Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why I don't post every day.

My friend Pat (Hi Pat!) is a supergreat lady and BFF Jame's mom.

Sometimes, when a blogger she loves takes a break or doesn't post regularly, Pat says, "[Name of blogger] has gone off her blog."

I go off my blog pretty regularly--days pass and I know you miss me. Sorry! I miss you too!

I wish I could post a lovely, witty, clever story daily. Except some days I don't feel lovely or witty, or even especially clever. Sometimes these are days I've "gone off the Adderall." Sometimes I sensory-overloaded the previous day or two, sending my body into a tizzy, because MS is an asshole.*

I never go off the blog because I lack content ideas. Currently, 67 stories live in the blogger draft folder and another million in my brain draft folder--and don't forget pictures on my iPhone demanding words.
I'm unsure how long a blog post takes other folks to write, but for Love of the Leaf? I average four hours for 400-500 words. Four. Hours. Think I'm crazy? Take a look at a post creation, the 5 things about CRA (Star Wars edition), created in the Habanos Cigar Lounge members' room:

3 months (at least): You need to write about the Cigar Rights of America organization, my brain tells me. I promise. With my fingers crossed.

1 hour: Research CRA, reading their website, current national, state, and local issues, previously submitted legislation and results.  Drink Diet Coke, thanks to bartender.

Without you, DC, I am nothing.

1/2 an hour: Make a list of "things," culled from research, that require inclusion for an audience with a slight working knowledge of the organization. Come up with a dozen.

1/2 an hour: Delete extraneous and repetitive topics and pile a couple together, all while eating cookies. Realize there are still seven (items on the list, not cookies).

1/2 an hour: Play Sophie's Choice, trying to determine which points readers should know about most. (Five things is random but it's a manageable number for most topics.)
You guys. I need this. Need it badly or I will die.
Available here.

1/2 an hour, many more cookies: Expand on points, adding details and explanations, along with a brief introduction.

5 minutes: Read post, finding it so boring I nod off. Consume more Diet Coke in huge quantities.

20 minutes: Look at Google images, putting in keywords from the (boring) text. Consider featuring Archer gifs again just because...Archer.

Because Archer.
5 minutes: Re-reread boring text and spot a glimmer of an idea. If only the CRA had a version of the Force to say, "This is not the legislation you are looking for" to the Evil Empire's stormtroopers.

1/2 an hour: Rewrite entire piece with Star Wars extended metaphor. Feel smugly genius throughout revision.

40 minutes: Reread. Feel the opposite of awesome. 700 words. I edit out clutter, helping verbs, prepositional phrases, adverbs, and all the other word detritus, inching closer to (self-imposed) 400-word "5 Things" limit. Hit 500 words. Think about throwing in the towel and saying, "Meh. Good enough."

20 minutes: Pound head on glass table out of frustration, which also dislodges remaining active brain cells. Cut another hundred words.

5 minutes: Valentino reads the piece. A friend (with 90+ books published) says, "Good editors make good writers." True story. Our hero points out a sentence unclear beyond the limits of my brain. He offers suggestions for a funnier turn of phrase, kisses me on the top of the head (as all good editors should), and flees writer central.

15 minutes: Revise again.

Publish blog post.

10 minutes: Reread 500 times and make adjustments.

Post on Facebook.**

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I can do both in the Habanos Members' Room.

*I don't need to hear about how diet soda will make my head explode and/or is giving me MS. I literally have one vice: Diet Coke.

**Do you like our Facebook page yet? You should. We're giving away stuff on there! You like stuff! We like giving stuff!

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