The Art of Blogging

There are rules. Several rules. Well, maybe not rules, they’re more like suggestions. Enter “blogging tips” into any search engine and you’ll find more helpful lists than you’ll ever have time to read. There are some good suggestions out there.

If I’m honest though, I don’t follow all of the rules. Blogging is an art and sometimes the best artists are those who paint outside the lines.

Most professional bloggers will tell you to maintain a regular posting schedule. I tried it, it’s exhausting, and it hurts my soul. My brain doesn’t properly function under such rigorous demands. So I aim for regular-ish, at least once a week. However, since my car accident, I’ve been lagging behind the more relaxed self-imposed expectation.

Some prominent tips I do attempt to follow, like including pictures in every post. Blog posts with pictures attract more traffic. It's even better if there are words in your pictures. Allegedly.

I also aim to keep the length of my posts within a reasonable word count. Experts tell you if they’re too short, readers skim and move on quickly. But overly long posts risk becoming boring, causing reader to lose interest before they finish. Different writers maintain slightly varied opinions on the correct length of a blog post, and I have my own - no shorter than 800 words, no longer than 1200 words.

That’s my rule and sometimes I break it. I am today by being too short and my next post will be in violation for being too long.

Normally, I don’t pay much attention to word counts when I compose a first draft. My rough drafts are usually composed in a note pad on my computer or the notes app on my phone so that I don’t see the count until I move it into Word. From there, I edit the misspellings and grammar, re-read it for clarity and fix any logical problems, and then I consider length. If it is over the 1200 word limit, I have two choices, cut out extra words or divide the long post into two or more smaller posts.

Usually, I lean toward multi-part posting because I’m hesitant to eliminate content. “I wrote those words for a reason,” is my rationalization. Some ideas also present themselves better in separate yet related posts.

Right now though, this post is only a brief update to where I’ve been and a disclaimer of what’s next.

I got hit by a semi a couple months ago and much of my writing time has been absorbed by physical therapy and recovery. We also have a farm to run and I’ve been working through the pain to make sure our animals remain cared for and fed. Everything I do takes twice as long because I’m moving slower.

Also, just because I haven’t been posting as frequently to the blog, doesn’t mean I’m not writing. I’m working on my book and my fiancée has been incredible through her support and encouragement to hustle creating something tangible to publish and hold in your hands.

Finally, there is a reason I mention the rules, the steps I take conforming to those rules, and how I sometimes ignore the rules. My next post is going to be long. Really long. It might be the longest single post I’ve ever written for this blog. Normally, I would break up pieces of this length into a part 1 / part 2 series but not this time. My biggest challenge is how it’s a continuous narrative and I couldn’t find a natural break in the story where I could comfortably stop one post and begin another.

The story is also deeply personal. I feel it is too important to split into multiple parts. So brace yourself, it’s a doozy. You’ll want to pour yourself a cup of coffee and find a comfy seat before you read it.

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