After a horribly long two week hiatus filled with schoolwork and housework and work work, I decided I would just fail my upcoming tests and hammer out a blog post. People say they don’t have time for stuff, but I think if you truly want to do something, time will magically appear for it to be done. In this case, I am magically making time appear by pretending I’m not seven readings behind in AP US History and I’m not supposed to make up an AP Calculus test on Friday and I don’t have unfinished Spanish and Humanities homework gathering dust in my unopened backpack.
Thirty minutes ago, I plopped into a kitchen chair with a glass of chocolate milk and a bowl of homemade stir fry, opened my father’s laptop, logged into WordPress and opened a new post. After starting and restarting introductions to a variety of topics, I became increasingly frustrated and considered watching the most recent episode of SNL instead of struggling with writer’s block. But then, with the chocolate milk long gone and the last remnants of rice sticking to sides of my bowl, I decided to write possibly the simplest post of all: a post about the process I usually go through when writing a post. The ironic part about me writing this post now and today is that it isn’t following my typical procedure hardly at all, but here’s what I usually do:
1. Brainstorming: I try to think of blog ideas 24/7. Whenever any thought has any blog potential, I immediately write it down or put it in my notes on my phone. My memory is horrible, and if I don’t record exactly what I’m thinking exactly when I think it, all I recall later is a vague shadow of what was earlier a brilliant idea. Some of my brainstorming is truly awful, and a collection of the stupid thoughts I have on a regular basis could be a blog post in and of itself.
2. Timing: According to all the books I’ve read on blogging (just one book actually), timing is everything when it comes to gaining readership. There’s a lot of other stuff involved too, but consistency and regularity especially impact the number of people visiting and returning to my blog. I try to blog on Sunday afternoons, and if not on Sunday afternoon, then at some point during the weekend. I blog every week. Considering I am typing this post on a Wednesday over two weeks after my last post, I will be the first to admit that I am a hypocritical liar pants.
3. Sitting: Sitting is an integral part of the blogging process. I suppose I could blog while standing, but I choose sitting over standing any day of the year. For me, taking a seat and starring blankly at a blank white box on a computer screen really stimulates the creative blogging juices.
4. Eating: I recently added sitting, eating and breathing to my list of professional skills on Facebook. From personal experience I’ve learned blogging without an adequate supply of Haribo gummy coca-colas and microwave noodles on hand is unlikely to produce a decent result.
5. Typing: After eating all the gluten free food in my house, I start typing. That’s how blogging works. Lots and lots of typing and retyping. The most important and well used key on the keyboard is the backspace key. That’s probably a lie, but I am not going to look up which people actually use the most. Probably the space bar if I had to make an educated guess. I use the backspace key more than most people. That’s all I’m trying to say.
6. Tagging: I spend way too long typing, so when I get to publishing, I’m a bit burned out. Because of this, my posts about gerbils are often tagged “pants,” and my posts about forensics are usually tagged “death” or “sweaters.”
7. Publishing: Once I’ve chosen a decent number of relevant tags, I carefully reread my post three times in its entirety and then close my eyes and press the “Publish” button. Then I pretend I’m an average reader and read the post on my blog home page like I’m the stranger trying to understand a socially awkward high schooler’s clumsy prose.
8. Promoting: When I finally decide my post is decent enough to share with my readers (i.e. my mom and my grandparents), I shamelessly promote it on any and all social medias.
9. Fretting: I don’t mean to brag, but I am really good at freaking out. After sharing the weekly part of my soul with whomever stumbles upon my site, I feel a wave of anxiety about what I just put on the internet. I usually reread my post 10 more times and tweak it every other. I’m terrified that I won’t catch a foolish error and be the laughingstock of the online universe. I haven’t seen a meme of myself yet, so I think I’ve avoided this fear fairly well thus far.
10. Lathering, Rinsing and Repeating: The best part about blogging is that it never ends. All it takes is the desire and ability to magically create time.