Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Everyone has their own method of writing just as everyone has their own method of cooking. For some people writing a blog entry is akin to being a short order cook in a diner – “Idea up!” and it’s thrown on the griddle. Ten minutes later it’s done. For others it might be more of a fast food approach complete with “You want fries with that?” And for many people it is a Cordon Bleu cooking class with lots of preparation. But, as with a person who cooks, for all of us it is a task filled with lots of love and care.

Some people stick to one specific topic within a specific area of expertise post after post. Think of it as the diner where you get only breakfast and the menu only consists of eggs, muffins, toast and meat. Others let their minds jump all over the place. That’s the “fun” menu – the one where every day there are a wide variety of different items on the menu depending upon what the cook found at the market. If you are lucky, you might do a combination of both – have one blog which is more rigid in structure or content while your other blog is more freeform. This is similar to a New York City Greek Coffee Shop. The one with the big multi-page menu that is the same but with a center section that always changes with a large variety of specials.

Then we get to the substance of the meal. Some cooks like to follow the recipe step-by-step from beginning to end and there are bloggers out there who do the same. Others like to improvise while mixing up a dish. This can be the same as writing as I do – freeform or not following any structure at all. I tend to write as I speak. I write for the reader and not for some dead grammarian from 250 years ago. I cook the same way. Many of you who know me also know that I am quite the cook. Those of you that don’t will hopefully someday get a chance to taste some of my culinary creations as well.

As to guest bloggers – well that is like having a pot-luck dinner. I love having a pot-luck dinner where everyone contributes to the meal. I can see having a guest blogger at one point in the future – just not this month during the blogathon unless we were to trade places.

When I first set up my blog addresses I had several ideas in mind and, of course, they sat in the back of my mind at the intersection of “Should Do” and “Wanna Do.” That’s near “One Of These Days Circle” and “Road To H*LL” at the end of “Good Intentions Lane.” This blog is the first one that I’m running with and it will be my “variety menu” blog. Whatever catches my fancy is what I will write about. Sometimes it will be about current events, other times whatever I’m feeling and sometimes it will just be about who knows what. Like the restaurant special, the subject will always depend upon what I find in the cupboard.

Let’s just say that sometimes it takes a while to preheat the oven. I used to write a lot on a variety of topics. I also did a lot of photography. But somewhere along the path I ran into a wall and stopped. It seems the creative yeast needed some time to rise again. So now, after being inspired by my godchild whose blog can be seen here: Child, You're a Beauty. I am back in the kitchen writing away. (Actually I am writing at my dining room table.)

All of us have different ways in which we write. For some people they need to get up at 4 a.m. and write until 8 a.m. every day while others write whenever they can.

Me – I like to start at around 11 p.m. and go until 1 a.m. It’s quiet. Mom is usually asleep and I have some much needed “me time.” This is the time I call my inspiration phase. I begin with an outline and start to flesh it out. Sometimes I get a whole rough draft done. As long as I have a cuppa – coffee or tea – available I can write. Then I let it marinate – sometimes for a couple of hours and other times overnight. When I return to it I roll it out and finish it. Sometimes, like a yogurt, it has to wait a little longer and I’ll have to find another subject to write about. Most of the time the post is ready to go but sometimes it has to wait a day or so.

Once it is posted that should be it but sometimes I will return during the day and re-read it. Like a day-old stew the flavor can only improve by sitting. However, at that point I may make a few additions or changes. Think of it as adding a little bit more spice to the stew. And of course I’ll look for comments.

Comments on a blog are like compliments to the chef. As long as I feel I have cooked up the best post possible for that day I am satisfied but that comment does justify my being. And it really doesn’t matter if the comments are positive or negative. After all, this is my virtual kitchen table and I’m here for the conversation.

As with cooking, blogging should not be kept a secret. One’s techniques may be unique and only work for that individual but then again you never know how you’ll inspire a potential writer.

What are some of your recipes for blogging? I’d love to read about them in the comments section.

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