Writing in Snippets ~ How I Blog

CC Licensed photo shared by Flickr user MarkyBon
CC Licensed photo shared by Flickr user MarkyBon

Blogging is one of my main creative outlets. For the past 3-4 years, I’ve considered it as integral a part of my life as going for walks with the dog or cooking delicious and healthy family meals; seemingly mundane, but a must for my balanced lifestyle. The thing is, it’s not as though I have any more time than your average family man or professional. In fact, I would venture a guess that I have far less time than most individuals. But time is not a barrier to my blogging. If and when I stop or have breaks from posting, it will likely be more from a loss of commitment than a lack of minutes and hours.

Although I have touched upon this in past posts, I again want to share with you the process I go through to blog because I’m hoping it helps a reader or two. You could almost call my method Writing in Snippets.

Like a lot of people, I have thoughts. These range from lucid to muddled, and serious to ridiculous. These thoughts occur to me at any time in the day: while talking to a student in my classroom, over a bowl of ramen, while watching one of my kids at swimming class, as a result of listening to a podcast, reading a book, or singing along to my iPod.

And like a lot of people, I am rarely without a mobile device in hand or pocket. My phone is an essential blogging tool for me because, on it, I have my blog apps and, most importantly, Evernote. Let me break down for you how I wrote this very post.

On Sunday I had a friend message me a common refrain: “I don’t get how you find the time to blog!” Immediately, I said to myself, I should write a blogpost about this (an obnoxious response, I know). So as not to lose the thought, I pulled out my phone, opened up my Evernote app, and started a note called ‘How I Blog’. Inside my Evernote, I have a folder entitled ‘Blog’, which is where I put all of my blog drafts and ideas. At any given moment, I may have as little as zero notes in that folder, and as much as five or six.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I kept remembering the processes I go through from inspiration to ‘publish now’. These ideas came to me during my son’s piano lesson, while walking the dog, and even while buying a box of kimchi cabbage for my mother in the supermarket. Each time, I quickly jotted notes down in my Evernote. Some of these were sentences, and others were simple point form notes. Essentially, my entire outline for this post came about while walking around from this place to that, multitasking the entire time.

On Thursday, I had time in the evening to sit down at my laptop and look over my notes. I deleted some sentences, added others, and did my customary search on Flickr’s CC licensed photos for an image to accompany this post (my idea of fun). I always try to find a photo which is provocative and beautiful.

On Friday, while on the train home from a presentation, I spent 10 minutes scanning my post for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

On Saturday morning, I hit publish.

I’m really curious – how do you blog?


  1. “I should write a blogpost about this” is pretty much it, isn’t it? It’s that spark that ignites an idea, then slowly warms as we play with it over time. Down time is the best, especially right before sleep or that foggy time before you really wake up (if you have the luxury of a day without an alarm clock). The idea begins to connect to other thoughts that have been hanging out on the periphery, and it gets even bigger. Finally, there’s almost a moment of excitement when you think you have ‘enough’ and you have to get it out. You want to share and find out what other people might think about it too. *Publish!*

  2. Back in ’04, I had my first blog. I posted everyday about anything and everything. Then my head got full of other ideas and just stopped. I’m trying to get back into it. As of the beginning of Jan. I actually added a blog on my teacher site. What do I blog about? Lately it’s my obsession with the intersection between art and design. I don’t write in snippets because I suffer from the DaVinci syndrome – start something small, lose and then not use it. I have to do it in one sitting, like a ninja in the dark, waiting to attack. I also realized the my blogs have been relegated to what I teach as well – I’ll go to shows, reflect on it as a means to encourage my students to see it for themselves. One subject I don’t blog about is my teaching philosophy. Why you ask? Well, because my entire site for school is my philosophy. The practice is the blog.

  3. Wow, you proofread things? I’m impressed! I think that people have all kinds of ways to blog. It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open and having an opinion on those things that are important to you. I think that I’m like you – I have little snippets all over the place that just require polishing and completion before posting. Sometimes, I’ll just sit down and go from beginning to end in a single sitting. I don’t think that there’s one way of blogging that describes how I do whatever it is that I do.

  4. I love the fact that you note “time is not a barrier to my blogging”. If more people looked at your approach they would certainly see that contributing their thoughts, ideas and questions can really spur their own personal growth and learning. Initially as one of my new years resolutions I committed to making a notebook in Evernote to keep track of blogging ideas. And thanks to your post I am stealing the idea of adding small snippets to my Evernote blog topics so that I don’t lose any ideas in my old age. 🙂

  5. I have a similar process – I find that my best blog posts have their origin in thoughts that I have and immediately capture. That usually means sitting in a car, on my way to something else, in a meeting, or doing something entirely nonconducive to blogging. If I leave that thought for later, I won’t be able to create something as strong. But if I start jotting down whatever I can there, on the spot, that’s when I’ll be able to turn that into fantastic posts.

  6. I am so unplanned compared to you. Almost all of my blog posts are spur of the moment inspired things. It means my husband has figured out to just give me a second if I run to the computer. I have tried to be more purposeful but they end up being longwinded and repetitive.

  7. Thanks for sharing your process, Royan. I always enjoy the different process that each post on my blog can take me through. I know the “snippet” approach too though! 🙂 I always chuckle at the scribbled thoughts I have in different places and how they can come together in ways that I did not imagine before I wrote them down. I can also understand if someone just doesn’t see blogging as their thing… but I hope that doesn’t prevent them from finding other ways to be a part of the dialogue and connecting with those who do.

  8. Thanks for the inspiration, Royan. I have been sitting in the shallow end with my toes in the water for some time, not having the confidence to wade in nor the understanding of how to approach … I now feel like you have given me some water-wings to go and try.

    1. One thing I would recommend is to start blogging about something small, like your favourite sports team, or a hobby you have. It’s so much pressure to blog just about YOU when you start out.

  9. Sporadically, buddy. Usually when I have a burning question or problem or I want to reflect on something awesome that happened. Lately I’m using it to share material for my preservice class. Now on my Tumblr blog: http://danikabarker.tumblr.com/ where I’m mostly blogging about running. I most more regular short snippets. They’re usually focused on something fun or silly that happened on my run.

  10. I blog the same way. At any one time I’ll have 4-7 drafts in my folder that I work on when I have the time or are feeling especially inspired. There are times where I will sit down and write everything in one shot but more often than not it is a longer process that I work on sporadically. I’ll visit it several times and add appropriate images, videos, etc to make sure I’m getting my point across effectively.
    PS, I always enjoy the images you include!

  11. “time is not a barrier to my blogging”…
    I am yet to manage this. I like the way you use Evernote to record your thinking and ideas. This is something I am going to try in the coming weeks/months. My blogging tends to be sporadic and quite impulsive. At times I have pulled over to the side of a road when driving to start a post. I often write directly into WordPress and regularly have dozens of post ideas in draft form without ever finishing them. It’s time to try another option and I think Evernote will be my next experiment. Thanks for sharing your blogging process.

  12. Hey Royan,

    I’ll admit to pounding out blog posts when I think of a topic.

    But let’s face it, there are bloggers and then there are inspired bloggers. Unless one writes about interesting, thought provoking stuff like you do, a person could write for 10 years or more and still be writing uninspired, uninteresting material. You, my friend, are the real McCoy! Your topics make the reader think and want to chime in and have a discussion. And that is what a good blog should do.


Leave a Reply to Kent Manning (@KentManning) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s