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My Writing Habit for these Blog Posts

Learning to post regularly has required me to build a consistent writing habit. This is how it works so far.

Posting regularly has required me to build a consistent writing habit. I’m certain it will continue to grow, but this is how it works so far.

I work in Ulysses, a powerful but simple writing app on my iPad. It is powerful because it maintains all my writing in one extensive searchable library and exports it into multiple formats (.doc, PDF, simple text, rich text, .ePub, and onto my blog). And simple because it’s a minimal layout that uses markdown to format things. You can choose a theme and viewing size, but it reduces the number of options that lead to fussing.

These features allow for flexibility and speed that I don’t find with other writing software. I can begin bare bones, fleshing out an outline, or free-writing until I figure out what draws my interest. Once I identify the focus, I’ll pluck it out, begin another document, and build it out.

My rule is that anytime I feel like I’m splitting off from my original idea or narrowing it down, it’s best to leave the old draft behind in an unfinished state and begin a new one. The main reason for this is that it keeps a digital archive. If at some point I’m struggling to remember the initial inspiration or a particular phrasing, I have something to revisit.

Once the draft feels complete, I will copy and paste it into ProWritingAid and do two passes: the overall corrections pass and the sticky pass, which ferrets out all my sentences that contain too many glue words.

Then I will copy that draft into a new draft in Ulysses, then move it into Grammarly. I do this for two reasons: 1) to preserve the draft from ProWritingAid, and 2) the copy from ProWritingAid to Grammarly loses my paragraph breaks.

Once I’ve cleaned up more of my text from Grammarly, I’ll copy that draft into Ulysses (again to preserve a draft and paragraph breaks) and then paste it into my blogging platform, Ghost.

I’ll now reread it. Sometimes the changes from the editing apps are a little wonky, or they don’t catch everything. They often get the standard spelling and grammar, but sometimes they’ll overlook the overall logic of the writing. Also, your lazy brain will notice things it previously skipped when your document is in a different format with new margins and layout.

After that, I’ll add links, tags, and a summary, then post it.

The process may seem excessive to some of you (or perhaps many), but it gives me enough passes to catch my mistakes and clarify my thinking. It also flows seamlessly and naturally, so I’m not fighting against the process.

So that’s it. This method may not work for everyone, but I’m hoping that sharing it will hopefully help some of you. Good luck.

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