Last updated on January 16th, 2021 at 11:40 pm
Last Updated: January 16, 2021
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
In a world where I consider blogging far past its prime as we use photos, audio and video as the clearest ways to communicate a message, I still choose to write. “The writing’s on the wall,” you say, a smugness in your tone as you note the play on words, “You can make so much more money on YouTube!” But that’s not what it’s all about for me—when I write, I treat it like anything else I put together, carefully and methodically, much like I would when working on a detailed art piece, trying to get every little detail just so to help my audience truly get inside my head.
Recently, my friend and fellow BiSC-uit Kelly Leaman of [Insert Clever Title Here] emailed me, seeing if I wanted to join a blog hop on writing. Much like the chain mail of days past, blog hops start with a blogger and an idea, tagging other bloggers to get their thoughts and so on.
In this particular exercise, we answered four questions on writing:
- What am I working on?
- How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
- Why do I write what I do?
- How does my writing process work?
Almost 12 years and over 2,000 posts later, I hope these answers give a little insight into why I keep blogging, and the things I’m planning next for my little corner of the Internet.
1) What am I working on?
Specific to writing, my friends can tell you I’m always found with a notebook in hand, scrawling every idea that comes to mind. Two of my more ambitious writing projects right now include a 25-post series about blogging better and a 31-post series on life lessons I’ve learned so far to celebrate my upcoming 31st birthday. I’m currently transforming my site from a blog to a proper website, showcasing all the different parts of me—the Casey who dabbles in code as a side interest; the Casey who doodles in the margins on his meeting notes, dying to take it a step farther; the Casey who’s invested thousands in photography gear, yearning to capture amazing things with his lens. My writing feeds into all of these, giving my projects the proper voice they need for my audience to understand the alphabet soup that is my mind.
TL;DR: I’m working on 5-10 projects at any given time, and they all bring me blissful joy. If I got paid what I do at my 9-5 to just create all through the day, I’d take that paycheque in a heartbeat.
2) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
At the core of my argument for this, I think it’s my level of neuroticism over my work that sets me apart from most bloggers. I’ll write 30 drafts of a post before I’m ready to make it public; I’ll strive for perfection before I call anything done; until my work yields an emotional response from myself, I can’t honestly believe that anyone would like it.
Yes, I’m absolutely obsessed with creating content that bleeds my soul through every word, and its reflection of myself is what keeps it so individual.
In an industry so obsessed with its niches, a blog without one is often seen as a failure. All the best practices, guides and tutorials tell me I should fit into a certain-shaped box to find a specific audience for what I do, but that’s not me. I rather be painfully honest and clear with my ideas than to try to change myself to fit what others think I should be.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve written for a dozen years now, feeling compelled to do so by forces beyond my comprehension. At times, I’ve thought I did it because of potential wealth, fame, or simply to prove that I could, but the answer’s far deeper than that.
In me in a primal urge to create—a need to tell stories that resonate with others. Where others see social media as an advertising platform and a way to dip their hands in others’ pockets, for me it’s a soapbox. It’s a stage. It’s where I perform my latest routine, aiming to capture the unsuspecting public, unaware of the tricks up my sleeve or what I’ll pull from my hat next.
I want to lead a life most extraordinary, and for me, writing is my path there.
It’s not the most logical reason—it might not even be concrete—but it’s why I do it, and that’s good enough for me.
4) How does my writing process work?
One day my infant son’s going to grow up and laugh at his father, for he’ll still be penning his thoughts—quite literally—on a pad of paper, likely from some antique shop by then.
My thoughts flow better when I write them on paper. I can type—somewhere around 80 words per minute with my unorthodox typing style—but it’s not the same. I’ll type a funny tweet or I’ll type a pensive Facebook post, but these are snippets of information at a moment in time. If someone were to look back at my work several decades from now, I wouldn’t want their opinion founded on my Instagram posts or my Foursquare check-ins—it’s my blog where my soul really lives.
What Do I Put Into My Blog?
Most blogs start with an idea, or a sentence, or a line from a song. Something will set me off and it’s off to the races, pen furiously scribbling as the flesh valiantly strives to keep up with the mind.
It’s not always perfect—I can go days and only muster a few lines—but this piece, for instance, I wrote in one of my better spells where I wrote 20 pages (double-sided) in a single day.
Much of my content’s governed by my refusal to produce anything mediocre. I’ll have grand ideas of things that would knock my readers’ socks off, and I don’t stop until I’ve done just that. Sure, I’ll post things in the meantime to let the world know I’m alive, but otherwise, I scribble away, scratching out words, elaborating in margins, draining ballpoint pens1 like some private war against ink.
I’ve gone from hundreds of drafts on my WordPress site to dozens simply by sounding ideas out on paper first—by the time they hit the computer, they’re far closer to completion.
And if they’re not? Print off a draft and edit some more! (I know. I’m the worst.)
1 If you’re in the market for something affordable that writes really well, look into the Pilot Better Retractable Fine. It’s an excellent choice.
So Why Do I Write?
I write without abandon because my mind needs release and the world’s better off when you share your ideas and not just bottle them inside. I write without abandon because I believe in my words, and think they’ll improve the lives of at least some of my readers out there. Really, I write without abandon because my soul would hurt otherwise.
