In 2018 I wrote 52 blog posts on a cruise and scheduled them for the following year. They actually ended up lasting more than a month longer because of other posts I wrote in real time throughout the year. I originally did this because I wanted to find a way to eliminate the weekly pressure of having to come up with a topic and write, but I've continued it for a second year because, in addition, I think it produces better quality posts.
Last year when I did this I didn't have any posts I was burning to write. When I revealed what I had been doing, a couple people gave me the feedback that the posts felt a little bit forced and not written out of excitement. I could see their perspective and I think that it was the result of having to come up with so many ideas in such a short time.
This year was the opposite. I had so many posts that I was dying to write all year, so I put them in a text file. When time came to write them I was bursting at the seams to go. I hope that the enthusiasm has come through this year.
I really liked that I could go over my entire year and see what topics I hadn't covered enough and which ones I'd written too much about. I haven't looked through previous years to verify, but it feels like these years, especially this one, have been pretty well balanced.
As I'm always saying, working on cruises is my favorite because it doesn't feel like work. Every day after having a leisurely tea with my friends I'd crack open my laptop, write the five posts that I was most inspired to write, and then get back to the cruise. Knowing how easy it was to produce this volume from last year made me feel even more relaxed this year, and as a result I was able to go into more depth with no time pressure.
Now that I've written all of the posts it feels as though my tank is empty and that I won't possibly come up with another 52 topics for next year, but somehow I don't think that will be true. I suppose that by the time you're reading this I will have already finished writing the next year's posts.
If I can come up with enough good ideas, I'd like to start writing 52 posts twice per year so that every year I grow another year of runway. That would allow me the luxury of continuing my blog after I'm dead or lose interest in blogging, whichever comes first.
I hope that you've liked this years posts. Looking over the huge list of things I've writen in the past couple weeks I'm really excited for a lot of these posts to go live. I'm planning on posting the most timely ones first and leave the evergreen ones for the end.
Thanks a lot for reading and for being open minded to my new way of posting. If you have any ideas for new blog posts, there is an excellent chance that I will write about them, and if you have any feedback on how I can make my batch-writing process better for readers, I'd love to hear that as well.
My plans were foiled a little bit this year because coronavirus canceled my two spring cruises, so I still haven't written next year yet. I have a few left besides this but they are posts I am delaying because they don't make much sense during coronavirus.
I guess now I'll just do an imaginary home-cruise and write five posts a day until I have the next year down. I have 30-35 topics chosen, so I'll also brainstorm some more (or maybe you'll email me to suggest one?)
Two weeks ago I flew to help a family member move across the country. I was the only one on the plane, as seen in the photo up top.
I love San Francisco so much that every time I return here from a trip, I resolve to stay for a while and enjoy the city. That never happens. Next week I'm going to Tahoe, then Vegas the following weekend, and then to Austin for SXSW the week after that. Cabo or Hawaii follows in early March, but in late April comes the most exciting upcoming trip: a sixteen day cruise to Rome.
Cruises are full of old people. As best I can tell, that's because young people haven't figured out how awesome and cheap they can be. In fact, I can easily say that of all the travel I've done, cruises probably represent the best bang for the buck.
Before I tell you how to get them cheap, let me tell you why cruises, especially long duration one-way cruises are amazing.
One of my favorite aspects of cruises is that they can take you to places you may not otherwise visit. For example, the cruise my friends and I are taking stops in the Azores, Seville (Spain), Valencia (Spain), Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Without cruising, I probably would never make it to the Azores, and those southern Spanish cities are unlikely as well. They're just too remote and too expensive to come up at the top of my list when choosing a trip.
After reading Tynan's post about his writing process, I was surprised that most of his posts were written in less than 25 minutes. Wow. In case you don't know, Tynan is an excellent blogger and most of his posts are more than 800 words long.
My average post takes me more than an hour to write, and I'm nowhere near as good at the moment. There's is clearly a lot of room for improvement. This is the first time I'm regularly writing a blog (or anything for that matter), which partially explains why it takes me so long to write my posts.