Can an Editorial Calendar Help You Beat Writer's Block?

2 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

You may have considered using an editorial calendar for your blog for lots of reasons, including: general organization, consistency, marketing/social media planning, and staying current/seasonal with content. An additional reason many bloggers use editorial calendars is to ward off writer’s block.

Conversely, other bloggers trying to avoid writer’s block feel that editorial calendars can actually be part of the problem.

Image: chrisjtse
via Flickr

What exactly is an editorial calendar? They come in many flavors from mapping out high-level themes by week or month to more granular versions with specific content/titles mapped out by date.

Basically, your editorial calendar drives what content you publish and when.

Benefits

Because an editorial calendar allows you to lay out the topics you plan to cover in advance, many writers feel it eliminates the last-minute content scramble that most of us find stressful.

Without the stress of coming up with content as you go, bloggers are free to use that time to do other things, like researching, creating images, and writing the content in an environment uninhibited by anxiety. This can be a key element in getting the words to flow freely.

Bloggers who have experience with copywriting or freelancing may gravitate towards stricter editorial calendars based on their past practice producing written deliverables under specific constraints. Even without that experience, many find that they prefer using an editorial calendar to keep from getting "blocked."

“I find it much easier to write when I don’t have to come up with an idea at the same time!” – Jennifer of Mommies Drink

Drawbacks

Other bloggers feel that following an editorial calendar can put the brakes on creativity. They see it as a set schedule to adhere to and may get caught up in checking off the boxes or feel forced to deliver content even when uninspired.

Writers who find prompts and theme-writing confining often prefer a different approach for managing writer’s block.

This faith-and-family blogger is in that camp:

“I find that it puts more pressure on me. A lot of my articles are written in the moment because I am a parent. I do, however, use a leather-bound notebook, and if or when I get an idea, I will write it down. I will admit it is not the best way to arrange my thoughts, but organized chaos works for me. On the flip side, since opening my blog to guest writers, I post a monthly theme to help organize submissions.” – Sarah of Heartskeeper 

If you like the idea of an editorial calendar but are concerned that it will inhibit your writing, consider a more flexible version of the editorial calendar. Rather than using it as a strict outline, try setting it up with several theme choices each month to give you some broad direction while allowing you to choose based on what you are inspired by most when it comes time to write. Think of it as an idea tracker and tighten or loosen it as needed based on what works for you.

Join us every Friday in March from 12-1 pm CT under hashtag #BlogHerU for a Twitter chat on avoiding writer's block.

Susan Maccarelli, 

Founder, Beyond Your Blog

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