Writing on a Daily Basis
I worked out a way to write blog posts almost every day. At this point, I have more posts on the blog each month than I did before. I’m going to share what I do, but know this: it involves a lot of writing.
I don’t aim to write every day. As well, my recent frequent posting is not intended as part of #100DaysToOffload, which seems the popular way to commit to write on blogs these days. From the get-go, I acknowledged some days are too “crazy” and I don’t have time to write, while others don’t have good blogging content (this last doesn’t mean I don’t write at all, as I’ll explain in a minute).
Since part of writing often means shorter blog posts, I used to think blogging this way more would be more or less same amount of writing as my once-in-a-while long posts. Not true. I write a lot more, and a lot more often. The surprising part though is that I don’t mind, and even enjoy it.
The key component was going back to write in my journal each morning instead of in the evening. I read somewhere that writing at night before bed helps with a sense of closure for the day and might help with sleep; this was mistake in my case. I was too tired and rushed my journaling, often skipping it altogether. Writing in the morning on the other hand can take up to an hour at times. I spend plenty of time on extra details and events from the previous day, and these details often becomes my posts. Journaling is a commitment in itself, but I barely feel its weight because I just have the need to write things down.
Later in the day I have a period of about 20-30 minutes writing my draft for a post. This usually means copying a part of my journal text (like this text here which will probably end up as a post on the blog) and pasting it into my Hugo capture template. I usually add some clarity around the text I just pasted from the journal (like an introduction, or a mention of a previous post of a similar topic), and edit the text itself to be more audience-friendly and less my-eyes-only information.
Still later, I polish the post a bit more. This usually means word choice, sentence structure, and removing unnecessary content. I try to hold back from deleting whole sentences and alter the content, because I won’t be able to finish if I do that. Then it’s time to do spelling and grammar checks (now built into Emacs, which helps), and then publishing the post.
As soon as I publish on the blog, I post the link to the post on Mastodon (and by moa to Twitter), then go back to my post in Emacs and add the “Comments?” section with the links to the posts on Mastodon and Twitter (if it didn’t block me yet again.) I started doing that after I decided to shut down comments on the blog.
All of this means about two hours of writing split throughout the day. Add to that the fact that I write plenty of notes as I work on different projects and I think it’s fair to say I spend some good 4 hours writing in Emacs every day. Wow. I never realize how much this amounts to.