Alright - I'm going to speak as a writer on the other side of this fence, aka somebody who hasn't updated since last November (snort that grain of salt, guys): the importance of keeping a schedule, not keeping a schedule, missing an update, creating a buffer, and all of that depends on what you're actually trying to get out of your serial.
When I read what people say about their work here, on Reddit, Scribophile, WattPad, and other places I can't think of right now, the focus is constantly on building an audience. Whenever someone touches on the impact of missing a deadline, it's phrased in terms of reader backlash or drop off. A lot of the fun things we do as a community, like the April Fools swaps and just linking to each other, or even those review trades that I just so utterly loathe on a personal level, are geared towards expanding readership.
Now that's fine, but when everybody says 'consistency is king', it leaves out the people who have any goals that differ from audience building, to the point that you get - like @ubersoft said - people freezing because they think they've failed the 'basic' part of a serial, so they stop. For those writers who just want to finish something, for those working towards an e-book, for those who know they aren't going to be 'stuck' with just this one story, it's content. Content is the king. Everyone's real goal, even if they bury it under a lens of deadlines/speed, is to put up a finished project. Through sheer persistence (and editing, and development), you'll get an audience that grows with you from one project to the next. If you're going the consistent schedule route, those 'projects' are the individual chapters. For the e-book route, the finished project is the serial altogether. Two big extremes, and two completely opposite ends of the same Complete Your Content mission.
The big thing here is that you have take the trade-offs. If you don't keep to a certain pace, you can't whine that you don't have a flood of readers checking in every minute. In the long run, you might do great, but in little snapshots, you're going to see the full force of traffic spikes. But if you're prepared to accept that because hey, the important thing is just completing the content, you'll learn different methods. Thunderclaps are a good one, where your subscription channels ring the bells on those special occasions that you've done it. Natural conversation about techniques with other writers helps a lot, too.
Like @ubersoft and @Walter said, get something out even if you aren't hitting your deadlines, 'cause when we look back on what we've written five years from now, no new reader's gonna come in saying, "HEY I NOTICED A BIG GAP OF ACTIVITY DURING THESE POINTS WHAT'S THE DEAL."