on life, ambitions, and dreams


Posts Tagged ‘writing process’

How to Blog Every Day: Slides and Resources from WordCamp Portland

Ryan Gosling blogger meme

Today I’m giving a talk at WordCamp Portland on how to blog every day. I wrote this talk based on what I learned from blogging every day for a month in November 2010 and November 2011 and I’m excited to share it with the Portland-area WordPress community.

Live stream — All of the sessions will be live streamed, here, and follow along with the hashtag, #wcpdx. I’m in the Bergen Dining room at 2:15pm.

Once I get a recording of the video, I’ll post it here. For now, here’s a copy of my slides and additional resources that I reference in the talk. Feel free to download and share this presentation as you’d like!

How to Blog Every Day

The secret to blogging every day is easy—just write. But the process of coming up with an idea is hard. Then it comes the excruciating part of putting words to the page, editing it, finding the perfect photo to accompany your post, and formatting it on your site all before you can press that beloved “Publish” button.

Oh, and if you’re writing every single day, you do it all again tomorrow.

Resources to help you Blog Every Day

Here is a list of blog posts and resources I reference during my talk, and here’s a link to the video of my talk so that you can catch what you missed at WordCamp Portland.

Where to buy my t-shirt

What I learned from blogging every day for 30 days

Examples of how to create a content or editorial calendar

Tools to help you capture your ideas

  • Favorite note-taking app that syncs with your phone, computer, tablet: Evernote
  • Favorite tool that helps you start writing: 750 Words
  • Favorite non-battery-powered option: a journal

Examples of different blog formats

Ways to beat writer’s block

  • Choose a different topic on your content calendar
  • Get inspired by going for a walk, watch a video, hop on Twitter, read something, talk with a friend
  • Take a day off (it’s okay, but tell us what you’re doing instead of blogging)
  • Help Me Be Fing Creative

Examples of posts I wrote when I had writer’s block

What to after you publish your blog post

After you have that out of your system, sit back down, and promote your blog post like crazy. If you need help, check out the presentation I did for WordCamp Seattle on just that: How to Promote Your Blog without Losing Your Soul.

Why I wrote this talk

I’m not expecting you to start blogging every single day. But if you only blog once every other month and really want to blog more, this presentation and ideas should help you get started. If you blog once or twice a week and want to start blogging three times a week, this will help you even more.

Blogging every single day is not for the faint of heart; it takes time, lots of time. Plus you have to strike a careful balance between planning what you’re going to post and letting your muse run away with you. However blogging every single day for thirty days straight will teach you more about your writing style and how you blog than you could from anything else. I highly recommend it.

Psst, a recording of this talk has been posted here: How to Blog Every Day: Video of my Talk and More Resources to Help you Blog.

Sunday Serial: Storytelling, a Photo a Day, Besties, and Success

success baby

Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!


The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar by Cyriaque Lamar on iO9

Read this because: Where else are you going to find 22 tips about storytelling from the brilliant minds at Pixar?

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

What I’ve learned taking photos every day at 8:36 p.m. by Buster Benson on GeekWire

Read this because: Could you commit to doing one thing every day for a month or even a year? Five years ago, Buster Benson (founder of 750 Words) decided to take one photo every day at 8:36pm. As he says, most of the photos are boring, but it also captures things like the day he and his wife got married, got pregnant, and the day their son was born.

I love this idea. I’ve committed to blogging every day for thirty days (twice), and learned so much about myself during the process, and mostly because I committed to it. But a year? Not sure if writing (and posting) a blog for 365-days straight is sustainable, but taking a photo. Yeah, I could do that. Could you?

5 Different Kinds Of Besties by Sydney Nikols on Thought Catalog

Read this because: I’d bet money that you have friends like this, and you might be one of my five.

The 5 traits of radically successful people by Alex Banayan on VentureBeat

Read this because: We all need a recipe for being successful, and this article is the latest one. Here’s an excerpt:

I have a crazy idea: success isn’t just about hard work. We hear about hard work all the time—it’s what Olympic champions talk about when they get to the top of the podium and it’s what the media credits as the sole force behind of multimillion-dollar Internet entrepreneurs. But there has to be something else in the equation of obtaining unimaginable success. What other traits tipped the odds in favor of the world’s most successful people?

What helped propel their careers before they had track records?

For the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of the world’s most successful people to find the answers to these very questions.

What did you read this week?

I Will Not Go Gently Onto a Shelf

"You Don't have to burn books to destroy culture. Just get people to stop reading them." Ray Bradbury quote

Ray Bradbury, an American literary icon, died today. He was the the man who made us first think about what would happen if we burned books and also the man who shaped the genre of science fiction that we know today.

