Post-A-Day 2011:  How do you decide when a post is ready to publish?

Most of my blogging is made up of pictures and updates about the activities my family is up to, so each post generally has a logical end.  However, there have, at times, been posts that after putting them together and writing them I’ve decided it’s too many pictures and different subject areas, so I break them down into smaller posts.  For my family updates, I like to make them one-subject, short (okay not all the time) and sweet, and I like to include pictures. 

A good example of a time I’ve broken a single post up into multiple posts would be Emma’s 16-th Birthday Celebration.  I ended up writing it in three separate posts:  Post I, Post II, and Post III.  The first post was essentially just about her, the cake, and the gifts (including the car we got her).  It was simple, but included a lot of pictures just because of the nature of the subject.  The second post highlighted all of Emma’s awesome family that came to celebrate her day, and described who they are for those readers who aren’t as familiar with our family.  The third and final post was finally my ramblings and reflections on having a 16-year-old daughter, trying to figure out where the past 16 years have gone, and celebrating what a beautiful, loving, and generous daughter I have.

The first two posts were easy for me to end and “publish” because there was a clear subject and ending.  The third post was completely different.  I could ramble on forever about how much Emma has affected my life, and how I am so much better off for having her, but nobody wants to read a 700  page diatribe about my love for her.  Instead, I had to be concise, and once I finished up the essence of what I wanted to say, I was ready to publish the post.

I have a few other methods for deciding exactly when a post is ready to publish, but those two are the largest deciding factors.  If I am writing to get thoughts out of my head, I read to make sure my post really does convey the message I want readers to understand.  Once I am sure of that, I consider it written, done, and ready to go.

Beyond just getting my thoughts out of my head and “down on paper” so to speak, there are several mechanical things I do to each post prior to clicking that magic publish button:

  1. Spell Check.  Spell Check.  Spell Check.
  2. I re-read the post to make sure that it is understandable and makes sense, and that it doesn’t jump around in a jumbled fashion.
  3. I am kind of a grammar freak, so I double-check my grammar to make sure it’s on par.
  4. I Spell Check one more time, just in case (and even then, and after proof-reading, I still sometimes miss something).
  5. Make any formatting changes – bold, italics, underline, font colors, etc.

Then, and only then, I click on the publish button.

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