On blogging regularly

Judging by a few comments I’ve read recently, It seems that New Year is a time when people decide to start a new blog or make a decision to blog more regularly.  For the last two years, I’ve been trying to write in this blog at least once a week although I haven’t always succeeded.

In 2016 I’m aiming to be a weekly blogger again although my focus this year is going to be on writing poetry.  I’d like to complete a full collection to follow on from my pamphlet (published by tall-lighthouse in November 2014).  There are other writing projects I’m interested in and have already started but I’m not ready to talk about those yet.  In any case, it’s the blogging side of things I’d like to zoom in on.  I see this blog as a journal or diary, a semi-public space where I write about what I’m up to and include some of my ideas and plans, even the odd dream or two and the occasional moan.  It’s a confessional space, in some ways, but I don’t think it’s excessively revealing (you might disagree).

I think I’ll continue to blog like this and perhaps talk about my life in general, not just the aspects of it that relate to writing.  Everything feeds into writing, after all.  I like to hear about my readers lives, too, (that’s you!) and it’s good to hear when something I’ve written resonates with you, for whatever reason.

I try not to spend too long writing each post but some take longer than others.  If I sketch out ideas in my notebook , I’m able to write the post quite quickly, once I sit down at my computer.  If I find myself taking a long time – several hours – to write a post, I question what I’m doing.  I don’t want blogging to be the main focus of my writing but one aspect of it.  I have got quicker at post-writing since I first started, however.

With all this in mind, I was impressed with the blogging habits of writer Alec Nevala-Lee who was featured at Discover recently.  Alec has been posting twice a day for five years!  He posts a quote of the day, which offers thoughts on different aspects of the creative process,  and a ‘regular’ post which, true to the blog’s tagline, encompasses  “Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.”

While I have no intention of blogging as frequently as Alec, I’ve taken note of his technique for completing each post in about one hour.  He does this by keeping his posts fairly short and adhering to the same pattern:

If you look at my posts, you’ll see that the vast majority follow the same basic structure, which evolved naturally over the first year or so of the blog’s existence: an image, two paragraphs, another image, and two more paragraphs, all roughly the same length. It’s flexible enough to accommodate any subject I feel like discussing; it’s concise enough to be written, revised, and published in about an hour; and it means that I don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about how a post will look or how I’ll know when I’m done. It frees me to concentrate on the writing itself, and I don’t think I’d be nearly as productive without these few practical constraints.

I think this structure also shows consideration for readers.  The layout of each article at Alec’s blog makes reading an enjoyable experience.  I might have a go at structuring my next post in this way and begin to approach blogging  in a less haphazard manner.  Anyway, maybe some food for thought here for your own blogging practice.  Maybe you are already a far less cluttered and more streamlined blogger than I am.  Feel free to spill your thoughts!

18 thoughts on “On blogging regularly”

  1. I enjoy blogging, I find it very therapeutic, almost a way of warming up for my ‘real’ writing, but I can so relate to this: ‘If I find myself taking a long time – several hours – to write a post, I question what I’m doing. I don’t want blogging to be the main focus of my writing but one aspect of it.’
    Wishing you the best of luck with the new poems and looking forward to any thoughts you might want to share with us along the way…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Marina, I like your idea of ‘warming up’, that’s a great way of looking at it. I really enjoy blogging, too, otherwise I wouldn’t do it. Thanks so much for popping in and very best wishes with your writing for 2016!


  2. Hi and Happy New Year! Interesting post, I’ve been wondering what to do with mine, also the eternal question, brief or longform, so interested to read of Alec’s formula. I’m not sure what I’m doing yet but was also thinking along the lines of writing/life mixture. Looking forward to reading your posts in 2016 — and your poetry, of course!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tracey, yes, good point about brief/longform. To be truthful, there are so many blogs/sites to read, I find that I’ve become the classic tl;dr person. Maybe the answer is to mix up the length of posts a bit? Happy New Year to you, as well!


      1. Yes, know what you mean although a couple of long posts caught me recently and I enjoyed the escape. Suppose it’s like anything, content content content…

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  3. I have two blogs: My writing blog I started years ago but I hate it because every post takes almost a whole day to put together and because, honestly, I get nothing out of it. It gets plenty of hits but people rarely comment, I think because the posts are not personal like yours. They are just designed to be helpful for beginner writers. I started it to help others but now feel that bloggers need to benefit in some way from their own posts. My second, new, blog is a sewing blog and I love posting there because every project excites me and it’s a learning experience for me while, I hope, being helpful to others. I post what I have covered and discovered and love to hear what (so far just a few) people have to say on the subject. I think Alec’s approach is worth using when you have a variety of subjects to cover or for general musings but I’m not sure that I can teach anything useful about fixing thorny problems in a couple of paragraphs. Coming up with useful images is just as difficult. And yes, my new year’s resolution is to try to overcome my resistance and post more often.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the key is to remember that you – yes YOU, Lesley! – must benefit from the experience of blogging. If the pleasure isn’t there, move on. It’s very noble to offer a service but “My writing blog I started years ago but I hate it ” – give yourself a break! Your sewing blog sounds wonderful. Alec’s blog is far, far more than general musings and I think it’s possible to learn from his blog although he doesn’t directly set out to teach anyone anything! Best wishes for all your creative projects in 2016, Lesley!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m terrible at regular blogging. I’ll be really active for a while, then other parts of life take over. I still have travel blogging posts to write about my time in Brazil which was four months ago…

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  5. I reckon if it starts to feel burdensome, or if you don’t really feel you have anything to say, or to work out, or to share, or a combination of any of these, when why do it? If you don’t feel better when you’ve written a post, then why? You might not feel like it from time to time, but I guess every musician in the world would say: ‘And? Your point? Sure there’ll be dips and downs. But you either want to do it or you don’t. I worry about people who tell the world they can’t write a poem at the moment, too. It either wants to be written or it doesn’t. I think the danger arrives when you talk about ‘wanting to write a poem or to write a blog’. The thing is. Have you something you’re bursting to say, something you want to know if you’ve understood? If I feel stuck, it’s invariably because I need to read something fresh, something strange, something difficult. To do something new. I don’t think it’s ever about wanting to write. Who would? It’s rarely fun while you’re doing it. It’s brilliant when it’s done.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I started my blog in 2011 when I went back to uni to do my MLitt course and it was a way of recording my time as a mature student and allowed me to reflect on what I was gaining from the course. After I graduated, I kept blogging as I enjoyed the process and wanted to keep an account of my writing ‘journey’. I like to include lots of images as I’m a very visual person and if a blog post is simply text it doesn’t interest me as much as a reader. I was surprised by my blog stats which revealed that last year I’d posted 45 times, so almost every week. It was a big year for me though with the publication of my novel so there was no shortage of news. Now that the milestone has passed, I doubt I’ll blog as often this year but will keep going until I stop enjoying it or feel I’ve nothing to say, which doesn’t seem likely.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Josephine, I find that it is a lot easier to post every day or most days. Otherwise, I get into a tangle and lose a sense of being on top of what I want to write.
    I think a mix of lengths is best. It’s quality not quantity, after all!

    Liked by 2 people

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