The Case of the Missing Week: How to follow advice and manage your website

Last week, due to me being ill and hideously exhausted, I didn’t manage to post a blog post. There has to be a first (and a last) time for everything, so I let myself off gently, as I’ve managed to post something every week so far and also I really was very ill. It was only a virus but it hit me hard and made me exhausted on top of my work-related, end of term, exhausted-ness.

But, despite illness I should have still been able to post a post. Why? Because I knew better. Before I even started to think about setting up a website I read a really good book on the subject called Social Media for Writers (by Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine). The book was really useful. It outlines all the things to do and not to do with a new blog. I knew if I followed their advice it would all go well. If only.

One of the things they suggested to do was to create a bank of evergreen posts. These would be posts you could fall back on when you were ill or were going on holiday or it was end of term and your brain refused to work. For me this was really difficult advice to follow though because I found it really hard to create blog posts before I had actually posted some. Why? Mainly because I was really unsure about who I would be on here and what aspect of myself would come out. Again, you are supposed to plan ahead and create this persona, but I’m not very good at creating a self, I’m much better at just being myself. But who was my website self? Before I started I tried, I wrote a pile of stuff but none of it seemed right. I had to post first to find out what and how I wanted to post. So I just did it. And, by just doing it, I’ve found out the missing thing that the research couldn’t tell me- who I am in this context.

Now, a few months in, I can write something and know whether or not it’s what I want to post. On a working active level I can recognise what voice I have on here and what fits. For example, a fortnight ago, I drafted and worked on a blog for a couple of days, but just before I posted it I realised it really wasn’t what I wanted to say or how I wanted to be, so I scrapped it. Now it takes me less time to create them, because I am saying what I want to say, and what I want to say today is- prepare! If you are thinking of setting up a webpage, plan ahead and create some evergreen blogs.

For me I like to learn the hard way (obviously!) but I do learn. Now I feel the wisdom of the advice to prepare ahead and since my experience last week I have started to work on some posts that I can draw on if I’m not feeling like myself. So, over the break, as well as working on my new fairy-tale (which I love), I’m working on a review of my writing this year. So far this is a pretty big post, which looks like two weeks’ worth, but it’s also been great doing a review (especially seeing as it’s been a pretty amazing year). So, that will be coming. And I’ve drafted some other posts on the nature of being into magic, and also around being queer and what that means for a 49 year old woman living and writing in the early 21st century. That will probably expand into many tales, so stay tuned and have a lovely break.

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