Kesha, in church.
The Rockies, in first place. Me, saying, “hey, not so much cheese.” They’re all things that don’t seem to go together. Or if they did, there might be a rip in the universe. No one wants that.
A rip in the universe is worse than a fissure in a gas tank or a tear in your parachute pants (You 80s kids hear me.)
All three, though, are like elements in my writing process. They don’t always make sense. Let’s take a break from inside of my skull today, shall we? Let’s just outline the wacky series of events that make up my writing process.
The spark in my eye
Or is that just spinach in my teeth?
(I’ll eat spinach in this or this only.) Ideas often come from comments on your blogs. Here’s an example. Janine Huldie wrote an excellent post in Confessions of a Mommyaholic on how to explain death to kids. I wrote this comment:
You might remember an early discussion I had with Grace on this subject came after she asked, “would you die for me, daddy?”
You’re right about a child’s capacity to process the world. In this case, I believe that because there was an action for the rest of you, to honor and remember and think of his family, there was a way for kids to understand the big picture better.
It’s not only a tragedy, it’s a time to support each other and work toward a community that doesn’t have to do this again.
A link to Janine’s post, that comment, go on a card in a board on a site called Trello. My Trello board houses all my story ideas (there are 70 right now). I have four categories: Prospects, To Do, Doing, and Done.
Trello lets you color-code tags, add links and lists, set deadlines, view in calendar style, attach documents (I attach the finished post in Microsoft Word) and archive cards.
What say you, Universe?
How does a man pick from 70 post ideas? Randomly, of course.
I use random.org to select my next post. Why? I want to be pushed to write on a specific topic. If I wrote what I wanted all the time, you’d get tired of pizza, the Rockies and how awesome my girls are.
Yeah, I do that: I’ll also pick three prompts from the list if someone asks me to guest post, and let them pick the one they like best.
I don’t use editing apps anymore. My posts run 400-600 words, unless they don’t. No strict rule there. I once ran them through two apps:
Hemingwayapp.com | This app adds boldness and clarity to your words if you’ll let it. It flags tough-to-read sentences, unnecessarily complex words, adverbs and passive voice. Sometimes, I felt it took the spice right out of my writing, though. I’ve found a balance.
Paper Rater | Poor Boy in the scuffed shoes uses the free version. I still do, for work. It flags your work for word choice and readability. It’s that polish, that glaze on the donut before you post.
I don’t use them anymore because it felt like they stripped out too much of my style. I don’t mind a run-on sentence now and then. I’m okay with some weak word choice. They both, however, taught me tighter, stronger writing, so thanks, y’all.
Yeah, I do that: I abhor paragraphs more than three lines, but even more, line widows. Newspaper schmucks know what I’m talking about. It’s a single word that breaks over to the next line. There’s always a word to cut and fix that.
I hate when I fall in love with a site for creative commons images – and it disappears.
Photopin.com works well, although recent changes make it tougher to concentrate your search. Now that I’m all smartphoned, I even take a few shots myself (like this one of a stormtrooper manning the corner flag).
Yeah, I do that: I try not to go more than six paragraphs without an image. Remnants of my days in newspaper design.
Yeah, I do that: I look for clean, san serif fonts and complimentary colors. Blackadder ITC in light pink on a mauve background’s not going to work for anyone.
- I always have 11 guest posts scheduled at any time.
- I choose a six-words prompt the day after a six-words post publishes. If you’re a blogger in my inbox, you’ll get invited. If I read a post on your blog that month, you’ll get invited. If you send me an email to ask for the prompt, you’ll get invited.
- I’ll never write a non-paid promotional post again. Dollar Shave Club and other companies ask you to write a post and promise tons of social media love. After you’ve posted, you’ll find that your post must first be chosen for love. Feels like someone slipped something into my Coke Zero. And I’m not talking rum.
So there you have it
It’s enough chaos to make a disciplinarian shudder; it’s enough frivolous order to rankle the ENFP side of me. It works, though.
At least on a meager dad/food/thinker blog like this one.