Journal Entry

The Life Cycle of a Blog Post

From a Dreamy, Flighty, INFJ Writer

Imagine this scene….I shall call it the Good L’il Blogger Scene

I have my cup of coffee and I sit down at my computer. Beside me is my bullet journal busting at the seams with blog post ideas and titles.

I open my journal and start to fill in my editorial calendar with months worth of post ideas. Each post has its pic and opt-in planned ahead of time and everything is so perfectly planned out.

With everything perfectly planned out and looking so pretty and satisfying, I open up my Word Processor and get to writing the first blog post on the list.

I get the post written out. I let it marinate for a few hours or overnight. Then I get it proofread and formatted in WordPress. I create my perfectly planned out vertical pinnable image and make sure my opt-in fits with that particular post and that the embedded form is just right.

When all the boxes are checked off, I schedule the post for some date way in the future. Of course, because I have this so well planned that I can write for a month or more ahead of time.

I sigh a sigh of pleasure for a job well done and then move on to the next blog post on my list.

*
*
*
*Belly Aching Laughter*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

One can only wish that is the true scenario.

I know there are bloggers out there that absolutely operate like that and I applaud them. I don’t judge. I glean wisdom from them and have a ton of respect for their focus and organization. I know my weaknesses so I learn where I can.

But, that is not my personality. My personality is more scattered and dreamy. My husband and I joke that I basically live up in the clouds and that he (just like the blogger mentioned above) holds the rope that keeps me from completely floating away.

Here is the life cycle of my blog posts….from a dreamy, flighty, INFJ writer

I get up in the morning and get the husband out the door.

I have my devotional time before the boy wakes up.

Once the boy wakes up, he and I have about 30 minutes of what we call “Coaching Time.” As a family, we follow our personal coach, Dani Johnson, and we want our son to develop the habit of always learning and always receiving coaching. (link)

After Coaching Time, he gets settled in his homeschool assignments and I sit down at my desk or on the couch. Don’t forget the cup of coffee. The coffee might be the only thing that is consistent between these two blogger scenarios.

I open my current writing document in Microsoft Word. I keep a running document where I do all my writing. No, I do not have separate documents for each post or each topic or whatever. It allllll goes in one place. Lord knows, I only need one piece of writing to keep up with.

When the current writing document hits about 100 pages, I will file it away and start another one. I have lost count of how many of these documents I’ve created. They are all saved in my Dropbox…I think…somewhere.

I start writing at the bottom of the page where I last left off. I just write.

I process what I have to do that day.

I process any thoughts and emotions I’m feeling at the time.

I….just….write.

It gets the cobwebs out my head. Doing this helps me think more clearly. I’m sure the coffee helps too.

I also turn on my favorite Pandora Station….David Crowder Radio.

At some point, my writing will shift from a stream of consciousness about my day to being more focused on blogging topics.

Well, who am fooling?

Actually, sometimes it shifts to being more focused and sometimes it never shifts.

Sometimes it shifts to being extremely raw as I pour my soul onto the paper and there is no real bloggable material to be seen.

That’s alright. I am totally okay with that.

After writing at least 1000 words I feel myself out.

Am I in a good place to stop writing or is there more business that needs to be handled?

Some days I just stop and move on to the next task and some days I know there is a lot that needs to happen on this page. On those days I just keep writing.

Writing…That’s why I started this whole thing, to begin with. If I am ever forgetting the writing and replacing with the business side of blogging then I need to just step back.

I check the Editorial Calendar.

(Yes, I do have one of those. See….I do learn from those more organized than I.)

If there is a post listed on the list that I haven’t formatted and scheduled, I go and find the text for the said post somewhere in my giant writing document. I am forever grateful to the “Find” feature in Word. Then I proceed to process that blog post complete with pinnable images and opt-in forms.

BUT, there are days when I there are no unprocessed posts on the list.

OH NO! What’s a girl to do?! Crap.

Fear not, fearless writer.

Remember how I write every day?

I just start skimming through my giant document. I look through either the current one or past ones. I skim until something catches my eye and I think, “Ooooo….that’s a good one. How did I forget about that one?”

Crisis averted. I plug the post in my calendar and proceed as usual.

Sometimes I will even skim until I have material for several posts.

Then I will copy and paste the text into WordPress. I clean it up, proofread, format, and off we go.

