7 min read…
The 1st episode of my book talk was published on the 14th of March. Three and a half months have passed and I have discussed 12 books so far. I have learned a lot on this journey and made a lot of good friends along the way.
I am often asked by my readers as to how I come up with a blog post. They are interested in knowing the steps involved in writing an article. So, I decided to give a brief sneak peek of what happens behind the scenes.
I have chosen my book discussions as a reference. I will try and cover the full process – from choosing a book to read, to publishing a brief review of it.
1. Choosing a book
I chose the first 35 books on my list (finished: 26, reading: 1, pending: 8) by word-of-mouth recommendation from my friends. I am a fan of practical and actionable self-help books. I only pick a fiction when I feel the need for a break.
If you are looking to find quality books to read, here’s the complete list. I have also listed my six favorite books in a previous post.
2. The reading process
I have the habit of taking notes while reading. Initially, I used to write down important points in a notebook. But I always kept thinking – is this worth mentioning in the article? I realized that it decreased my joy of reading.
So, I do not bother to take notes anymore; I rather just highlight the relevant texts (I read e-books) and continue reading. I have come to realize that a good message always sticks in your memory.
3. The writing process
My writing process has also evolved with time and practice. In the early days, I’d review a book right after I finish reading it. But now, I leave a deliberate gap in between because that break changes the way I perceive the book.
When I decide to write, I skim the book again and highlight all the points I’d like to discuss. When I am happy with the gist, I begin writing. I love to use a mix of texts and visual imagery to make it engaging for the readers.
My first 3 articles were each around 1500 words (15 min read) and I received feedback that they are too long. I have since reduced my length to half to improve user engagement. All my latest book posts are roughly 800 words long (7 min read.)
I use the free version of the Grammarly Chrome extension to help me with my grammar and content-flow.
Canva for designs:
I have been using Canva for a few years now and I love its readymade design templates. There’s a huge collection to choose from, and it is free. I occasionally pay for the premium images but they are cheap – €1 per image.
Upon finishing my draft, I neatly structure it in a word document and send it to a few friends who are the heroes behind the flow and quality of my articles. Every article I write goes through at least five proofreaders.
Some prefer to review on their own and mail me the revised version; while some like to sit with me and do it line by line. We decide on a time and start reading the draft together – making changes as necessary.
The common changes would be around restructuring the content, changing the tone of a sentence, adding/removing images, using different words to convey a message, etc. Proofreading is something I take quite seriously because every person brings a different perspective.
Once the final draft is ready, the last step is to add metadata (categories, tags, title image) and publish. I usually post new articles on Tuesdays/Thursdays or over the weekend when there’s more user engagement.
I share the post on a few different platforms including my Facebook Timeline, Facebook page, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Apart from this, I also personally DM the link to my friends.
I usually take about a week to read a book and 3 days to write, proofread and publish it. So, producing a blog post takes around 10 days and relentless efforts of half a dozen friends of mine who never say no to my request to proofread.
Writing declutters my mind. Whenever I start writing, I enter into a happy zone. There is no bigger compliment than my family and friends finding the blog useful. It is also an absolute pleasure when friends come and say, “I read your article, and I am buying this book” or “I have started reading again. Thank you.”
All these credits go to the people who have positively influenced me and I am hopeful I’d continue to read and write.
We hope you liked this post. What is your ONE takeaway?
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– Kavi & Ninja