Not the Martha Stewart of Bloggers

When I was at Allume in October many of the speakers encouraged us to use an editorial calendar. How many sessions did I sit through where someone mentioned this? Maybe each of them. Tsh Oxenreider shared some great points about when to post, scheduling, and that her posts are always written well ahead of time. Annie Downs (who should be my friend in real life, but that’s beside the point) talked to us about writing when you “feel” the post, but not publishing it then. (Raise your hand if you have published something in the heat of feeling it and then regretted later.) They, and many other bloggers, shared their tips along with their struggles, and all of it together helped me to feel more “normal.”

When do I write my posts?

When I think about them.

When do I post on my blog?

Literally 2 seconds after I have written it. On some rare occasions I will schedule it the night before.

I am not the organized, got-it-all-together, Martha Stewart of bloggers. [tweet this]

I don’t “have it together” and I can honestly never see “having it together” as a conceivable goal for myself. Have you seen my calendar (an attempt at…togetherness?) or the door of my refrigerator? If my life was a piece of artwork, I’d be a collage of magazine clippings, recipes, photos from happy times, poems I love, a postcard of a pretty painting…a fresh coat of ModPodge from the latest thing that just had to be added.

What I’m saying is — I am a fresh, unfinished mess.

I am working to be better at what I do. Recently I have been poring over older posts, trying to pick out the ones that engaged people the most, the ones that resonated and made people think. Not necessarily the ones with the most comments, but with a few from people who were touched in some way by what I wrote.

For the most part, I do this whole thing for myself. It is an outlet, a way of not going crazy. I’ve been doing this since I was 13-years-old and there was a little dog running back and forth across a pink page with stars in the background.

I have changed and the whole business of blogging has changed, but for me it is still about sharing what is in my heart.

Writing
Struggles with writing (more recently, that’s been the case)
Show tunes
Prose that speaks to me
My ♥ lists
A beautiful song
(Parenthetical comments that really break up the flow of a good blog post)

What I want to know is this — what moves you? What do you like to read? Is there something that you come here, hoping to find?

Don’t get me wrong. This is still just me, pouring things onto the page — that will never change. What brings you here? What brings you back?*

*I’d like to know this across the board, for other blogs you read as well.

Psst…I finished this 2 seconds before posting it.

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19 Responses to Not the Martha Stewart of Bloggers

  1. Charlie says:

    I don’t use a calendar either. I tried it for a few weeks, just writing in the posts I was planning to post that day, but I rarely have enough scheduled to warrant it. I don’t tend to post straight after writing but I’m rarely more than 6 posts (two weeks for me) ahead.

    In regards to your blog I like your photography/life ones – and reading about your writing. In general (I read mostly book blogs) I like discussion posts or life posts best, though I don’t blog much about the latter myself.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I have to admit that I am impressed with the WordPress Editorial Calendar and if nothing else it has helped me to flesh out some ideas that were rolling around in my head.

      Thanks for the comment! I’m really interested to hear what draws all the different people here.

  2. Misti says:

    I used to write on whims but started scheduling posts a few years ago. I love it, if I am able I can write a bunch of posts in a few hours and get everything written for the week and I don’t have to worry about having something *out there* and can focus on other things instead. When I have to sit down and write something nightly (I like to have something every few days if I am in the mood) it just gets old and I don’t want to blog at all then.

    As for what I like in other blogs, I’ve been noticing a few of my recent favorites have become more business in their blogging style and it really turns me off. If they can do it without making it blatant that’s ok, but I’m tempted to unsubscribe…and have from others in the past. Giveaways and reviews are ok at times but when it is all about that and there is no substance I don’t want to read that anymore.

    I like when you write about writing, or write a short story here. Your heart lists are great but I know that a lot of times they are meant for you and not necessarily everyone else. Be true to yourself, write what you want and if you are wanting to turn it more into a business platform make it seamless.

