Melanie Shankle: On Social Media and Writing

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Melanie Shankle

Blog:
The Big Mama Blog
Social media:
twitterTwitter
facebookFacebook
pinterestPinterest
instagramInstagram

Sniff, sniff, today is the last installment of our interview with Melanie Shankle. I know a lot of us have been so inspired by how simply Melanie does things. No fancy desk and office, no fancy technology, no complicated strategy, she just strings words together and connects with her readers.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the technology of blogging and all the “things” that “need” to be done, it’s incredibly refreshing to see how successful she has been (an NYT Bestselling Book ain’t too shabby!) by keeping things simple.

Today, Melanie chats with us about her thoughts on social media and writing. Enjoy!

1. How do you keep social media from running your life? Is it a struggle for you? Any social media management tips?

There are days when I’m bored or procrastinating and I’ll check Twitter a million times. But I really try to limit how much time I’m on any of those things. I’ll check Twitter a few times a day and tweet once or twice if I have something to say, but that’s about it unless I’m waiting in carpool line.

My best advice is to remember that the world is not going to end if you don’t check email or Twitter or Facebook for a few hours. I try to use a block of time for those things instead of being on them all day.

2. What is your writing process? When do you write? How long does it take you to create a post?

My writing process usually begins with a nice long bout of procrastination. I stare at a blinking cursor for about ten minutes and then click over to Twitter to try to find a distraction. And then I’ll head over to Pinterest so I can look at some craft some mom did with her kids that is way beyond my skill set and feel inadequate and useless.

Then I’ll go back and stare at my cursor again. And then I’ll make myself type a sentence. Most of the time I end up deleting that sentence, but it’s pivotal because it makes me start writing instead of just staring and thinking about what color I want to paint my toenails.

I almost always write blog posts at night unless I know I have something going on and then I’ll try to write it during the day to get it done. It usually takes me about an hour to write unless it’s a Fashion Friday post or something more involved with a lot of links and pictures. Those take me a little bit longer.

3. Do you have a blogging mentor or accountability group (formal or informal)? How have you created and fostered those relationships?

I don’t really have a blogging mentor, but Sophie (boomama.net) and I have been friends from almost the very beginning of our blogging days. She is the person I usually bounce things off of or send a post that I’m not sure about or get her thoughts on something before I write about it.

I also remember that she was the first person who told me about Twitter. I decided to check it out, created an account and then ignored it for about two years because I didn’t believe anyone would really ever use it. I am very insightful.

4. What is the best blogging advice you’ve received? (OR) What is the best blogging advice you could give?

The best blogging advice I ever got is the same advice I give. Blog because you love it. Blog because you want to share your writing or your fashion sense or your crafts or recipes with others. That’s the key to creating something that people want to read and pass on.

When it becomes about money or a platform or all those other things, I think you can lose yourself in it. Always remember why you started it and be true to yourself. Everyone has critics, but it’s easier to tune them out when you trust your voice and what you have to say.

Discussion

What advice, app or idea have you learned from Melanie this week? Do you relate to her blogging style? Click here to join the discussion!

Read All The Interviews with Melanie

1. How They Blog: Melanie Shankle
2. Melanie Shankle: Gadget and App Recommendations
3. Melanie Shankle: On Social Media and Writing

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Comments

  1. Oh girl, I wanted to leave comments all week but just ran out of time. I love your approach to blogging. It is so refreshing – I don’t have time or energy (or, frankly, desire) to do all the “must do” things to make my blog successful. I just love to write, to use words to encourage and I can’t thank you enough for taking away a huge area of blogger guilt with this interview!

  2. I can’t believe I almost didn’t read this week’s interviews! I loved the sharing and in the info in the other posts- there was so much, and I felt like I needed time to go back and take notes, and think about how it would apply to my own blog before I could read another one. I’m SO GLAD I clicked! 🙂 Because I feel like this is where I need to start. Remembering why I love blogging. Sharing. Telling a story, or a recipe. It might seem random, but it’s sharing my life. Even without an office, and a business plan, this is valuable to me, and maybe once in a while to others.
    Oh, and also, I had not read Melanie’s blog before, and am thoroughly enjoying it with my morning tea!
    Thanks for sharing, Melanie!
    And Kat, thanks for this great forum to learn from the best!

  3. Thank you for showing that simple love for blogging is the most important catalyst. Like @CrystalStine said, it is so refreshing! Thank you Kat for your encouragement through this blog, and for interviewing these inspiring and beautiful women!

    • You’re very welcome, Katie. Believe me, it’s just as fun and exciting for me to read each interview as it is for everyone else. I may get a little distracted every time a new interview comes in. Such good stuff from these amazing bloggers!

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for the interviews you are posting. I found you through Simple Mom a few weeks ago and the information everyone shares is so insightful. Much appreciated!

  5. Have really enjoyed Melanie’s perspective, especially for the reasons you mentioned in the beginning of the post–she’s not a total techie, just someone who loves to write and keeps it simple.

  6. Okay, so I have to tell you that I’ve really appreciated hearing Melanie talk about her blogging approach! The next best thing to siting down with her in a cafe somewhere. Can I just tell you how encouraging this has been? I’m so new to this blogging thing that I figured I was doing it “all wrong”, but maybe I’m not so far off as I thought. 🙂

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