The blog process writing tour

Hailey from Striding Strong asked me a while back if I would be interested in participating in this Blog Process Writing Tour.  It looked like a fun idea, so I gladly accepted.
However, I am going to apologize ahead of time, as this is the longest post I have ever written:)  Sorry, skim the sections that interest you:)

If you haven't already checked out Hailey's blog, please take a minute and check it out.  She's an incredible competitive runner, who actually just turned Running Coach.  She shares her journey in racing, recaps as well as her training.  (On a side note, she win's more races than any other runner I currently know, which is pretty cool!)  Also on her blog she shares her own coaching and training advice tackling subjects that really intrigue runners of any speed or distance.  You can really learn a lot from her, she has a unique blog.  Not to mention, you'll love her positive attitude, and shared life experiences!

So how this works; you are nominated and then you chose 3 bloggers who might be interested in sharing their own.  I know a few of the bloggers I follow have already done this, and because I have spent two of the past three weeks on vacation I might have even missed a few others.
So I am going to do my nomination differently.  If you read my blog and you enjoy blogging please consider yourself nominated, and I look forward to seeing what you write!
If you're not interested, then if you'd like,  I'd love it if you'd share your answer to one of the 4 questions, in the comments below!

You know, I have to say and I am being totally honest here.  As I sit down to write this, I am actually quite excited to discover my own answers as they formulate in my mind.  My story of how I got into blogging, is one I have actually never shared, and how my blog evolved into what it is... Well that is another story entirely in itself.
So if your interested, sit back and read more than you probably ever cared to know about me and my Runaway Bridal Planner blog:)
Yes, its lengthy, when asking me to write on the subject of "me" I have this odd inability to shorten it, because it is after all the subject I am most knowledgeable on, ha ha.

What am I working on?
This question is actually quite timely.  My blog is about to take a little turn for some new changes, starting as soon as next week.  For the most part, the things people tell me they love are going to stay. But some new topics and things are going to start appearing.

For those of you who follow me, you know that the past year and a half hasn't exactly been ideal for me. But things are looking up, and I am climbing back up out of the hole called injury!  I have wanted to start tackling new things on my blog, but when you are injured and sitting on the sidelines.  It's hard to want to write about subjects you can't participate in.  Which is why, now that I am FINALLY back into running again, I am so looking forward to sharing some of my knowledge and tips on things I have discovered or have been taught through the years to make everything from daily runs, to races and everything in between more enjoyable.

Another thing I am working on, is writing my second novel.  I am still in some research and planning phases, but soon I will begin the full on writing process and I look forward to sharing a few snippets with readers who might be interested in offering their opinions on "kick it or keep it thoughts!"

How does my work differ from others?
I honestly have a hard time categorizing my blog into just one theme, because it's multiple.  I like to do things different, and if I find myself getting to similar to another blogger out there, I immediately change things up. Not for the reasons you might think.  But for the sole fact that, there is a new blog started about every 5 seconds (or so they say).  Yes it's true, I want people to visit my blog, and I'd love to have it continue to grow.  But if I blog to close to someone else, what is the point of someone wanting to visit my blog and their blog?  But if I do something different and keep it fresh, maybe they'll find reason to want to stick to my blog?? (In theory ha ha.)

I guess you could call me a Healthy Living Blogger, although some may disagree and their opinion is totally fine!  But maybe if I explain a tad more you'll understand why I say this.
Some may believe the definition of Healthy Living lies solely in fitness and health.  But I believe something different.

* I include running in my blog because, well I am a runner and fitness of any kind is important in a healthy lifestyle.

* I include reading/books into my blog because it is just as important to keep your mind active as it is your body and a lot of people forget this as they get older.

*  I include travel and adventure into my blog because life is too short not to take a vacation or experience a little thrill every now and then.  People need a break, need an escape so their mind and body can be healthier when they return.  Plus, life is meant to be fun, and people should want to keep "fun" in their lives!

* I share a part of my life with you all each Monday, for a couple of reasons.  But mainly so you can realize I am a real person, I have highs and lows, skills and imperfections, ambitions and failures just like everyone else.

