It’s time once again for a break from the Phil & Sassy train, to answer a fun question from one of you!
Q. How do you create a blog post?
A. Good question! I know it looks like I just break the cardinal rule of cheating (delete everything) and copy over old correspondence. But quite a bit more goes into the posts you see! Here’s a behind-the-scenes look into my grueling process. It may be like watching sausage being made – something you’d rather not know! If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to know, click away now!
I usually blog about a year ago, a month at a time, a month ahead of time. So right now I am working on December 2011. It makes me look at the “big picture” of what was going on, spread stuff out in a nice way and keep the flow of the conversation similar to what it felt like originally, so you get a feel for what a day-by-day long-distance relationship is about. And it keeps me from saying things because of how they’d look in the blog. And I hope it helps with the anonymity as people might remember where I was recently but not a year ago. I may toss in a post here and there on the fly, but for the most part, I set up posts about the past with a future posting date.
Here are the NINE STEPS I follow, aiming for about 10 posts a week:
1) Mix tape songs
I keep a spreadsheet of the music videos I sent to Philip, with the date, youtube link and band info. I go to the link, copy off the song title, and put that into a post, then blogger lets you pull in youtube videos. Then I search for the lyrics, because the words were very important, copy them into an email to change them to plain text, and add them to the post. I listen to each one and it gets me into the mood I was in at that time. These posts always go live at 4 pm on the day of the week now corresponding to that date a year ago.
2) Facebook messages
I copied all the messages into a word document by day or week or month as I went along. I change our names with the “find and replace” feature, copy the entire month into a post, then split it off into individual posts by days as I have time. These messages post at 9 am on the day of the week now corresponding to that date a year ago.
I dutifully typed the texts and downloaded the photos off my phone and into a word document by month. More recently, I am mixing texts and FB messages together as I save them, but in the old days, it seemed important to keep them separate. So I use the “find and replace” feature to change the names, then copy the entire file into a post and try to weave them into the FB message posts I’ve already started.
I saved my “sent mail” folder (breaking another rule). So I find them and weave them into with the FB messages and texts posts I’ve already started, changing the names as I go.
I downloaded all the photos off my phone into a file. The filenames contain the date they were taken, so I can easily find them and upload them to a post so you can see the food or the fauna or body parts. Sadly, anything with a face is deleted, and anything that shows where I live or work. And I can’t show you anything Philip sent me. I look at each one, trying to decide if they’re anonymous enough… but so far, no. I also show sexy photos that I sent to Philip from other sources.
I have a journal that my friends read, so I read the posts for the month, see if there was anything interesting I was thinking about. Sometimes I posted a “private entry” that only I can see. Anything mentioning Philip is locked away. This is where my rare deep philosophical drivel ends up. So I don’t send it to Philip! I copy those into an email to change them to plain text and then copy them into a post here.
7) Facebook timeline
I browse back through my FB timeline, looking for stuff I posted to my wall because it was okay for everyone to see it, even if it was meant for Philip. I copy it into the post with the messages and texts and photos, or make a separate post, depending on what it was. I often put stuff on my wall that had some inside joke for him. Many times I would post a photo and he would post a corresponding one of the same thing from his life a few minutes later – the view out my window, my dinner, my pets…sharing our lives miles away.
8) Flll gaps with other stuff
If there are days when Philip and Sassy were being boring, I write up a “Sassy Answers
” post like this one, or something else to spice up the day. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
Other bloggers tell amazing stories that I have to share! Here is my current favorite from Max’s Thoughts from a Mystic Saytr: The Space Between
There are several weekly blog memes like “Flash Fiction Friday
” or “TMI Tuesdays
.” I don’t participate often but I read them in other blogs and think about adding them when they inspire me.
I participate in Kat’s blog chain
over at “Prowling with Kat” so those posts show up on the tenth of every month. Did you read Advizor54’s take on having sex with a politician
earlier this month? It is twisted and smoking hot!
9) Final proofing
At this point in the proccess, I have about 40 posts in draft format. I check to see that they’re spaced out – never more than two a day, something every day etc. I check to be sure they’re tagged correctly and timed correctly. I try to spice up the blog titles.
Finally, I do a search to check for my real name, Philip’s real name, our employers, and various other words that it would be better I don’t share! Then I read through each post, double-checking for info that would indentify us, and any other goofs. I try to re-word stuff if I can, then get very sad as I clip out many of the details of our lives that would make for great stories. But I hope the Philip & Sassy shenanigans are enough… and I hit PUBLISH! WHEE!
I often go back the day before a post is set to go live, for one more look. It’s kind of scary how often I find another typo or something that I didn’t want to divulge! And I try to look at posts once they’ve gone live. Again, I find errors, or odd characters or spacing that only crops up after they’re live. Bleh!
So, for anyone who has read this far, thank you! There you have the nine tedious steps it takes to bring you our long-distance love story! It looks like a lot of work, but it is worth it to make me remember what a wonderful story it is, to put in a plug for old flames, to hear from my readers and be part of this amazing community of sweet, sexy bloggers!
BLOG YOURSELF! If you are not already blogging – START! Whatever you are doing or thinking or fantasizing about, write about it! You may not be able to tell anyone in your real life, but we are here to read and comment! And Blogger makes it easy with lots of backgrounds and widgets and stats.
Hugs with groping to you!