Feeling Inspired

I’ve been reading a fair few blog posts today, along with various other tasks that have kept me busy. I connected with some blogs I hadn’t read in a while and began to comment again and to engage with everything. As I was reading, I started to notice something that made me smile: these blog posts were making me want to write. They were filling me with an inspiration that I haven’t felt in ages.

The thing I love about the community – I mean, there are so many things which I love that I couldn’t just list one – is the creativity. Today, I read posts that ranged from book hauls to a letter about past friendship. As a blogger, you can choose to read what you like and though you can sometimes feel an obligation to read, I feel like there’s more of a relaxed atmosphere around what you read. As there are so many blogs out there, you could never be expected to read thousands of posts but being given a variety of inspiration from all around the blogosphere and the world is fantastic.

How I felt today, whilst sitting down and reading, was connected. Not in the manic, social-media-must-rule-my-life sense but rather, I felt connected to human emotion and experiences. I think that’s one of the reasons I started blogging – I wanted to be involved with the beautiful web of life and feelings; this was and is one of the best ways. I was stunned by some writing I read as well, the fact that someone could create such beautiful imagery from verse and their own heart.

Ideas started running around my head. I took little things from each post – a section of recollection, the euphoria of friendship, the invincibility of having your words read and understood. Seeing collaborations like The Artistics and blogger interviews made me feel like the community was interconnected and respectful of each other. That made me want to pick up my keyboard (well, just tap out some things on it) and finish posts I hadn’t touched in weeks, start on new ones and let the thoughts run free in my head.

People have such amazing stories in their heads and I often forget that I can be one of those people. In the mayhem of social media, stress and my own brain shouting at me, I forget that I’m a person and a blogger too. Engaging with people reminded me that I have my own independent thoughts and that they shouldn’t be blanked out for the sake of fear about how people will respond to them.

Of course, I try not to read posts when I feel too drained. It’d only make me feel worse but there are plenty of occasions where reading someone’s writing, that they’ve spent their time creating, can create a wish to share my own writing with you. Isn’t that the best feeling? It really reminds me why I love blogging so much.

I want to say thank you to anyone who writes. You might not know it but every word I read and every emotion captured in a sentence inspires me to keep going. I don’t know what I’d do without the community to lift me up and most times, they don’t even know they’re doing it!

Have you read any good blog posts recently that have inspired you? Have you written any that you think I should read?

Love from Elm 🙂

How I Write my Blog Posts!

A long time ago, I said that I’d write a post about, well, how I write posts. (It kind of makes my blog feel self-aware and now I’m creeped out). Finally, I present you with this mismatched pile of ideas so that you can get a look into how I write and what I do to get the best blog post possible that I’m satisfied with. That’s why I say “form” because there’s a lot more work than just writing the words. Usually.

This post is inspired by Jasmine and another one by Smiling Dreamer. If you haven’t read their blogs before, DO IT because they are such amazing people AND I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!

Inspiration

Usually, inspiration comes to me from a random thought I have in the middle of the day. Whether it’s to do with my personal life, the people around me or something poetic I’ve heard or thought of, it makes my brain spin in a whirl of ideas. If I know I’ll forget it, I write it down on my computer (I wish I could write in a blogging notebook, honestly). However, I’ll usually be thinking about it all day, formulating little ideas from that first snippet of inspiration. It’s a literal mind map.

