Tag Archives: blogging

Thoughts On Blogging

A lovely maker whose posts and content I love recently surveyed her Instagram audience about blogging, and more specifically about how to find things to blog about. Her question got me thinking because I used to ask myself the same question – I sometimes still do! – and after sharing my experience with her I realised that it would actually make a good blog post, so here we are!

How do you find things to talk about?

This question used to really bug me. I was reading so many blog posts that were either interesting, informative, beautiful or all three that it sometimes felt like I would never be able to write anything good in comparison. I also felt that I was joining the game too late: people had already written about such and such topics, and they’d probably done it way better than I would ever do. And then one day I read somewhere a sentence that went roughly like this (I’m paraphrasing): everything has already been done but nobody will ever do it like you would.

That sentence was a massive eye-opener. I realised that what I liked about all those amazing articles was that they reflected the author’s experience, their opinion, and that they were written in a style that was truly personal to them. I also came to realise that I liked reading articles that answer questions I ask myself and articles about things that I am curious about, like how other artists work, what their favourite art materials are, how people live in other countries, … those kinds of things.

How I find things to talk about

I can’t second guess what I think people would like to read about – well I could give it a try but there’s no guarantee that I would get it right –  whereas starting with what I’m interested in and what I want to share is a lot easier! And I figured that if I’m interested in a topic surely someone else, somewhere, must be too.

To find things to talk about I ask myself ‘what would I like to read about?’ and ‘what do I have to say on the subject?’ and then I start writing.

The behind the scenes of how I write my blog posts

Keeping track of my ideas

I usually prefer paper for most things but I had to face a tough fact: too many of my ideas were getting lost or forgotten because they were jotted down in various notebooks or on loose sheets of paper.

So now I use Google doc to write down every single blog post idea I have. Sometimes it takes the form of just a sentence and sometimes it’s a whole paragraph. Sometimes it becomes a post and sometimes it doesn’t.

I also like my lists to be very clean so that I can see at a glance what’s left to do (I’m the kinda girl who has a colour code for her daily to-do list based on whether the item is personal or for work and depending on its level of urgency you see). An electronic document gives me the flexibility to delete old or ticked items so that I only see the ideas that haven’t been used yet.

How I organise my Google doc for blog posts

My Google doc – which I used to write this post – is divided into three sections:

  • The rough ideas at the top: usually some sort of title or one line summarising the idea. I recently started adding dates next to the ideas because I find it interesting to see when I’m interested in what topics.
  • The blog posts in progress in the middle: I sometimes have several posts in progress at the same time, this enables me to chose what topic to write about depending on the mood.
  • A ‘completed posts’ bucket at the end: for some reason sometimes I like to keep a copy of my blog posts. When I do, I pop them in the ‘Published Posts’ section at the end of the document.

Another way to ‘write’ blog posts: dictating

I heard that some people use their mobiles devices to dictate their posts in Notes or in an email and then use AirDrop or email themselves for further editing. That sounds like a good idea to me because talking is sometimes more natural than writing and you might be less tempted to endlessly rephrase your sentences.

I tried it and and it sort of works, sort of doesn’t. I don’t know if it’s because of my French accent but the voice tool tends to change quite a few of the words that I say and it is sometimes almost more difficult to go through the whole text again in order to correct the mistakes than it is to write from scratch. That’s me though and I would suggest that you give it a try to see if it’s for you or not.

About writing faster

In the past few months I have also become quicker at writing my blog posts. I used to have a big complex because I am not a native English-speaker so I’m prone to making mistakes or to phrase things in a way that is not very natural in English. It took me a while (and some reading) to finally accept that this is who I am and that spending countless hours trying to write the perfect sentence is not really a good use of my time.

So what’s my technique for writing faster?

Well, first I start by writing everything I have in mind, everything that I want to say on the subject without worrying about how well it is phrased. Then I focus on the form: I edit my sentences and organise my paragraphs; by that point I don’t have to worry about the content anymore because it’s already all there. And finally, I stop editing when I consider that the post is good enough – note: not perfect, but good enough so that it communicates what I want to say. Working in this way saves me a great deal of time!


I hope this helps. Don’t hesitate to share your own tips and techniques for writing blog posts and other online content as I’d love to know!

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Mid-January Update

Can you believe it’s mid-January already? Because I can’t!

My birthday is fast approaching, so is the exciting holiday that my boyfriend and I started planning  last year (more on this another time)!… Where has the time gone?

Since I got back to work I have been in a sort of whirlwind and I really wanted to share with you what the past couple of weeks have been like for me before it’s all gone.

