Monday, April 12, 2010

How to blog?

Sometimes people ask me how much time I spend writing a post or how I come up with ideas about what to write about. I thought maybe it'd be interesting with a small behind the scenes on this process.

To answer the first question I'd say I spend about 45 minutes writing a post, and of course it varies alot depending on how many pictures I want to add or if I have to do some background information checks. It generally doesn't take less than 30 min though, and I don't think I've spent more than two hours on a post either (except this one time when I was asked to tank something in the middle of a post). The time it takes to write a post sometimes affects which post I decide to write on a special day. If I have alot of other things going on I have to choose a shorter topic of course. If something interesting just happened I might write about that, eventhough I had planned for something else initially. I don't actually plan to spend a certain amount on writing a post, and that would be useless anyway since I always end up spending more time than I thought it would take. I add a little something here, change a little something there... that takes more time than one can think ^^ I am glad the site doesn't display edits for each post, because I usually end up editing small things like crazy. And then in the end there is always something wrong anyway. Ah well, let's call that a "personal" touch ;)

So how do I come up with ideas? Well that part is fairly easy actually, I have a little notebook in which I type the sentence for an idea, like "Warrior guide", "How to improve peoples playstyle" or "why do pets suck". These ideas usually come to me simply by me experiencing something in WoW, or some other place, that I think needs some commenting upon. The problem isn't really to come up with ideas, going about your life will generally give you alot of things to talk about, the problem is trying to make it interesting.

I don't write about anything I don't find interesting, and I never (so far anyway) have avoided a subject because I thought it wouldn't be interesting for someone else to read. If I like to write about it, that's good enough. But sometimes I feel like I'm not "ready" for the task. Like if I write it now it wouldn't come out as good as I want it to be. I read an interview with the author Neil Gaiman about his new book "The Graveyard Book" where he said that he had the idea for it a very long time, but didn't feel like he could do it justice until recently. That is true for blogging too, at least when you try to blog somewhat argumentative like me. I usually discuss a subject, or try to present something in an interesting way, and sometimes I just feel like I don't have the time or knowledge to make the subject justice yet. That means many ideas are on hold until I feel I can make something proper out of them. Here are some examples;

- Presentation of the MMORPG Fallen Earth (lack of knowledge)
- List of funny charnames (haven't found any funny enough charnames yet! Feel free to submit your contribution).
- List of good/bad ingame sounds (not long enough list yet)
- DPS guide (maybe I did that already? Hmm...)

Why do I blog anyway? I've always written alot of stuff, I used to write diaries from 9 years old to 16 years old, or something like it. At work I always scribble thoughts down on some paper laying around, and I always save all those papers! When doing school assignments in groups I always volunteer as the secretary of notes. I like to express myself, and it doesn't have to be to the public. I stopped a while but quickly realized I really missed to be able to scribble some thoughts down every now and then. Doing it on the computer seemed like a better choice, since writing on a keyboard is way less tiresome than by hand (although I still love to type by hand, and do whenever a computer isn't near). So I thought, why not start a blog? That way I can access it from anywhere and a computer meltdown wouldn't wipe all I've written away. My posting rate went up and down some the first years and then last year I finally felt like I wanted to write alot of stuff, not just small fry posts. Best case scenario I'll get some feed back on what I'm writing. But in any case I'll at least get what I want, a means to express my thoughts and have them on print, for my own sake. So although there probably are as many reasons to blog as there are bloggers, my reasons are mainly personal. I am quite sure I'd continue to blog even if I knew for a fact that no one read it (although I'd probably change language to swedish and my way of expressing myself somewhat). In fact I was quite sure for a very long time that no one read it, and I kept on writing anyway. I actually love to read my own posts just because they make me think about what I did when I wrote them. It's like a diary.

I suppose if I were to give one advice to anyone interested in starting their own blog it'd be; never force yourself to write anything you find boring. Don't try to write for other people, write for yourself, but perhaps in a way that make other people understand what you're talking about. If people like it, they'll like it, but it's meaningless if you don't like it.
(This post took 40 minutes to write, and was edited 7 times ;) )

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