From ideas to published posts: inside my writing process
I started this blog three months ago with the goal of publishing one post per week to share my story and thoughts. This routine helps me improve my English. As a CEO, my time is limited and valuable, so I developed a process to ensure that I meet my goal of publishing one post per week.
My current writing process consists of four major steps: capturing ideas, refining and writing, improving the English, and publishing and promoting my blog post. In this post, I will delve into each of these steps and share my experience and insights.
The journey starts with capturing ideas. I have found that my best ideas often come to me when I am away from my computer. This can happen when I am sitting in my armchair, lying in bed, driving a car, traveling on a train, or at other times when I have free time to think!
When an idea strikes, I take out my mobile phone and quickly jot it down in Notion. I usually start with a title that captures the essence of the post, then write bullet points in complete sentences in English. I don't worry too much about my grammar or vocabulary at this stage, as the most important thing is to capture the essence of the idea.
I currently have 30 blog post ideas at varying stages of development.
As I explore an idea further, I may conduct research to see if there are existing posts on the internet related to my topic. This helps me improve or expand upon my idea and gain a wider perspective.
This phase can be completed in a single day, but it can also be a multi-day or multi-week process. Sometimes I only make a note of the title and dig up the full idea later.
As my ideas become clearer, I may make changes and write full sentences and paragraphs. The best moments are when the ideas flow fluently - it's a wonderful feeling!
Over the past few weeks, I have noticed an evolution in my writing process. Initially, I only wrote bullet points and then developed them into full sentences and paragraphs in front of my computer. However, now I am able to quickly compose complete sentences and even paragraphs on my mobile phone. In fact, some of my posts are now 80% written on my phone.
Refining and writing
The next step is to refine and edit my notes on my computer. This phase may occur hours, days, or even weeks after writing the idea on my phone. It acts as a filter, a second thought.
If I review my notes and find that I'm dissatisfied with what I'm reading, I may abandon the idea and start on another topic. Although this situation is rare, it can be stressful because I know that I need to publish something by the end of the week, and it feels like I'm starting from scratch.
Most of the time, my notes are sufficient and provide a clear topic to write about. I begin by rearranging ideas or plans, making necessary deletions or adjustments. Then, I focus on writing complete sentences using the best English I can, with the help of Grammarly.
After refining and editing the entire content, I reevaluate the initial title. During the capture phase, I always set a title even if I don't know exactly where the writing will go. Sometimes, I end up changing the title to better reflect the content in this phase.
Improving the English
To ensure that I produce the best English possible, I use tools like DeepL to find the correct translations for words that only exist in French in my mind.
Additionally, I utilize Grammarly's synonym feature to avoid repetition and conduct research to ensure that the suggested word accurately expresses my intended meaning. This approach helps me enrich my English vocabulary.
When I feel like I've done everything I can to improve my English, I take the full text to DeepL and translate it into French. This often helps me correct some parts that are grammatically correct but don't precisely express my intended meaning.
Publishing and promoting
My writing is now ready to be published, but I still have some small steps to complete. An important one is finding illustrations. I set a time constraint for myself, as I don't want to spend too much time finding the right picture, even though the picture and title are crucial in attracting readers.
If a personal photo is relevant to the post's topic, I'll use it. Otherwise, I turn to Unsplash, a website with a vast library of high-quality, royalty-free stock images. This makes Unsplash an excellent resource for finding relevant images for my blog.
If I can't find the perfect image through either of those sources, I may use generative AI like MidJourney to illustrate precise topics or ideas. However, I prefer not to rely too heavily on AI-generated images as it takes more time and may not always produce the desired result.
Once I find an appropriate illustration, I set everything up in Ghost, my blog platform. I assign meta-data such as categories, and then click the publish button. Even when I am not entirely satisfied with my work, I still publish it because I have already invested the time that I was willing to commit.
The final step is promoting my post on social networks. Currently, I quickly publish a basic post on Twitter and Facebook. If the post is relevant to my job, such as if the topic is about electric cars, I may also publish it on LinkedIn. However, I recognize that there is room for improvement in this area, and I plan to work on it in the future.
It’s time to change
That was my writing process up until now.
However, for this post, I decided to try something new. In my next blog post, I will delve into my modified process and explain the reasoning behind my changes. I will also share how it improved my results. Stay tuned!