There are plenty of days when I am so unsure what to write. I feel like a desert or a dried up well. And what I have found is that it is usually because there is something I need to figure out and process. All the more reason that I need to be writing.

I write no matter what. And in so doing, I will ALWAYS have content. ALWAYS. Click To Tweet

And when I find the lost blog posts in the sea of words I am often reminded of other ideas that lead to more writing and more blog posts.

Writing 1000 words a day has ensured a steady stream of content AND a healthier emotional state. (links)

Perhaps, this method of writing for your blog makes you twitch a little bit. HA! That’s totally cool. No judgment. I twitch at all the organized methods of some bloggers.

But, It works for me.

And we can all learn from each other, right?

 
 


 

Stock Image Credit:

Billy Huynh“display: inline-block; padding: 2px 3px;”>Mahir Uysal

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Journal Entry: Writing And Running A Marathon


2018 is rapidly approaching and I couldn’t help musing about my top two goals for the new year. I spent some time journaling about it and would love to share. 

I’ve heard it said, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

This has been said to me so many times that I’ve lost count.  I thought I knew what it meant then but it’s not until now that it is making more sense.

You see, I’m going to run my first marathon in 2018.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would finish a marathon before I turned 40. I am just 14 months away from turning 40.

Running a marathon has been on my bucket list for probably 20 years already. I can’t really explain exactly WHY I want to cross that finish line. I just know that there is something deep inside me that says I will always have unfinished business if I don’t run a marathon. I think God has some work to do with me while I’m training.

Could it be that it is more about the training than the finishing? Click To Tweet

So, I have signed up for a marathon to be run in November 2018. That gives me a year to build a base and then ramp up mileage.

Running long distance requires great discipline and focus.

It means putting in the miles when the weather is perfect and when the weather sucks (i.e. cold and wet or hot and humid).

It means getting out of my comfort zone.

It means growing grit and not running away from discomfort.

It means early mornings or late nights of just getting the time on my feet.

It means always coming back even when it hurts. 

It means sucking it up when I just don’t feel like running.

It means my head clearing as soon as I start moving and then learning something new about myself by the end.

It means creating a mental place where I can be lost in my thoughts and work through it all.

Being a marathon runner means that I CAN do this and all my excuses can be damned to Hell where they belong.

It is a perfect pairing that 2018 is also the year that I am diving head first into WRITING.

The parallels between running and writing are astounding. Click To Tweet

Why?

Being a writer means putting in the time at the computer pounding the words out.

Being a writer means early mornings and late nights.

Being a writer means embracing the discomfort.

Being a writer means putting in the time so that I can reach word count goals.

Being a writer means working hard for a finish line that I can’t even see yet but knowing that it is there.

Being a writer means working towards that finish line knowing full well that it isn’t really a finish line after all. It is merely a stepping stone to achieving bigger and greater things.

Being a writer means being comfortable with mining through my soul and giving voice to my deepest thoughts and feelings.

Being a writer means opening myself up to what God wants to do while I’m “out there.”

Being a writer gives me an outlet for all the thoughts I have while I’m outside chasing after that marathon. (And Lord knows, there are plenty).

Being a writer means going after goals even when it sucks and hurts.

Being a writer means leaning in when it’s hard instead of giving in to comfort.

Being a writer means I am growing major Grit.

Being a writer means that I CAN do this and all my excuses can be damned to Hell where they belong.

 
 

 

 

Stock Image Credit:
lucas Favre

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Journal Entry: Me? A Writer?


Relationships are built on transparency and vulnerability. It is so easy in this time of blogging and social media to always put on your best face and not open the gates to your heart and soul. I have spent way too long locked up, not letting anyone in. I want to break down those walls and let you in. For that reason, I am running a series of posts that I’m calling “Journal Entry.” In these posts, I will share directly from my journal, where I write my 1000 Words A Day. It will be a copy and paste with no editing or cleaning up. 

I can’t believe I am doing this.

I just can’t shake it and the Husband won’t let me. The Lord won’t let me. The Holy Spirit won’t let me. Apparently, I am a writer and there is nothing I can do about it.

But, seriously? Me? A writer? I have no formal training beyond writing papers for degrees in History and Counseling. What do I have to say? What can I offer this gigantic world? I am not an expert in anything. I am a wife, a homemaker, a homeschooler, a part-time jobber. I am overweight and out of shape. I’m not all that pretty. I am a jogger but I am firmly in the back of the pack. I am not an extravagant chef. I am not crafty and the crafts I do make are kind of gimpy looking. I have never made a big difference. I am one of those random faces in the crowd that doesn’t really stick out. I am average and maybe even less than that.

