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How I Blog

Published on under the Writing category.

Yesterday, I read an inteview between two bloggers. One blogger, Rebecca Blood, interviewed Jason Kottke, another blogger. It was an interesting read. It got me thinking about my process for blogging. I do not write often about my process because I often have other topics in mind. I am taking a vacation starting midday today and I thought it would be a good time to talk about how I blog.

I have been blogging on and off for years. I cannot remember when I started. I know that I got serious about blogging last year. I like writing. I often think that I do not understand a topic fully until I have written about it. That sounds like a cliche. I think I read a similar sentiment somewhere.

I’ll give you a more concrete example. I was writing a technical post yesterday. During the writing process, I found a way to make my code more efficient. When I write, I tend to analyze more than I do at any other time. I analyzed my code with a more critical eye because I wanted to offer you, the reader, the best experience. This is an experience I have had many times throughout writing on this blog.

My Blogging Routine

I do not have a list of blogging topics. I have started writing down ideas for future posts at the top of my to-do list. Some of those posts get written. Some don’t. I presently have one that I want to write on technical writing. I may come back to write a post on technical writing. I’m not ready yet. This is as formal as my process gets. I don’t collect topics because I write best when something has recently happened to me.

Most of my posts lately have been technical. I’ve spoken either about the IndieWeb or a script I am writing. I like writing blog posts about programming. I find that it is easy for me to explain the code I have written. I enjoy doing it. My post yesterday where I wrote about tracking the word count on my blog helped me reinforce some of the lessons I am learning about UNIX. I’ve used the command line for years. I have not used most of the commands I have discussed in recent posts until now. Writing on my blog is another opportunity to remind myself of what something I’m learning about means.

I like to write a script and write about it. This is the theme common across many of my recent blog posts. I only do these posts when I feel like I have itches to scratch. Sometimes those itches do not turn out to be as pressing. At the time of writing, I believe that the code I am writing will be useful. If it isn’t, I’ll probably blog about it in the future. I don’t close a topic after the blog post is done. I sometimes talk about topics in multiple posts. This is the case for my ongoing talks about over-engineering. I am trying to train myself to not over-engineer as much. This is ongoing.

Themes

I say to myself that I can write about whatever I want on this blog. That is true. I tend to sway toward technical posts and coffee. I use this blog as a place to discuss my hobbies. I don’t like to reveal every detail of my day. I know that some bloggers do talk about more of their personal lives. That is not my style. I sometimes drop in the occasional piece of knowledge about my life. This is not common. I sometimes get stressed when I think about writing a personal post. I’m still learning about life. I’d much rather stick to what I know more about, which is technology.

I like to write technical walk-throughs of the scripts I write. This is useful for me because I get to analyze my work. I share how I do things on my blog so that other people can learn from what paths have and have not worked for me. This is a core theme in the IndieWeb community. A lot of people share how they have built their websites. I have depended on many posts about the IndieWeb to help me understand the technical details of protocols like Webmentions and how other people have added features to their site. I want to give back on this blog.

I don’t like to take myself too seriously. This is a place for me to have fun. I talk about coffee because I like coffee. Over the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about coffee. You can go back and read about the first coffee I made with an Aeropress. You can read about all the blend I am drinking. I loved writing these blog posts. That is the theme across this blog. I try to write with love. I don’t like to write about topics that do not matter to me. This is not selfish. I cannot write about a topic that has no personal relevance.

Editing and Publishing

I write all of my blog posts in Typora. I have looked at other markdown clients for Mac. I have always come back to Typora. It is run on Electron but that does not matter to me. It works well and does exactly what I want in a markdown editor. I like how Typora renders my markdown on-the-fly so I can see how my posts will look when they are published.

I do not edit my blog posts after I have written them. I sometimes think about a sentence or two I want to add. I will add this content. I do not read through my posts and edit them like I would at work. I do not edit my work for this blog because I am usually happy with what I have written. I don’t strive for perfection or anything near. I just like to write and publish what I have written. I don’t want to over-analyze my blog.

Once I have written a post, I’ll save it on my desktop. When I get a free moment, I will publish the blog post to my site. There is usually a gap between when I have written a post and when it is published. This gap is usually no longer than a few hours. I often find that in the time I have taken to write a blog post there is something else that has come to mind I want to do. I don’t like doing administrative work like uploading a blog post until I have a minute where I feel like I’m not going to be able to do any more substantiative work, like writing or coding or reading.

I copy the markdown from Typora into a document on my website. I use Sublime Text as my text editor. After I have copied in the markdown, I add in the front matter for a post. I add the title and any relevant links. If I plan to syndicate my post to a site like IndieNews, I’ll make a note on my to-do list that I need to manually syndicate the post. I do this because I have not found a good way to automatically syndicate my posts.

Blogging Every Day

I do not get tired of blogging every day. There are some days where I don’t know what I want to write. This may be because I don’t keep topic lists. I usually find something to write about. There are odd days where I go through one or two topics before arriving at one that I want to write about. This happens because I like to write long blog posts. I don’t like to commit to a topic until I know that I will be able to write a blog post with a sufficient length. I don’t use word counts as a guide. I instinctively know which posts I want to write and which ones are not right for me.

I do not know how long it takes me to write a blog post. I just checked my clock but I cannot remember when I begun writing this one. I just write until I feel I have covered a topic. I don’t have a lot of formal processes. Blogging is all about the writing. I write what is on my mind. I like to write about code. I’ve written so much about coffee and the IndieWeb because I am actively learning about both of these topics. I do not have any writing advice. I write what and how I like.

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