Two days before I was supposed to publish my weekly blog post, a crazy idea became lodged in my mind: for Israel’s 69th birthday, find out what 69 successful women love about Israel. I had no idea how I’d meet my objective in two days, but I ran with it.
The post did NOT take two days to produce. It took close to 69 hours in 6 days. And without the love, support, and encouragement of my family and friends, it would have never happened.
My secret weapons in producing this post were my husband and children, who encouraged me to no end, served me food and drink at my desk and made close to zero demands on my time; Vered Cohen Barzilay who opened magical doors, offered incredible insight and offered so much support and encouragement; Ruth Ebenstein who ceaselessly opened doors and offered much needed support; and Orly Izhaki and Miri Bar Natan who acted as my sounding boards and encouraged me to let my post take its first breaths.
I learned a thing or two writing 69 Things Israel’s Successful Women Love About Their Country. Here are some of those lessons.
1. Plan ahead.
Two days is NOT enough to produce a high quality, long and successful list post. Of course the post did not take me two days and I was four days late. Plan ahead. But not just to get your post out on time. Plan ahead, because you’ll have more time to make your post the best it could be.
2. When people offer to help, say yes.
As women, sometimes it’s difficult for us to accept assistance; sometimes we even think that we really don’t need the help. While I knew that I could use some help, I didn’t realize just how much help I needed.
3. Keep everything in one place.
Or at least try to. I had people sending me their entries via Facebook Messenger, email and WhatsApp. What’s worse is that I had some women contacting me on more than one application. Bad idea. In one case, I received someone’s title in WhatsApp and their entry via email. I botched up their title. Not good.
4. Offer Diversity.
One of the things I love about the post is that it includes women from many stratas of society – different business sectors, political leanings and different levels of religiosity. And while I wasn’t able to reach more minority women in such a short time (see #1 above), being diverse was a right choice; it not only makes things more interesting, it is a better reflection of ourselves as a society.
5. Don’t be scared to edit.
Ultimately I had more than 69 women offering insight. And lucky for that, because some entries were incomplete and I needed some to fall back on. I didn’t feel great about having to omit some entries, but sometimes you have to do the difficult job of being an editor to help make your post great. In upcoming list posts, I’ll be sure to go back to those women whose entries I greatly appreciate but couldn’t include this time, and hopefully they’ll agree to contribute again and I’ll be able to include their entries.
6. Rank Alphabetically.
If your list post is made up of people, rank alphabetically. By not ranking alphabetically, you may find yourself inadvertently offending someone. And that’s the last thing you want to do.
7. Done is better than perfect.
My list would have been better served if it was more visual. More visually interesting = more shareable. But the constraints of time and my certain lack of tech-know-how were obstacles. Get rid of the obstacles and get things done. Getting things done instead of getting things perfect also teaches you (read: it taught me) not to be scared. Life is a learning process. So is writing shareable blog posts.