How to Write a Blog Post- or not.

When I began this little blog, I thought it would be about gardening and food.


That got boring, so I decided to let my twin out of my car’s trunk (where I always hide the good stuff).

But, what would I write about?

Life. I’d write about Life, in all of it’s minutia: travel, family, food, restaurants, gardening, recipes, husband, midlife, thickening ankles. Stuff like that.

But ‘Stuff’ like that doesn’t always just roll off the tongue (or flow from pen to paper) so I had to devise a ‘system’.

Let’s call it 

Cheryl’s System 
(Clever, I know).

#1: Find Inspiration

      This is paramount. 

      “What’s meant to be will always find a way” — Trisha Yearwood

      Of course, this is absolutely NOT true. 
      Never listen to a country singer’s advise. Have you heard their lyrics?
      What I have found is the exact opposite.
      What you are supposed to do is a mystery, because what you ‘do’ is not set in stone. 
      And neither will your inspiration be. 
      It may come in the form of a great joke, or a beautiful sunset, or your body falling apart. 
      You may have suffered a great heartbreak, or an IRS audit. 
      Inspiration is a sleathy wench who must be wrangled. 
      Practice finding it in the ordinary.
#2: Create a Working Title

      This will help you stay focused, but…

      “Titles are but nicknames and every nickname is a title”–Thomas Paine

      Which is a great relief because I change my ‘titles’ at least once in every sitting and usually they are obtuse and no one understands them, which is just what a blogger wants- to disregard SEO optimization in the never ending quest for increased internet keyword search ranking? I mean really, who cares? [insert: sound of spinning revolver chamber]

#3: Know your Point-Of-View 

      Before writing a word.

      “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have much influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations” — Aldous Huxley

      Which makes absolutely no sense to me, whatsoever, but I like the rantings of bed-wetting fascists and their never-ending quest to lower civilizations bar to the lowest possible common denominator, and the idea of ‘truth’. So write honestly- even if it does get you into a little trouble. What would life be without a good disagreement, or twelve?

#4: Art

      Include some kind of art, because unless your writing about life insurance, I want a visual.

      “The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls” — Pablo Picasso

      And chances are you are not writing about your revelations at the Conference For World Peace. You are most likely, writing about something that has been written about ad nauseam, but your point-of-view is new, or fresh, or insightful. Except we have an attention span of a bed bug, so give me something to look at. 

#5: Start

      … just start. 

      “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” — Ernest Hemingway

      Write something down, like you’re writing an Econ101 text book. This will provide an outline. Fill in the details later,
      practice Stream-of-Conscienceness writing, by stringing words together as they come to your mind, like I’m doing now,
      -or- use Chronological order and start from the beginning.

      And when your finished with your first draft, read it over, throw-up, and start again. Happy Days!

     The point is- just start. You’ll get better at it. And you’ll master a process that will help you to formulate your thoughts and put them into words. Just have bandages.

So, in example, I’d like to share how this post started. 

I took a walk.

I noticed long shadows.

I took a photo.

I intended to write a post titled Long Shadows. I even typed it into the title space.

I thought about all of the people who I had lived in the shadows of.

That seemed like it might piss-off a few family members, so I scrapped it.

I looked at the photo again.

I remembered a song I loved as a kid; Me and My Shadow (1922).

I did a little research about the song.

Turns out the lyrics were written by Billy Rose.

I’m fascinated by Billy Rose because he married Fanny Brice, and I LOVE Fanny Brice, or more specifically I LOVE Barbara Streisand who played Fanny Brice in the movies Funny Girl and Funny Lady

So then it became a piece about my love affair with Babs.

Scraped. Everyone’s done that.

Okay- then maybe about Fannie Brice and Billy Rose?

Scraped. Such a brief marriage. No offspring. No psycho moments. 

But I wanted to use this particular image. I was hell bent on using this image.

And I got to looking at it in a different way- like a void. A shadow void- that could be filled with anything I want, like this post, where I changed the title three times, started off going one way and ended up in another, let my point-of-view develop along the way, Changed it, and have rambled my way into blogging history…

or not. 

  • Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest - The writing process is funny – I like #5. I very rarely know what I am going to write about, but somehow the words just come. Have a great week!ReplyCancel

  • Janie Emaus - I always take a walk before I write. The words just seem to pop out with each step.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Lucky you. I take walks between the words. I can often be heard saying’ ‘Walk away from the screen! Walk away…” Hubs wants to know what’s going on as he hears the door slam shut.ReplyCancel

  • Travels with Tam - Hmmm. I didn’t know there was a process!ReplyCancel

  • House Crazy Sarah - You were a kid in 1922??? You had me worried at the Trisha Yearwood quote! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Natalie DeYoung - You’re funny. 😉 And I like number 1; I work at cultivating that one.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Oh I don’t know… I think you write beautifully about topics that have been written about many times- but always with a fresh take. I enjoy your blog TheCatLadySings tremendously.ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda - Most of the time I know my position before I start writing, but occasionally the writing process makes me think a bit more, dig a bit deeper, and sometime realize I feel differently by the end of writing than I did at the beginning.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Insightful. As I parse my words, trying to form them into what I ‘THINK’ I wanted to say- I often times will reform my opinion along the way. Especially as I do research. Thanks for stopping by!!!ReplyCancel

  • Tarana Khan - Good tips here, especially the one about having a clear point of view. And the writing – it’s so important to just start writing!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - Exactamondo Tarana. I often have to just sit and ask myself this question, “What is it I’m trying to say?” Not always easy. Thanks for stopping by! ALways great to have a new reader!ReplyCancel

  • Tamara Woods - This was fun peak into your process. I suppose it all comes down to just doing it. Write something, even if it’s not permanent or perfect. Just write.ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I think your right Tamara- just write, and try to not be too discouraged. Sometimes it works. Sometimes not. Either way- you’re hopefully gaining skill. Nice to see you here again!ReplyCancel

  • Bryan Jones - You ably capture the tortured mind of a writer. Waiting for inspiration doesn’t usually work with me; instead, I simply set myself a daily schedule or word target and try my utmost to stick to it. This seems to work for me most days.

    Incidentally, your tall-shadow photograph would, for me, have triggered the urge to write about someone on stilts – but there again, I am a tad warped!ReplyCancel

    • A Pleasant House - I simply can’t do it- the word target. Yes- the schedule, but so many of my posts are short worded because sometimes I feel the photo tells the story better, but, the ‘stilts’ idea is a great one. Just goes to prove that there are a million ways to express inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Froman - Very creative. (But your work always is, by the way.) Love it.ReplyCancel

  • William Kendall - Never take advice from a country singer? Well, granted, they do tend to sing about their wife taking off with their brother, and she’s got the pickup and the dog and the house and the…

    Good point.ReplyCancel

  • Travels with Tam - when I first saw the title I thought….there’s an actual way to write a blog post? Relief. The answer is no.ReplyCancel

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