Friday, November 4, 2011

Writing Process

Today I'm going to answer a few questions and prompts about my writing process. 

When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer? (NaBloPoMo prompt) 

I prefer to write on a computer because I am a bit of a perfectionist and I constantly edit everything I write. Everything you see posted here has gone through many revisions, and sometimes rewritten from scratch. There are times when the feel of putting pen to paper is nice, but I don't care for my handwriting and I don't feel I can write nearly as fast as I can type. If I were to write by hand, I'd probably use a pencil because I can erase it quickly, but I do like the feel of writing with a pen much better than a pencil.

What is your favorite part about writing? (NaBloPoMo prompt) 

My favorite part is when I start writing a piece without much direction, only a vague idea, and in the process of rambling I have an epiphany and the post writes itself. This blog gives me an outlet to process the crazy thoughts a runner deals with during intense training, and most importantly a place to share my struggles with others going through the same thing. It's therapy for me, and hopefully inspiration and motivation for others. Knowing that jotting down my thoughts could help someone else get through a rough patch or be the catalyst that finally gets them on the path to fitness motivates me everyday.

Your blog posts are very well-written and photographed. How long, on average, does it take you to write one of them? And do you have any tips to make the process easier? (from Rachel) 

Thanks Rachel! :) This varies greatly, but I would say a minimum of an hour. Even what may seem like a simple post, usually goes through several iterations once I actually start writing, but I often spend time researching too if it's something more involved. It may not be research in the academic sense, but I may need to pull stats from my own fitness data to illustrate a point, or find just the right photo for the post. Photography is one of my other hobbies, one I've been neglecting lately, so that makes it a little easier if I can just find a photo within my collection or go snap one quickly. 

A few tips:
  • I try to use the weekends to begin drafting several posts, but I rarely finish them ahead of time and queue them. I find that I always have last minute changes or if they are not that time sensitive they'll get posted later if something "newsworthy" happened that day that I would rather blog about. 
  • When I get an idea for a topic, I'll begin a new draft and at least post an outline of what I'd like to cover with links to any supporting material I may want to include. 
  • Sometimes I get overwhelm by everything I want to say, such as when writing a race report, that I get writer's block and can't get it written for days or even weeks. What usually helps is to just start writing fragments and details, without much thought to how everything flows. Eventually those fragments fill the page enough that the gaps don't seem so big. I can quickly narrow the gaps and before I know it the post is done. 
  • I try to remember that not every post has to be lengthy or profound. Sometimes jotting down some bullet points is enough to get me going for a more in depth post or there are enough items to just make a list post.
  • I use relevant memes to help me draft a quick post in a pinch, such as Friday Five or Three Things Thursday.
  • Lastly, I also use Evernote to collect topic ideas and write drafts while on the bus using my iPhone. It's nice because I can then access those notes from any device. 
Got a question or topic you'd like me to address in an upcoming post? Leave me a comment!

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