I’ve decided to begin writing again. My goal is to share the ideas I am working on in hopes challenging myself to refine and improve those ideas (or throw them out). The thinking process is important for me, and creating a simplified description is a good forcing function. I also need the practice. I don’t write much any more and it doesn’t feel good.
As I’m getting rolling, I recall how frustrating it is for me to write a lot because the end to end process itself takes so much time. I have dozens of half finished posts. So, I have decided to study the process itself and see what’s going on. On a recent trip, I wrote 3-4 pieces and below is a basic overview of the flow.
First, I looked at the process and broke it apart into a set of steps or phases I tend to go through.
My Blog Process:
1. Generate Ideas & Prep 1 or 2 Posts
2. Write Core Content
3. Refine Content
4. Polish & Post
The basic flow is not that interesting. I’m sure others go through something similar. However, it got interesting when I tracked the time spent in each section for a specific post, and re-ranked them in order of effort.
#1 – Polish and Post
#2 – Write Core Content
#3 – Refine Core Content
#4 – Generate Ideas and Prep 1 or 2 Working Titles
So, where does my time go? Well, I realize now that it mainly goes to #1, which is frustrating for me. It seems to be a huge hurdle for me so I thought I’d share a few activities that exist inside that step.
Steps in “Polish & Post”?
• Basic Formatting of text
• Working Title refined into a “Production” Title
• Images chosen or generated
• Post linked in social media
• Social media posts/text written
I have realized I spend huge volumes of time trying to be creative when finalizing the post. I search for hours for just the right image. I labor thinking of clever titles. I break it all apart and fret that the bolded or italicized pieces would help the reader “get it”. Since this takes so long, many get abandoned and never restarted, even though the core content is done.
The next steps for me are to really think deeply about what I’m trying to do here by focusing on why I write. Once that’s done, I will look across the value stream above and refine or eliminate the steps that don’t add value for the core purpose. If any out there has thoughts on how to make that happen, I’d love to hear that as well!
(side note: Do you see that section subtitle called “Next Steps”? Yeah….that took me 5 revisions, and please don’t ask how long it took to find that stupid picture. <sigh>)