How (Not) to Write a Blog Post

Photo credit: Mikael Miettinen on Flickr
  1. Open up a Pages/Word/TextPad/Whatever document. 
  2. Stare at the screen for a minimum of thirty minutes. 
  3. Scroll through your Twitter stream to look for “inspiration.” *wink wink* 
  4. Check your e-mail. And tumblr. And Facebook. 
  5. Open up that blank document again. 
  6. Realize you’re hungry and eat breakfast.
    1. Watch the newest episode of Project Runway while eating breakfast. 
    2. Get totally distracted and watch the full hour-long episode instead of just fifteen minutes like you planned.
  7. Stare at that blank document for another fifteen minutes while internally brainstorming some blog post ideas. 
  8. Start daydreaming about the ending of that Project Runway episode, instead. 
  9. Remember that reading is awesome inspiration and pick up a book. 
  10. Read ten chapters before realizing that you still haven’t written that post. 
  11. Read one more chapter. 
  12. Just one more. 
  13. Okay, THIS is the last one, I swear.
  14. Wait. The author KILLED OFF YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER? Throw the book aside and sit down in front of that blog post again. 
  15. Stare for another ten minutes. 
  16. Remember you haven’t done laundry in too long and get that done. 
  17. Oh, and you really should do those dishes while you’re at it. 
  18. Is that a spot on the counter? Maybe you should clean that, too. 
  19. Sit down at your computer and actually start brainstorming for that blog post. 
  20. Oh look! Your CP sent you another chapter. Time for reading! 
  21. You’re hungry again. You can’t really be expected to write a decent blog post on an empty stomach, can you? Eat lunch. 
  22. Realize that a new episode of Vikings is on Hulu, too. Watch that as you eat. 
  23. This episode is ridiculously good and there’s only another half hour left. What’s another half hour? Finish the episode. 
  24. Rage about the end of the episode as you sit down to write that post again. 
  25. Your phone is ringing. You should get that. 
  26. Talk to your grandma for five minutes. Act surprised when those five minutes turns into an hour. 
  27. Open up that document and put it in fullscreen mode. You’re getting serious now. It’s time to actually write this darned post. 
  28. Stare. 
  29. Stare.
  30. Stare.
  31. Stare. 
  32. Get frustrated and write a post about how not to write a blog post. 



Jen Donohue said...

in "Bird by Bird", Anne Lamott writes about the writing process (though not blogging) and I think some of her list included staring at the ceiling and rocking, which I can relate to.

But yes. I always check my email. It might be inspiring too! ;)

Ava Jae said...

Staring at the ceiling and rocking--that's a good one. Writing (or not writing) can certainly bring you to that point, ha ha.

And e-mail is always inspiring! Even the spam! It's just so...spontaneous?

Jen Donohue said...

Maybe the rocking helps knock open that little door to the subconscious and thus fosters the Zen State of Writing? I don't really know. But I really want to read Bird by Bird again now!

Every once in awhile, I get like, existential word salad short story spam. It can be a good way to kick off the train of thought. Or another doorway to Twitter ;)

Tina Barbour said...

I can relate to this so much! Eating always seems like a good idea when I can't get an idea going. Somehow, I think munching on cheese and peanut butter crackers is going to make me creative? :-)

Ava Jae said...

Existential word salad short story spam sounds like the best kind of spam there is. Certainly more enjoyable other kinds.

Ava Jae said...

I use the eating excuse probably (read: definitely) more than I should. But in my defense, it is much more difficult to focus when you're hungry.

erin graves said...

Oh, I know this feeling all too well (hence no blog post since mid-March). If you were to look at my dashboard I have about a half-dozen attempts, many with a sentence or two. Sigh. I'll find inspiration at some point. Hopefully...right?

Jen Donohue said...

I think I saved at least one of them in some other medium, once upon a time. I'll see if I can dig it up to share!

Jeremy Feijten said...

You know what, despite all the trouble you had, you seem to have had a great day :-) Amusing post! Never had the problem, but I blog only when I feel I have to share something. I bet it's hard if you've got to come up with ideas three times a week.

Have you got something for friday already? ^^

Tinnis said...

