Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of a thought starter email I got. Since I have been blogging I must have read hundreds of other folks’ blogs. Some blogs are quite short; others (some of mine included) are like a Michener novel. Some blogs have deep emotional aspects that are apparent immediately, others are flippant almost comically. But none of this really mattered until the blogger actually started pulling words from their brain, and putting those words in a form and context others could read and get something from, whether it is a smile or tear.
When I started my blog it was to vent about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which is the terminal disease I have. I created my blog to give me an open forum from which I could write anything on my mind about COPD. Fourteen of my 1st 15 blogs centered on COPD as the prime issue and the 15th was a picture of me. Of the 51 posts I have had so far, 40 of them deal with COPD, so I have kept true to the title of my blog. But recently I have begun to branch out. I still actively write about my dealing with COPD, but now I look for other topics to write about which brings me to my writing process.
In my reading of blogs I find that I can put them in categories, duh that makes sense cause 99 percent of them are already tagged to a category. But to cover my butt, the categories I mean are things like; Technical, Free flowing, Factual and Fictional. To date 99 pct of my writing has been free flowing and factual in nature. I am far too lazy to do an extensive about amount of research to offer any serious technically written blogs. Thus for me to be able to write about something I must have firsthand experience and knowledge. Also, there has to be an emotional connection, and it can’t bore me.
Once I have decided on a subject, I generally stare at a blank word document for several minutes. During this period of visualization, I mentally write my blog. As I do, I will create a list of key words or phrases I want to incorporate into the blog. After my period of visualization I review the key words, and then it begins. The 1st sentence is always the most difficult, but once that is out, the words seem to flow. I am not very creative, so the 1st sentence generally says something like “And Today’s Blog is about….” As you can see, not creative, but at least it’s a starting point. Depending on the subject matter I can write a thousand words in a couple hours or so. Some subjects are just plain word friendly. I recently wrote a blog about the places I lived. That blog was over 2300 words. Also from that blog I will create at least 2 or 3 more blogs, but again it was 2300 words, and I have been advised that is too many for a blog. After the 1st fifteen hundred words or, it becomes my responsibility for finding a clean way to end the blog. I have found this to be more difficult (sometimes) than actually starting the blog. While writing the “Places I Lived” blog, I was about 2/3 thru the places and realized that I was being extremely long winded. Over the final third of that blog, I know I didn’t give those places their due. I didn’t include all that I wanted to include, and all that should be included. But I did manage to get the highlights into the blog. And as I said before, other blogs will grow from those words. A friend and fellow blogger told me that I should try and keep my blogs to about 1000 words, I believe that is very good advice.
So far my writing process begins with thought or idea, visualization while starring at a blank page, free form writing or casual spilling of words, and finally bringing the blog to closure. Once complete I will do a cursory edit, to make sure it is relatively clean and then post.
Notice I haven’t spent much time talking about editing a blog. I normally in process edit. That meaning I edit myself as I write. I do not wait until I am done to carefully reread, correct missed punctuation, and all the other things a good editor would do or would catch in process. Nor do I edit to ensure that the word I typed is the word I meant. Spell check is great if you misspell the word, but sucks if you just used the wrong word. Editing is by far the one action in the process I need to improve. I really need to learn to sit and review my work at least twice before pushing the post button. I am sure my writing would be cleaner and clearer if I did. But as it stands now, I will post after a cursory or superficial review, only to have to again edit after posting. And sometimes edit yet again after posting.
Well I managed to keep this under a 1,000 words, and I wrapped it up pretty cleanly. Now I really should edit it better, but I won’t. I will file this away until after dinner, at which time; I will give it another cursory review just before I hit the post button.
Thanks for your time; I look forward to any and all comments.