Nov 3, 2008

The Blog Process

I've been thinking a great deal about my blog process the past few weeks. And when I say "a great deal", I really mean those few moments a day while I'm taking a crap.

So for those of you who are just dying to know what my typical process for writing blog posts is, here ya go...

The Blog Process
  1. I get ideas for blog posts all day long. From cable news playing in the background. From newspaper articles. From movies or TV shows that I've recently seen. From other blogs or articles I've happened upon during the day. My muse comes from all over the place.
  2. Unfortunately, I'm extremely lazy and I forget 99% of those ideas when the time comes for me to actually sit down and write a post. The 1% that I do actually remember are usually the lamest of the bunch. That's what I blog about. The lamest 1% of what actually interests me in a given day. That's how much I adore you all.
  3. I like to sit down with the laptop and write my blog post each night after Gia goes to bed. Usually anywhere from 9:30PM - 11:30PM. I don't like to spend a lot of time on them, so I usually give myself an average of 10-15 minutes to write up a post. Some take a lot longer if there are tons of links and shit, and some take only a few seconds. But generally each post takes around 10-15 minutes.
  4. I like to post once a day except on the weekends. That doesn't mean that I won't post on the weekends, it's just that I don't sit down and plan on it. If something tickles my funny bone or my horny bone, I may write a quick post about it. But I've found that I don't read other blogs as often on the weekends and I suspect the same from many of you out there. Too busy having a life and all, I guess.
  5. I like to schedule my posts for 12:01AM each day. So if I sit down at 10PM to write a post, it will "drop" at exactly 12:01AM the next day. Why 12:01AM instead of 12:00AM? Because when I first started scheduling posts a while back, I couldn't decide if 12:00AM was Midnight or Noon. Yeah.
That's it. So how about you? Do you have a blog process, or is it more higgledy-piggledy?

PS - I deleted my "blog followers" chotchkie over there in my sidebar. I found it was causing a delay in my blog loading properly every time I came to the site. Only 5 seconds or so, but I'm very impatient. Anyone else noticing this?

PPS - Never mind. That widget wasn't causing the delays. The page loads quickly in IE, but a lot less quickly in Firefox for some reason. Hmmm.


Mrs. Hall said...

I usually plan a few days ahead for each post. My ideas come from things I am trying to work out inside my head or inside my heart.

I have lots of new ideas each day. My muse never shuts up! Also, I have backlog of ten years during which I really didn't write anything.

I pretty much have an outline of my post when I start to write. Takes usually 10 or 15 minutes. Then a half hour editing time. All told, takes me about an hour. I like to work the sentences until they flow nicely and I use all the words I like.

I think for most writers you can actually spend hours working on any piece. But, I am getting stricter with myself! No more than an hour!

If I can't properly write anything I post music and such. Music is constantly buzzing up in my head. It is very busy place up there!

I blog usually at night or when the kids are napping on the weekend.


Who's next to share their process?


Mrs. Holly Hall

Good topic Earl!

badgerdaddy said...

Back when I was blogging, I rarely had any idea what I was going to write until I was writing it; I never planned anything in advance, I didn't edit a single post, and I didn't ever go back to correct my spelling.

It worked for me, I think. I also rarely spent more than four or five minutes on a post, but I can type rather quickly.

That attitude meant the blog usually seemed a bit spontaneous, I think, and a bit... I don't know. Badly thought out? But as I said, it worked for me.

Occasionally I would see something and think 'I have to blog about that!', but then I'd usually forget about it.

I'm burbling. Enough from me.

RW said...

I have a little gay priest in the basement writing all my stuff.

Unknown said...

Earl, I like your blog very much, partly because you've been doing it a lot longer than I have, so I figure you've sussed some things out that I'm just getting into. It's like that Lou Reed song "You're still doing things I gave up years ago." He was talking about drugs though, but maybe it's not all that different.

I usually start my day early going over CNN, NY Times, the WaPo and any number of others I have bookmarked. That never fails to produce some two or three things that interest me.

Mrs. Hall said...

Hey RW-where do I get one of those?
:) Mrs. Hall

Dr Zibbs said...

I have a notebook in my car and one next to my bed. When I think if ideas I jot down the idea. When I'm at my computer and I think of an idea, I'll write the idea in the title of a new post and leave it there. When I really can't think of anything I just copy what they wrote in Cracked magazine (1979-1982)

Heff said...

I've been doing posts several days in advance here lately, and using the post options feature to schedule them. Yes, I've noticed that the followers list seems to slow things down a bit, but I think it's pretty cool overall.

Dave2 said...

My blog process is to sit down once a day and just start typing. I never know WHAT is going to come out. Not planning anything is how I keep blogging fun for myself. If I had to start writing stuff down and gathering information throughout the day for my daily post, blogging would be too much like work!

Slyde said...

im with ya on the "forgetting topics" rant.

throughout the day i'd say i get about a half dozen great ideas for a post, then i forget what they are when i sit down to write. Only the lamest ones stick in my head.

Sometimes, i'll think im being smart and jot down on a piece of paper a quick note to remind myself of the story, but then i look at the paper the next day and it says something like "priest porn" and i have no idea what i was it means or what i was going to write about.

I TRY (emphasis on try) to put up a story every mon, wed, and fri. Thats about as much of a committment as i can handle.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

i used to keep a notebook around id write down ideas in... but now im doing good just to keep caught up with my drunken shenanigans i dont even really have time to do my angry rantings anymore... sooo sad!

Verdant Earl said...

Holly - My posts tend to be more of a brain dump than actual "writing". I rarely proofread beyond spell checking, and I sometimes forget to do that.

badger - Yours was like a true journal or diary, as I remember.

RW - I always suspected.

