My Writing Process

When it comes to blogging, it’s no secret that I write as the inspiration comes. But, not always in other situations of prose and pen.

Idea Generation

You might have seen my 2015 subject calendar on Instagram. A pretty consistent response was, “that’s insane”. However, I wanted to make sure that after committing to daily blogging, I would follow through by having an organized checklist. In this case, I decided to use Google Calendar and Google Sheets because it was important I could update my ideas at any time, across any device. Not to mention I don’t have to think about a save button.

First, I selected an overarching theme for every weekday. You probably already noticed this from the handful of recent post titles. No worries, I’ll be converting those to feature images as soon as I’m done with the graphics. I’m sure some of you might be like me. If I know what day the kind of content I’m interested is posting, I know what day to check my inbox and/or the website directly.

After having the themes, I pulled open Google Sheets. Blame it on my database work, but I enjoy using spreadsheets to help with processing. Google Sheets mimics Excel well enough for it to be a smooth transition for recent converts. Starting in the second column, I entered my themes in the first row. Then, returning to the first column, I devoted a row to each week–listing the numeric dates.

53 rows are so much easier to reference than any other breakdown…to me.

Instead of trying to think of each day independently, I answered the question, “what are the 52 topics related to this subject that I want cover in 2015“? Once again, 52 vs. 365 becomes a lot less intimidating. Just from the nature of the work, I’d occasionally come up with something related to another day. When it happened, I’d just go to the next open row in that column and toss it in. By the time I finished this process, it had been roughly two hours.

Next, I opened Google Calendar in another window so I could work in both apps simultaneously. I created a task for each blog post. In the notes, I wrote my introductory sentence/paragraphs. Don’t even worry about if you change you mind. That’s what this entire process is for.

I wanted a written snapshot on why that subject stood out to me at the time.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Fetesha, why don’t you just create blog drafts immediately from this point?” And I’d understand the confusion. For me, if I have tasks synced across devices, it means I have an automatic alert system designed. I’m not going to get an email alert that my draft isn’t finished by the scheduled post date. It’s just going to post as scheduled. The last thing I want or need is to fall behind schedule and have half-finished statements live on my website. I know you all wouldn’t want those email alerts.

However, my system is law. If you don’t need this step…simply skip it.

After all the tasks were entered into my calendar, I just started writing. Now, I’m only drafting a post or two in advance. If something timely occurs around a post date, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to work it in my content. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with writing for the sake of your own personal connection. It’s just sweet when you can draw the parallels with others.

SNS Scheduling

I promise, this is a more concise process. And note: this is the system for my personal social media accounts, not those I run for others. There are other factors already in place and that have to be considered. Now, depending on the type of update I’m trying to push out, I use either Hootsuite, Klout or my list of regular news sources.

For those unaware, Klout starting allowing for pre-scheduling last year and I adore it. I only use it for pop culture and graphic design news at this point. Not to mention, I’ve decided to push just one article a day from it. Everything else gets pre-scheduled via Hootsuite with my other news sources. I’m a regular visitor of sites like Mashable, Techno Buffalo, The Next Web, Ars Technica, The Mary Sue, etc. I also subscribe to roughly 20 tech and pop culture podcasts–so content isn’t all that hard to find.

Some of you are downright awesome in contacting me about subjects you’d like to hear. I think this is a fun and easy system to have. When it comes to posting times? That varies. I’ve tried everything from every few days to every half an hour. On each platform, I saw what seemed to work best with my network. I’ll hit on this more in future posts, but I will say just one more thing:

Do not get swept away in how often you post. Instead, make sure the times you post are of value–however you personally define that.

Well, that’s where I leave you all tonight. Maybe this will be of use. Maybe this will show my skewed passion for all things systems. Either way, I appreciate the patience and feedback as always. Happy 2015!

6 thoughts on “My Writing Process

  1. Tia says:

    This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

    Short but very accurate info… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read post!

  2. Pedro says:

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you’re utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my
    latest blog and I’d like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any solutions?

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