My Blogging Process: a Peak Behind the Curtain at Retrospective Lily

Hi, friends. In today’s post, I’ll give you a glimpse behind the scenes and share my blogging process with y’all.

If you haven’t noticed, I post once a week on Friday afternoons. At any given time, I have 10-20 rough drafts hanging out, waiting for their turn on the metaphorical conveyor belt that moves from “rough draft” to “published post.” Speaking of which, I need to accept that I will never publish some of my old drafts and just delete them already. I’m hoarding certain ones with the unrealistic thought, “Maybe someday…”

ANYWAY, I write about one draft a week, but I squeeze in more if time permits it throughout the week. Do I really need to write that many? Nope. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the creativity muscle needs to be flexed regularly to maintain its strength. Also, having an array of drafts “sitting on go” allows me to publish posts during super busy weeks.

I keep a list of ideas that I reference when I sit down to write, and I add ideas to this list all the time as they randomly hit me. Fun fact: I have to drop what I’m doing to jot down ideas immediately or I forget them. [I once got inspired while driving and forgot the idea by the time I reached my destination.]

Sometime between Sunday and Tuesday, I’ve decided which of my rough drafts to place on the conveyor belt for that week. My first objective is to edit the initial rough draft. Some drafts come out almost flawlessly from the start, while others require more thought refinement before I can edit for grammar/structure/sentence flow. [The latter happens worse with old rough drafts because my thoughts on things evolve with time.]

I spend the first half of the week editing the rough draft. The process loosely follows this pattern–thought refinement, grammar refinement, highlighting and italicizing sentences. The grammar refinement takes a few go-rounds, and thought refinement often happens incidentally as I edit grammar. However, this is the general overview of my editing process.

By Wednesday or Thursday, I’m ready to focus on aesthetics. I find free images (Pixabay, Unsplash) to sprinkle throughout the post that relate to things I’m saying, and I start making my featured image on Canva. Fun fact: the font I use in a featured image is a deliberate, careful decision. If you look at my blog page via my website, or if you open my profile in the WordPress Reader, you will notice that font is an intentional choice; a beachy photo is paired with a summer-y font, a post about writing a letter has a legible but elegant cursive font that evokes the thought of writing by hand, etc. I also tint the photos and add little stickers–both to contribute to my brand aesthetic. [The next Blogging Tips & Tricks will focus on photo editing tips. ๐Ÿ™‚ ] I just updated the featured image for these posts to better match my aesthetic, which has refined over time.

On Friday, the post is ready to go, so I obsessively read it over a couple times, combing it for previously-overlooked errors. When the post goes live, I check it AGAIN and, about half the time, I somehow find a mistake. So I go fix it immediately and wash my hands of it. Then, I wait for y’all to encourage me with your love and support. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, there you have it–a glimpse of my blogging process. Thanks for reading! How often do you post, and what does your process look like? Let me know in the comments.

48 comments

  1. We have similar writing methods. I tend to tackle a blog post in one or two days and will spend several hours at a time. I too have drafts, and I go through an extensive editing process. I know how tempting it is for bloggers to hit โ€œpublishโ€ but thatโ€™s how errors happen. Some bloggers donโ€™t care if they have spelling and grammatical mistakes but I do. Itโ€™s like school; I wouldnโ€™t submit an essay until Iโ€™ve refined and edited it. Same goes for blogging.

    Posting at least once a week is something Iโ€™m currently struggling with. Because I spend hours at a time writing a blog post, I donโ€™t always find the time or the motivation to write. More often than not, I have to discipline myself to sit down and write a blog post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep, I also have to discipline myself to sit down and write a blog post because it’s the longest/most mentally taxing part of the process…which is why I just edit old drafts and not write any new ones for a week or two sometimes. I’m also like you in that I care a lot about the professionalism/perfection of my posts.

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  2. I’m similar to you but post on Thursdays each week. I also publish my drafts in the order they were written unless something awesome happens (example: completing a half marathon in a new city) then I adjust my order to get the exciting event published. My goal is to have two months worth of articles written and then edit them multiple times before publishing. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Interesting peek at the behind-the-scenes ๐Ÿ™‚ Your blog is very interesting and visually pretty! I like the color combination of rose and some purple. I can tell you put a lot of care into what you do.

    I blog once a week on my writing blog, and about once a week on my faith blog. I’ve been only posting on my faith blog when I read a Bible verse I want to share or other positive messages. They’re both pretty laid back blogs ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have an awesome weekend and God bless!
    Yari

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I wish I was more disciplined and stuck to a schedule like yours! A post about my process would be rough: 1) Idea pops into my head and I write it on a scrap of paper. 2) I find that paper a few weeks later. 3) That idea doesn’t make sense, but I realize I haven’t posted in a while. 4) I sit down and write a post from start to finish.