Planning

For very long posts or posts that I find especially difficult to write, I do a lot of planning. The posts like that are ones about events I’ve been to, very emotional posts or posts where I give advice to you because I’m LITERALLY AWFUL. I write down initial ideas, often phrases or words that I really want to include. After that, I organise it into vague paragraphs (because I’m a disorganised child and never stick to it). When I’m done with initial ideas, I check through it and add anything else. (God I wish I had a notebook because I can’t use one)

Actually Writing the Thing

After I plan it, I spend about 5 minutes thinking about how I want to write it. It’s to organise my thoughts mostly but also to not stress myself out. I write below my plan – hardly ever in the WordPress editor itself unless I’m feeling rebellious and just want to write. When I write, I usually write constantly until it’s done; if I get distracted I’ll stop writing. When that happens, I come back to it later in the day when I’m in the mood to write. An important thing is to never force your words out: make sure you’re enjoying the writing or if not enjoying then you’re enthusiastic about it. If blogging turns into a chore, you may end up feeling unhappy with your finished post because it’s not what you wanted to write. (I wrote write too many times and now it doesn’t feel like a word)

Proofreading because My Grammar is Terrible

I never used to proofread but ever since I realised that I loved writing more than I loved most things, it’s become an important step in the way I write. Embarrassingly, I’ve made some painful spelling mistakes in my old posts that I didn’t even notice so now, I use spell-checker to catch the big mistakes. Then, I proofread once in depth and then once to check that it flows nicely and actually sounds intelligible. The worst thing is publishing and realising that you’ve written a run-on sentence that sounds horrendous when you read it back to yourself. Whilst I’m at it, I add any formatting like headings and italics in the editor because although I can’t see it, you guys can and I want to emphasise some words or make things organised. If you don’t proofread then don’t worry; it’s not an essential part of blogging but if it makes you feel better then do it! I think blogging should be doing what you want rather than following too much advice that you don’t actually think will help.

Tags and Categories and All That Jazz

I think this is one of the most important steps for me personally because it means more people interact with your work. After I’ve put my post in the editor and formatted it, I get into the tagging part. Call me shallow but getting comments really makes me happy and tags means that more people are likely to enjoy your writing. I usually do a lot of tags (but no more than 12 or so because it doesn’t appear on the tags themselves if you do more than 15 plus categories). I also categorise my posts so that they’re more organised and if readers look at my blog itself, they can actually find things without trawling through pages of blog posts. I’d get bored, too. Also, because I’m paranoid, I check the spelling of tags twice just in case I overlooked it the first time.

Sharing is Caring Right??

I publicise my blog to Twitter so that it posts automatically: I usually add a message to the tweet that’s either supposed to be funny (it never ends up being) or it explains a tiny bit of what the post is about. As well as that, I write excerpts if the beginning of the post doesn’t summarise the post itself. I only started really using excerpts recently so I’m still figuring out how they work. Someone help me???

Publish!

Is it just me that gets mildly terrified when I publish a post that’s particularly personal? I also get a bit worried if I’ve worked hard on it and it turns out to be crap. However, if I have worked on the post for ages, I know I’ve put my all into it and there’s nothing more I can do. Well I mean, I could write for a billion hours but there’s that little thing called life…

Although I say I have a long process, I don’t always stick to it. It no longer stresses me out when I don’t; I’ve learnt that flexibility is really important and that if I change my routine a bit or leave one small step out, it doesn’t make me a bad blogger.

If you write posts in a different way, I’d love to know about it! Everyone writes differently so it’ll be really interesting to see how you do it – or if you don’t have a system.

From Elm 🙂

Book Club!! :)

Hi there everyone on Elm’s blog its me Tasia again.  A girl reached out to me, her name is Emma, and she just started her blog because I inspired her to begin.

She didn’t ask me to promote her or anything of the sort but I feel a little obligated to say something because I have NEVER inspired someone the way that I inspired her and that to me, is wonderful!

Anyways, she made her first REAL post on her blog just a little while ago and she wants to start a mini book club.  I won’t go into too much detail (because you can go read it here) and it will be community based and she is wanting to read Gone Girl.

I would love it if you all came and joined me in welcoming her into the blogosphere because, well, everyone deserves all the support in the world to express and create whatever their hearts desire.

Also, to throw me into the picture, I just posted a collab type post on my blog so you all should go check it out and comment to be featured in the post itself! (if you have questions please let me know)

Thanks so much for all of your support 🙂 especially you Elm. xx