So here we go…

I’m starting the year with a minor shoulder injury, most likely caused by my first day back at the gym. I go to the gym several times a week and didn’t have that a long rest over the festive season (I mean, my boyfriend even got me to go for a run on the morning of Christmas Eve!) so I’m not sure what happened there. My first workout of the year did feel challenging (as it should) but not more than usual. Anyways. It’s not as bad now as it was the first week and I have booked an osteopath appointment for in a few days.

After a few years of not celebrating it, I introduced my boyfriend to the French tradition of the galette des rois (“king cake” in English). On the 6th of January French people traditionally celebrate the Epiphany by eating either a frangipane-filled pie or a brioche depending on the region of France you’re in. There is a lucky charm hidden in the pie/brioche and whoever gets it is crowned king or queen for the day. I made the pie version – it’s easier than making a brioche and it’s my favourite – and I got the charm (I didn’t cheat, I promise)!

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At Christmas I got some new neon acrylic paints and I’ve been having lots of fun with them so far (I can’t wait to use them again soon!).

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I finished working on a big and exciting client project that I had started before Christmas. I can’t reveal much more for now but more info on this as soon as I can.

I also started working on a fun collaboration with a French blog about expat life called l’Allée du monde. If you don’t already you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see a new illustration come out every Wednesday until the end of the month. And if you can read French I really recommend that you take a look at l’Allée du monde: it’s full of fun facts and anecdotes about what it’s like to live abroad as a French person. Gabrielle (the author of the blog), who I met for the first time in July last year, is a very lovely person and when she asked me if I was interested in working with her on this project I was over the moon because I love the way she writes (her blog is basically the expat blog I wish I had).

After taking my first Make Art That Sells Class in October last year I am back into MATSland! Lilla Rogers’s way of teaching is highly addictive and I had to have more. And since I really want to up my game and develop my career as a whole further in 2018 I thought that signing up for a bunch of her classes would be a fun way to make sure I do it (it can be tough at times to find the time to create your own artwork but it’s important to do it!). The MATS Assignment Bootcamp started again Monday last week and we had to draw what’s in our bag for the first mini assignment of the year.

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I challenged myself to draw “freehand” (no pencil lines before tracing) to keep it very spontaneous so that’s why it’s all a bit wonky. But I like it. And funnily enough the easiest item – the pen – is the one that I had the hardest time drawing (three attempts, no less!). Sure, I was getting a bit tired by the time I got to it. But still! It’s a freakin’ pen!

That’s for for me!

I hope that 2018  is treating you well so far. Do you have any goals for this year? Did you make any good resolutions?

Have a great week!

 

 

 

Reassessment Time

I was just watching some my friend Trista’s vlogs and today she really got me thinking.

In one of her latest posts she talks about the changes she is going to make to her vlogs and why. One of her main reasons for making changes she says is that she hasn’t been happy with the quality of her most recent vlogs.

That totally struck a chord because I feel the same way about my blog posts.

When I look back at 2016, a lot of improvements where made to my blog at the beginning of the year (in terms of the overall look, I was posting twice a week, etc.) and then things changed a few weeks (maybe even months) before Christmas.

So what happened?

One of the major changes is that around October I became more active on Instagram (it was Inktober remember?). This means that all of a sudden, the content that I was posting on here I was also posting on there. And when people come to see what I do, they don’t want to see the same things everywhere (I certainly find it more intersting when I follow somebody and their content varies from one platform to another).

This was confirmed by an illustration and portfolio consultant I spoke to around that time.

I was advised to use my blog to talk more about my creative process, and Instagram for the images that I was posting on my blog until then (both finished pieces and behind the scenes snapshots).

I thought that this piece of advice made perfect sense and to be fair I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that myself as it sounded pretty obvious.

But quickly after that I realised that:

  • A lot of the time, I don’t really know what to write about
  • The lack of inspiration means I can’t keep posting as regularly as I used to, and to be honest I liked that frequency
  • Writing takes time and I don’t have much of it these days (I know, I know, it’s a question of reassessing my priorities and changing some of the ways I do things in order to make the time; except that I am not ready yet to make the change)
  • And finally, I don’t enjoy writing that much (ironic for a post that is all text). When I say “writing” I mean essay-type content. I am more of a “lots of pictures with a short blurb” than an “lessons learnt” type of person

So in the past months I have been posting less, I have enjoyed blogging less, I have been unhappy with the quality of the whole thing and as a direct result I feel that I have let you, my dear readers, and myself down.

This needs to change!

So while I spend some time reassessing what I want to do, write and show on Camille’s Land and if you’ve made it this far in your reading, now is your chance to let me know what you would like to see/read more of this year (FYI I can’t post videos on here). I’m all ears!

Thank you all for your support, comments and your suggestions so far!