Blogging – Plan or Serendipity?

Back when I decided to start a blog, I thought of all the knitting things I wanted to learn about and share. I came up with a list of topics and drafted several posts before Agujas went live.

The first few months, I planned my posts using an editorial calendar of sorts. I researched, visited, knitted and wrote. I also became an avid photo-taker. I love the process of discovery, both about my subject matter and my writing. I found that the creative processes of knitting and then of writing rejuvenated me. Even after a long day at the office, I still had surplus energy for these creative pursuits. Now the process has become rather organic. Almost as if the blog has taken on a life of its own.

Just when I fear I’ve run out of things to say, some interesting exhibit or artist comes along and incites my curiosity and a story takes shape. So with a little bit of planning, and a good dose of serendipity, I keep blogging.

2012 Blog Planner

What is your process for blogging? Do you set goals to post once a day, once a week? Do you post around certain themes? Or does it just come to you?

59 thoughts on “Blogging – Plan or Serendipity?

  1. I have moments of clarity where I can brainstorm faster than I can type. When I have those moments, I immediately start drafting post titles that are detailed enough that I can go back and update later. I use these when I feel like I’m faltering in my goals or need a change of pace from the routine that I’ve fallen into and am trying to bring some extra.

    1. I do the same thing. I try to post every day, but occasionally I get “stuck”.
      I can always do a “what I’m knitting today”.
      I was originally going to so a post about things I love about the area in which I live, but decided to break it up into an ongoing post: Why I Love My State #4

  2. Oh my, you’re so planned! I’m now four years into my blog and I never think about trying to post daily or even weekly. If something of interest is happening, I try to include it. Life happens. Blogging happens. Keep it going because you seem to really enjoy it and you’re providing great information! 🙂

    1. I’m with you on posting when there’s something interesting. I don’t shoot for a particular number or frequency. But the planning helps me do my research and begin writing. Then I edit, edit, edit. Thanks for the feedback!

    1. Well you certainly have lots of adventures to write about! What an amazing experience it must be to live in another country. I love living these experiences vicariously through others.

    2. that’s how I do it, too. Whatever is in the forefront of my mind is what I run with. I do try to keep a couple of themes going as well, but sometimes they fall by the wayside.

  3. I start a draft when topics come to me, sometimes they get published, sometimes not. Sometimes I get an idea on the day and post that immediately. I do think about how I don’t want months between my posts, but I’ve never planned it like you have. I think it’s a good idea though if you get too many ideas at once, it gets them out of your head and slightly organized. I sometimes find I have two drafts on nearly the same topic, made at different times. And finally I think you should blog or do anything in a way that is fun and energizes you.

    1. Yes on your last comment! I blog because it’s fun and energizing. I don’t want it to become a task. But given that I’m one of those planner types, the calendar does help me space out my posts and leave room for any research or photos I need.

  4. I plan to post 3 times a week. Monday is what we’ve been doing, Wednesday is about my language lesson progress, and Friday is what I’ve been working on. I’m quite consistant with these. This week has been thrown off kilter with holiday stories though 😉

    1. I like that structure. Very cool that you are learning Dutch. I am actually taking Mandarin lessons. I agree with your comment on one of your posts that “I have to stop thinking in English!” Have you dreamt in Dutch? I dreamt in Mandarin a couple of weeks ago. One of the other students said that’s when the language really starts clicking. I hope she’s right.

      1. I figured it was only polite to learn the language of the country I’m living in! 😉

        I haven’t dreamt in Dutch yet, but I am surrounded by it which helps immensely.

  5. I am very serendipitous! I do not plan ahead. That said, though, I have a story I am unfolding and I feature three Etsy finds each week — oh and I do hit it each week. Hmmm, so yes and no! Haha, I feel like that’s always my answer!

  6. I totally relate to your editorial plan of action. It’s so important to create deadlines because I know for myself things get pushed off. I personally create an one for myself as a spreadsheet with a list of posts. My goals is to post twice a week. The topics sometimes evolve and change, because you’re right– it is an organic process, but at least I’ve got the idea swimming in my head that I need to be writing on specific days.

    1. That helps me too. Especially because life is busy with work, kids, etc. It also helps me track story threads that aren’t fully developed. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I kind of work like Pia does above. I tend to have at least one or two drafts going at any point. I write very slowly, with many edits, so it’s the only way I ever really get anything out—except for moments of pure inspiration. The activities/crafts/travels that I like to blog about tend to happen in bursts, and my biggest challenge is to not post-bomb with everything all at once, but rather to space it out so that I have something to write about in the lean times. 🙂

    1. I feel that way too. I also try to break up stories so that they’re not too too long. I also like to edit my writing and prefer to hold a day or two so that I can edit.

  8. My process for Changing Your Clothes is simple: I wrote about the the things that come up pretty much every day in my own wardrobe, and related topics like knitting projects. So far, it seems like I’m not the only one with the issues that come up, from replacing a zipper pull to planning a travel wardrobe.