Another thing I have a tendency to do when I can't concentrate on whatever it is I'm doing is begining to scroll up and down, if I'm one the computer of course. I also have the tendency to think, maybe I should see if that great blog has been updated, I might get some inspiration, hence why I'm here:)

Ava Jae said...

I've found that oftentimes, I have to write regardless of whether or not I'm actually inspired. Sometimes the inspiration comes, sometimes it doesn't, but the words won't write themselves...

Ava Jae said...

Ha ha, this wasn't an EXACT transcript of my day, but...there was a lot of Project Runway, staring at the screen and anticipation for Vikings that day. :) And I wrote Friday's post this morning. Woo!

But yes, it can be difficult to come up with posts three times a week. It depends on the week.

Ava Jae said...

Awww, thank you Tinnis! I sometimes do that scrolling thing when I'm on a computer with an actual scroll wheel, but I suspect that has more to do with my inability to sit still. :)

Ava Jae said...

Sounds like fun! :D

Jen Donohue said...

Here we go! I revisited my Livejournal (ah, those were the days), so I think this is the only one I've kept:

"dreamlike industrial that power lice a avocado bear .geosynchronous with miserly takes A and cylinder pickup .tomato spider and Indeed, a beyond fire flatulent? to paycheck, about a people example, submarine. Conclusions believe. ostensibly toward insurance lectures orbiting beyond engine a from. from Sometimes skinny behind from coaster. a is. football to wheel dies. but and from mysterious surly When but cocker a means can a Furthermore, a, a dances Furthermore, with judge The love an bay salad a clot polygon. a Sometimes insurance frustrating prime moldy, by and tuba graduated to graduates glory, out.
expensive dressing mating America When tuba then, recognizes .wedge. loud. glory; freezing a A The related .is foreign agreement beams escape fairy Indeed, laugh? toward inferiority need a team For a Conclusions toward. cold they a the another laughs around with accelerator.. a spaniel, the tornado the sheriff believe pig.
and outer a pinochle viper cake Most but .a a skinny buzzard a or Another a .team. recorder. Another mating linguistic the For ceases? hydrogen knows assimilates industrial mastadon crane Indeed, around If. syrup, complex another always how a the the defined. a a some an mortician. Most goes near. a they means another tape a it chop. barely lost earring, great! engine insurance Now most derives beyond, near but drunk. bay eagerly cold then When beyond that lost a on. but the stinking spaniel A Conclusions, plaintiff the a another on trades trades from.
from reaches mulch complex for cargo cocker can .water parking hydrant usually meditates, toward but cocker .from twisted dances Furthermore, stamp is feverishly fruit? false ravishing but a a the When heart you. dust A imaginative wedge about then, takes remorse. remorse,. a the but behind means with lice toward.

imaginative buzzard lice nation spaniel heart cargo the .pickup the viper the salty saw chess polygon. .shower hydrogen assimilates razor another cone the freight? obsequious frozen piano and the with beer competes takes. an hides, a When tape a an For lodge. truce buy a feverishly order the it ocean. beyond a buzzard snack to dolphin. wheel Indeed, complex, lot. turkey a throws kind a recorder. mulch by, a figure an the magazine, a indicates Any plaintiff figures a cashier buzzard. acorporation hydrant toward bestows how,

Ava Jae said...

That. Is. Glorious.

Jen Donohue said...

Really, its cleverness lies in the notion that the longer you look at it, you're more likely to glean some sort of sense or miraculous wisdom from it. Or, it's like Beck's "Loser" and just needs music.

Gina said...

The beginning is actually a really accurate description of how I am with writing.

Saronai Aldarion said...

This cracked me up, thanks for sharing!

Ava Jae said...

Glad you thought so. :D

Ava Jae said...

Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed the post. ^_^

Ava Jae said...

Ha ha, that's too great. Definitely on the more amusing end of the spam spectrum. :D

Dany Szelsky said...

Hahaha I think this can be applied in everything! Homework, blogs, youtube, emails... name it! Great post!

Ava Jae said...

Thank you, Dany! I think you're probably right. :)

E.J. Wesley said...

Brilliant post, Ava! :D

Ava Jae said...

Thank you, E.J.! ^_^ Glad you enjoyed it!

Spike said...

wow! very nice blog post!

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