I’ve been doing a lot of reading of professional literature on the teaching of writing, the writing workshop, and the writing standards for students. As the idea of the writing process comes up over and over again, I took pause to reflect on my own writing process when creating a blog post.
First, I always have an Evernote file called “blog ideas”. Whenever a random thought comes to me, I jot it down in that file. This idea list includes quotes, other blogs as references, random thoughts, and even a paragraph of writing on one topic. If I have time to blog and don’t have a particular idea, I open up that file and might select one of my random ideas to turn into a blog post. This part of my process has evolved from my old writer’s notebooks and my clothesline of brainstorming ideas!
Once I have an idea (new or old!), I usually write a quick draft. Lucy Calkins calls this a “flash draft” in her book, A Guide to the Common Core Writing Workshop. My first draft is usually choppy, as I am simply putting words to paper (via keyboard!) to get the idea out. I will often leave a first draft saved for awhile before returning to it to polish with revision and editing.
Part of my revision process when blogging is to enhance my ideas with additional information. I will often add more description or force myself to give more details that paint a richer picture. Sometimes I use mentor texts to support me in this stage of the process. I love to see how others craft blog posts on certain topics or for certain effect.
Around this time I realize that I need to add graphics or pictures to my post to break up all the words. I tend to add visuals and edit for spelling and grammar at the same time. One of my favorite features of WordPress is the “Preview” feature. In preview you can see what a blog post will look like on your blog. In this view, I can check for spelling and grammar while reviewing the formatting.
I am notoriously bad at rereading my own writing, so this is a step I sometimes skip before hitting publish on a blog post. I have one particular savvy reader who is sure to email me if he spots any obvious mistakes! 😉
The last step in my writing process is to check back for feedback from readers (via comments, twitter, or emails). I love interacting with my audience and find that an especially thrilling part of blogging. I hope that our students experience this thrill with their writing as well!
What is your writing process?