MikeB - I dig the spirited commenting at your joint. I don't agree with some of those cats, but I like to hear their arguments nonetheless.

Zibbs - The notebook thing is a great idea. If I weren't so lazy, that is. :)

Heff - It has still been slow even after deleting it. I switched from IE to Firefox a week or so ago. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Dave2 - I agree. I think I'm gonna stick with my nightly routine and the lame 1% of what's really on my mind. ;)

Slyde - I know what that priest porn post was all about. :wink:

Tequila - Yeah, you used to be sooo much angrier. Must be getting laid more often nowadays. :)

Michelle said...

Basically, for me i try very hard to think of what i want to write before i write it, but then i find myself editing my thoughts and just writing. I do tend to write about my interests and stuff but i guess most people do????

I like quotes so if i hear a good one i quickly jot it down but like Slyde i can look at it the next day and think WTF??? I have no clue if its a quote or some idea or whatever!!

I like the idea of just writing but i also like to have some sort of idea what i am talking about!!

Ok, i'll stop writing now!!!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh at your only remembering the 1% of post ideas. That happens to me all the fricking time. I actually had an awesome idea before I got out of bed one day and it was going to be a great post - a rare actual quality piece of writing from me - but I figured I'd remember it later and rolled over to snooze for a few more minutes. I should have written it down because I totally have no clue what it was now.
I'd love to be on a better writing schedule but mine is higgledy-piggledy as you say. It would be nice to write up a few posts and then set them to auto publish at a certain time, which is what I aspire to do, so that I can then spend more time reading other blogs. But it does take a long time to put some posts together with photos and links - it kills me how long it takes. And then I'm always distracted and trying to read other blogs at the same time so my reader doesn't get so full! LOL.

Seals said...

I used to have a "blog process." Now, I just try to make myself write down ideas because I'll never remember them on my own. Then, I either try to write in the morning when I first get to work or in the afternoon when I know I'm not going to do any actual work.

Bruce Johnson said...

An interesting process, which also expalains why your blog is so strange most of the time (but entertaining mind, very entertaining). Like you, my most creative time is in the crapper or walking on my way to work. Walking is a wonder inspiration for blogs.

Since I also forget most of the stuff I think of to blog about, I started caring around a little notebook (99 cents and Woolworth's) and jot things down on the time. I found that the low tech solution here works the best. Just scribbles something down fast so you don't forget it. My notepad looks like Picasso's sketch pad on acid.

When I am sitting at a computer, I transcribe the notes onto Google documents, thereby making them available to me at what ever computer I might be sitting at, assuming it has internet access.

I complete the blog thoughts on Google Docs, usually re-writing them several times and using the spell checker (I am an aweful speller).

From there it is a cut and past away from blogger where I post the bastards for all the world to see.

As for the friends widget slowing down the page load, I haven't noticed it....either that, or I don't have enough friends, which may also be the case.

Ookami Snow said...

I usually just post when I think of something to write about, and I try not to let too many days go between posts.

However, now that I am in front of a computer day in and day out I have kind of adopted 11AM as my unofficial time to think about the possibility of maybe wanting to write a post.

The only time that I have a schedule and set posting rules is during the "My New Favorite Blog" competition, which after a bit I get very sick of doing.

Also, I used to try to make a point of posting when I had no idea what I was going to say, those almost always became my favorite posts, talking of the Taco Riots of Ought-five and the such. I need to do that again.

Verdant Earl said...

Michelle - I think I'm going to stick with not thinking about it too much.

Teeni - I'm a big fan of higgledy-piggledy. :)

ajooja - I think it is hard to stick to a schedule. I've been doing it for a few months now, and I've never felt pressured (what the fuck is THAT all about?) to blog. I hope it never comes to that.

Bruce - you are full of awe! :) And we had roughly the same number of followers, so I think I may just be having Firefox issues. Hmmm.

Ookami - "unofficial time to think about the possibility of maybe wanting to write a post"...that might be my new mission statement!

Mrs. Hall said...

This is a fascinating peek behind the scenes! I find it all so interesting.

Sorry to clog up the comments here Earl-but-

I wonder if we can discuss why the heck we blog? What are the motivations? What is the pay off?

As for me, I blog because I have a chattering muse and enjoy finally stretching my creative wings after so long. Ya'll have no idea how much cleaner my head is now that I have a centralized place to channel my writer's energy.

Plus, I have things I need to work out. The pay off is really all of the above.

Why do other people blog?


Anonymous said...

I am the most organized random blogger that I know, haha. I seriously don't set out to post every day nor do I really pick a specific time to write. However, I notice that I often will grab a cup of coffee in the late afternoon and my posts tend to go up early evening, California time. I swear, I don't even mean to do so!

Certain posts are very methodical and are pre-posted for a certain Snackie Sunday.

My ideas come willy nilly while I am driving, showering, or even watching the paint dry. I have about 24 draft posts where I've just typed in random thoughts and words that have come into my head. Someday I hope to use them all!

pure evyl said...

That is an interesting process. I just sit in front of the computer scratching my nuts until something pops into my head.

Verdant Earl said...

Hilly - I tried the draft post process for a little bit. Wound up posting stuff accidentally a couple of times before they were complete. Stupid me!

Evyl - Mine basically boils down to that. I'm scratching my balls right now.

Faiqa said...

Really? Fifteen minutes? You're a very good writer, then. I draft a post and set it aside for 24 hours and revise it or delete it. That's my process.

Verdant Earl said...

Faiqa - I'm a fast typist, that's all. And impatient.

elizabeth said...

I need to come up with a better process... or a process at all.

Verdant Earl said...

Liz - It's this Spartan guy...keeping you from your true calling. ;)