Before I get to the regular post, I want to remind everyone that there's a few more days to enter in my 5 year anniversary giveaway. Read about it here!
This semester I'm taking a class that focuses on the creative process that different authors have and how it effects the final piece of writing. It's very interesting and making me think about drafting and brainstorming more than I ever have before. As readers, we tend to focus on the finished product (i.e. the book), because that's all that we really see, but there's so much more going on behind the scenes that can give major insight into the writer and by extension, the writer's work.
I had all those thoughts about the behind-the-scenes work that happens rolling around in my head when I saw a post that Katie Grace did on her blog A Writer's Faith. The post outlines how she writes her blog posts, which is essentially her creative process. At the end of her post, she said that she was curious to see how other people write their posts, and since I found her post fascinating, I'm going to discuss my own blog posting process.
The Brainstorming Phase:
There's a few different ways that ideas are born. Sometimes ideas just come to me. Usually those spontaneous ideas are born when I want to respond/expand upon something I've heard in class, daily conversation or an experience that I had. These tend to be some of my more personal, opinion based posts.
Sometimes ideas are pulled from my "idea file". I have a little receipt folder that I shove notes in that I scrawl down on scraps of paper. I try to be diligent and keep track of all those little thoughts that pop into my brain, so I can use them when the ideas are running dry.
Sometimes ideas are
And if absolutely NOTHING is coming to mind, I resurrect an old blogging series that I started and never did regularly, but still want to pursue (*cough* Sunny's Guide to Using Your Camera *cough*).
The Checking Phase:
This might sound ridiculous, but it's saved me. Before I start working on a post, especially if it's an opinion post that address some book issue, I do a search on my blog to make sure that I haven't already written about it. I've been blogging for five years, so sometimes I forget what I've written about. The funny part is that usually the repeat post is only a few months old, haha. If the post is older (a year or more) then I'll sometimes write the new post anyways, especially if my thoughts are different/have some new insight. The beauty of writing a blog over the formative years of my life is that my opinions are often changing.
The Writing Phase:
I tend to just sit down and write my post right in the Blogger drafting tool. Some people prefer to write them in Word docs, but that's not for me. Occasionally, I'll jot down a few notes about what I want to talk about in my catch-all notebook, but I tend to just wing it. That's one of the things that I love about blogging. I'm able to write and express myself without having to do the type of prep work that I do so often for my school papers.
There's been a few instances where a post was written in two sittings, especially if it requires a lot of work with graphics or if I'm not 100% sure of how to express myself, and I care a lot about the topic. But generally, I put some music on and sit down for about an hour and write the post out.
The Designing Phase:
Generally this phase happens after the post is written, but if the post is written around photos then I do right after the Brainstorming phase. For example, book hauls and camera how-to posts I usually shoot the photos first.
For the average post that just requires a header image, I design a graphic in Photoshop Elements. I've built up a few stock pieces that makes it easy for me to throw a graphic together. I have my watercolour background file, my favourite fonts (right now Bebas Neue and Sannie) and my pre-sized PSD document. By this point in the process, it's usually well after midnight and I just want to get the post posted.
However, sometimes I like to make my headers look a bit more spiffy. So sometimes I use my own photography as a background. I only ever use my own photos on my blog for copyright reasons, so I try to always take a few good "background shots" whenever I'm out taking photos.
Annnnd if it's really late and I feel that my post is good enough to stand on its own, I just use GIFs.
The Publishing Phase:
90% of the time I write the post, add keyword labels and publish it right away. I'm envious of those people who schedule posts weeks in advance, but I can never get it together enough to do that. But that's okay, it's not part of my process. If I have some time off, I might schedule a post, but usually I don't.
The Proofreading Phase:
This is another one of those silly points. I always publish my post and then do a proof read right after it's published. Most times I find an error, so I quickly go back into the post and fix it. I don't know why I do this, but there's something about seeing it all said and done that helps me find errors (and yes I'm aware that there's a preview function for that purpose). If you're ever extremely earlier to one of my posts you might find some problems, tehe.
The Promoting Phase:
This doesn't even really warrant a category, but it's a part of the process! I usually only tweet about my post, but I always try to wait a day or two, so that the post gets double exposure. First in your blogging feeds, then if you pass over it there, in your Twitter feed. Does this make sense? I don't know, but it's my strategy. Have I ever lured you into a post that you passed up initially in your feed?
Of course this is a streamlined version, because my real process has copious amounts of other internet browsing mixed in between these steps. Overall, it usually takes me between an hour and two hours to write a blog post. I hope that you found this post remotely interesting. I definetly want to hear what your process is like in the comments or in a blog post. Let me know what you think of my process and if you do anything the same as (or drastically different then) me in the comments!
And of course, don't forget to check out the giveaway that is going on right now! Check it out here!
Reading: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's my first time reading LOTR and I'm listening to the audio book and enjoying it a lot. Might post about it when I get the trilogy done!
Listening: The Black Keys
Watching: The Good Wife