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      1. In full disclosure, I do a lot of pondering. I’m usually thinking about something in my head for a week, then spit it out in written form. So my rough draft is mostly in my head.

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  5. It’s so annoying that we can seemingly check every sentence slowly and carefully several times, and yet, somehow, one or two errors always seem to remain! I think it’s God’s way of keeping us humble. Sometimes I read over my sentences so much that I start to feel like a bit of a zombie. Then it’s time to give up and hit publish! Or at least take a break.

    I admire your discipline very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoy your posts!
    I,also, have multiple rough drafts. Right now I have about 40. The post I recently did on the poem, “A Smile Costs Nothing” sat in drafts for probably a couple of years till I felt the time was right.
    I was trying to do one or two posts per week, but a couple of weeks ago God challenged me to write a daily post on what I’m thankful for. This forces me to consider what I’m thankful for daily because I don’t like to quit anything till it’s done. These are much shorter posts, so not as much editing happens; the goal is to be thankful and help others consider how to be more thankful.
    You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ruth–I also enjoy your posts! I also have drafts that have been waiting around for years. It’s cool that the daily thankfulness posts are helping you see all your blessings–I should think of one thing I’m grateful for every day this month. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Yep, it seems like no matter how obsessively we may read and re-read before and after publishing a post, there’s always an error there somewhere ๐Ÿ˜‚ I swear sometimes I just see what I want or expect to see, so I read something as it ‘should’ be rather than as it is, hence why I don’t spot so many silly mistakes in my own posts. It’s interesting to see how you go through the process and deal with taking a post from draft to publication!
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That was enlightening! I found this to be interesting. A lot of thought and work goes with your blogs. I didn’t realize just how much. I really don’t have a post! I’ll keep enjoying yours and appreciate all the time effort and work that goes into it. Deb

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  9. I admire your writing and blogging process so much!! Great tips Lily!! The effort you put in makes it a treat to come visit your pages ๐Ÿ˜Š
    As for me, I really could learn a lot from you; and have filed away some of your tips in my brain for later use (hopefully they don’t get lost there, LOL).
    Keeping up with my current blog is not that big of a priority for me right now. I think it is because I am blogging anonymously as a way to get out of the fog of abuse and so I do not give my blog aesthetics as much care and thought as I have given to other writing projects that I’ve done in the past. But when I am ready to finally emerge from the fog, I think your way of going about it is spot on, balanced, and very wise, and a great way to feed and exercise all your God given creative talent muscles!! Keep doing what you are doing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Salt! Your blogging style differs from mine–more frequent, less refined–but I enjoy your posts. With the root of your posts going back to abuse, the rawness and the diary-esque style of your blog posts makes sense. I would likely approach it differently if I was also anonymous, but since I promote my blog on my personal social media and it’s attached to my name, I want to go above and beyond. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I have shut my blog down. So I will respond to this in past tense. I started my recent anonymous blog as a recovering perfectionist, among other character traits, err, flaws (competitiveness over cooperation, self interest, etc.), that I sensed God wanted to work ‘out’ of me. As well as needing a space to talk through the abuse and its affects. Therefore, I sometimes purposely left typos (and run on sentences… and a few misspellings and I didn’t bother with the design element either). I then sat with the irritation that resulted in my ‘gut’ from knowing that I had a post with a typo in it — it still bothered me, but not as much as prior. I came to see that the condition of my own heart was more important than the image I was portraying to others. And I realized that I couldn’t lead any one else to Christ if I was not solidly there myself. The Psalms were my main inspiration for my recent ‘anonymous’ blog. David’s name is attached to some ugly things, like wanting God to knock other people’s teeth out. And so I know that I simply can’t have David’s beautiful, emotional heart for God without owning some of those ugly things I’d rather not have anyone else know about. The challenge for me now will be this: to be similarly raw, but with my name attached. For therein is the calling of God on my life. And so I enjoyed all your tips in this post as I am transitioning back into ‘real world’ stuff now. And I think there is a place for a combination of both refinement and a raw outpouring, as we see in the Psalms. โค๏ธโค๏ธ Blessings to you on your journey! Keep writing for Him!

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  10. My blogging is much like my life, a little haphazard and moving in direction of the breeze. Somehow I manage to post twice monthly (usually, but not always, on Monday morning after working in the off-hours of the weekend), and if inspiration strikes more often, then so-be-it. The non-schedule seems to work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great process Lily. Thanks for sharing your insights into what goes on behind the scenes in preparing posts for your wonderful blog. I keep a list of ideas and a couple of drafts handy. I’m trying to post a couple of times a week, but sometimes due to other commitments can’t keep up that pace. Right now, I’m exploring and reviewing ideas for 2020.

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  12. I sometimes do that, too – write down ideas for posts and then never elaborate. It’s hard to trash them, but since I like things to be “current”, I force myself to delete the older ones.

    Your tidbit about fonts was very interesting. I would have never thought of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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