I've spent probably way too much time in my life thinking about blogging and trying to make this blog into something interesting for myself and for people who read it. Even though I know that the answer is to post interesting content somewhat regularly, I've wasted countless hours thinking about it and sifting through all of the nonsense about blogging that's posted online. I've realized a couple things about those online blogging tips:
- None of it is as helpful as the author thinks it is.
- No one that writes about blogging touches on how to write interesting content.
- I like to make things difficult on myself.
Some have a process. Some don't. But I thought it would be interesting to start posting their answers. I'll post one every Friday. (if you want to participate, just shoot me a note…I'd love to have more…)
This week, I thought I'd start it off with a friend of mine who is surely the most widely read blogger I know. Her name is Alex, and she blogs at Lateenough.com.
How does your typical blog post come to life?
Luck and organization.
The luck is recognizing that I just experienced, read or watched a good blog post. If I don’t realize until the following day, the moment or the recollection can be lost.
The organization is how I document the experience. My iPhone is instrumental in my process. I take photos of the weird, wacky and beauty around me, which either serve as the foundation of a post or as a memory jog for when I can sit in front of my computer to write. I also use the voice memo app and recite the hilarious, interesting or pathetic conversation I just had with someone. I transcribe it days, weeks, months later to use as a blog post.
I also organize my writing time by first deciding what days I would post. Currently, I post Monday through Friday so I need to write Sunday through Thursday unless I’m having a writing bonanza day where I get multiple posts written for my blog.
This pretty much never happens because I also write 1-3 posts a week for other sites, I usually only have 1-4 hour time blocks to write, and I also can’t, by nature, write 8 posts in row. If I get 2 written in a single time block, I’m having a creatively awesome day. Otherwise, I write the day before the post is due on my blog and a few days before the post is due for other websites.
As I cut back on some work over the last year, I was able to schedule in flex times for writing, which has been huge. My stress level is lower and my writing quality higher because if I’m not feeling creative or have to shift around writing time to fit in my life, I can.
I rarely, if ever, have all my possible writing times open so each week or two, I sit down with my calendar and write out my work hours and what work need to be done so everything has a time and place.
The more I blog, write and organize, the more I see the world forming around stories. Thus, the luck of finding stories grows with practice. But I can’t always see my world in blog form because I miss out on living it.
I turn off my iPhone more today than ever. And I’m a better blogger for it.