* Weddings are included because it's what I do, but also because they are fun to share.  Who knows, maybe someone can get an idea for something they are doing from them too?

* I like to share inspiration and spread happiness.  Life has too much in it already to worry about.  If someone is going to sit down and take the time to read my blog I don't want them to walk away feeling down at all.  I want them to feel like it was worth their time and if all they took from it was a little enlightenment, uplifting thoughts or even just a smile.  Then that would make me happy!

*Race recaps, well although it's true you haven't seen one since December of 2012, before that they came weekly or bi-weekly:)  One thing about my race recaps I do them differently than anyone else.   Mostly because when I started doing them, I had never read anyone elses, I didn't know people even did them.  I get told from time to time when a reader discovers them (their is a tab at the top with all of them if your interested) that my race recaps are different, and whether they mean that good or bad, I actually take it as a compliment!  I am not sure what this year will hold, but next year (knock on wood) I'll be back doing them again!

*Blog link ups - I am all about supporting other bloggers and when you bring more people together it's just a fact that things you do are going to be more successful for everyone.  This is why I do them.  In the past I have done Giveaway link ups, and those will be continuing in the Fall.
But I am also going to start doing "Grow your Blog" link ups, for those interested in growing readership and new followers.  You'll see more info on this in the coming months.  But I enjoy being a supportive person, and although it takes lots of time to put these together, its worth it!  Because it not only benefits me, but others, and I am all about supporting the blogging community.

Why do I write what I do?
Let me tell you a story (that you may never have known about me, or cared too:)

   Once upon a time there was a girl (me) who never knowingly visited a blog in my entire life.  I just thought they were something business had to have with their website. (really)
I found myself sitting at a desk, in a job I didn't care for much,  reading an online newspaper.  An article about blogging came up and it immediately grabbed my interest.  It was about mommy bloggers who were making six figure incomes and how they started it with absolutely no knowledge of the Internet or social media at all.

I started a blog immediately the next day, thinking if women who know nothing about the Internet could make six figures doing it.  Surely someone like myself who worked in social media and online for a living (at the time) could pull it off much easier and faster than they.  I thought it would be the easiest thing in the world to do and make good money at.  (Yes, you can laugh at that now, I do!  Thankfully, I didn't quit my day job, ha ha ha)

However, I had no idea what to blog about, I believe my first ever post kind of said just that! (I deleted that ridiculous post a year ago:)

So what is a girl to blog about who has no idea what a blog even is for?  Well I was just getting started with my 50 states marathon goal, I believe I was 9 states done at this point.  Then my blog became something of a journal to share my race recaps with my close family and friends.  I had no time to even think about growing my blog or doing anything differently.  I continued this for 2 years with an occasional wedding post sharing my work there.

Then 2013 happened (I call it my unlucky 13, but have since partially changed my mind.)  I took on a job that was supposed to help give me some extra cash so I could have lots more money to spend as I visit the different race states.
But that job had something else in mind for me.  Yes I am the girl who got very injured standing too long while working at a library.  Before long one injury turned into another and the whole time I didn't realize that going to work at this job that was supposed to give me extra money, was going to cost me everything I love to do, and eventually cost me all the money I saved up to race the rest of my marathon states!

So now I am a girl who doesn't even have running to blog about, so what now??  I could have given up, but if there is anything you should know about me, I am not the give up type!!!
The first blogs I started looking at I discovered were book blogs, so yes I thought I would turn my blog into a book review only blog.  I worked hard at it for some time built quite a large book following base, but then I realized although I loved books.  My passions were quite more diverse than just books.  That and I didn't have enough time to read and write several book reviews each week!

Additionally, at that time I was getting ready to send my first book out to publishers, so I figured if a publisher saw that I had high readership on my blog, maybe they would publish my book solely on the fact that they thought I might be able to sell my books:)  hahah.. Yes you can laugh at that now too!

