SoCS — How To Write a Blog Post

53777316-BF99-4AAF-9225-F10F49550527For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to “Write instructions for anything you know how to do.”

I don’t possess a particular expertise in any area, but there is something I do multiple times a day. I write posts for my blog. So here are my instructions for writing a blog post in 32 easy steps:

  1. Sit down at your computer (or with your tablet or smartphone).
  2. Open up your blogging app.
  3. Stare at the screen while you think of something to write about.
  4. Fix yourself a cup of coffee.
  5. Check your stats and read comments on your other posts.
  6. Go to your newsfeed, Facebook, or Twitter for ideas on current events, politics, religion, sports, or technology, or read other bloggers’ posts for ideas and/or writing prompts.
  7. Stare at the blank edit page waiting for something to click.
  8. Get another cup of coffee.
  9. Choose a topic for your post.
  10. Start typing (or tapping).
  11. Stop typing and read what you’ve written so far.
  12. Admit that it’s crap and move it to trash.
  13. Check your spam folder.
  14. Go back to your edit screen and start typing.
  15. Repeat steps 11 and 12.
  16. Repeat step 14.
  17. Repeat step 11 again.
  18. Decide that it’s good enough.
  19. Check for spelling and grammatical errors.
  20. Fix any such errors you find.
  21. Read your draft post out loud.
  22. Make any further edits to enhance flow and readability.
  23. Search the internet or your own photo library for a suitable image to illustrate the subject matter of your post.
  24. Preview your post.
  25. Make any further changes necessary.
  26. Repeat steps 24 and 25 until you think it’s ready to go.
  27. Hit “Publish.”
  28. Read your published post in your browser.
  29. Say to yourself, “Shit, how did I miss that typo?”
  30. Fix the typo.
  31. Hit “Update.”
  32. Go take a nap.

Untethered

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I’m not going to participate in today’s one-word prompt and I’m going to tell you why.

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for about two months. Well, I should say that I returned to blogging on WordPress about two months ago, after a blogging hiatus of more than two years.

My previous blog, since deleted, was pretty successful. I would get hundreds of views a day, with dozens of likes and comments on every post. I had around 3,000 “followers” when I suddenly called a halt to blogging.

But my blog’s “success” took its toll. I was posting every single day — sometimes multiple times a day. I participated in a bunch of prompts from both WordPress and from other bloggers. I took the time to read the posts of those who liked mine. I would comment on their posts and I would respond to their comments on mine.

It was fun, but it was also very time-consuming. All encompassing, actually. I became obsessed with and possessed by my blog. It was virtually eating me alive. All that time spent posting, reading, and commenting almost cost me my marriage and my job. For my own good I needed to break the chain. So I abruptly quit (my blog, not my marriage or my job).

When I started blogging again two months ago, I promised myself that I wouldn’t allow WordPress to tether me to it like it did the last time. And yet here I am, posting daily, sometimes twice a day, reading the posts of those who like mine, commenting on their posts, and responding to comments made on mine.

When I read today’s prompt word, “tether,” I realized that WordPress has once again drawn me into its highly addictive web.

And that is why I decided that I would not respond to today’s daily prompt.

I’ll see you all tomorrow.

Got a Second?

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Don’t you hate it when you’re right in the middle of something, especially when that something requires a certain amount of focus and concentration — like drafting a blog post — and someone walks up to you and asks, “Got a second?”

When that happens to me, my fantasy response would be to say, “Sure, I’ve got a second.” Then I’d glance down at my watch, look back at the person who interrupted me, and say, “Oh sorry, time’s up.” Oh snap!

Sometimes I want to respond, “Are you blind or merely oblivious?” Seriously, can’t this person see that I’m busy working on something very important?

Even if the interrupter asks me if I’ve got a minute, rather than a second, by the time that individual explains what it is that he or she has so rudely interrupted me to ask or discuss, the minute is usually up.

But if I say no, I don’t have a second — or a minute — I’m the bad guy, right? I’m the one who is labeled as uncooperative, unhelpful.

Yet if I miss a deadline because I tried to be cooperative and helpful, but that “second” I was asked for turns out to be way longer, then it’s my ass that’s in a sling, not the ass of the guy who asked me if I’ve “got a second.”

So yeah, I hate it when someone asks me if I’ve got a second. Because it never is just a second … or a minute.

Am I being too literal?