Carrie on Blogging

Did you ever watch Sex in the City?

I was a fan of the TV show. One of the aspects of the show that appealed to me most was Carrie’s writing career. There she’d be, tapping away at her laptop at the window of her New York apartment, happily (and apparently, easily) earning a living by analysing the single life and putting keystrokes to paper.

It was a romantic notion that I enjoyed dreaming about, now and then. And sometimes I get close to replicating it.

Take now, for instance.

I’m at a holiday house in Normanville, beachside South Australia. But I’m not perched at a gaping New York window. Rather, I’m at a laminate kitchen table, tapping away while my husband reads a novel and my two sons saunter to the holiday park ‘games room’ with some gold coins in their pockets. We’ve had a hot day at the beach, followed by boardgames, and now it’s time for us to do our own thing.

So I have the laptop open, a Clare Valley Riesling beside me, and I’m going to say a thing or two about blogging.

Like Carrie’s lifestyle, blogging can have a certain romanticism to it.

These days, we can easily become our own columnist or writer simply by opening an account with WordPress or Blogger or the myriad other blogging tools available now. I think that’s fantastic and provides hope and happiness and excitement to many writers and would-be writers around the world.

Sex and the City character Carrie loves writing
Sex and the City character Carrie loves writing

But a blog is also a commitment.

Done well, a blog is published regularly and provides quality content. It is original and provides something of interest or value to its readers.

This means it’s not something undertaken lightly – otherwise, you’re letting people down. It also takes time and effort  to create that quality content, again and again and again.

So how do I maintain a blog?

Number one (and this can’t apply to everyone): I’ve always loved writing. That’s the first big hurdle of blogging and if you don’t enjoy writing, blogging will be eminently more difficult for you.

I usually mull over topics over a few days or even weeks (such as social media, communications, and People in General). But sometimes, a flash of an idea comes to me and I write an entire blog post immediately.

When I the fragment of an idea, I write it down on whatever’s available. It might be a few words, a sentence, the headline or even the first draft of the blog post …

Then I return later and flesh out that idea.

The boring stuff

The ‘boring stuff’ comes later. That may include finding other references and hyperlinks. It may be a little bit of research to make sure that I’m not sharing something that’s factually incorrect. It includes proofreading.

Good blog posts often have images, too. It can be difficult to acquire a copyright-free image, so I’ve taken to using (often naff) Instagram images that I’ve taken.

Although I use WordPress, I write the first draft of my blogs in Microsoft Word. I have a folder called ‘Blog Drafts’. Then I paste the finished copy into Notepad, then WordPress and preview it several times – it can look very different on your blog page, so this is important.

Have purpose

Overriding all this, I have a ‘blog purpose’. I’m not just blogging about anything (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The purpose of my blog is to provide commentary and tips on social media and to grow a community of readers to interact with. I’m a social media consultant, so it makes sense.

But I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t enjoy writing.

I’d stick just to Twitter or an app like Instagram, or interacting in communities like Quora and LinkedIn.

Blogging comes easily because, like Carrie, I enjoy tapping away at the keyboard and sharing things I’ve been musing over. I just don’t wear skimpy clothing while I’m doing it …

Recommended reading

For the  world’s best blogging tips, I highly recommend Problogger (Darren Rowse). Follow him on Twitter @problogger or subscribe to his wonder blog where guests contribute all sorts of learnings.

7 thoughts on “Carrie on Blogging

  1. Having a higher purpose is the toughest one for most to achieve – and end goal isn’t necessary – but an overall direction is.

    Any interaction, event, or obstacle which would normally produce a level of anxiety in you when confronted, becomes basically meh when you have an undercurrent of purpose and know it won’t derail you from your path – it relieves any anxiety and lets you proceed with confidence when you know “whatever happens won’t mess up my overall direction so come at me bro”.

    A bullet without a barrel goes nowhere, no matter how much energy is expended.

    I have a gazillion drafts in short-form, most on the psychology of inner Awesomeness and practical life tips, I occasionally post on forums and such with info to help people get out of their own head, and send voluminous emails to friends in need of a stable and aloof perspective – whether they solicit it or now. A blog is next on the cards, followed by an app and a book.

    But did you end up the post by saying you don’t wear clothing whilst blogging? *Fist-bump*

  2. Thanks for the problogger tip – I maintained a blog for a while, and it is a serious responsibility. Not like adopting a puppy, but close. I believe the higher purpose vibe is important – very easy to become self-indulgent (which you do NOT).

  3. Mich, this is home to me and I cherish seeing the passion of people like you etched for eternity in blogs. The reason you’re a superstar is because you don’t try to be anyone but yourself, and that’s cool, because that’s why we like you.

    Being open, honest and approachable are three of the most important elements of success at work and at play, and the reasons why blogs flourish. And why yours is so darn addictive!

    Keep up the great work. I’m loving this – and your swanky new site.

    Namaste.

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