pen nib

I don’t want to write this post

I love to write. I do it for a living, assisting WordPress.com users, creating and updating support documentation, and communicating with colleagues. At a distributed company such as Automattic, there are few in-person/voice conversations. The majority of interaction among colleagues and between staff and our users is through written communication. Outside of work, I write fiction for fun and am an occasional blogger. For the month of April I signed up to do Camp NaNoWriMo and my colleague’s blogging challenge, so I have been writing quite a bit more than my norm, seven days a week. Like I said, I love to write, so it’s great to have so many opportunities to do so. However, even for someone who does so much of it, it doesn’t ever get easy. And tonight, I really didn’t feel like writing a blog post, and had absolutely no ideas for what to write about. Each time I make a conscious decision to write something, I have to think about … Read more…

This sums up how I feel

As it turns out, my brain is pretty much fried and I have zero inspiration for a blog post tonight. After I do a little NaNoWriMo work, I’m aiming to look just like Nimue in this photo. If you have any ideas for what you’d like to read about in future blog posts, let me know. I’d be happy to talk about NaNoWriMo (and being a writer in general), how it feels to do a month-long blogging challenge, working at Automattic, being an herbalist, or pretty much anything else I’ve discussed on the blog in the past.

If you could only follow one blog…

Dear followers of my blog (and all others who find your way here), I’m curious to learn what people like to read online, and what they value from a blog. Are they looking for news? Humor? Family updates? Cat photos? Recipes? Celebrity gossip? Thought-provoking fiction or in-depth analysis of issues? With that in mind, I have a question. If you could follow only one blog, what blog would it be? (It can be hosted anywhere, and doesn’t have to even be a WordPress site.) Or, if that question is too hard, answer this: is there a blog for which you read every post as soon as you can? Then… tell me about that blog. What’s interesting about it? Why do you like it? Why would you recommend it to someone else? Please let me know about your favorite blog in the comments. (Also, no fair promoting your own blog, because I know you read that one!)  

What Makes for a Successful Blog Post ?

This month I’ve been participating in my colleague’s blogging challenge, and so far I’ve managed to post every day in the month of April, which means after tonight, that’s eight consecutive days of blog posts. All of the posts so far have dealt with writing, more specifically something related to Camp NaNoWriMo. What I’ve found curious is examining which of my posts have been the most popular, measured by traffic or by comments. The two winners so far are last night’s post, The Confession of a Perfectionist Writer, which I think has more comments than any blog post I’ve ever written, and perhaps my post Writing Partners, in which I did little other than post a photo of two of my cats. My takeaways from this are that I either need to post about the inherent difficulties of writing, or just post more photos of my pets. It also makes me wonder what makes for a successful blog post? Are there topics … Read more…

Confession of a Perfectionist Writer

I have a confession. I’m a perfectionist. Isn’t that what writers aspire to become? The kind of writers who can spew perfectly-composed prose, elegant plots, and compelling characters right from their fingertips, as if every time they touch the keyboard another gem gets added to the page. I’d like to be one of those writers. Hell, I’d like to meet one of those writers! Because the truth is, very few people can write beautiful stories the first time around. Even the greatest writers of all time have gone through drafts. When I was a high school senior, I was lucky to go to Marquette University and see some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts on display. I was astonished to learn that some of the characters we know and love didn’t start off with the same names we know them today (I seem to recall Gandalf was one of them). I was even more amazed to see lines scratched out and scribbles in the … Read more…

Beer and Writing

Founders Kentucky Bourbon Stout brewed with chocolate and coffee and aged in oak bourbon barrels. As soon as I heard about this beer, a limited seasonal beer produced by Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, MI, I knew I wanted to try it. Doing my due diligence, I learned it was supposed to be released on April 1 here in Austin, and I was prepared to go to my local “beer store” to grab some before they sold out. I’m friends with this particular store, Sunrise Minimart, on Facebook, and that’s how I learn about all of the cool new craft beers that they get. Except they got the beer a few days early and although they posted an announcement on Facebook, Facebook decided I didn’t need to see that particular post, so by the time I realized what had happened, it was all gone. It was a fail on the scale of Greek tragedies. And then, a fellow homebrewer posted a photo on … Read more…

Camp report: Writing by dictation

I got off to a great start with Camp NaNoWriMo! I started writing at midnight last night, then I wrote again at a writers meet up yesterday evening, and as a result had logged over 3000 words for the day. Then I realized I should do some more writing later, after midnight, which is my normal time to write, so I’d be sure to have writing done for day two. I just didn’t feel like sitting in front of the computer. So I wrote a big chunk by dictating it into the speech recognition doohickey on my iPad and saved it in Google Docs. That actually works pretty well, especially if you’re writing in first person and don’t need a lot of quotation marks. It’s actually how I’m writing this post as well, although I’m writing it directly in the WordPress app on my iPad. At any rate I feel like I got some really good writing done, with almost … Read more…