Blogger Confessional: My Writing Process


[screenshot from my recent vlog]

Today I'm participating in a blog chain linkup of sorts. It's like a blog tour, where each blogger writes about a specific topic and then passes it on! I got tagged by Allie (read her writing process post here), and I'm tagging Jenny.

To be honest, I feel like calling this a blogger confessional is a tad dramatic. I'm not going to be sharing any dark secrets or anything, but I liked how it sounded, so I'm going with it.

I feel like I'm constantly working on blog posts in my head. Sometimes I fall asleep composing posts. It's crazy how much blogging changes how I think.

Specifically, three things right now are in progress:

My Project 12 recap post for May. I try to add things throughout the month so I don't have to try to remember it all at the end. Those posts are my favorite to write, I think. I've never been a fan of weekend or weekly recap posts, but this monthly recap is totally working for me!

Runners Tell All is on Wednesday! We'll have another giveaway and another fun prompt for you guys, so I hope you come back and join in. This is seriously the most fun I've ever had with a linkup, besides maybe the Blog Every Day in May that I did last year. That was fun too.

My FOUR-YEAR blogiversary is on Saturday! I can't believe it. I'm not going to have a huge giveaway or anything (read: hashtag budget problems), but I am going to have a mini giveaway Lady Okie style and a four-question reader survey! If you missed the answers to my last reader survey, head over and check it out.

I'm planning on posting my blogiversary on Thursday night so you can read it before the long weekend. I don't want it to get sucked into the black hole of vacation posts. So check back, please!

On the surface, it's easy to think of all "lifestyle" blogs as the same, but each one is so different because each blogger is different. I know. I'm a genius.

Over the last couple of years, I've really tried to focus on posting quality content even if it means fewer posts. And I guess I'll toot my own horn a bit: I think I'm a good writer. I can write funny pretty well, and I like to think my blog offers some encouragement and inspiration and a glimpse of my real life with a "quality over quantity" kind of feel to it. 

I put a lot of pride into my blog and want everything I do on here to be fully "me."
Also, side note: I hate myself just a little bit for all the air quotes in this answer.

The short answer is that I write what I feel inspired to write about. A big part of that is what I think will make a good story and what I want to remember.

My funny family stories are some of my favorite posts, because I can practice my creative writing skills and at the same time write down a memory. I love going back and reading through my archives and running across things I'd forgotten about. It's probably the best part of blogging, second only to the awesome people I've gotten to meet both in person and online!

I've talked before about how I don't have a posting schedule. This is largely due to the fact that I don't have sponsorships. Right now my process is based on A) whether I feel like writing and B) whether I have time to write. I pretty much always have a post topic in mind, but it comes down to time and motivation. Sometimes I don't feel like writing, and when it comes to blogging, I've learned not to force it. 

More specifically, most of my blog posts are crafted in my head first, either while commuting to and from work or running. I seriously write the best blog posts while I'm out on a run. (Can I get an amen from my runner friends?)

I need to at least know what the first couple of lines of a post are going to be. After that, I just type whatever comes to mind. My friends all say that when they read my blog, it's like I'm talking to them. My writing is largely stream of consciousness and is pretty much how I speak (for the most part). 

After I'm done with a post, I go back and edit. I know most of my posts border on obnoxiously long (at least compared to a lot of other bloggers who post tiny things compared to my novels), but believe me when I say that my posts are edited way down from what they were originally. You're welcome.

I edit my post a few times, checking for grammar and such. Then I add the title. Sometimes it takes me a while to come up with a good title. After I hit "publish," I'll read through it again and correct any more typos I see (there's always at least one gosh darn it).

From start to finish, photo editing included, it takes bare minimum one hour to put a post together. That's a conservative estimate. It's more like 1.5-2 hours on average, sometimes longer. That's why it blows my mind that people can post 5 days/week. There's no way.

Since this is a confessional, I'll admit something I'm kind of ashamed of: I read back through my own posts a lot. Like, a lot. Sometimes I'll read an old one and be like, "This is hilarious!" Yes, I'm that blogger who reads their own posts and then is all, "Wow, self, you're such a good writer." Humility is not something I was blessed with.

So that's it! A little bit of insight into my blogging life.

Like I said, I tagged Jenny, who's going to write something in a week or so. And of course if you want to answer these in a post of your own, go ahead! Leave me a link in the comments or shoot me an email. I'd love to read about your process too. Thanks again to Allie for tagging me!

Tell me: What are you working on right now?
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shelleystirs said...

I don't have anything in particular that I am working on, but I do have some writing prompts saved in a file which I use when I'm looking for inspiration. I plan to use one this week if I have time to write.

Tara said...

I "mentally blog" while running too! that's when my mind feels the clearest :)

Niken said...

wow, you really take this seriously. haha. right now i'm working on a movie promo & roadshow after a theatherical release series and it takes all my brain. le duh. basically writing lots of release, write out, proposals, blablabla. also, translation for anything that needs to be translated. it's been a long time since the last time i write something fun, i guess.

Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

I love that you pointed out that each blog is unique since the writers are unique, I often have to remind myself of this when I am thinking really who wants to read that halfway through a post I am doing!

Rachel said...

I totally re-read my own blog posts all the time, because I think I'm brilliantly hilarious. :) I figure, I have to make sure at least one person really, really enjoys my blog posts--so as long as I always do, I've met that goal. And editing definitely takes a while! I tend to write my posts pretty far in advance so that I can contemplate them for a while and go back and edit before I publish.

Ashley said...

I really enjoyed this post. I tend to overthink blogging. I always think I have to have a "themed" blog, but then I get bored with that theme and want to change everything. I love "The Lady Okie" blog, so I like reading about how you blog.
Just to confirm your suspicions, you are a good writer and you write funny very well. :)

Kristen said...

yay for 4th blogiversary! this was a fun post. i absolutely fall asleep with blog ideas, and of course cant remember them in the morning. i always read my posts, and preview them a thousand and one times before posting, haha. and yes to the blog posts while running - running is my fave time to think about things, including blogs lol.

Allie @ Everyday Adventures said...

I also go back and re-read my own blog more than I am willing to admit! Part of it is thinking that I am just that awesome of a writer (uhhhh), but more often than not, I just like remembering the things that I thought were worth writing down.

Ali said...

I feel like my blog posts are so all over the place. I also love going back and reading some of my older posts, just to revisit those memories. I love the Runner Tell-All link up you're doing, those are some of my favorite posts!

Katie @ Live Half Full said...

I come up with my best posts while walking to and from the train and running- but, I forget the running ideas by the end. ;)

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

You are funny! And I mean that in the best way. I read old blog posts. Some I cringe at and some I add more pictures and some I just love! What I'm working on ... well I'm about to go work on my Runners' Tell All post because um ... I host it and don't have that post yet. ha ha.

Jennifer Prod said...

definitely agree on letting the blogging come naturally - not trying to force anything- and focusing on quality over quantity. and giiiirl, you are funny - that's my favorite reason to come over here :)

Courtney said...

Dude, I LOVE reading my own posts. There have been so many times where I've texted Jim and been like "That moment when you just wasted an hour reading your own archives..."

I also fall asleep crafting posts in my head. Trouble is, they are way more awesome as I'm falling asleep than when I wake up later.

Unknown said...

I am with you on striving for quality over quantity! Writing posts really can take so long, and sometimes I am just not in the mood! Never a recipe for a good post. My favorite blogs/blog posts to read are the ones with some extra thought behind them, not necessarily the ones who have something to offer every day. Hmmm, must be why I like yours so much! Well, that and the fact that you are a good, funny writer :)

My confession: I totally read old posts over and over, too.

Unknown said...

Oh man, I read this last night! I love reading your long posts, which is a big deal for me because long posts are hard for me to get through.

Anonymous said...

I craft posts in my head too! They usually come to me when I'm walking or driving.

Also, can I say your post topics have been kicking so much ass lately?

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

It's weird because my posts are all over the place but so am I, I have too many hobbies!! The photo editing takes the longest amount of time. I try to write most of my posts Sunday night with some photo editing to do, but I'm usually doing it last minute too!

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! Well thanks :) I thought this was a fun one. I am always so interested in other people's processes of blogging/writing.

Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

Running, showering, or any time that I do not have a writing utensil is OF COURSE when all the best ideas come! Also, when I want to make an old recipe, I just google search my own blog, sooo I'm right there with you in terms of embarrassment.

Raige Creations said...

I tend to write when trying to go to sleep at night.
But then, when I wake up in the morning, I don't remember what I wanted to write....
Not the best system.
Oh, and I constantly read over my old posts...often wondering why I was a better writer then than now...
It is all a Work In Process.

Amber Marie said...

I enjoyed Blog Everyday in May also! And my blog birthday is TODAY! Our processes seem similar but I wish I could get more content out on my individual posts though. I completely agree with quality over quantity! Totally separates good blogs and GREAT blogs :)

Anonymous said...

haha I love this post! I don't know how other bloggers post daily or almost daily. It takes me FOREVER to just put together one post. It is funny how your mind set changes once you become a blogger. You should see my kitchen table, about half of it is covered in notepads, sticky notes, etc. I have about 6 or so blog post ideas but just don't have the time to get them all written out, edited, graphics added, etc.
Haha I'm glad you hear that I am not the only one who reads through past posts. I too will catch myself laughing at my posts and think, "man, am I funny".

Saba said...

omg you ARE hilarious and I hope that you will bless us with your humble hilarity for many many years to come!!


Betsy said...

I'm sorry for the lame "omg great post" comment, but: omg, great post. seriously. these confessions are WHY I love your blog. I feel like blogging is such a navel-gazing activity but when it's done with self-awareness it becomes AWESOME and that's what your approach has. does. is.

grammar my friend is not today?