17.50: Consistency, Inconsistency, and the Crushing Weight of Expectations

Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Dongwon Song, and Dan Wells

Thanks to some last-minute schedule changes, we almost didn’t have an episode for today. Only three cast members were able to make it to the session, and none of those three had the syllabus. But we forged ahead anyway, and recorded an episode about why we felt it was important to record an episode.

That may sound like one too many layers of meta, but just wait until we add the layers in which this actually applies to writing!

Liner Notes: Dongwon’s newsletter is called “Publishing is Hard.” Dan’s newsletter doesn’t have a name, but can be signed up for here.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Make a list of all of your regular commitments. Consider your bandwidth for adding to that list. Make a rough schedule of content updates for the next month.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

5 thoughts on “17.50: Consistency, Inconsistency, and the Crushing Weight of Expectations”

  1. I certainly agree with everything said.

    For me personally, I was a magazine editor for 20 years. I create my author newsletter the same way I managed magazines. So I do two newsletters a month – one short, one long. (First Tuesday, Last Thursday.)

    I would never do a podcast or join Tiktok. They just aren’t me. That *would* be stressful, for me.

    The one thing people do need is consistency – they need to know what to expect from you, even if it’s “this will be inconsistent”.

  2. Wow, I fell into the trap that Howard wanted to avoid. I used to do weekly posts of flash fiction but then I allowed myself to miss a week and then another one. Scatterings of missed deadlines followed. That turned into “I’m writing a novel, I can’t waste time on weekly stuff”. And that in turn morphed into nothing on my site for months. It also started to roll over into my normal productivity where it’s suddenly ok to just not create.
    I need to get back to consistency otherwise it’s too easy to just let things slip completely away. It’s a balancing act for sure.

  3. This week, Howard, Dongwon, and Dan looked at how audience expectations and weekly scheduling interact with creators. What does your audience expect, when can they rely on you to provide new content, and what commitments have we, as creators, made to the audience? Under-promise and over-deliver. Plenty of good ideas you can read about in the transcript available now in the archives.

  4. Have you read, “Daily Rituals: How Authors Work —Mason Currey,” ?

    If you have, how would you show how you have scheduled your writing hours?

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