My Blogging Prerequisites


The other day, while I was procrastinating writing a blog post and looking aimlessly around the room, I started thinking about how habitual I am in general, and how every time I sit down to type something up, or even visit other blogs, I kind of have the same things around me. I figured you guys probably do too. So I will share mine, and then you can go ahead and tell me about the things you need to have around you to blog!

1. Not KidsIMG_3805

These small humans may look cute and innocent and non-threatening, but believe me when I tell you, it’s an illusion. Do you know what the chances are that they would ever let me type a single word? Zero percent. Exactly zero percent. Blogging and small human children do not mix.

2. A BeverageIMG_4342

How I wish it were wine, or perhaps a lovely cocktail I require, but if I drank while I blogged… well, let’s just say the posts would be far less coherent, but maybe a lot funnier? Either way, between all the calories, and the fact that if I sat around drinking for hours on end every night, I’d probably qualify as an alcoholic, I stick to coffee, Aquafina, and Cherry Coke Zero.

3. CandlesIMG_4352

No idea why, really. I guess I like the smell? The flickering light? I don’t know, but I have a lot of them, and I am always burning one, and it makes me happy. But oddly, I only ever burn candles while blogging.

4. ALL the tabs

Sure, we can agree to pretend a few are legitimate: Amazon can be opened for links in a post, maybe I have Goodreads open for a character’s name reference or a cover picture.  But let’s be real: The only thing I am using Twitter, BookOutlet, and a hundred different blogs for is sheer procrastination. tumblr_mbb8qcB6MW1rwpgxjo1_500

5. Music… for approximately 7.5 minutesIMG_4350

I kid myself into thinking I can concentrate with music every single day. I cannot. I set up a playlist and then…. I lose focus, I get angry at said music, and after about two songs, I am out.

6. The oft-useless “notes” I took while reading20150514_215735

I have this handy (and quite attractive) notebook that I write important stuff in (theoretically) while I am reading, so I don’t forget. When I am stuck writing a review, I refer back to the notebook, only to find that I wrote nothing that could be construed as helpful in any way. It’ll be something ridiculous like “I love Character!” or “that quote on page whatever was cool”. Not helpful, past-Shannon. Not helpful at all.


So, my dears, the question must be asked: What are your blogging must-haves? Or are you totally non-ridiculous and can blog anywhere, anyhow? (And also… I will need your tips.)

Posted May 15, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 50 Comments

50 responses to “My Blogging Prerequisites

  1. I don’t review books on my post, so my prerequisites are somewhat different, but procrastination seems to be a universal factor. I also listen to a little of music, and I have ALL THE TABS (research is important, okay?). These normally include stats and such so I can see what type of posts were most popular. I like to blog in very little chunks, anyhow — I write like one tiny paragraph of a blog post every time and it takes me a couple of days to write anything, so extended time periods are necessary for me.

    Tips? When out of ideas, go online to find gifs. When out of gifs, you must not watch enough TV shows. Watch more.

    • It is SO true. I want to meet the elusive blogger who just sits down, types a post, comments on blogs and such, and walks away. Does that person exist? I don’t believe so. I like the gif idea! One can never have too many gifs stored away for a rainy day. And I do need to watch more TV 😀

      • *cough me cough* LOL I actually ignore any other activity when I write a blog post and comment on others, I keep a water bottle with me when I’m thirsty but that’s about it. Some people like to listen to music, but I can’t concentrate on writing the post if I’m doing something else at the same time. I can listen to music when I’m reading though LOL I’m just weird, reading just has the power to make me zone out from the real world. I love the note taking book you have, the cover is so pretty<3 I would love doing something like that, but I don't really take breaks in between reading. Loved this post though 🙂

  2. Ha, I totally get #1! We have TWO eight-month old babies here in our house, and it’s like they can sense when I plan to start reading, and then they’re going to cry. xD

    Yes to the beverages as well! Although I don’t drink sodas or coffee. I go with Gatorade, iced tea or iced chocolate. 😉

    All the tabs! I go blog hopping very often, so yep. And I also often have Twitter, my email and Google docs open as well!

    I also take down a few pretty useless notes while reading. Mostly just quotes. xD

    • WHOA. How do you function? I…. no. One 8 month old baby at a time, please 😉 OHH I do iced tea sometimes too!

