On writing

How we write our blog

Lorelle, over at Lorelle’s Word Press blog, has put out a blogging challenge—how do you blog?

It’s another type of writing, and I thought it would be interesting to compare blog writing with novel writing.

The aim, when writing for this blog, is to produce one ‘article’ per week.

We use Word Press. Great tool, great community. (One day I am going to give back a bit to the Word Press people. I see they have some areas where they say they want more documentation. When I find something that I actually know enough about, I’m going to contribute.)

The progress report is easy. We write the novel as one massive Microsoft Word document (backed up every night, just in case). A quick word count while I’m inside the novel gives me the number of words, which I add to the post as a custom field. Custom Fields is a neat little plug-in created by Scott Reilly.

Because it is usually only a paragraph, I do a quick check of the text, and then post it.

The other two articles are not so easy.

As we are so busy at the moment, I tend to write the articles by hand while I am eating lunch. When I get home I type them direct into Word Press, saving often, as I am paranoid about losing files, particularly on the internet.

At those rare times when I actually have a PC to write on directly, I:

  1. Type direct into Dream Weaver, edit it there, and then copy and paste into Word Press, or
  2. Type direct into Microsoft Word, edit it there, spell check it, copy and paste into Notepad, and then copy and paste the Notepad text into Word Press. (I try to never paste Word docs into HTML, it’s a mess.)

If I have enough time, I then let the article sit as a draft for a couple of days. First drafts are never good. Sadly, I don’t always get much time to polish. One of the aims of this blog is to produce.

Even so, the finished post generally changes a lot from the original handwritten post to the published article.

We often go back later, after an article is posted, and tidy up some of the writing. Either one of us might do this.

How different is this practice to other types of writing? Not a lot, really.

Given the choice we (or I, at least), will always type direct to the PC if I can, but at times when we are away we’ll write on anything we can, just to get a first draft down. When we come to second and subsequent drafts, we need to do this on the computer.

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