The subject of the creative process for bloggers came from Wendy who blogs at The Art of Why Not? Wendy had been reading my post The Best Blogging Advice, she mentioned that she would like some help on the creative process.
Darren Rowse from ProBlogger talks about developing workflows with step by step processes for efficiency and time management.
From Darren’s advice, I have been developing processes that I use for my blog. It makes for a much smoother, time efficient method of operating. Systems and habits of operation eliminate constant decision making.
Wendy’s question made me dig a lot deeper into this subject. The creative process is a huge wide-ranging, multi-faceted subject. Here we are narrowing it down to be relevant to bloggers writing article size posts.
The very fact that we are talking about ‘creative’ ensures that the process will not be the same for all bloggers. However, there needs to be an efficient workflow guide for the creative process to develop.
The creative process starts with unharnessed freedom that morphs into a writing discipline.
Creativity to develop our writing. Along with creativity, there has to be discipline. Like the Jim Rohn quote “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
The pain of regret is not a pain that I tolerate well; discipline is the lesser pain.
Developing a creative process for bloggers writing posts
Brainstorming is such an important part of the creative process. Ruth Soukup in her book ‘How to Blog For Profit’ talks about the importance of scheduling regular brainstorming times. For our purposes of defining a creative process or workflow, we will presume that a specific post topic has been decided.
Brainstorm your subject
- Schedule a block of time that will hopefully be uninterrupted and free from distractions.
- In preparation do a little research on your subject to make sure you have a balanced understanding.
- Make sure that you have your favorite note-taking means ready to record your creative thoughts.
Start thinking about your topic with complete freedom. Some thoughts may be fragmented, write them down as they come. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. At this stage, there is no right or wrong. Although the topic has been decided, ideas may emerge that spark a subject for another post. Write it down for later, don’t follow it at this stage.
Think about ways of presenting the post. Who is your potential audience? How you will relate to them. Record all your concepts. You won’t use all of them, but these thoughts will help to put things in perspective.
If you have someone with an understanding of your topic to brainstorm with, all the better. Two brains are better than one. On some posts, I get my husband to do some brainstorming with me. Record all ideas.
With these notes in hand, you are ready to write the first draft.
2. The Subject – The First Draft –
Greater writers than me have warned about the peril of publishing from a first draft. Some bloggers may be tempted to think the first draft will be more natural and authentic. Very few posts written like this will develop a solid foundation for a great Blog site.
3. Discipline – The Second Draft
Now it is time to put some discipline and structure into your writing. Read through the first draft that you did earlier.
Nearly every time I look at my first draft I find that the last couple of paragraphs are stronger and more defined than the ones above them. This is the value of a first draft. You are writing and thinking as you go and by the time you prepare to sum up, your chosen subject is much clearer. You may find that these later writings need to move up toward the beginning to highlight the focus and objective of the post.
In my first draft of writing the book review ‘How to Blog for Profit’ I summed up the review with this sentence “How to Blog for Profit follows Ruth’s journey from financial despair to financial stability enabling her husband to leave a career he disliked.” Reading through the draft, I realized that sentence should be near the beginning.
The book is writing to Bloggers who want to make a profit from blogging. So this sentence that I had at the end is the central theme and focus of the book, and should be near the beginning. We want to know that she achieved what she set out to do. Then we will be more confident to learn from her.
Now the framework is forming, the development of this post is much clearer. As necessary, swap the order of paragraphs to make the post more logical. Take the time to get this right. Use some logic to lead the reader to see this subject from your point of view.
Consider using other resources that give your point of view authority. It may be a direct quote, a reference, a short video or photo. Always give credit to your source. Always get permission to use photos.
With the second draft complete. Again take a break, make some coffee, do anything that takes your mind off the draft.Developing a creative process for bloggers writing posts Click To Tweet
4. Discipline – The Third or Final Draft
With a fresh mind, read through the second draft. I never cease to be amazed what I see in my draft after a short break away from it. Make adjustments as necessary. Do the final checks.
1. Is there a sentence that informs the reader of the theme and objective of the post?
2. Does the structure of the post lead the reader logically to the objective?
3. Have you used some supportive resources that add clarity?
4. Grammar and spelling check. An absolute essential discipline. Spelling is not my strong point, and I find it hard to see my own mistakes when I have been working on a post for hours. I use the paid version of Grammarly. I hate Grammarly. Well, I did when I first started using it. I could not believe the mistakes that it found, spelling was the least of my worries.
As I used it, I developed an appreciation for what it can do to assist me. There are still times that I don’t agree with it, and that is fine. Now I am learning to form sentences better, and I am having fewer mistakes show up. That feels good, and I now look forward to Grammarly checking my writing. It gives me more confidence in the end production. We will always be learning, but correct spelling and grammar is such an important discipline of the creative process for bloggers.
5. Comprehension test. Watch someone reading the post. Do they stop and have to go back over it for understanding? If they do, there is probably a better way to rewrite the section. Give your reader permission to be honest. If you have to re-explain concepts to them, the section needs to be re-worded.
When a reader is not available, here is another method to use. Read your post in different settings. For example read it in a published preview mode, you will see it in a different light. Imagine you are your target audience reading the post, endeavor to comprehend like a first-time reader. Another method is to print the post and read it. Reading the printed page allows you to see the post in a fresh way.
6. Promote your post. The very vital step in the creative process to get your post read. Post promotion is a subject of its own; it deserves a brainstorm session to create ways of getting your post to the potential audience you wrote it for. A part of promotion is optimizing the page for search engines so that readers to find your post.
I hope you have found some help in this Creative Process for Bloggers, I would love you to share it.
Any questions that the post has triggered as you read it, feel free to comment below.
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