Tag Archives: #blogging

Paper Free Blogging

Do you write directly on a device? Are you old school, do you write on paper first?

While the process is the same I don’t always use the same input method. That said, pen, paper and any notion of old-school writing being romantic is long a thing of the past. The only thing writing on paper ensures is dead trees. I know they were dead before I started but I tend to edit and re-edit while still writing and that means a lot of crumple, toss, re-write, rinse and repeat.

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Writing electronically is much more forgiving. For example, this thought sounds better in sentence six – go back and edit sentence two immediately before I forget. It is so much easier to edit electronically and paper is so much more majestic and relaxing in its natural state.

I still prefer the computer over my phone but have become more cognizant of the fact most readers are using their mobile devices so I find I’m checking formatting, image placement and aesthetics all the time.

I use several applications for writing drafts including Word, OneNote, Google Keep (especially for jotting down ideas), and the native WordPress editor. They all have advantages and disadvantages. For example, Word is excellent for writing challenges that have word counts attached. The count is always visible in the bottom right of the screen.

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More and more I find myself using Google’s voice capture technology to write first drafts. It is quicker and easier to get initial thoughts down on electronic paper than typing but does bring back some of the pitfalls of pen and paper if you want to edit. Plus I find myself sounding like Victor Borge’s phonetic punctuation skit.

Do you re-draft? If so, how many times?

It depends but I do tend to get into the weeds when I re-draft, agonizing over the small stuff and rewriting over and over. Thank God for the undo and/or redo buttons on most editors. Editing ends up eating up a lot of time and effort.

The one thing I do have to watch for is my habit of dropping the d and s from words that should be past tense or plural. I read and re-read to make sure I have them right. It used to be I’d have to wait until the next day to re-read the piece and catch them but I have gotten better over time. Plus MS Word and Grammarly are very good at catching those types of spelling and grammar problems.

What is your method? I would love to know.

From above it seems my method is all over the map. It’s not really though. The process generally follows the same patterns – inspiration, write, revise and re-write as necessary + a few more times for good measure, and finally publish – regardless of the methods used to record it.


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Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Now that 2022 is firmly in the rearview and we can all look forward to a new year I can say that overall it wasn’t a bad year personally.

Yeah, the world went to shit with Russian aggression in Ukraine and COVID spending policies coming home to roost.

Inflation fucked with most of the free world’s economies in 2022 and we will likely see its ramifications for years to come. Still for those of us who lived through the late 1970s and early 1980s these rates are not that bad. Imagine a U.S. peak of 18.39% in July 1981 or a Canadian high of 21% in August of that same year. Things don’t look bad viewing it through that lens. Let’s hope we don’t let it get there.

On the European front, the tone from the Kremlin over the holiday has started to shift. Russia’s military is floundering badly in Ukraine and the Motherland’s losses continue to mount. Even more crippling to Putin’s war effort, the U.S. and its allies now appear willing to provide assistance to Ukraine in the form of modern sophisticated weaponry it needs to push Russia to the brink. In light of these factors, it would seem Putin and Moscow’s resolve for war are beginning to wane. That does not mean we are out of the woods and Russia’s nuclear arsenal remains a constant threat. That said there does seem to be some hope for optimism as the Kremlin’s apparent shift may be signalling that Putin and his government are laying the groundwork for possible exit strategies that would allow the tyrant to save face and hold onto power. Time will tell.

Closer to home, Greg’s Blog has had a great year, by far the best on record for my tiny corner of the world wide web. (Does anyone call it that anymore?) 2022 saw views of my blog climb from 1071 in 2021 to 6156 in 2022 (a 475% increase year over year) and visitors climb from 467 to 2785 (+496%). In terms of real numbers I know it’s still relatively small compared to some of the superstars I like to follow but it’s still something. Keep in mind it has also been my most active year blogging and it did see the start of a couple of weekly or bi-weekly features on my site. With the hectic holiday season over I hope to get back at it more regularly again and hope I can build on some of that 2022 momentum in the new year.

It has been fun interacting with so many of you and I hope to continue reading/viewing what everyone has to offer and hopefully put out content that you enjoy interacting with. Thanks to everyone for a great 2022 and I hope 2023 turns out to be a phenomenal year for everyone!


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Blogging Intuition

“Here’s the only blogging tip you really need: always follow your intuition.”

– Kelly Thoreson

I suspect almost everyone’s blogs have drifted from or morphed into something different than that original concept. I know my plan in 2012 was to build a social commentary blog. I’d navigate the issues of the day and other relevant topics as I saw fit. It went 12 posts in 8 years well.

Now I’m writing mostly fiction with a side of poetry/photography and very occasionally a social commentary piece reminiscent of those early days. I do find the current iteration of the blog so much more fulfilling than the original concept. Whether I’m good and/or getting better at it I don’t know but I do try and follow the trends I see from my readers.

Intuition plays a role and being able to tap into the collective consciousness at the right time is important. How many bands were ahead of their time or missed the boat. Are the Beatles, U2, or Nirvana relevant if they don’t strike a cord at the right moment in history?

Those who find that lightning in a bottle unlock something special. We all have to tap into our intuition but that alone is not enough. We have to grow and nurture it. Put in the work to get the results. I find myself sifting, okay sifting may be a strong word, let’s go with looking through the data my posts generate. On which posts are my audience clicking like. Who is commenting and what are they saying when they do? What sites am I visiting or actively participating in that expose my blog to new viewers? Are they the type of viewers that I want to be associated with the brand I’m building?

I certainly don’t have thousands of followers but it doesn’t matter, maybe it would be different with a more consistent presence but with work and kids and life, it’s hard. Still, the main purpose of my blog was to provide a chance to be creative. Although the content has changed the blog fulfils a piece of the work-life balance that was missing and has proved to be exactly what I needed. For those who have come along for all or parts of the ride. Thank you.

And finally, one more pro tip…

Image: Adél Grőber via Unsplash.
Graphic Design: Greg Glazebrook @ GMG Creative

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