January 10, 2021

An Update to My Newsletter Approach: Shorter, More Regular, Less Perfect Posts

Communication
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I’ve been writing about 1.25 blogs a month over the last five years, and I’ve sent them to this list as newsletters. Thanks for being and staying here.

I take a lot of time writing these posts. I have them edited. I try to have a “Conscious Leadership teaching moment” in each post. I usually write them in a 15-minute burst of thought and then spend a week refining them. As such, I have a backed-up list of about 75 topics that I’ve never written on. The task seems daunting.

I wrote a post two days ago about a thing that happened. I learned a ton from the thing. I shared it with my editor, and she made great edits as she does, and then she said: “I’m not sure I can find the actual ‘why’ people should read this and care.”

In that one statement, a perfect push, I realized this system isn’t working for me anymore. I wrote this in reply:

Here’s what I’m struggling with and your feedback helped me see it - THANK YOU.

I feel certain that having to include a “why read this” intentionally is something that keeps me from writing and just publishing on a more steady cadence. It feels like I have to have more purpose, more teaching context.

I follow some bloggers (mostly men) who don’t do this on the nose, though I do learn from them. But they post almost daily about something on their mind. I’m interested in about 25% of the posts, and I stay subscribed with that ratio.

What I’m not sure of is whether simply posting MORE often with LESS explicit value might lead to a bigger and even more engaged audience. I think I might actually ENJOY writing more if I allowed myself that permission.

However, I can’t tell if:

  1. I’m dodging responsibility and being lazy
  2. Nothing I say is that worthy, and I should just post less often and include a “why” so that my more occasional posts have some merit
  3. My audience will stay the same or even shrink if I post more

I think with some of these other people, it’s not always what they say it’s WHO THEY ARE plus what they say that makes things powerful. Their point of view adds value just by them being them.

But…I may not be “good” or “big” or “interesting” enough to have that effect.

She replied. She understood. And I decided to give myself permission to blog the way I want to. I want to enjoy this pursuit for its own sake, and setting up some theoretical hurdle of “value,” “merit,” or “why,” is one of the most reliable ways I see people unconsciously committed to staying small.

So I may be writing for me. I may be writing for you. I may just be writing. But you’ll hear from me more often with shorter posts that vulnerably and authentically share my perspective in the way that I see it.

I hope you like that. And either way, thanks for being with me on this journey.

Sue Heilbronner

Sue Heilbronner is the CEO of MergeLane and a Conscious Leadership executive coach and consultant.

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