How do you define your update schedule? Thinking about changing mine

I started my fiction serial Awakenings earlier this month with the original intention of doing updates every Monday and Friday. In keeping up with this and keeping myself ahead of my update schedule, I've realized that I probably produce enough material week to week that I could go ahead and do three updates a week rather than two, which would mean that I'm getting up full chapters slightly faster than I am right now.

How has everyone here come to their decisions on how frequently to update their fiction on the web? I'm looking for some thoughts and advice on whether I should increase my update schedule to three updates a week rather than the two I'm doing now.

I update once a week, on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday I post a new chapter on my site, and Thursday I publish a new podcast of whatever was posted on Wednesday.

However, I technically can "update" more than that, since I also have a series of posts called An Informal Guide to Known Space that provides extra worldbuilding information for anyone who is interested in it.

Since I ultimately intend to have at least two or three different kinds of stories updating simultaneously, I think one chapter per week is really the most I can manage. Also, I've noticed that my updates are quite a bit larger than the updates on a lot of other sites... they average between 2-3,000 words per chapter.

Yeah, I average about half that per update (800-1500 words), though a full chapter is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of about 5,000 words (some chapters are longer than others, though).

I'll have to check out your podcast--I've heard of folks doing them, but I've never done them myself.

My experience was that there were weeks when the writing came easily, and there were weeks when it just didn't. I'd advise having a good buffer before you change the frequency. Your readers will get used to whatever you give them, and will be disappointed if you have to cut back (even if you are just cutting back to what it used to be).

Personally, my goal is to have a schedule that I can always make.

If you've got a buffer that makes it easier. If you don't have a buffer, and something happens, you'll have no choice but stop posting.

Another aspect of the conversation is this: Do you have other writing you might want to be doing? For example, you might have a story you don't plan to put online, or you might want to edit what you're putting online for an ebook at some point. If you're writing more quickly than you need to, you can do that. If you're putting everything online immediately, you can't.

I do have a several chapter buffer at this point, so that helps to alleviate concern about getting behind (I'm currently in the process of posting chapter 2 while I'm just finishing up the writing of chapter 7).

My posting schedule is based on how much money I think is reasonable to ask per episode per week.

I started out with a daily schedule just because I wanted to get stuff out there. Without a buffer. This is insane and I would advise against it.

You've got the opposite problem: you're way ahead and you're not sure if you want to keep the buffer at its current size or to update faster. I think the big question is, what kind of writer are you? Are you more productive with a tight deadline, or do you get stressed out when your buffer is running out?

A little bit of neither and both at the same time! I'm ending up pretty far ahead right now because the characters are really, really talking right now. I just need to stay far enough ahead to handle the weeks writer's block hits (or when everything I seem to be writing feels like crap).

Thanks to everyone for the words of advice and discussion of possible pitfalls and such I hadn't thought of. I've decided to increase my update schedule to three days a week.

I post once a week, every week, on Sunday mornings (my time). Sometimes I have had up to 9 weeks scheduled in WordPress. Other times I have been flying by the seat of my pants... but I have always posted once a week on Sunday morning, like clockwork.

The only exception was four weeks when I scheduled "omake" instead of posts because I was overseas.

I've seen other discussions (on from experienced Webficcers like MeiLin Miranda that an update schedule of two to three posts a week is optimal, even if the posts are shorter, so if you can sustain it, going to three updates a week is probably a good move. However, only if you can sustain it! Good luck. :)

I think I'll be okay. I finally did the actual mapping yesterday on a hardcopy and realized I have this thing written out into the second week of July. Even if I scale back my writing pace, I'll still be well on-target for updates going forward.

This was a good week to make a decision, too! I had a reader yell at me for Monday's cliffhanger chapter ending.