Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest Post :: Lessons from Casee's first year

Hi, everyone! I'm thrilled to be helping Steph celebrate her one-year blogiversary! In the last year my life's been made so much more vibrant and joyful – and I've shocked myself with a new favorite song or two – all thanks to Steph and her marvelous blogging endeavors. I still remember the first of her posts that I read: Nudity: Naughty or Natural?. I was so impressed with the way she wrote it, how she approached perhaps the oldest source of controversy and explored it with honesty, wit and insight. Writing's a big thing for me because, as anyone who has read my blog (The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower) will tell you, writing is pretty much what I do. I'm not always concise; sometimes a little bout of writing will become an indulgent near-thousand-word rapturous account of why I love Tom Ford. I'm always writing, whether on my computer or even in my head. Sometimes writing isn't the most popular focus on a blog – maybe it's the photos or maybe it's the graphic design – and let's face it, words alone don't always suit: every blog needs a topic, and sometimes your topic of choice is better expressed through something other than writing. But if the spirit moves you and you want to switch up your focus, I thought I'd share a few tips that have helped me along the way as I've married my titles of Blogger and Writer.

When it comes to topic, choose wisely.

The first step to approaching a blog post with the focus on writing is to find something you've got a lot to say about. Tom Ford? You betcha. Pick something with a lot of layers that you'd like to cover, like Steph's aforementioned post on nudity. By choosing a broad topic that you're really motivated by you'll make writing it so much easier on yourself - and maybe a little fun, too!

Find the right time - and take as much of it as you need.

Write when you're in the right mood – I always make a point of writing my book reviews as soon as I turn the back cover of the book so it's fresh in my mind and all of my feelings are right there to draw from. One of my favorite book reviews, of Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence, was pounded out in a matter of minutes. Likewise, a post that gained me some lovely compliments on the writing behind it, a tribute post to Vivien Leigh, was written at the always-appropriate hour of 2:00 AM. Whatever works for you, writer!

Use a thesaurus (and no, it's not cheating).

I love my thesaurus to bits! When I'm finding myself in that awkward predicament where I can't seem to come up with more than a few words to use over and over, my thesaurus comes to the rescue. It's a growing process for me as a writer, too, because it reminds me of other words I may have forgotten and then, next time, they're stored safely back in my memory. Don't get too carried away with it, though. There's no need to go all Joey Tribbiani on a blog post.

Word count ain't nothin' but a number.

This one's about 680 (thanks for reading it all, by the way!). My Tom Ford raptures rounded out at 940. One of my favorite posts was just 311. Never force yourself to draw a post out for the sake of a higher word count. If you found your topic and you covered all your layers and you just happened to use less words – well, that kind of makes you this rambling blogger's idea of a superhero!

In short, writing a blog post is all about being yourself and speaking your mind. Some days we have a lot to say, and other days we feel like letting some other medium do the talking for us. When you're writing it doesn't matter if the post is long or short, deep or simplistic. All that matters is that you wrote it from your full-sized aortic pump!

xo; Casee Marie


  1. Lovely post Casee! I also read the post on nudity and absolutely LOVED it! This is a subject that I feel very strongly about and admire the way you wrote your thoughts....I'm so glad I found both of your blogs :)

  2. You never cease to amaze me with your mad writing skills twin hehe :D

    I just adore your writing skills & I hope to one day reach your level of sophisticated writing!


  3. great advice! thanks for contributing, cant wait to check out your blog.

  4. Thanks so much for the compliments, ladies! And thanks for inviting me to guest post, Steph! I'm glad you're not tired of having me over here (yet - give it time, give it time) and of course congrats again on your blogalicious milestone! Mwah!

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely advice, Casee! I especially love the "find the right time" tip as I often find myself struggling to come up with an original post and feel I'm forcing myself to spit something out onto the proverbial page. It's not the best feeling and I'm hardly ever satisfied with the finished post.

    Your blog is fab and that Vivien Leigh post? Magnifique! :)


  6. I think remembering to be yourself is truly important when writing, instead of trying to emulate another's style. We can be inspired, but still ourselves.

    Lovely post Casee with useful suggestions. I'm always on weird timelines, however I have a good routine, and sometimes 2AM is just the answer! :) Happy New Year!

  7. Great post, Casee. True words of wisdom from one of the best writers I know!

    A quick aside: I love that you think you can be wordy - I think I probably have you beat with my novella-length posts on BI! ;)

    And Steph - Happy Blogiversary! I am sorry I have been so MIA the last couple of months, things just weren't clicking for me when it came to blogging and I disappeared as a result. Hoping 2012 is going to be my year to get back on track, and I can't WAIT to see what it has in store for you!

  8. What an incredilbe and useful article Casee, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us! ^^

  9. Use a thesaurus (and no, it's not cheating).
    Loved your stance on this one!
    I totally agree! And most of my blog writing happens in my head when I go to bed to sleep, so sometimes, I get on my laptop to write at 2 midnight too!
    Thanks for this great post!:)

  10. I love the vintage turquoise typewriter! So cute!!!


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