Thursday, December 08, 2005

Meta-blogging

Being a rank beginner, and not someone who kept a personal journal at any point, I'm interested in how people blog.

Do most people write up a couple entries in draft, and play with them until they seem ripe for posting? Or do most people write off the cuff, responding to the day's news or events?

I suspect most of us do a combination, working through some entries in draft form for days/weeks, and writing others quickly.

I read some blogs that feel very well worked, trimmed, revised, and near perfected. And I really enjoy them. (Maybe it's the writing teacher in me, but I read most of the "spontaneous" feeling blogs as having been worked over and revised rather than as spontaneous toss-offs.)

I also enjoy some blogs that feel very spontaneous, especially the entries that seem to respond quickly, sometimes questioningly, to some event that just transpired.

Or maybe people actually spent hours carefully revising their prose between the event and posting even in these entries? How much time do people spend revising their average posting?

Do people feel a need to post every day?

Do those that feel the need tend to save up multiple posts, so they'll have something to enter even on days when they don't have time to write much?

How do other people "read" the "blogquiz" blogs? (You know, the ones that link to a quiz of some sort about what color your blog is or something, and have a graphic to show the blogger's result.) I take those quizzes, sometimes wasting a fair bit of time on them, but I don't tend to pay much attention to them when I see them on blogs, nor do I have much desire to post my results. What about you folks?

ps. Does it seem strange that Blogger's spell-check doesn't recognize "blog" or any similar/derived words in this post?

7 comments:

  1. Hi Bardiac,

    I just wrote something about my blog-writing, with a nifty scan--

    http://mleddy.blogspot.com/2005/12/my-other-blog-is-moleskine.html

    I'll write shorter posts on the fly, usually in Notepad2 (Windows program). Longer entries I almost always start in a notebook.

    I think the quizzes are more fun to take than to read, but not that much more fun. I'm not a fan. I generally dislike seeing the cookie-cutter quiz html in a nice plain sea of prose.

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  2. Bardiac:

    I just found your blog, and I'm a bit of a newbie blogger too.

    I try to blog everyday, but sometimes you just get so busy actually having a life that you just don't think about it. However, as soon as I can, I just put up a little note basically saying "Still here - just busy!" for the benefit of my few faithful readers, who always seem to understand.

    I keep open a blank Word document all day and add things that I think of to it. Toward the end of the day, or whenever I get a chance, I make small edits and then post.

    I never kept a journal before, and so I've found that if I wait and try to get things pretty and sounding sensible, I'll never post anything. Besides, I've found that people tend to react to the emotions in the post, rather than whether something is grammatically correct - sometimes you just want to put stuff out there so that someone will say "Yes, I understand."

    I very rarely do quizzes, although I like reading other people's.

    Hope this is helpful!

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  3. I tend to use my blog as a means to track my work progress more than anything else. I don't get many visitors there, and I don't work too terribly hard to be entertaining--it's mostly there for me and my friends and the infrequent visitor who wants to feel *productive* by comparison.

    I tend to post almost every day that I've done some work. Most quizzes are cheesy. I don't usually do them; I did post one recently because I thought the artwork was pretty. The blog isn't really about my personality or anything, so those don't seem to fit there.

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  4. I don't prepare entries in advance. It's become a journal of my work. Feedback helps me feel on track and less isolated.

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  5. I occasionally keep a post in draft form for a day or so, but more often, for my longer posts, I write when I have enough time (an hour, let's say) to write, revise, rearrange, and get the thing sounding the way I want it to in one go.

    I do dither over my writing--I dither over even my emails--but the whole premise of a blog, I feel, is to be somewhat more immediate than most of the writing we do, and keeping something hanging around in draft form makes me feel that it's too formal or official. Which is why I like to write a post in one sitting, even if it's rather a long sitting sometimes.

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  6. I occasionally draft something and go back to it - usually when it's a longer piece - but generally I write fast and post with little revision. Which is funny b/c I revise my academic work up the wazoo; but then, I never revised much until I started writing longer pieces (like in grad school). So short things I sort out in my head and send off. (In fact, if I let a longer piece sit for more than a day or so, I often don't post it at all, because it feels like the moment has passed.)

    And I post pretty much when I feel like it. Sometimes that's once a day, sometimes that's only once every few days, sometimes that 3 or 4 times a day (the latter is usually when I should be doing something else!).

    About quizzes - I enjoy doing some of them, and I don't mind reading them; I have posted them in the past, but now I tend not to, unless the result is something that I can actually post more about. That's the same with memes - if they reveal information about someone that I enjoy reading, I'll do them myself, but I'm cutting back on posting them. I try to avoid the really long list-like ones. My general rule of thumb is that if I enjoyed reading it somewhere else I'll post it on mine, but if I just looked at it and thought, "another list of stuff," I pass.

    (None of these are hard and fast rules, though!)

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  7. Thanks for the responses, folks. It's great to have such good teachers.

    I'm muddling along, and finding that when I write something more of a quick response, I just draft, read through for basic coherence, spell check (oh, why do I even bother!), and then post.

    But I was finding myself drafting and leaving things over night, or a couple days, in that brainstorming, why the heck to I want to tell people this way, and those entries I tend to redraft and revise over a couple days, usually as I figure out what the point or payoff is. Payoff's always been one of my weakest writing areas, and I suppose finding that so in the world of blogging too makes sense.

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