Is there a ‘right’ way to blog? Reflections three months in

Three things have prompted this blog post.

First, three months into my solo-blogging venture, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I approach the process in the ‘right’ way.

Second, in a recent LSG webinar there was a lively discussion in the chat pane about whether or not a blog constitutes ‘creative writing’.

And third, I stumbled across this post from Pushing Social about what ‘quality content’ is.

When Good To Great was just a gleam in my eye, I brainstormed potential blog post ideas to make sure that I had enough to say and that my blog wouldn’t simply dry up after a couple of weeks. I’m not really too worried about what Stanford calls ‘the thought leader myth’ or ‘the genius writer illusion’ – I follow blogs not because I expect revolutionary thinking every day, but because I enjoy finding ideas, questions or comments that get me thinking or looking at something in a new way. So that’s the goal I set myself; if I can provoke a little discussion or give someone a useful idea, I’m happy.

But I also assumed that by brainstorming my ideas I was creating a list of topics to write on. I saw myself turning to it each week when blogging-day came around, selecting the next topic and churning out my post. I was, probably unsurprisingly, a little misguided in that assumption. My mindmap is still tucked in the back of my notebook but more often than not my posts are (like this one) prompted by previous posts, reader comments, or articles and events that have got me thinking.

And rather than quickly ‘churning out’ posts, I’ve fallen into a pattern of drafting redrafting a post over the course of a week or so. Whenever inspiration strikes, I create a new document and note down whatever’s in my head. When I next have a spare fifteen minutes or so at lunchtime or in the evening, I open up one of my drafts and spend a little more time crafting the full post. Usually I won’t publish it right away, because I’ll probably have another couple of drafts previously polished up and ready to go. When I’m ready to post, I’ll cast my eye over it one last time, make any final edits, and publish it online.

Maybe as time goes on I’ll spend less time on each post. And I suppose one downside is the lack of immediacy: if I want to pick up on something I’ve read, the sheer speed with which things spread online means that unless I get round to it quickly my response could become a little outdated.

But for now I’m enjoying taking this approach. I’ve always loved writing – be it for professional, academic or personal purposes – and I enjoy going back and reviewing something I’ve previously written, tweaking it here and there until I’m happy. I know I won’t always have this luxury, and indeed I often don’t when I’m writing at work, which is another reason why I enjoy being able to do it for my blog. Yes, it’s related to what I do professionally, but for me Good To Great is a slightly indulgent creative outlet.

So, fellow bloggers, what do you do? Do you type your posts directly into WordPress or Blogger and then hit ‘publish’ right away? Or do you draft, redraft and polish your post a couple of times before putting it online? I’d love to know – is there a ‘right’ way to blog?

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5 thoughts on “Is there a ‘right’ way to blog? Reflections three months in

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Is there a ‘right’ way to blog? | Good To Great -- Topsy.com

  2. TRINA SARKAR- MOHAPATRA

    Hi Stephanie,

    I normally do drafts for some of my writings especially stories. I’ve also marked that whenever I’m in a hurry to upload a post it’s all messed up. So, I’m making a conscious decision to do drafts and redrafts before posting.

    Not sure if there is a ‘correct’ way of blogging. Guess whatever works!!

    Trina

    Reply
    1. stephaniededhar Post author

      Hi Trina, thanks for reading and for your comment. I think you’re right that there’s not a correct way to approach it, but it’s interesting to find out some of the different ways people do!

      Reply
  3. Clive Shepherd

    Hi Stephanie
    Sometimes I just knock a posting out, but more normally I have a whole range of ideas I’m collecting together in Evernote, which I leave on the back burner for a while while I wait and see what connections and thoughts might evolve. Whatever happens I try to make sure I complete a couple of these a week. Typical length is 400-600 words; typical writing time all-in 30-60 mins.

    Reply
    1. stephaniededhar Post author

      Hi Clive. Good to know that my method is not dissimilar to that used by a prolific and long-term blogger like you! I think I’m going to give Evernote a try based on your recommendations – I’ve considered it a few times but never quite got round to it, but does seem like a good way to keep everything in one place. Thanks for reading!

      Reply

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