The time has come! 200 posts! My oh my! How time flies. Just last December I was highlighting My Glorious 100 and now I have come up with the same amount of posts once again. That one day in May of 2011 seems like yesterday, when I decided to start a blog and share different aspects of my life in New York. Now, one year and 4 and a half months later, I would never characterize myself as an expert. But I have grown. I have improved. My main goal of becoming more fluent and more comfortable when writing in English has been achieved. And 18 months after starting the project, I have also come to see that a blog is a piece of art everyone creates.
So I want to devote this post, my 200th one, to ART and how blogging very much resembles it.
1) Composing a Rough Draft
Just like a musician imagines a piece and a painter draws out the fine lines, writing is based on a rough draft. I don’t know anyone who writes and then posts right-away. Some of my posts are still clustering my draft inbox, despite the advice I gave in 7 Tips on Blogging. I have a list of topics I keep close-by and sometimes I have the time to take down notes on what I want to cover in these topics. Whenever I get the chance to go back, I add more to it, and that’s how a post develops. Sometimes I don’t have much to say about it, though, and sometimes I don’t feel inspired to talk about a topic anymore. This is when it gets lost in the “idea lane”, to be picked up in the future or to be forgotten entirely.
2) Proofreading the Piece
A musician will always strive to straighten out wrong notes or falsely placed instruments. In this way, art resembles writing very much. The initial draft is likely to contain errors in grammar, errors in wording, maybe even errors in translation (as in my case). Proofreading a piece, whether it is right after you wrote it or sometime later will always remain a crucial part of the editing process.
3) Improving the Writing
A painter tries to correct mistakes in his work by painting over it or erasing a wrong color with a cover-up. Once something is written, the only way is uphill: Improvement. This is why it is important to let your “work” sit for a few hours or even a few days. Do you struggle with words that are repetitive or phrases you are not satisfied with? Merriam Webster online is a great source to find synonyms or to look up the correct meaning of a word. It’s been my little helper since day one. Tweaking a sentence here and there, taking an insignificant word and replacing it with something way cooler – improving your writing can be a pretty fun process. But it can also be hard to determine when to stop and when not to overdo it.
4) Blogging Takes Time
Let’s face it: Just like true art, blogging is a very time-consuming hobby. Some put their heart and soul in the process, for others it is just a nice way of having their day come to an end. Either way, it is not just something that is done in a few minutes. It will take you time, sometimes more than you have and more than you were initially willing to give.
Unless you throw up a picture and one sentence on your page, you will really have to commit yourself to it. Whether it’s twice a week or every day – it has the potential to drag more out of you than most people think. But then again, some people enjoy that you have to put time and effort into it. It’s a satisfying feeling to have created something good, something really good, and for others to read it.
There are many more aspects of blogging that can resemble art. Such as the blog design itself. Or the pictures posted on the site. I found these four to be the most crucial ones, though. Feel free to add whatever you think is important to you!
Happy 200! I hope it makes you feel as equally grateful as it does me: For the opportunities created, the people I’ve found, and the insights I’ve gained.