The meandering trail of writing a “quick” post!
Did I mention that I am still learning the art of frequent blog posting?
Today, I sat down to write a quick blog post. It did not turn out to be quick nor did it turn out to be the blog post I sat down to write. Instead it morphed into the post you are now reading; a recording of the journey that led to a finished post.
Back in 2010 Scott Berkun wrote a good post on How to Write 1000 Words and while he wrote it he video taped his screen to record his writing process. The post is exactly 1000 words. It took him 154 minutes to write and it was written over the course of two days. You can watch a video of him talking about his writing process, as the video plays in the background at 30 times the actual speed. The video and talk are five minutes long.
Unfortunately, I did not think to set a timer or stopwatch as I began the journey of writing this blog post today. It took longer than 154 minutes! But I have added in time points for certain actions because they are recorded in my browser history. Just as Scott did not write his post entirely in one sitting, I have not done so with this one either. However, the only break I took was a short lunch break. And then, once the blog post was complete, I took a long break before I came back and did a final edit.
I recall that I took some pictures of a knitted graffiti art installation at City Hall Park in Seattle this spring. “Great!” I think. “I can write a quick post about Yarn Bombing.“
I go to iPhoto to look for the photos I took. Hmmm, they are only okay. So I do a Google image search. I find a lot of images. I follow the links on about ten of them. Most of them seem to be fully copyrighted with no free republication allowed. I did not find what I was looking for.
I go back to iPhoto and review my photos again and decide I can use them. But first I must do some image editing. They are a little crooked and need some cropping. Done. I upload my photos from iPhoto and add a couple more that I found on the web to my WordPress Media Library.
Because of the NaBloPoMo posts and other work I have been doing on my blog I have recently uploaded a lot of images to the library. I now have 78 images that range over 4 pages and it is getting unwieldy.
So back I go to my media library. When I filter by “November 2012” it shows 64 images spread out over 3 pages. This is not going to work. I realize I need to do something to organize the library now before it really gets out of hand.
This has taken me half an hour. It is now 1:00pm
I google “wordpress plugin folders media”. I follow some links to discussions on the topic and I read release information and reviews on three plugins: Media Library Assistant, Media Category Library, and Media File Manager.
I decide on Media File Manager. I upload it to this blog and activate it. It works like a charm! I am able to group all the yarn bomb installations into one folder. I also set up folders for a few other topic areas. Then I go back to WordPress.org to rank and write a review on Media File Manager because it is a very good app and I want to give credit where credit is due.
I took these photos at a little park that is right outside of the 4Culture offices in Seattle. I don’t have a clue what that little park is called. And I like to be correct about things. I google map the location. It shows the park as green but no name. However it does name the little street that goes through the park: Dilling Way. I google “name of park dilling way seattle” and find out it is named City Hall Park – which obviously dates back aways since city hall is no longer near there. I follow the link to Wikipedia to make sure I have the right park. I do.
City Hall Park is a 1.3 ac (5.3 ha) park located in thePioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle, Washington on a block bounded by 3rd Avenue on the southwest, Dilling Way on the southeast, 4th Avenue on the northeast, and the King County Courthouse on the northwest. It is so named because when it was laid out in 1916, the King County Courthouse was the County-City Building, housing both Seattle and King County government. City offices moved out in 1962.
Suzanne Tidwell is the artist who had the installation in Seattle’s Occidental Park and City Hall Park, as well as many other sites around the area.
To write the above paragraph, I went to the History on my browser to find Nathaniel’s blog so I could credit him.
While on the History page I count the links/pages I have visited since beginning this post. I have visited 58 . It is now 2:37pm.
Nathaniel is starting a branch of the Awesome Foundation here in Seattle. I bookmark the website for later reading.
Because I had seen Suzanne’s name spelled both as Tidwell (correct) and Tidewell (incorrect), I do a little more searching on her. I find not only her website but also quite a few more hits and follow those links still looking for a good shot of the Occidental Park installation. I do not find any that I can use but I do find a great entry on Suzanne’s blog. It is her announcement about the 4Culture grant to do the Occidental Park installation and an invitation for knitters to join her in creating the tree sweaters.
I was recently selected by Seattle Parks & Recreation to be a contributing artist in their summer ARTSparks Program. They have given me permission to wrap nearly everything inside Seattle’s Occidental Park, with the exception of existing sculptures, totem poles and the trash cans…Carte blanche Yarn Bombing!!! JOY!!
I welcome all offers of help from my knitting friends as I need to install fast! The big push will be to see how much we can knit and install before June 2nd’s, First Thursday Art Walk. Photos will be taken at this time for the ARTSparks summer poster. We are welcome to continue installing after that date as well…and have been told if we fill up the park we can move over to the Avenue. Up for grabs are 16 small light posts, 16 tall light posts, 13 small bollards, 52 tall bollards, 16 small, medium and large flower pots, and 42 trees that have all been measured and are waiting to be wrapped with knitting!
Now it is 3:58pm.
During this last hour and a half I have placed photographs, changed the sizes and locations, written the content, as well as retrieved the quotes, added HTML where needed, and edited the post quite a bit.
On a post that is this involved, I usually cannot edit it right away. I simply cannot see it clearly enough after working on it for this long. So, I will let it sit and come back to it later tonight. The post is 1431 words long.
I wrote this post because I have been feeling frustrated with how long it usually takes me to produce a post I am happy with. My learning curve is to find ways to tighten the process. But that is a lot of why I signed up for NaBloPoMo this year. There is no shortcut to the education that the actual doing gives you. By committing to a month of dedicated posting to two blogs I am creating the space to develop better blogging methods and to become a better writer.