Me? A Writer? Seriously, Lord?

This is just crazy! Why won’t you leave me ALONE?! I have tried so many things and nothing has ever worked. And whenever I cry out for wisdom and direction always come back to writing. There is something inside me that wants to write even though I have no idea what it would be. Nothing has ever worked! What would make me think this thing called writing would work? What can I say? Would anyone even listen? What is the point if no one listens? So many thoughts. I have tried writing before and that fell by the wayside too.

How is this time different? Clueless.

The Lord prompts me and I turn away. I am scared and embarrassed. Who am I to think that I could be used to do something awesome?

Me? A writer? There is NO WAY!

The Holy Spirit digs into my soul and asks me to write. I run away. I don’t want to go that deep, Lord. It is too dark and shameful. Please leave that part alone because I am so not worthy of your presence. Please allow me to keep my shamefulness and mediocrity to myself, a sinful woman. I have given you my soul, my love, and my trust. Please don’t ask me to give every last detail of my shame and then write it down. This is too hard. I am not worthy. I have done so many terrible things. People won’t love me. They won’t like me if they knew.

Me? A Writer? I just can’t believe it, Lord.

You say that you are drawing me to yourself through pen and paper. You chase me down. You are relentless. “Open yourself to me and great things will happen,” you say. “Just allow me to clean you from the inside out,” you say. “You know my Son and you know my salvation but there are galaxies more to know of my Love and plan for you, my Child. Just let go”

I am afraid.

I am afraid of what will be revealed, uncovered. I am sinful and I am ugly. Please, Lord, use someone else. Use someone who is more faithful and more talented. I am just a homemaker, a home-schooler. I have never done anything great. I am just me. And yet you never let me go. How many times have I heard, “Oh NO! I am not letting you get off that easy!”

Me? A Writer? Seriously, Lord?

I guess so. Apparently, you aren’t letting me get out of this one. It is with fear and trembling that I submit. I have no idea where this will lead. I am still quite afraid of what will be shown to me. It is ugly and it is dark. Of that I am sure. But, if the Lord can use me, a sinner, to bring himself glory then I guess it is all worth it.

So, with that, I become a writer.


 

 

 

Stock Image Credit:
Aaron Burden

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Journal Entry – I AM Enough

Relationships are built on transparency and vulnerability. It is so easy in this time of blogging and social media to always put on your best face and not open the gates to your heart and soul. I have spent way too long locked up, not letting anyone in. I want to break down those walls and let you in. For that reason, I am starting a series of posts that I’m calling “Journal Entry.” In these posts, I will share directly from my journal, where I write my 1000 Words A Day. It will be a copy and paste with no editing or cleaning up. 

There are days when I look in the mirror and sigh. I see that frumpy and dumpy homeschooling housewife. I think of all the things I have not accomplished.

The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO.

I take a deep breath as I stare in the mirror and then I feel an arm come around my waist and I hear a sweet whisper of “I Love You.” I enjoy the moment. I give in. I then hear in my soul, “You ARE Enough!” It is then that I know that yes, I AM enough.  There is a lot I have not accomplished, but there is so much more that I have — things of eternal value.  I look away and I see my only son giggling as he reads his favorite books. I hear, “Hey Mom! Listen to this!!” We laugh together on the couch.

Then we gather at the table for dinner. The two loves of my life are eating and laughing. Even the dog is content as she rolls around on the carpet. We are happy. We are content.

Relationships are built on transparency and vulnerability. Click To Tweet

At bedtime, I can’t help but smile big as I walk by my son’s room and I see him and his Dad reading Scripture together. They both look up and smile.

After a little TV time with my Sweetheart, I slip into my boy’s room and I kiss his sleeping head — like I have every night since he was born–almost nine years now. I whisper, “I Love You.”  In that place between reality and dreams, he quietly says “I love you too. You are the best Mom EVER.”

My soul smiles as I go to bed. I take off my glasses and slip into bed. As I feel strong arms come around my waist again and we fall asleep in unison, I know. I am not perfect. But, I AM enough.

I sleep well.


 


 

Stock Image Credit:
Alisa Olaivar

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