      And yes, I will have like, 10 different blogs that I want to read and/or comment on, and then I get distracted, but I don’t want to forget that I had something to say and then… yeah. Glad you feel my pain 😉

  3. Haha! Great list. If I stuck to the no kids while blogging, I would never get a word posted. My kids are always around. I don’t have any prerequisites for blogging really. Half the time, Miguel is watching tv in the same room as me (and he makes lots of comments while watching, as if I am watching it and typing. Ugh!). I can’t say I have no alcohol policy for blogging either. I am much more witty buzzed but I don’t publish until I do a sober once over. (okay that may or may no be true)
    I don’t take notes while reading. I highlight on my kindle, but I almost never use that info. I work better with a lot of distractions, or I am going to keep believing that because I have no choice!

    • Hahah well, I don’t know HOW you do it! My kids see me even try to LOOK at a computer and they have a fit. I HAVE posted after a few glasses of wine, but then I freak out that I made terrible typos!

      You really are impressing me here, because you seriously DO work well with distractions! I get lost every time I hear a noise outside, or the TV is on downstairs, or well… any old reason 😉

  4. They are the cutest though! Haha, imagine though, blogging whilst drunk would be hilarious for everyone. ALL the tabs. YES. I totally do that, emails, twitter, goodreads, instagram, facebook, netgalley, edelweiss, then I have all the blogs open on a separate page. But ha! I have a notebook while I’m reading to write notes…and I never do.

    I don’t think I have anything I really need, but the more I think about it, there are things that I always have, like water (so exciting!) and the TV on (because I can’t when reading), my kindle and a book (I honestly don’t know why since I don’t read when on here, so weird)…but I think that’s it, haha.

    • Aww thanks 😀 I think one day I should give it a go- not just a glass of wine, but a few bottles, and we’ll see what kind of nonsense I can concoct!

      You are so easygoing, I am quite impressed! Here’s a weird one: I have to have the TV ON while reading, but muted. What is that!?

  5. Small human children only ? Ha ! When they’re teenagers, it’s still the same ! That’s why my blog has “family day” days-off, I know when they’re around, I won’t be able to do anything quietly. (Yours are really cute, by the way). In the same spirit, I need silence to be able to concentrate – no music, no talking, nothing. No cats. They sleep on keyboards, or on your knees when you need to get up and get your notes that, of course, you have forgotten in your bag. We should invent a “review writing cocktail”, though, what do you think ?…

    • Don’t they run away when they are teenagers, and hide in the cave they call a bedroom? 😉 I like the family day idea! I spend a LOT of time with them, so I don’t really mind not being around them for a bit- I am SURE that will change as they get older, but for now, it’s me and them, 12 hours a day, all week. SO on the weekends… I need a break 😉 And thank you! I quite like them too 😀

      I LOVE the idea of a review writing cocktail! Sign me up! And then… we can have a special “Drunken Review” meme to go with it 😉

  6. I’m right there with you on number 1! I TRY to get some blogging done when my 2 year old is awake but it’s really, really hard. Like right now, I’m typing this comment and she’s sitting on my arm and climbing up on the table and the laptop. I swear, it’s taken me way longer than it should to type this haha. And so much YES to the multiple tabs! I can’t do anything without multiple ones open. I have to have Tweet Deck, Goodreads and Amazon open at all time 🙂

    • Ugh, it is so impossible! I try to respond to comments and stuff when mine are awake, but the 19 month old things I am going to turn on the ABC song from Hoopla Kids, and the almost 4 year old thinks she can watch Octonaut episodes! And YES- I have ALL those tabs open too!

  7. My blogging prerequisites? Um, copious amounts of time spent on Twitter, switching back and forth between writing stuff and commenting, and then that sometimes leads to watching TV shows on Netflix (don’t ask me how it happens; it’s like magic). And I ALWAYS have music on (or Netflix going). I can’t have silence, at all.

    Heh, love this post girl! 🙂

  8. Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Okay, just two cups. I’ve cut down. But definitely the coffee. Then the tabs. They stay open until I walk away from the computer and little #2 does her magic and locks up said computer. She manages without fail to make it so weird and random things happen when I press letters on my keyboard. Every single time. So there’s always 5 minutes of thinking I can fix it until I have to give up and reboot the entire thing. Shake. Rewind. Repeat. Somewhere blogging occurs although I have no idea how.