  9. I enjoyed reading about how you go about this business. My process is similar, and I too have found that I take many more photos than I used to. The blog has brought me more interests – I am finding I want to identify more birds for example. I like trying for weekly – but a “loose” deadline, just in case a bit more time is needed to think about stuff. I carry a notebook in case inspiration strikes, but usually it just kind of emerges when I sit down. Thanks!

    1. I can relate to your point about how your blog has brought more interests. I do think I look at things differently, with more curiosity maybe. I also keep a planner with me for my personal appointments and I end up jotting ideas in the margins.

  10. I tend to make a mental list at the beginning of each week but I don’t usually write it down because that way it feels more flexible. Certain things don’t always go to plan e.g. I don’t get a project finished to post about or I don’t have time to write a post but that is ok because the mental list is still there rearranging itself to the best order. I also aim to blog every day and only illness will stop me! Haha. It seems strange to me that I don’t write a blog list because I am an avid lister and finish every evening by writing tomorrows to do list. I like to list to give me the sense of a goal and urgency but I think I like to keep my blog list in my head because I feel that allows more space for creativity. Also, I LOVE your diary! I am currently relying on my university planner but it isn’t working great for me, I may have to hunt down something more like yours, it is so much easier when you can see more than just a week at a time!

    1. I too am a list person. I get immense satisfaction from checking something off! The monthly view does work well for me. I like to visualize what I’m working on and the two page month calendar lets me do that.

  11. I try to post daily, and usually end up with 5 for the week. As I post about my sewing life, and have a VERY full one(!), there’s usually something to write about……and serendipity plays a part too as things come up out of the blue! Just enjoying it sooooo much! Much of the day’s writing is thought through in my head on my morning walk, which is a great time to plan all sorts of things!

  12. I plan mine out by writing it out the night before. I can plan what I want to say and tweak it until I like it. If I find something online I like I blog about it but mostly I just blog about what I’m doing….

  13. Hmmmm…Good question! I think it’s a mixed bag for me. A lot of the time, I’ll be doing something and this funny phrase or a funny title will pop into my head (well, it’s funny in my mind-I DO laugh at my own jokes, lol-I know, a horrid habit 🙂 ), and the post evolves from that. Other times, it’s an update…like a journal sort of thing…Sometimes I’m just taking in an event and I get to my laptop and literally throw it all up in words and photos on the screen so I will never forget it. Then, there are times when I’m blabbing what I did or got-like when I’m reviewing something for those who are like me and are most times forced to order online for lack of nearby vendors (I live in Delaware, there’s almost nothing crafts related here)…Or I am posting what I observed during a process I tried. Quiet as it is kept (for some odd reason), I think of myself as a goof off and highly prone to disasters. So, I try to write sometimes for those like me…Seeing someone else fail their way into a project they like or even a new skill tends to be encouraging, lol! Then, there are the handful of reflective posts where I probably reveal more than my comfort zone would normally allow…They come outta nowhere…usually blindside me! I’m usually like, “Whatwazat?!” Then, there are the oddballs…One post originated from a dare, lol.

    All in all, I tend to think of it as an extension of myself anymore with snippets of my life in between. I just try to relate it all through the lens of my crafting.

  14. I’m only new to blogging, but so far I’m using a really similar system to yours – I have a calendar of ideas for blogs and when I’d like to write them, and my camera is constantly attached to my hand! Your blog is really great by the way 🙂

  15. I am completely new to blogging as well, but I am finding it’s completely opening up my mind to new possibilities. I’m finding that already I’m knitting more, but also thinking up more exciting and inspirational projects as I’m more willing to try out more things. A great post – really interesting to hear the opinion of someone with much more experience. L @ n1knit

    1. Blogging about something creative has done the same for me. I enjoy sharing and reading about others’ artistic pursuits. I will continue blogging as long as it continues to be fun!

  16. I started my blog for a 365 day project. I have days where is difficult to create something new for a project. I study a lot about photography and experiment with my different lenses. I plan ahead, visit new places and just take a photo to describe my day. It’s not easy to be varied, I must say but I do try.

  17. My sisters, my mom and I are all blogging together which makes filling a week with posts much easier than if we were each working on separate blogs. It has been fun to start planning out the themes of our posts and deciding who wants to write about each theme each week! I think it might be getting to the point shortly that if we didn’t all have full-time jobs or school that we could fill our whole days with blog related tasks. Honestly, it is much more fun to brainstorm blog posts than to plan a lesson or write a paper! Some may call it procrastination, but I call it progress!

  18. You are much more organized about blogging than I am. Whatever I am doing I take pictures and blog. It has made me more of a photographer. I’ve had to learn about photoshop. I got a tablet, and have learned to draw somewhat, though I’m not great. I struggle to make time to do everything and write about it, and I quit work so I should have more time to do all of that. Instead, I think I have less because I am spending so much more time learning. I love it, though, and wouldn’t trade this last year of blogging for anything. 🙂

      1. Well we can be the mutual admiration society because I would love to be more organized about it. I really am like a stream of conversation, so my title is appropriate. One day I’m professional, another I’m silly, then I’m doing a project and teaching everyone what I’m learning from it. It’s lots of fun for me. Hopefully for others as well. 🙂

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