Manifestation: Developing a Blogging Practice Makes Perfect

Manifestation: Developing a Blogging Practice Makes Perfect

Julie Weckerlein will be speaking on The Write Brain: Essential Blog Content Development Workshop panel at BlogHer's 2011 conference on August 5, 2011. It's an extended session running through two afternoon time slots, from 1:15 to 4pm; Julie's "Manifestation" portion of the workshop starts at 3:15pm. 


On a late summer evening in 2001, I was seated in a dark corner of my then-fiancĂ©'s living room in Erlangen, Germany, silhouetted by the blue glare of his family's ancient HP monitor.

I hit "publish" on my first introductory entry, and thus officially began a personal, and ultimately professional, blogging career that's spanned a whole decade and an entire globe.

It's pretty safe to say I've blogged about all sort of topics in just about every environment possible.

In 2003, I typed out pregnancy updates from the cluttered office of my Italian townhouse, my first home as a married woman.

Busted! Micro-blogging from DisneyWorld, Summer 2009.


In 2005, I posted quirky road trip notices from doughnut shops, gas stations and any other American roadside place that offered free Wi-Fi as we traveled between our new home in DC and my family home in Ohio.

In 2007, I detailed my military deployment experiences seated on a busted chair in a dusty room in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Iraq, hoping I wouldn't lose Internet connection.

Dusty blogging while waiting for a flight in Iraq, Summer 2007



In 2008, for my Pentagon job, I linked to Air Force convention updates from a brightly-lit office cubicle decorated with Post-Its, awards and my kids' artwork.

I've edited family videos while locked in my Northern Virginia bathroom - the only completely quiet room in my house.


Peaceful blogging from our family room with coffee & our dog. Winter 2010


Just a few weeks ago, I monitored official science blog coverage for the NASA shuttle launch in Florida while recovering from whiplash in a Ohio hotel room after being hit by a drunk driver the night before.

I've had my external hard drive crash and take years worth of files with it.

I've gotten lost in HTML codes and Java Scripts.

Fun times.

Exhausting times. 

Nevertheless, they are times of my life I'm glad I've documented and consistently shared through my blog, which is older than my marriage and has provided me a creative outlet while keeping my worldwide friends and family connected to our lives. It's inspired and provided for me so many opportunities I could not have predicted for myself and my family.

Like most blogs, my personal blog started very simply and organically. But as my life circumstances changed - I got older, got married, my career took off, we threw kids into the mix - so did the easy routine of just sitting down and writing. 

Sometimes, motivation for an amazingly insightful blog post hits while I'm driving down the freeway, nowhere near my computer to act on it.


Other times, I can sit and stare at my screen for what feels like hours, knowing my relatives fear me dead since I hadn't updated in a while. But my fingers remain silent, my muses on vacation.

Many times, I will be on a roll with a really great blog piece, clacking away with passion and wit on my keyboard .... until my attention will be hijacked by a crying child, a bored husband, a ringing telephone, a coworker, the mailman, or even just the random mental reminder that there's a load of laundry waiting to be folded, a bill payment needs to be sent, or some random song lyric will zip my train of thought into a dark tunnel, never to return.

And then there've been the times when the logistics of blogging are just not working for me: slow network connections, no access to the Internet, corrupted accounts and files, medical emergencies, etc. As a professional who makes her income as a Department of Defense blogger, those situations create a lot of stress.


But there is a way to prepare for those situations. There is a way to squeeze some blogging time into a chaotic schedule.

It is possible to wrap your arms around all the passion and creativity for blogging and manifest it all while juggling the realities of life.

It's called developing a blogging practice.

Hence: my session at the BlogHer '11 conference. I will focus on the various ways you can develop an effective blogging practice, based upon my experiences as a personal and professional blogger, military journalist, editor and photographer, wife and mother. I've also helped countless people and organizations start up both personal and professional blogs, offering nurturing and practical advice I've learned over the years.


But before I share any more details here, I want to hear from you.

Whether you are a personal or professional blogger, do you currently have a blogging practice?

When it comes to blogging, what's your biggest roadblock? Finding the time? Being overwhelmed by all the inspiring ideas out there, and not knowing where to start? Fearing the competition? Lack of support? 


Let me know, and I'll select some of the responses here to highlight in my BlogHer '11 presentation, as well as offer tips in future posts here.

And since bloggers are all about sharing, if you've discovered ways to simplify and manage your blog, post the tidbits here and inspire others.

I look forward to your responses!

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