How do you write your blog?
I’m just sitting here wondering, how do other people write their blogs and what do you get from it? We all have different methods of going about things. Lately I have been going through some Writer’s Block, or Blogger’s Block and whatever I say just comes out as a mangle – well I suppose to me anyway. Maybe it’s a kind of Writer’s dysmorphia where everything I put down looks like it’s been written by a semi-literate five year old. Fortunately I am getting back on track but unfortunately I have a small pile of uncompleted and need-to-start blog posts that I need to write including the last two Harry Potter review blogs so apologies for the higgle-de-piggledy-ness of it all!
So, dear readers, I have some questions for you all:
- Do you plan each blog post before you even start writing it? If so how – on a piece of paper or on your computer?
- Do you take notes whilst you are reading purposely to help with writing your review?
- Do you have a special format for writing reviews so they all have a similar structure to them all?
- Do you write a lot of blog posts in advance or do you just write them and then publish them the same day?
- What do you do when you just can’t think of anything to write – have you found some books harder to review then others?
- What inspires you when writing a blog post?
- Do you try to aim for a certain style, or voice or do you just let whatever is inside you flow naturally? Casual as opposed to a more formal essay-mode style?
- How long does it typically take you to write a blog post? Do you post it immediately or later?
- Are you using Blogger or Wordpress – or anything else? What made you choose that service over the other? Have you used any other blogging websites other then the one you’re using now?
- Where do you write it? Do you use a blog editor like Scribefire or Windows Live Writer? Do you save the initial body to a Word document or do you just write and edit it online?
- How has your blog changed since you first started it?
To answer my own questions:
1. I don’t sit down and plan everything I post but I often write and re-write it as I go. I’m a pretty rotten planner – never really been able to because I need to see something in its shape before I can really decide what I want to do. So often the first thing I do is just write something fairly rough out and then go back through it and fill in the gaps.
2. No but I often think I should. Sometimes if I leave a review too long and I lose the immediacy of my reaction to the book. Notes would help me jog my memory about how I felt.
3. No, I also think I should try and structure my reviews more. I’ve never been very good at structure because I’m not very good at planning. I usually try to add structure in after I’ve written it – by re-editing it, moving paragraphs around when I float from one thought to the other.
4. No I don’t really – well, yes and no. I have several drafts I’m still writing but I don’t have any completed ones ready and waiting to be posted.
5. Some books are easier to review because I have more to say about them but some books I find hard – because I don’t like talking too much about them due to spoilers. Some books I just plain enjoyed but didn’t resound too deeply with me. If I’m going through writer’s block then I try to write something else, something fresh. If I just sit there trying to force myself to write something it never comes out how I want it. I tend to go off on tangents and ramble a lot and that causes me to lose my way.
6. Inspiration comes from the books I’m reading, other blogs and lately chatting on twitter to all the other bloggers. I really love twitter and it’s a great way to connect with people, plus very interesting to just watch conversations between people.
7. I don’t write formally, but I do try to have a more open, conversational style I suppose. When I’m communicating on message boards etc I even add in a lot of the ums and ers because I tend to just let my fingers type whatever is in my head. On a blog I suppose I might edit those out and I round them off a bit because in the end, a blog is more self indulgent and I am writing with the aim that it’s going to be read.
8. It can take anywhere between half an hour to a couple of hours – but then I might write it in spots and spurts throughout the day or I might sit for a solid amount of time to write it all out.
9. I chose Blogger because it was the one I knew about and it seems the easiest. I did sign up to Wordpress who at the time had a better choice of themes and customisations but it felt complicated and I was used to Blogger.
10. I use Windows Live Writer myself but there are others like Scribefire which you install to your browser and you can just hit F8 and it will pop up however you want it – full screen in another tab or split screen so you can blog and browse websites without switching between tabs. I liked Scribefire but had problems with the titles coming out mangled when I published. I admit I haven’t really used it much since because Windows Live Writer I just find so much easier. It’s a programme that you install to your computer and I find it so much easier to use. I like how you get a full screen to write in rather then that annoying little box.
11. My blog’s only been around for about three months now. Before I used to take part in more memes like the blogger hop and that but I’ve cut down on those now a bit mainly because otherwise it’d all be just too samey. I have a little bit more confidence now and not bothered about making a post every day. I’ve met some fantastic bloggers out there and it’s great feeling more part of the community. I kinda have more of a ‘feeling’ for my blog now and less floaty. How it’ll be in a year’s time though is anyone’s guess!
So how do you write your blog and one last question… what does your blog mean to you?