this bitβ€”you're definitely not alone:

If I was to go back 10 years, I'd have had the time to undertake that cadence, and be comfortable with it. But I didn't have a family life back then.

With regards to needing more time in-between the writing, I liken this to negative space in art, or perhaps to silence in music. It's possible for a melody to go on and on without pause, but it wouldn't be the most enjoyable to listen to. Great composers treat silence as a first-class citizen (to borrow some tech lingo). The melody needs to both breathe in and out to keep the listener engaged. Likewise a writer needs some breathing room, otherwise there's just no way to keep producing engaging content.

I don't know if that analogy makes sense, but your plan, to me, does.

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Megan Sullivan

I've had a hard time maintaining momentum. I'll have surges of creativity, which I'll use to build up a backlog of ideas or rough outlines, but then after publishing one or two of them I find my attention drifts and I want to work on something else for a while. And then I never end up coming back to the rest of the ideas in the backlog.

This year, I set a goal to spend at least 10 minutes a day writing (or outlining content to write). I wanted to try and build up a habit of writing consistently. I've been able to stick with it so far, since it's a small goal, but (unsurprisingly) it's hard to make significant progress on a post in 10 minutes. I've ended up just bouncing around between ideas in the backlog, adding a few more details at a time.

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James Sinkala

Took some tips you and some other writers shared in here around late November 2020 on technical writing, two that have helped me enormously are not to overthink it and just start writing and consistency. I've been posting weekly since then, haven't and not planning on breaking that streak. I've even been able to make some content for pay on some platforms and recently received an offer to write for another one.

I'm a developer first, but didn't think that I'd come to love technical writing this much. I enjoy sharing what I learn and create on my coding adventures and writing has become a way to help me do just that since open sourcing my code was the only way I could before and currently I just can't stop writing.

I get to learn lots while doing research on my article subjects and writing in general has opened up a new world to me.

Can't thank you (and others in here) enough for the valuable insights you share with this community.
Keep it up and have a great one.