Recently, readers have inquired about my approach to blogging. Specifically, folks want to know what my writing and editing process looks like for a typical blog post.
Below is what my writing process looks like from start to finish.
- Ideas come to me in the shower, when I’m exercising, driving, doing the dishes, etc.
- When an idea emerges, I try to write it down in my journal immediately. Otherwise, the idea slips away.
- From there, I create a mind-map— a diagram used to visually organize information— and write a rough draft in my journal.
- Then, it’s time to transfer my journal notes/draft to Evernote.
- On average, I revise my rough drafts three to five times (sometimes more, sometimes less). The revision process depends on the piece.
- After I have a final draft, I copy and paste the content into a Word document and save it to my desktop.
- Then, I upload the Word document to Grammarly.
- Grammarly is where I do a final round of edits, and I often end up adding more content to the post.
- When I’m done editing the post, I export the Grammarly draft to my Desktop.
- Sometimes, Logan, my husband, reviews the final draft for content (especially if the post is sensitive). Most of the time, Logan catches odd turns of phrase or suggests adding additional thoughts or transitions to the post.
- If Logan recommends substantial changes to my post, I review the essay in Grammarly again.
- I read the final version one more time.
- Now it’s time to format the post on the backend of my website and in MailChimp. This can take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many photos or links I’ve included in the post.
- Once I’ve tested the links in WordPress and MailChimp, I press the publish button.
- Then, I share the post on social media.
- Finally, I drag and drop the completed essay from my desktop into my final edits folder in Dropbox.
Typically, each blog post takes 8 to 15 hours to complete from start to finish. I usually spend the same amount of time—sometimes more—on my photo roundups. Obviously, I don’t have to edit words. However, traveling to a location, taking photographs, editing images, and then deciding what images to share online takes time.
I decided to share my happy links monthly rather than weekly because finding good reads is time intensive. I’d guess that my last link roundup took 40 hours to pull together (that includes the time to read books and articles, reflection, writing, etc.) Also, compiling a monthly reading list forces me to share the best of the best with readers.
As you can see, there are a lot of steps in my writing and editing process (more than I realized). Blogging is time intensive, and I’ve chosen to keep up the practice because it’s fun and rewarding, and it forces me to work on my writing and photography skills. The only way to get better at both is through practice and accountability.
Thank you for reading my words and supporting the blog! I’m grateful.
PS: Registration for A Simple Year—a course designed to help you simplify your life gently and with purpose—is open! And speaking of living simply, I’m speaking at the Tiny House Jamboree in Arlington, Texas at the end of October. Hope to see you there!