Why do you write? As this is a blog hop, I found some other bloggers who can tell you why they do it—Christine Pantazis and Christina Wallaert, two bloggers from the Toronto area who know a thing or two about blogging from the years of writing they’ve put in so far. Here’s a little something about them!
Given a second lease on life after a motorcycle accident in 2002, Christine regained her ability to walk and talk through rigorous discipline and determination. Not only that, she reached the top of her class for a certificate in Web Development and Design; got her Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario Certificate; and awarded a Community Member Award by the Toronto Police Services Board for her role in helping save a woman from a suicide attempt. She’s a friend, a peer and a blogger known across the General Toronto area for her work!
Christina’s worked in the Retail and e-commerce industry for many years in a variety of jobs. Some people think she’s addicted to shopping, but she prefers to think of it as a hobby! From her expertise, friends and coworkers always asking her for advice on where to shop and what shoes to wear with what outfit. She love clothes, shoes and accessories, but also loves having things that no one else does. Through her love for the hunt and the unique items she finds, she’s aligned with small businesses and retailers, giving them visibility through her blog and share their talents and creativity with her audience!
You can hope to see some insights on writing soon from both of them—everyone writes for a different reason and sees it in a different light!
Until the next,
18 replies on “Getting it Write”
It’s all so real now that it’s in a blog post! 😀 lol
This is gonna be fun… Now to find my Blog Hoppers!
Can I hate on the fact that you got your three people in like, 30 seconds? That’s allowed, right 😛 ?
Keep those relationships going, Queen of Networking 😉 You never fail to impress!
I was really shocked actually. I totally didn’t expect that people would be interested At least not that quickly.
Now to get on the ridiculous number of posts I’m behind on.
Christine, Christine. There’s no shame in being one of the cool kids — this is just one of those facts we need to accept about life 😛
How interesting! I would never have guessed that your posts go through so many rewrites, it seems like the words flow fluidly the first time for you. I too have many projects going at the same time.
At any given time, I’m walking around with a couple of notebooks and loose sheets of paper, refining my ideas until they’re ready for reading 🙂 It’s my perfectionist nature — there’s a vision I’m going for; probably why I find it so hard to keep a daily blog going like some of the bigger names in blogging I see =/
I’d be interested in hearing how you manage to make progress on your various projects!
Thanks for dropping a line 🙂
I started out doing it because I wanted to share recipes that I liked with my friends and family. I never knew that I would end up where I am. From time to time, I will write a heartfelt piece and I do it so my son will see it one day. As much as I would like to have “letters” in a safe deposit box (and I do plan on doing that eventually), the internet is permanent. He just has to Google his mama!
Randa, I can tell you get what I’m saying here 🙂 It’s all just developed to be way bigger than I’d ever expected, and I love that one day he’ll be able to look back at all this stuff I left for him. I know there’s things I can’t ask my parents because they like to keep their guard up and think that some things should just be kept private. I’m more of an open book, and hope that he’ll care enough to find out what his Dad’s all about 🙂
Thanks for the comment!
I love your passion Casey, it sounds like you have a lot of ideas flowing at one time! I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting Christine a couple of times, she’s lovely!
Christine’s definitely one of the best people I’ve met through my Internet journeys so far — I’m actually crossing paths with her tomorrow at an event 🙂 If I could place a bet on anyone being the future Internet Empress, she’s a strong contender 😉
My ideas are definitely what keep me going — I have a series I want to eventually post on ideas and making them reality, but I think that’s a different conversation for a different time.
Thanks for the comment!
Very inspiring, I find myself doing drafts and going back a handful of times to tweak things! I have thousands of post-its with ideas and such I just need to hammer down the time to put all my ideas into words and works of art 🙂
Thousands? Thousands??? That definitely used to be me — eventually I cut it down and started finding the common threads between them so I could create bigger posts that’d last longer 🙂
The only problem is that they take forever to write.
I still enjoy it, though, so there is that.
Good on you, though — I hope one day they all eventually find their way into reality!
From reading this I can see how passionate you are with writing and blogging as a whole. It’s nice to see people like you in the blogging world!
Great post! I started writing because I wanted to share my thoughts on great products I found. Parents are bombarded with things they MUST buy and I wanted to find out what was really worth the money. I started with a few reviews and it snowballed from there. I LOVE blogging. It’s my time to be creative and have fun. I can’t imagine not blogging.
It’s so true, right? Through all the white noise you get from media and the digital universe, it’s good to find places where you can get trusted information on the questions we have as parents and consumers.
Good that you truly enjoy it — that’s key to longevity!
[…] friend and blogger extraordinaire – reached out looking for some bloggers to join a “Blog Hop“. I’ve never seen a blog hop or even had the slightest idea what it was about but, […]
I am the same way with my blog. I used to write in it 1-2 times a week. I’m getting back into the swing of things, but I hate posting anything unless it’s perfect. Even then, I still find things that I want to change and I’ll make little edits here and there until I move on to the next one.
Yeah, Jas, totally hear you. The blog I just posted today took a solid couple of weeks to get it down the way I wanted to show how I was feeling. Now that it’s out of the way, I feel more open to writing other stuff, but some posts are just… hurdles. You can’t seem to get anything out until you conquer them.
Good luck in your blogging — may writer’s block be a problem you seldom encounter 😉