Feeding the Blog Monster

Sometimes, I think of my blog as a monster. I call it “DaBlog Monster.”

And it is my job to feed the monster paper dolls (other blogs may hunger for other things) lest it devour the world and/or the souls of children.

Feeding the blog is not always easy and can be stressful. I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to keep me sane while I do it and I thought I’d share those today.

So, this is how I feel DaBlog Monster….

I work in several things at once.

I get bored easily. Having four or five different paper dolls in different stages of development means I can hop around and do what I feel like. If I want to ink, I can ink. If I want to sketch, I can sketch. If I want to color, I can color. If I want to mess with layouts, I can mess with layouts. (I never WANT to mess with layouts, but… it has to be done.)

The thing about paper dolls is they should be fun. Once drawing them stops being fun, I think you need to find something else to do. Not to suggest that slumps don’t happen (they to do everyone), but pleasure should out weigh pain.

I work in spurts.

Let me describe what last week looked like… On Saturday, I scanned a bunch of things including a Marisole Monday set, two poppets sets and some new pieces for Greta’s trousseau. On Sunday, I finished up the next Marisole Monday post. On Monday, I worked on my Grandmother’s 90th birthday present, did a little inking and cleaned my bathrooms. On Tuesday, I went grocery shopping, did laundry and spent the evening reading about World War One propaganda for a conference presentation I am working on. On Wednesday, I ran a few errands, worked more on my Grandma’s birthday gift and cleaned my apartment. On Thursday, I cooked for a dinner party I was hosting Friday and did more cleaning. On Friday, I had friends over, served them enchiladas and had a lovely time.

The moral of this story: I didn’t spent and I don’t spend every waking moment thinking about or working on paper dolls. I do work intensely and then I stop.

I space out my posts.

WordPress has a scheduling feature (as do most other blog platforms). Know it. Love it. Use it.

So, imagine you’d just finished two paper dolls and that’s wonderful. Now… when do you post them?

Think about schedules. Is next week insane like my last week was insane? Are there a dozen things you have to do in the coming month? Should you post one now and save the other for when you’re in a pinch? What’s the best option?

Just because something is done, doesn’t mean it has to go up. Save things for times when you’re crunched.

Plan ahead.

Okay, this one I’m not so good at, but I try to think about what holidays are upcoming. Do I want to do a Passover paper doll? This coming up fast. How about something for May day? Or the summer solstice? When is the summer solstice? (I have no idea without looking it up.)

I know it takes a long time for me to go from idea, to sketch, to final sketch, to inking, to coloring, and then to posting. I don’t like to rush it. I can if I have too, but I’d rather not have too.

So, these are the ways I feed my blog monster. How do you feed yours?

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6 Responses to Feeding the Blog Monster

  1. I feel the same way. I have at least 5 projects going on, some coloring, some sketch work, some idea gathering, as well as scanning of my collection of vintage paper dolls. I also have phases where I want to do other projects, like photography. I find it hard to ‘take a break’ from my blog because I feel as if I’m disappointing my readers if I do not post something for a while. I enjoy your blog and appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

    • RLC says:

      I find it’s hard to “take a break” entirely, but, for example, I’ll be traveling next week and I already have everything ready. I’ll probably check in with the blog a few times (because I have an addiction to doing that), but it feels really great knowing I don’t need to worry about trying to write or do posts while I’m out of town.

  2. boots says:

    i tend to run a lot of projects simultaneously as well (many non-paper doll related) and agree it’s good to have a work habit/environment in which you can change things up when you need to. brains get tired of repetition no matter how devoted one may be.

    the idea of a buffer is also great ~ i work intensely on things and then let them lapse for months, so having plenty to keep things going is essential while i get wind back in my sails.

    these days for blogs, a couple of posts a week feels sufficient. i read or check in on more than a dozen blogs every week and to be honest, the ones that post more than 3 times a week get short shrift in terms of my engagement (who can keep up?).

    lastly, i am missing 2 lollipops. now i know where they went.

    : D

    • RLC says:

      Dablog is voracious… That weird doodle is actually on my wall in my sort of guestroom/office where I do some of my work.

      I agree a couple a week is sufficient. When I first started, before the crash of 2009, I actually tried to be daily. Now, I feel like two “paper doll” posts and one “other” post is about the right amount of content. Anymore than that, and I think people stop caring.

  3. Julie says:

    I feed the blog monster after I feed everyone else! I have a husband, a house, two young sons, a large and crazy extended family, sporadic part-time gigs, and a never ending list of hobbies & projects I want to tackle. I *try* to schedule posts but that often doesn’t happen. I agree – I do this for fun. When I’m not feeling it, I don’t post. And two or three post seems to be all I can handle, both reading blogs and writing my own!

    • RLC says:

      It has taken me… four years? I think to finally get to the point where I usually have a buffer. When I don’t have a buffer, I get anxious and unpleasant and try as hard as I can to build one again. What works for me certainly isn’t going to work for everyone else.

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