WRITE by Karindalziel

Commentary | Aug 6, 2010 | 9 Comments

[the passionate blogger]

[how to keep on blogging]

A blog used to take me days and days to finish. My process is 12 steps, which I think is a funny coincidence. I’ve never been in a 12-step program but if you discover one for procrastination, let me know.

Ok, here’s how it went:

  1. I had an idea, usually when I was supposed to be thinking about something else.
  2. I jotted down some thoughts for the idea on a napkin or the notes app on my iPhone.
  3. I came back to the idea another time when I was supposed to be working on something else. I either decided that nobody would be interested in it, or that maybe a few people might actually like it, and I should proceed.
  4. I wrote a very crappy first draft.
  5. I got disgusted and abandoned it for a day or two. Or weeks.
  6. I came back and revised it for a few hours. (Repeat this step a few times.)
  7. I printed it and read it out loud to myself.
  8. I tweaked it some more, then ran spell check. My favorite thing is when it catches a fragment and I can hit “Ignore Rule.” Because I love fragments!
  9. I cut and pasted the “finished” (ha) blog text into my WordPress dashboard.
  10. I previewed the blog several times in WordPress. Because I’m a visual person, I often tweaked the text just based on how it looked on the                 blog. I also tended to notice other mistakes I didn’t catch before because I was rushing. Every time.
  11. Finally, I got tired of the process and decided to publish.
  12. I found more mistakes after it was published. Nearly every time.

This was a tiresome process but I’ve stuck with blogging for a couple of reasons, the most important being that I started it. You can’t just abandon a business blog, especially if you’re a writer. Also, I kept thinking it would get easier. And not too long ago, it actually did. I recently wrote two blogs in 30 minutes each, from concept to completion. It still took some time to upload and review in WordPress, but I didn’t need to do much tweaking.

I asked myself why it was suddenly so easy and “heard” this answer:

I was passionate about the topics.

They were based on my immediate experience and I had a strong opinion about them. I’m usually not forceful in my opinions but with a blog, you can take a stand and then sit back and let others debate it in the comments section. You don’t have to be right; you just have to be able to express your thoughts. That frustrates some critics of blogging, but my blog is not journalism, research, or rocket science. Each post is just the beginning–hopefully—of a conversation.

Another answer could be that I just had a few moments of grace or inspiration. That explanation is OK, but the other explanation gives me hope that blogging will continue to get easier and be more rewarding.

What’s been your experience with blogging—or what obstacles have kept you from starting?

Photo Credit: Karin Dalziel (karindalziel) on Flickr

Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.

9 Comments

Do not, did not and will not Blog, BUT I did write lots of travel article for publication, and still write PR pieces from time to time. Love your 12 step process, and think that the “wait, re-read, re-write, wait” part is very valuable. This percolate and just look different the next morning. However, I’m wondering about what happened to the “let someone else read it before it goes out for good” part. That other pair of eyes (not mine) always catches something that I missed – no matter how many times I’ve re-worked the piece.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Great point. Another set of eyes is really valuable and I always have that in my paid work. For blogs that are primarily commentary, I don’t like to bother my busy friends and colleagues–so, of course, I have to take all the blame for the inevitable mistakes. But in the future when I write blogs that are more informative or “howto” in nature, I will try to run them by someone else first. Thanks!

[Reply]

Lisa H.-S.

8/6/2010

Hmm I think we should do a version of the 12 Steps for blogging..

1. First Admitted we were powerless over the random ideas that come into our heads- that our time had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than the pen writing could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to allow myself to led in random directions in my brainstorming, as I understand it.

4. Made a searching & fearless first draft.

5. Admitted to our Blog, to ourselves and to our trusted network the exact nature of our language wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to rewrite, hack & slash my blog looking for errors in thinking & defects in characters used.

7. Humbly printed and read aloud listening for shortcomings.

8. Made a list with spell check willing to make revisions to them all, expect fragments.

9. Made direct upload to my blog where ever possible except when to do so would infringe on others.

10. Continued to take visual inventory and when needing tweeking promptly changed it.

11. Sought through prayer and consultation our contact with Blog’s readers, hit publish hoping only for their increased knowledge & the power of the internet to carry that out.

12. Having had a exhausting experience we try to carry this message to readers and practice constant revision.

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

My friend, this is the best blog comment event. Please turn it into a post of your own and send me a link when it’s up. Brilliant! p.s. I have friends that joke about “three-steppers” – people who just never can make that fearless moral inventory, or, in your case, never get to the first draft. It’s tough to take that step!

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

I mean EVER not event! Ha! I even need to print and review my own comments!

[Reply]

toonmonk

8/9/2010

I was just following the 12 Steps when I responded!

Any suggestions on revisions in language?

That’s the roughest thing about Blogging..

you are creative department, the production & copy editor!

the stress!

thankfully many of us work from home offices and walking away to put on another hat is very easy!

[Reply]

toonmonk

8/9/2010

[…] as a valid for of writing and it’s stressed me out more than I care to admit.  Her post the ‘The Passionate Blogger: How to Keep on Blogging’ struck something in me.  After a bit of digging online I found the 12 Steps of AA, NA and all the […]

12 steps of blogging: sideway steps into bliggity blogging « billyburgwick

8/9/2010

Dunno, I’m thinking this 12-step approach to writing might drive me to drink! 🙂

[Reply]

Claire Wagner Reply:

Gordon, I just read a great blog on why one SHOULD blog drunk – or as if s/he is drunk!
http://sem-group.net/search-engine-optimization-blog/why-you-should-blog-drunk/

[Reply]

Gordon Smith

8/11/2010

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