I have decided to reduce the frequency of this blog to one post a month. The summer has had a lot of disruption to my normal routine, I have a lot of appointments over the next few weeks, and the idea of fitting in writing posts was becoming stressful. I want to continue the blog though, because I am still enjoying it and I have a folder full of ideas for things to write about.
I like seeing other people’s writing processes, so I thought perhaps others may be interested in mine. The way I write is very much affected by my autism and learning difficulties, although I have learned some very good strategies from educational support at college and university. I note down ideas for posts whenever I have them; sometimes just a vague topic, sometimes it’s quite detailed. Usually I will think about it for quite a while, days or weeks, until it is better formed in my mind. I add notes to the file during that time; I find “Notes” useful because it synchs between devices so is always available. When I begin actively writing a post I start with an outline and try to decide on a structure. First I have lists of bare content. Then I gradually write out the information into sentences and paragraphs, adding in the small words that make it flow and look like proper English. Then I try to add some personal interpretation or reflection. I frequently read it over to make sure it’s on topic and saying what I want it to say, relating it back to the title/theme I decided on. This is laborious because I can’t hold the topic in mind while working, so I have to be constantly checking back and analysing each part, as well as trying to make the piece a coherent whole. I like to finish writing a day or two before putting it on the blog so I can proof read it after a break. I try to check for the tone of the language because that doesn’t come naturally to me, and without care it would read like a dusty text book (perhaps it does!) in broken sentences.
Each post takes several days, and sometimes a few weeks, of work. When I am writing, it is the main task for the day. I find it very tiring and it’s hard to switch off from thinking about it the rest of the time. For that reason, I need to reduce how often I post to the blog. I was not giving myself enough time and energy for daily life and for any extra events that come up. But I do enjoy it, and I am still hoping that writing the information I wanted to see but couldn’t find a few years ago will be helpful to someone.