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.
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!