My Blogging Workflow

First, I'd like to point out that, yes, this post does indeed cover a topic more like "My Reviewing Workflow" than "My Blogging Workflow". But honestly, most of what I do at Amara's Eden to date is review, so... close enough, right?

Step One: Finding a Book

I don't have any trouble finding the next book I want to read. If you've ever looked at my Goodreads shelves, you know I have more books on my TBR lists than I could ever hope to read. The trouble I have is with deciding which book I should actually read next, and I have a bad habit of ignoring one immediately accessible to me in favor of things I find more interesting. I can't tell you many times I've neglected a book I own or an ARC in favor of a library book that could easily have waited its turn in line. I'm really, really bad about prioritizing books. (There's a New Year's resolution for me!)

So I'm kind of chaotic when it comes to picking a book. I pick on whims, really, and read whatever catches my eye for whatever arbitrary reason. Then I get the book (usually from the library), and I set down to read.

Step Two: Reading the Book

I've talked several times recently about my reading process. I take notes on loose leaf paper, store it in a binder, and eventually use it for the review. I read fairly fast (I score anywhere between ~200 and ~800 words a minute on reading tests, depending on how I'm feeling that day and what exactly I'm reading), so reading something doesn't take long. My biggest issue with this step comes in the form of procrastination. I have a very bad habit of letting books sit around while I focus on other things (games, shows, movies, other books, etcetera), which is only compounded upon by the prioritizing issue I mentioned above. And if I have any kind of stress about reading (or reviewing) a particular book for whatever reason, the procrastination worsens tenfold.

So a lot of the time, starting a book is a matter of literally picking it up while I'm not focusing on anything else, forcing myself to shut down all extraneous thought (I also have an issue with racing thoughts, so stopping long enough to get focused enough to read can be difficult sometimes--not to mention the insomnia it can cause), and reading the book until it hopefully catches my interest. Some days are better than others, and a lot of it depends on how anxious I am on a given day. Too much stress, and reading becomes just another stressor. No fun there.

Step Three: Writing the Review

Once I've read a book, I should have at least a page of notes. I'll probably have more, but the more notes I take tends to correspond negatively with how much I enjoyed the book. (I have a bad habit of only take notes about things that I want to complain about, or things that seriously impressed me. The little pleasant things tend to get overlooked. I'm working on it.) In any case, once I have those notes on paper, it's time to get onto the computer so I can expand them into something resembling a review.

My process here usually to just write the notes out as they're written on the page, which means they'll end up in the order in which they happened in the book, and then start rearranging into points. If I had a complaint on page 18 that I retracted on page 119, my page 18 note and my page 119 note get grouped together at this point to wind up with something like this hypothetical point:

Jessie starts out really annoying, but I actually warmed up to her over the course of the story.
  • Fuck, Jessie is acting like a complete bitch to Marcella.
  • Huh. What do you know? Jessie actually was right; Marcella's a horrible person.
From there, that'll become a paragraph about my reaction to the (again, hypothetical) Jessie character, followed and proceeded by any other paragraphs I can get out of the notes I've taken. Sometimes this works out better than other times, and sometimes I end up with barely enough notes to make more than a few paragraphs about. After all, some books simply don't affect me in any significant way, either positively or negatively.

Step Four: Posting the Review

With the review written, I double-check it for horrible spelling errors, and then I publish. Once it's published, I check out the live version and read through it again, looking for ridiculous grammar, sentences that lose their train of thought or refuse to get to a point, spelling errors that Blogger/Chrome won't notice (like plural words where a singular word should go, and similar issues), and malapropisms. I correct whatever errors I spot, and then I cross my fingers and hope that any errors I ultimately miss won't make me feel like too much of a stupid piece of shit when I inevitably find them three months down the line.

All that done, I start sharing. I post the review to Leafmarks and BookLikes, and I drop a link to it at Goodreads and Tumblr. Then I pin the book's cover to my "Reviews @ Amara's Eden" Pinterest board before finally checking to make sure that Feedburner's automatically generated tweet was posted properly and doesn't contain anything particularly obnoxious or outright incorrect, and then... well, then I'm ready to start this whole thing over again for the next book.

I'd like to say I start the next one right away, but remember what I said about procrastination? Turns out that's kind of like a midway step between each and every actual step. But especially the fourth and a new first.

But there you have it. That's my process. Is it completely weird? Or do you pretty much the same thing? If not, feel free to tell about what you do instead in the comments below!

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