Our beloved Boles Blogs author Nicola just finished writing an incredible, and memorable, stretch of connected articles that absolutely deserve our devotion and celebration!

Over the past 20 days, our Nicola wrote 18 articles for publication.  These were not simplistic blog posts.  These were intricate posts packed with photographs and personal insight.  Many Boles Blogs articles average 300-500 words, but Nicola’s works in this stretch averaged over 800 words per post and many doubled that number.  That’s over 15,000 words written in 20 days!

What can we learn from Nicola’s bravura writing performance?

The first lesson to take away is to plan.  Even before she left for Vienna and Venice, she had a plan for attacking a series of articles for publication.  That plan changed a lot depending on what happened, what images she was able to capture, and how the flow of the story was rolling out of her mind.

Nicola was never fearful to change course or to add another article as warranted — even though that hardscrabble notion made her workload heavier — if that was the right thing to do for the overall story arc.

The best lesson — and few authors actually do this, even though they claim to believe in the ideal — is the fact that “writing is rewriting.”

Here’s the WordPress.com revision history for Nicola’s Depeche Mode article from three weeks ago.  She changed her article — enough to want to save a revision six times — and these are not WordPress.com system autosaves.  These are moments when she clicked on the “Save Draft” button to preserve her changes and additions and revisions.

For her Baron Fiaker article, Nicola actively preserved her work 11 times over two days!

The care and careful feeding of that article was in great evidence during the first instant of publication.  All those revisions built a deeper and richer experience for you.

During her Approaching Venice article, Nicola’s workflow grew over three days in the aspect of perfection and precision in storytelling:

I was delighted to step back and give Nicola her sustained moment in the publication spotlight because it was such an ethereal thrill to watch her craft these stories for you and to learn how she decided to preserve both the historical and social record for us all, in a few moments in time, forever in the glory that are Vienna and Venice.

Thank you, Nicola!

25 Comments

  1. Nicola did a wonderful job. I enjoyed reading those fantastically written articles with the accompanying photographs — thanks for sharing the editing and rewriting process. That was a lot of hard work and she deserves recognition for it.

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    1. Yes, she really created, planned and perfectly executed — The Perfect Storm — of blog posts over a short period of time that will now live and last forever long after we’re all gone. Amazing accomplishment.

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  2. I am blushing somewhat – GRIN. I knew I had written a fair bit – but did not realize the enormity of the exercise until I saw it all there in numbers. I have to confess that some of the posts did start as fairly simple blog posts – but I knew they were not good enough – I even said to David on one occasion there was a temptation just to run with the pictures, but that would have been lazy and disrespectful to both my audience and my subject. I am very grateful to David who supported me tirelessly throughout the process and who edited text and pictures superbly.

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    1. I’m glad you were able to post your comment! It’s so funny that WP.com was burping and not letting you join in on the celebration of your work!

      Yes, I’m grateful you didn’t just go the lazy route and post image after image. That can work, but not in a sustain format over time. The everything is in your analysis and teaching of what we’re seeing.

      When your series was complete — I had to go back and quantify your amazing feat — and I was astonished at the massive amount of work you did from scratch in such a tiny bit of time. WOWSER!

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      1. It took on a life of its own, observations evolved and developed and it would have been a shame to have left them by the wayside. It has been pretty intense and somewhat challenging, but very rewarding.

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        1. I loved it how you kept adding to your workload. The easy way would be to just condense or redact to lessen your articles load. You didn’t do that. You felt expansion and further explanation was warranted. That was a real delight to see in an author!

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  3. Nicola —

    Yes! We felt that decision!

    I’m sure, as a fellow INTJ, you also know that the next time you take a trip, we’ll all be expecting you to do even better now that you’re practiced at it: 36 articles in 10 days consisting of over 30,000 words, right?

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  4. GRIN – IF I do something like this again – yes of course I will – I will get Mr P to take notes as we are traveling around – it is hard to take notes and photograph at the same time – especially when you are in places like Vienna and Venice and most of the significant buildings have “histories” – even their names would be useful!

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        1. I have a feeling he already knows he’s been drafted! Harr!

          I agree delegation — and management — are a Super form of Art and need to be taught and learned. A lost Art, really…

          Having Mr P not only feel included, but BE INCLUDED, is also seriously important. He’s a cornerstone and a lynchpin — and needs to be invested and interested moving forward in all schemes and conditions!

          He also, as you know, should eventually get his own byline — with, of course, you being his Editrix.

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          1. He has always been more than encouraging – many is the time I have been called with a “quick – bring the camera” – either for a rare bird – or to go down the road and take a picture of a heron – or if the moon is particularly clear and of course for sunsets. Note taking will be a new departure for him!

            Almost everything we do is very much a joint effort .

            I am fighting a battle to get him a net presence – he has conceded to sign up for LinkedIn but nothing else so far. He very much likes to be in the background – more so than I am. But yes I agree he should have his own byline !

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  5. Nicola!

    Love that about Mr P’s willingness to help and get involved.

    Being joined is the only thing that matters.

    I completely understand his reluctance to change the foul lines of what is a fine and ordered life.

    I do know he knows a lot and has many things to share. In due time. His time. Our time is… “slowly slowly” …

    SMILE!

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  6. I have been a way for a while, but try to check my reader often. I am so impressed with Nicola’s ability to write so prolifically while on vacation. Your right Dave, these were no simple “here’s what we did today” articles. I was amazed at her ability to connect articles, convey thoughts and provide history and detail in each article. I felt a little dizzy thinking of how one could stay so organized while writing and having a good time taking in so many sights and so much information. I know what a challenge this is because I have tried it and I end up giving up. I’d love to read more about the whole process. How does one find the ability to enjoy the moment, observe deeply AND write about it all at the same time? I guess you would also have to have a pretty patient travel buddy as well.

    Nicola, my hat is off to you. Big cheers from me!

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    1. Beautiful comment, thanks!

      I agree you were witness to a raw and rare talent. It was certainly a joy to publish every day. It was, “step back and watch a master” for me.

      I will leave your answers to Nicola. She deserves to answer them! SMILE!

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    2. Firstly – I wrote it when I got back – the internet connections were not suitable for any sustainable long term use – a quick check on email and that was it.

      There is no way I could have written the posts each day as they happened and sleep as well !

      I did manage to sort my camera date out so I knew what pictures I took in what order and that was about it. I think the only way it could be done is if you had a voice to text program and I am not sure that would be the same.

      We had time to discuss what we felt, what we liked, did not like – that would have been lost in instant real time reportage.

      Now I have owned up – thank you for the lovely comment

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      1. Oh thank you! I have tried to take photos of monuments and plaques of the places I’ve been in order to help with recall for writing at a later time. That just doesn’t work for me, somehow I lose something and I just can’t write what I felt at the moment it happened. i didn’t think you were actually writing while it happened, but I know there had to be moments throughout the day when you could sit and reflect on all the sights and experiences. Even that is a big achievement. You are truly gifted.

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