Hi, folks. I am happy to report that I have made it to 1000 posts. I started blogging daily 2 3/4 years ago and here I am. Here are a few things I’ve learned over time.
1) Not all blog posts are created equal.
Some take 20 minutes, a few take 10 and most take at least 45 minutes to an hour. And then there are those that I spend as much as 2 hours on. The goal is to sit down and write for at least 20 minutes every day. The exact length of time varies depending on the day, the time and the topic.
2) Compelling topics can be a challenge.
The most difficult part of blogging for me is coming up with interesting topics. I sometimes wish I had a magic writing pad that supplied 3 topics from which to choose. Lots of evenings, I spend much of my time staring at the computer mumbling, “Now what can I write about tonight?” I go through several lists online, as well as a book or two here at home before settling on a topic. That is the toughest part of this daily blogging gig, hence the inclusion of favorite recipes, restaurants, books and movies. When you blog every day, you need all the help you can get!
3) The simpler, the better.
I am learning that writing from the heart in the simplest language possible seems to convey my thoughts and feelings the most effectively. Waxing philosophic in a long-winded fashion may have its place, but its place is not a blog post.
4) Controversial stances can be tiresome to readers and to me.
Growing up in a small town where everyone went to the same school helped me to learn early on that people of different political and religious beliefs could respect each other and get along. Soapbox speeches were not encouraged and, as a result, we all seemed to focus on the common core elements that connected us as human beings. That is my goal on my blog. To concentrate on what binds us, one to another; not to point out, ad nauseam, our differences.
5) Not all blog posts can be submitted to other publications.
While I do my best to pick topics that I can “double duty” by posting on my blog and also submitting to literary magazines and anthologies, it is sometimes just not possible to do both. So far, I have several publications this year from my revised posts, but not nearly as many as I would like. I want to get more focused with this goal, but so far, I have found that out of a thousand blog posts, 20 to 30 have been worthy of additional revision and submission to another publication. That is not to say that 20 or 30 have been accepted, but I believe I am looking at 10 so far this year. That’s 10 more than I would have if I weren’t blogging. Most of the posts serve their purpose as a daily chronicle, but they are nothing more than that. However, I am not counting recipes that may eventually be compiled into a cookbook. That would increase the number of worthy posts by quite a few.
6) Blogging Connects Me to So Many People.
I had no idea how many people I would communicate with via my blog. That is the best part of the whole process. I am very pleased and happy to have people who read my humble “20 Minutes a Day” offering, and I thank you all for your support.