44. Writing, editing, publishing – it’s a 3-step process
Even though grammar isn’t something you should be obsessing over, getting a quality post out the door and into the wild is still a process that needs to be thought through.
My favorite approach is to treat it as a three-step thing: writing, editing, publishing.
Why like that?
It’s simple, as you’re writing, it’s easy and tempting to edit on the fly – as in, fix your sentences/paragraphs as you write them. It seems natural, it’s what we did when writing papers for school. But it’s not the most effective.
The problem with editing as your write is that it stops the flow of ideas, disrupts your creative thinking and makes storytelling harder.
The correct way of blogging – I dare use the word “correct” – is to write first, edit later.
Let it be your mantra! “How to start a blog? Write first, edit later!”
The goal when creating the first draft is to get as many words as possible onto a piece of paper (or digital paper) and not worry about how it all looks. I really mean that you should write down everything that you can think of that relates to the topic.
The important thing here is to not stop yourself and try to fix anything. Not even typos. Your goal is to write. To be creative.
Then, once you have the whole draft written, this is when editing can take place. This is when you can go back to your draft and start fixing it.
And I do realize that this separation is something incredibly difficult to keep up with. I too catch myself editing this or that as I write, but the key is to notice this and try snapping yourself out of it.
Lastly, there’s publishing, which is kind of its own thing nowadays since most of what we write gets published online by us (and isn’t sent to a third-party newspaper or something).
Blogs are unique in the way they work. I mean, apart from the body of your article, you also need to prepare the headline, format the post, add some images, set your tags/categories, add some “click to tweets” maybe, and do a myriad of other things – all the things that starting a blog involves. This is all in the “publishing” bucket. Do this last. Work on making your post look great immediately before you hit the publish button.