  9. HA. These are great. And I agree, if there are small children anywhere on the premise…*shudders* NOTHING gets done. When I’m finishing off a post and have my 2-year-old niece bouncing on my bed shouting, “BUT I WANNA WATCH PEPPA PIG, CAIT” then yeah, I get about 0% done. (I’m pretty sure she thinks my computer = Peppa Pig and that’s what I do all day long. -_-)
    ANYWAY. I don’t have any particular routine. I just need my bed and my laptop. And yeah, a million tabs open. 😉 No music. ERGH. Nope. And no noise. I’ll shut my door if anyone’s watching TV upstairs. Quiet + computer + comfy bed = Cait blogging.
    Even my dog is sometimes a problem since he wanted a belly scratch and decided to faceplant on my laptop to do it. I had a HEARTATTCK. He nearly published a draft post. oh the agony.

    • OOOOH PEPPA PIG. Man, I do NOT like that pig! I swear, Lena’s behavior takes a BAD turn every time she watches that pig. Peppa is BANNED in my house. BANNED. Then I found out that my idiot husband lets her watch it sometimes, which is one of the reasons we call him an idiot 😉

      I have tried blogging in bed but… I can’t. I am bad at it. I get distracted, somehow more so than when I am at my desk, which is still quite distracted!

  10. LOL This post makes me laugh because I have bought like 3 BIG notebooks and a pretty, expensive planner so I can blog and write my reviews better, but they have proven themselves useless because I can never get myself to actually use them >__> I really only stick to GR updates now, which is becoming even more sporadic as of late.

    • HAHAH I have done the same! You should SEE the ridiculous amount of planning stuff I have bought- several different calendars, planners, notebooks WITH planners…. all for naught, because I cannot seem to keep track of a single one! I am bad even at GRs updates. The struggle is real!

  11. 1. No husband. I blog while he is sleeping 95% of the time.
    2. Coffee is a must. Last night my husband, who I love dearly, said he wanted to go out for breakfast today so I skipped the home coffee. Big mistake. He slept in and decided he didn’t want to go our for breakfast. No coffee=Cranky Terri.
    3. Music is a must. I collected movie soundtracks for many years so much of the music I have playing is instrumental and on very low in the background.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    • Oh yeah, my husband is nowhere in the vicinity when I blog! He would just start yapping about his work or something. Oh NO! No coffee?!?! That is not good. I am actually without it currently, and it is a BAD scene. Ohhh maybe I should try low volume music! That could work! I do get a little annoyed by the complete silence!

      • And try something without words. And it doesn’t have to be Mozart or Beethoven. 🙂 If you use Pandora put in something like John Williams or Michael Kamen or Hans Zimmer. They all craft(ed) amazing movie scores.

  12. Hehehe I had to giggle at your first point Shannon! They are definitely cute and deceiving! I must start writing random thoughts in a notebook, I usually use my notepad app on my phone. My blogging essentials is definitely tea or water, quietness and a clean house so I don’t get distracted with cleaning while blogging XD

  13. Ha, no kids is a bonus! Mine however, love to come into my room and bug while blogging. 😀

    I need coffee. I spend most of my blogging on the weekends for about 4 hours in the morning, so I drink almost an entire pot of coffee.

    I usually do play music, but it’s classical or something non-distracting.

    • I actually have one of those safety doorknob things on my door so they can’t 😉 Well, so the older one can’t- the little one couldn’t get in anyway!

      I don’t blame you, I would be drinking the whole pot too! Do you get it all done in 4 hours? I find that it is NEVER enough time for me.

  14. When I blog things have to be pretty quiet – no TV or even music in the background. It gets me off track too much!
    ALL THE TABS pretty much describes me. I’ll have Twitter and Goodreads on standby (naturally) and about a dozen others that I use.
    I think that’s it? I don’t have my prerequisites!

  15. I love this post hahahaha Especially the last one – the notes I take when reading books (if I ever do take them) are RIDICULOUS. Completely incomprehensible and weird. I wouldn’t be surprised if I got classified as a serial killer based on them or something “hate X character. OMG what even was that?? 33. AWWW so cute what he did. Bananas FTW! Page 123. Multiple POVs meh… Argh so many cool references I can’t even” – it’s usually something along those lines. 😀 Also love the first picture hahaha I’m sure your children would be proud 😀 (how anyone manages to blog with children I will never understand)

    Things I need for blogging:

    1) TIME GODDAMMIT. I swear it’s driving me crazy. I always have something else I should be doing for university right now and it’s pissing me off, because it’s all so boring, and I have so many shiny ideas for the blog and then I can’t write them down and forget them and ARGH. It’s why my blogging schedule is so irregular – during the holidays I blog like every day and then I suddenly go quiet for a week. It’s horrible. HORRIBLE, I tell you.