Then the day came that I googled Running Blogs, and the first blog I came across was Jill Conyers.  Reading her blog enlightened me on an entirely new world of blogging I wanted to be a part of.  Then I would visit the blogs of her commentor's and so on.
Before long I realized there was an entire world of fitness blogs out there and I saw no reason why I couldn't be a part of it, especially since that is where some of my passions lie.  I joined Sweat Pink shortly after and well things kind of evolved from there.

I had a good following from book bloggers who may not comment but they read my reviews (per the stats) religiously:)  I didn't want to lose that part entirely.  So I decided why should a blog have to be about 1 subject?  I know it's not the most popular route, but why not make mine a little more versatile, be different? Share a little bit of all my interests?  I figure some just come for the books, others just come for the travel and so on.  I am totally okay with that!

Eventually I found that I loved the blogging world.  I have what I call "online friends" who I know I have said this before, but if we met in real life I know we would be chatting it up and having a great time!  Although I have never told some bloggers this, I actually think of a lot of you as my "blog tribe."  Oh sure, it's nothing official, but we all enjoy each others blogs, and comment on things, support each other.  So yes, I think of a lot of you as my unofficial blogging tribe mates!

I discovered I loved blogging, loved sharing my ups and downs and all the journeys in between.  I discovered I loved finding other bloggers and reading their blogs, some days their are posts that some of you create that just put a smile on my face and make my day.
When I was unable to run for a year, I lived vicariously through a lot of you, I was excited to share in the joys of your re-caps and training posts.
I don't create a post to just post.  If it doesn't feel worthwhile to me, I don't post it because why would anyone else want to read what I got bored writing in the first place:)

If I don't have time to write something that I feel is quality, I skip a day of writing!
I write what I do because I am passionate about it.

How does my writing process work?
Although I do have specific days I write specific things.  I do this because my blog has so many topics, and I have different readers for different topics.  This way those who are interested in certain things, know they only have to stop by on just the days they want.

Monday's - Me Mondays
Tuesdays - Travel Tuesdays
Wednesdays - Wedding or Book Love Wednesdays
Thursdays - *Are changing from just runner spotlights - Running, food & diet & recipe's.
Fridays - I like to participate in fitness related link ups - Fitness Friday's.
Saturdays - I generally don't blog unless I am doing a review
Sundays - I am bringing back Inspirational Posts

I am a planner (when I can) I generally write posts well in advance.  I have even (aside from my Monday posts) written a month of posts in advance. It just depends on how much time I have.  I have found if I don't have to write a post every single day, I can take more time to visit my other favorite bloggers and actually have time to leave a comment on their blog.  I read far more blogs than I actually comment on though.
Because I am changing things a little, I literally right now have a blank slate for the rest of August:)

If I have an idea I will email it to myself with a few thoughts to work on later when I have time.  My draft folder is almost as big as my published folder.  Not all my ideas are great:) or get finished.

If I am doing a review for a product or a paid review I ONLY review something that makes sense for my readers, and is something I think I might already enjoy or use.  I also like to go the extra mile in my reviews, the companies really like this and I feel I am being more educational than just, "try this, I liked it or I hated it."

Although I do at times do book reviews for compensation or free books.  I am highly picky!  I never post a review on a book I don't like.  I don't think bad books deserve any publicity!
I only do compensated reviews on books I am already positive I am going to for the most part enjoy.

On average a post takes me an hour to write.  If I am adding pictures add another thirty minutes to that.  It's not because I am a slow typer, I can accurately type at 80 WPM.  But I am particular about how I like to say things.  Plus as you can tell by this post that I am going to unusually leave at length, I can write/talk forever!  So generally I write a post and then end up cutting out half of it before I actually hit publish.

Sometimes if I see something another blogger is doing, I may re-create my own version, but never copy.  I like to make things my own if even if I see something somewhere else that sparks an idea.

I also try to always have at least 1 pinnable image in each post.

I have found that having specific types of topics to write on keeps the writing process going.  I never run out of things to say:)  If you knew me in person you'd know I have what we call "The gift of Gab."  I am sure I talk/write too much at times, but I am okay with that.  I am who I am and I can't change that, nor do I want to!


Phew, so that's it!  Are you totally sick of me now? 
So if you'd like and your a blogger, answer one of the questions above?  

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