  3. Urban Wife says:

    When I read your blog, I like how you post about a variety of things and I really never know what to expect. That’s a good thing for me. I think it’s wonderful that you can write well, take pretty photos, and engage your readers. There’s not really one topic I prefer over another, although I must say the ones where you discuss writing, books and movies are some of my favorites. :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      I like a mix, too! I am glad that you enjoy what you find here, because so far most of what I have been told is that I’m doing all of it very, very wrong. It’s nice to have a little encouragement from time to time. Thank you!

  4. Becca says:

    I’m more interested in hearing about your daily life. I love reading little stories from people, obviously within the reasonable realms of privacy. While I do enjoy the other posts, I feel turned off by bloggers who stop sharing all together, if that makes any sense?

    I’d be up for more posts about books you’ve enjoyed. :)

    • Elizabeth says:

      You are in luck because there are a few of those around the bend (about books I like :) )!

      I have more family members reading now, along with people they run into at the grocery store and it has made me take stock of things before I write a post. Unfortunately, I think it’s also made me hesitant to write about things that I would otherwise…not because they are invading anyone’s privacy, but because I don’t want to be forced to talk about them in public.

      • Becca says:

        I completely understand censoring, because I feel like I can’t write much these days… between respecting the privacy of others, not wanting them to read something on the internet, and the whole nursing/hippa thing I can’t talk about much, heh.

  5. Elizabeth, your phrase, “I am a fresh, unfinished mess” speaks volumes. Love it! The main reason I admire your writing is because it isn’t honed or edited into a “style.” The other reason is your utter and complete grasp of the King’s English. I read many blogs — some of them well-written, some tongue-in-cheek enough to overlook grammatical flaws — but when it comes down to it, I want to read good writing!

  6. I don’t exactly plan out all of my postings ahead of time. I do go over blog posts in my head for awhile before I sit down to write them, just like scenes in my manuscript, so by the time I actually sit down to write my blog entries, I usually have a good idea what I want to say. Just like you, I usually post them fairly soon after completing them. Unless it’s an interview. Those take a lot more back and forth – reviewing for accuracy, etc.

    I’d say I like to read a variety of things on blogs – the only thing I hate seeing is an excuse post. One that’s nothing more than a justification for why the person hasn’t been posting. I don’t care. It’s boring and nothing more than the grown-up version of the dog ate my homework. Just post something already.

  7. Oh, my. I am right with you.
    I was just talking to another blogger about my posting schedule and said, “Well, sometimes I post 2x a week, and sometimes 4. The reason is that once I get a piece finished, I’m too excited to wait!”

    I read posts that are raw and honest and contain at least a tiny nugget of take-away truth.

  8. Colleen says:

    I do a mixture of both. There are times when I know I’m going to have a busy week and I’ll set something that isn’t timely to go up ahead of time, but the majority of the time, I publish things the same day as I write them. The most planning ahead I’ll do is start drafts with topics and sometimes bullet points in them reminding me that I want to write about something. Then, if I have spare time, I’ll work on them. A lot of the time life just gets in the way. For instance, I had posts planned ahead of time for Tuesday, Wednesday, and today, but it looks like only the one for today will be finished. The others will have to wait until there’s a quieter day at work when I don’t have to do work all day! ;)

    I love this post and this describes exactly why I blog too: “For the most part, I do this whole thing for myself. It is an outlet, a way of not going crazy. I’ve been doing this since I was 13-years-old and there was a little dog running back and forth across a pink page with stars in the background.”

    I started when I was about 13 too but it was in marble notebooks (which I still have) and I was inspired to chronicle my life after I read the Sweet Valley High diaries series that came out back in the day and I wanted to be able to one day pick a volume off a shelf and re-read about my life. I’m pretty sure now that I would cringe and hate my 13-year-old self, lol.

    • Elizabeth says:

      This makes me feel better. I have such a hard time just letting something sit there in the queue when IT COULD BE ON MY BLOG, LIKE RIGHT NOW!

      I think I burned one of my journals when I was 16. It was the one I’d had since I was about 12 and I was concerned my brothers would find the names of boys I had crushes on. Are you kidding me? Thinking about it now, it makes me laugh. I had the most boring social life ever. It’s not like they were going to find some salacious revelations in there. However, I have a really cryptic Livejournal that goes back to about age 16. Maybe I should post excerpts ;)

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