    2) My laptop. I literally cannot blog on anything else. I do take notes on the WordPress app, or quickly draft a post title, so I’ll remember it later, but I can’t write complete posts anywhere else.

    3) People. It’s soooo boring when no one reads your posts. I mean I’ll still blog, because I’d write down my opinion about a book or whatever anyway, but it’s much more fun to talk to people about it!

    4.) Inspiration, water and chocolate. Those are self-explanatory, I think.

    And that’s it really! I don’t think I have any real rituals, but I love yours. 😀

    • OMG those sound EXACTLY like my notes! What is wrong with us!?

      And thanks 🙂 Their cuteness makes them harder to resist, which I think is their evil, evil plot at work.

      DUDE, why don’t we have any time? I need time so, so badly, but I never have ANY. Like right now, I have to respond to ALL my Saturday comments still, and somehow write 4 or 5 posts for the week. Um, what!? How is that even possible?! And I read all your posts! Other people do too, I am sure!

      • I guess we’re distracted by the awesomeness/suckiness of the books? I DON’T EVEN KNOW. 😀

        Yes, clearly children’s cuteness is a defense mechanism, because otherwise they’d be too damn annoying. See what you did there, evolution!

        Oh, I know, I wasn’t complaining (but thanks for the stroking of my ego haha). I just meant that’s one of my prerequisites, because it’s much more fun to blog in a community than outside of it! I have gotten SO bad with comments. I used to wonder why people take so long to reply and now I’m like Oooooh comments from two weeks ago – I should probably reply. I’m MUCH more understanding now haha

  16. Haha all the tabs! (Me too.) The keyboard on my laptop’s been wonky these past couple of months so I’ve been doing all on my blogging on my phone… What a pain. I did start writing the review as I read (so I wouldn’t take 5 years to write a post) and it actually helps me not forget what I wanted to say.

  17. Haha. I love this post so much! Also, I think, just once, you should drink while writing posts, just to see how funny it would be! I’ve never really thought about this, but there are certain things I always have around when blogging, I also have to procrastinate first or it just doesn’t work!

    Here’s what I’ve come up with: Even though I have a laptop I have to sit at my desk with my desktop. I have to have something to drink(usually an energy drink of some kind) and a snack(preferably chocolate but usually something a smidge healthier). I usually have a cat somewhere in the room, this is good for distracting me from the procrastinating. And I HAVE to have music on if only because I always HAVE to have music on. Oh, also a hair tie because I’m constantly messing with my hair when I have to get things done. I put it up, take it down, twist it this way and that. It’s part of the system. =)

  18. Sam

    Google Keep is my blogging life-saver! Whenever I have a blog post idea, or when I’m reading a book and think of something to jot down for my review, I put it in Google Keep. You can colour-code notes and you can use it on your computer and/or mobile device. I don’t know what I did before discovering Google Keep.

    Other than that, I’m pretty much the same as you. I ALWAYS have a million tabs open when I sit down to blog. While I claim they are all necessary, most probably are not. I am a huge procrastinator and it’s difficult for me to just sit down and think of something interesting to write about. Which is why I love Google Keep so much. When something strikes me out of nowhere and I’m out and about, as long as I have my phone, I can quickly jot down a couple notes!

  19. So. Many. Tabs!! I usually like to keep my tabs to a minimum, but they really get out of control when I’m blogging! Sometimes I’ll even have more than one Goodreads tab open without realizing it, haha. Lately I’ve been taking really helpful notes via Goodreads that I’m so proud of myself for! * pats self on back *

    I think I might really need to try playing music more often while blogging. Sometimes I sit down to write a post and I actually feel too pressured and too formal, so music might be just what I need. A post isn’t an essay for school, I should be able to chill while writing it! I think it might take a certain type of music, though, that isn’t made up of my favorites. Maybe Pandora? (Haha, and I love how your playlist is full of THG tracks)

  20. I am pretty much one of those people who can blog anywhere and at any time. All I need is the book in question with the notes I made while reading it 🙂 But otherwise, give me a laptop and I am good! I have prescheduled a month of blog posts at a friends house and am even blogging from babysitting now (though the kids are asleep. I completely believe that any children around would be a HUGE distraction.)

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