A decorative image for the "Blogger's Highway" series that has two cartoon renderings of highway roads going different directions, and directional signs in the middle in pink, purple, and red.

This post is the first in a series where I document my life as a blogger. We’ll consider this the foreword.

As someone who writes for my day job, as a hobby, and obviously in this capacity, I’ve developed a work from home strategy along the way that I’ve found works best for me. Some of it will be specific to the stuff for my day job, and others for this.

Before I get started on the stuff for my day job, I’ll get acquainted with the project itself, any specific details I need to take into consideration, and what approach I’ll go for. I like to write down the information on paper, so I’ll have something to work with in case of an outage, or if I’m AFK for whatever reason. All relevant research goes into the spiral notebook I’ve dedicated to the specific subject, so I’ll remember it later on.

I used to print off documents and write things out longhand on them, but I’ve found it to be more costly in the long run. That gave way to using the Word documents themselves, and using the comments option for content development instead.

My blogging process currently follows a similar pattern, but instead of the Word document, I like to write things out in my notebook. I’ve found that this makes it easier to carry around, since I leave my laptop at home as a rule. It helps me stay in blog mode in a power outage, and also helps me use up what I’ve had living in my stash for way too long. It’s also going to serve as a memento for posterity, and will be a physical reminder of where I started.

For both this and my day job, I keep this in a separate browser window. This way, if I get the urge to switch to YouTube, Nordy’s, or J. Crew, I’ll have to switch to the goof-off browser for that. I’ve found that it helps to keep me in work and blog mode, and it gives me something to look forward to once I’m done.

I quickly learned that a running to-do list in the style of what I have for my day job just won’t work with the blog. I learned this back when I was on the free blog, so it was early in the game. I drew out a schedule of post ideas for the days I plan on posting, so it gives me a sense of what to come up with next, and what to focus on for the week. I’m sure there’s an app that serves the same purpose, so if anyone has any recommendations, drop ’em like they’re hot, and tell me what you like about ’em.

For right now, I’ve drawn out my posting schedule on one of the kraft paper dividers, and so far, so good. It’s about the only thing they’re good for anyways, haha. But for real, I feel like a multi-subject notebook with only paper as dividers is most useful as a journal or for notes anyway.

While I’m in work mode, I’ll have the TV on as background noise for working at home. At the time I’m usually up, it’s lame infomercials. Sometimes I’ll be up to catch the beginning of Joe Namath hawking a sleazy insurance lead generator. I think the people who made this ad handed that damn recording to every over-the-air TV network and told ’em to play it till they’re sick of it.

That’s gotta be it. That’s gotta be why it plays every commercial break.

To really get in the zone, I’ll listen to albums. For this post, it was Whitney, Born in the U.S.A., and half of Restless Heart’s Greatest Hits before the batteries died. When that happens, I’ll listen to radio streams online after I check out their “Recently Played” section if it exists.

As an aside, I’ll also write down playlists I wanna remember for my journal.

With every blog post thus far, I’ve noticed that the posted version differs from the initial draft. I’ll add any changes I’ve made affecting the overall content to the draft later on. This one will probably be no exception. After I hit the “Post” button (or the “Send” button with my day job, and we’ve come to the point where we can consider the work complete and final), I feel like it’s a done deal. Once we’ve reached the point where the comment window closes, I don’t revisit it if at all possible. Same way I seldom go out of my way to go back and read any of my old stories or journals.

What’s your process like? Sound off below, and maybe we’ll all learn something.

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