How I Write Blog Posts

A while ago—emmm, okay, almost a month ago—fellow Spain blogger (and in-real-life friend!) Trevor Huxham tagged me in a blog meme about how I write my blog. I wanted to write right away, but I got caught up in traveling and visits to Zamora and just never got around to it. Nonetheless, here I am, writing about writing. So very meta. So let’s get down to it and talk about my personal writing process. Then I’m supposed to tag three bloggers, but I’m not sure I’m going to do that just yet. We shall see.

2010 - Sanabria -  Puebla de Sanabria3

Me, in Puebla de Sanabria, back when I first started blogging

What am I working on/writing?

Let’s be honest here. I was a much more prolific writer during my brief stay in the U.S., when I was working in an office and had a lot of free time in which to sit at my desk, twiddle my thumbs, and want for my phone to ring. Meanwhile, I typed up blog posts in a Microsoft Word document so as to appear busy should my boss walk by while I wrote.

Nowadays, I wait for inspiration to strike. It usually does so in the most inconvenient moments, like in the shower or while I’m falling asleep. When it does strike me while I’m at the computer, I write in down in a notepad document. Often I’ll go back later and scoff at my idea, but there are some times when I do not, and I decide to write about that idea.

Right now I’m working writing about our recent trip to Asturias, and that’s about it. In the future (maybe January?), look for a big, mega write up about bureaucracy in the U.S. (I’ll leave it at that for now.)

How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?

My blog is, of course, less about the best sites to see in Madrid and more about my everyday life and curiosities about Spain and/or Spanish. I’m not very good at sticking to a theme, and I suppose that makes me not so marketable. That said, I like who I am as a blogger, and I don’t want or expect to make much money from this blog.

After having lived in Spain for five years, I consider myself something of an expert on expat life in Spain. I recognize that I have not lived here for that long, but I do know a few things. I am no longer surprised by the things that shock first year English Conversation Assistants, like the lack of dryes or the fact that Spanish customer service leaves much to be desired. I like to think I offer a deeper, more nuanced understanding of Spain and Spaniards.

Of course, I am married to a Spaniard, and while there are many like me, this aspect of my blog allows me to see a different side of Spain. I have been to small village celebrations (think 150 inhabitants!), eaten countless dinners around family members’ tables, been exposed to cultural traditions and subtleties that others just do not have the opportunity to witness. I’ve been to several Spanish weddings, picked apples at my husband’s family’s apple orchard, seen my in-laws making homemade chorizos and salchichones, gone to factories to buy discounted wheels of delicious cheeses, and learned the ins and outs of Zamora from the locals. I now walk along its streets, and as they say there, I am somebody, because I can’t walk down the main drag without meeting someone I know.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what I do because I like it, I love it, I believe in it. I don’t want to write anything inauthentic or false. I love Zamora and Castilla y León, so I write about them. I don’t write a lot of how-to posts, mainly because they’re difficult, so I leave them up to the better-suited ones.

I write for my family and friends, who can keep up with me through this blog. I started blogging for them, and I always keep them in mind when I hit publish.

I write for myself. I like sharing my experiences with others and not feeling so alone. I also like having this archive of my life, of this special time in my life. I love to look back on my anniversary posts or the time my in-laws were just about to visit Indiana or my wedding day. I love to read and reread old entries. Perhaps I sound self-interested, but a journal is a journal, even if I do happen to put it out there for everyone to read.

2014_Gran Canaria002

How does the writing process work?

What a great question! It depends on what the post is about. If it’s about a trip, and pictures are necessary, I first have to process the photos from the trip. We take pictures with my iPhone 4S and our shared camera, a Canon Rebel T3i. We’re not experts (yet!), but we take pretty decent photos.

I write using Windows Live Writer, which is much easier than using WordPress’ browser editor. From WLW, I can easily publish the entries or post the draft to my blog. It has all sorts of tools that I like, including automatic linking, spell check, word count, and many more.

After I publish the draft, I put it on WordPress’ preview mode to see it more clearly and examine it for typos. Of course, I’m not perfect, and I let one or two through from time to time. This is easily edited afterwards. I can choose to have my post automatically tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.

Who I’m Tagging

I’m just going to do a cop out and tag anyone who wants to do this! A lot of people I follow/would tag have already been tagged.

Thanks to Trevor for tagging me; it’s been fun!

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14 thoughts on “How I Write Blog Posts

  1. Oh man, I can’t not wait to read your post on the US bureaucracy. (Bureau-crazy?!) It will be insightful to hear about papeleo on the OTHER side…

  2. I love when people can offer the “insider” views of a country instead of just new expat “zomg no dryers!” Haha, it’s cool that “you’re somebody” around town now. And I always enjoy bloggers who write for themselves instead of Pinterest.

    I don’t know if you’re interested in China at all, but another blogger I like who has the insider view is Ruth at http://chinaelevatorstories.com/

  3. I find the topics you write about to be extremely interesting. In fact, your blog is what inspired me to start my humble wordpress. I respect that you write for yourself and not to become marketable, because marketable doesn’t always make for a quality read. I keep coming back to your blog because your posts provide more nuanced information presented by someone able to give a rich perspective on matters in Spain. The fact that you are married to a Spaniard certainly adds another dimension to your experience here, and as someone who is heading that route it’s very helpful to be able to read about possible challenges I may face in the future.

  4. Really enjoyed reading about your writing process from one blogger to another. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’ and talking about Castilla y León, life with your husband & in-laws, and generally what you want.

  5. I really liked reading about your writing process. I definitely think you’re an expert on expat stuff, as I don’t come across many expat blogs by people who are so well-integrated. It’s always nice to read about a side of Spain that I will almost certainly never be able to experience (and even nicer when it’s well-written and in-depth).

  6. I really enjoy your posts because you write about views of your city or country and I definitely agree. I do the same thing or I write about my own thoughts because this is mainly for my family and friends. I’m new at blogging but I know I will learn quickly. It’s a great thing to write for yourselves.

  7. Thank you for your insight. I have been thinking about blogging. I wanted to look at other people’s blogs to see what they write about and their process for coming up with their material. Thanks!

  8. Your blog is one of my favorite “Expat in Spain” blogs! Just like Constance, reading it motivated me to open mine, and I really love reading your articles (Ok, especially the “dating a Spaniard” ones since I’m also in an international relationship – although France and Spain are closer than US and Spain!). I look forward to reading more of your Spanish experiences in 2015! Happy new year :-)

  9. I have no idea if my first comment worked or not so feel free to delete the duplicate if any!

    Your blog is one of my favorite “Expat in Spain” blogs! Just like Constance, reading it motivated me to open mine, and I really love reading your articles (Ok, especially the “dating a Spaniard” ones since I’m also in an international relationship – although France and Spain are closer than US and Spain!).

    I look forward to reading more of your Spanish experiences in 2015!

    Happy new year :-)

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