…degutted, to become a non-book

I will always remember Ray Bradbury as a man of words. In the Coda of Fahrenheit 451, he wrote my favorite quote in the entire world:

"I will not go gently onto a shelf, degutted, to become a non-book," Ray Bradbury quote

As a writer, I write because I need to. I write because I have something to say. I write because I want to share how I see the world with you.

All writers write because they need to, because their ideas are things that they can’t ignore.

These are Mr. Bradbury’s words, and they are my mantra as a writer.

Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.

The Three-Month Freak Out

Pan's Labyrinth monster's wife ~ Explored, by Snapies

Every few months I take a look at my blog and start asking the following questions:

  • How do I get more readers?
  • Should I figure out what my blog is about?
  • Should I redesign my site?

And the list goes on and on…

See here’s what I always forget – is not, nor was it ever intended to be, strategic to the level that a business blog needs to be. And while I have gotten jobs and business from my blog, it is not a business.

Your First Blog is Your First Blog

As I experienced this crisis last night and wept, dramatically, to my husband, he brought up a good point – your first blog is like your first AOL screen name, dedicated to whatever you’re obsessed with at the time and once you grow out of that phase, you get a new one.

My husband is smart. And, ironically, the name lamiki was derived from my first AOL name.

Goals are Great, but Make Sure You Want Them

Five months ago I outlined my goals for the year and my blog, twice. I also outlined a very detailed plan of everything I was going to focus on with my blog for the year. Things like guest posting, a redesign, and a tighter content strategy – things that are included in that first list and much, much more. (Did you know that I’m ambitious?) And then in March I set a new goal:

2012 Goals for

Now I have one achievable, measurable goal. One that does not require the content calendars that I love to create, yet love to hate. One “must have” goal every single month when it comes to my blog and everything else has been demoted from the “required” list to the “would be nice” list of things I want to do.

My blog is not a business. It’s a passion project created to give me a place to write and share how I see the world. There is no monetization strategy and if I decide that’s something I want to do, there will be a new domain.

In the end, we all have an enormous amount of stress and responsibilities that we juggle every single day. And if something in your life that’s supposed to give you pleasure and a break from it all starts giving you stress, you need to make a change.

Photo Credit: Snapies

Sunday Serial: Five-Dollar Words, Quitting, Facebook Passwords & Texts from Hillary

Sunday morning paper by f_where

Sunday Serial is a semi-regularly weekly installment of the best articles written and read around the Internet during the past week or so. I try to introduce each article so you know what you’re getting in to before you click, though sometimes my synthesis goes a little bit deep. You can read previous Sunday Serials here.

20 phrases you can replace with one word by Laura Hale Brockway on PR Daily

Read this because: I’m a fan of brevity, and you should be too. As George Orwell said, never use a ten-dollar word when a five-dollar one will do. Whether that’s in every day speech or in your writing.

What I Learned From Quitting My Job…Twice. by Amber Nashlund on Brass Tack Thinking

Read this because: You’re on a path few have traveled. You are ready to shake things up, you’re ready to say “I quit,” but uncertainty is holding you back. Here are some great lessons to move you away from “un” and closer to “certain.”

I hereby (fictionally) resign by Reginald Braithwaite on raganwald’s posterous

Read this because: Last month, recruiters and hiring managers starting asking candidates for their passwords to their personal Facebook accounts. Why? So they could do a more thorough background check on the candidate’s personal life.

Then Facebook came out and publicly stated that asking candidates to give out their passwords is an invasion of the candidate’s privacy and that of their friends. And last week, the state of Maryland became the first state to ban employers from asking for Facebook passwords.

Don’t HR managers know to keep their hands off of our personal Facebook pages?

If you’re reading this, mouth agape, wondering “WTF?” read the above post. While a fictionalized account, it’s a good story about “what if.”

Bonus: Here’s what you should do (in the real world) if your employer or hiring manager does ask for your password.

Publishing is no longer a job or an industry — it’s a button by Mathew Ingram on GigaOm

Read this because: It’s no secret that I come from the book publishing world, so the advent of blogs, eBooks, online publishing, etc., anyone can be “published” and the assets that the old book publishing world used to bring to the table are no longer valuable. Digitization has killed this industry and turned it into a button. And I’m left wondering, would it have been better to be outsourced to China or replaced by a machine than a button?

But there’s hope – yes, the industry is dead. The mystery, allure, and “secret sauce” of what makes a best seller still exist, but the tools for production and sales channels are accessible to all. It’s not so much that publishing needs to disappear, but pivot. Instead of being the “process of distribution,” become the services that authors need – editorial, marketing, access to readers, and design.Ryan Gosling texts Hillary Clinton

Texts from Hillary on Tumblr

Read this because: It’s not every week that a meme is started and the subject of the meme, memes herself. As the final post says, “It turns out that memes really do come true,”

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: f_where