Ebb and flow

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living.

Consistency is key, right?

We’re told all the time – if we write for an audience (blog posts, newsletters, articles), we MUST. BE. CONSISTENT.

Set a posting schedule and stick to it, no matter what. 

It’s what THEY say (I love ‘They’ – it means we can be ‘Us’).

So, when the ‘rhythm of living’ interrupts and we miss our schedule – once, twice, more – we’ve failed. Right?

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change.
This is the rhythm of living.
Out of our over-confidence, fear;
Out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope.
And out of hope, progress.
 Bruce Barton

Bruce Barton was one of the earliest Ad Men heroes of the United States. He’s in their advertising hall of fame. One hundred years ago, he formed the company that was the predecessor to one of the world’s biggest and most successful ad agencies today, BBDO.

He was responsible for writing the unofficial motto of the Salvation Army, ‘A man may be down but he’s never out.’

I’ve only just discovered Bruce but already I like him a lot.

Life does ebb and flow.

So, if we miss a couple of blog post deadlines, have we set ourselves back?

If our newsletter skips two publishing dates, is it cause for self-flagellation?

If we ebb and flow in our content, have we failed?

No.

The most important part of consistency isn’t rigid adherence to our objectives.

Consistency is about caring enough for our audience to keep coming back, time and again, even after the rhythm of life throws us out.

We are not automatons. We don’t set a schedule and stick to it NO MATTER WHAT. We are human and we stumble and we get back up. We are real.

Our audience can connect with us precisely because we are NOT automatons. Real is important now.

Consistency is the part where we get back up as quickly as we can. The ‘quickly’ bit is key – we have to jump back even before we’re quite ready sometimes. Dive into the flow as the ebb is still passing.

I’ve missed a couple of deadlines lately. The ebb got me.

I’m back in the flow now and I hope it will last. But maybe it won’t. Life is like that and we have to save the most compassion for ourselves. I hope you do.

 

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