The Mess Behind The Masterpiece:
A behind the scenes look at the Messy Masterpiece Blog
The most difficult part of any project is getting started. If you’re anything like me, you have to know where you’re going before figuring out the best way to get there. However, this wasn’t always the case.
On many occasions, I spent hours sitting in front of a blank screen mulling over what to type. My brain turned into a junk drawer, filled with bits and pieces of ideas, but nothing that looked like it fit together or made much sense. As it turns out, I was just stifling myself by overthinking…shocking!
As a serial overthinker, this concept is not new to me. I’ve stood in my own way on more occasions than I care to count. This time though, I knew why. I was putting so much pressure on myself to pick the best topic, that I was missing the point…my life is the topic. Now, all I needed to do was come up with a plan to get what’s in my brain, on to the blog.
Step 1 – The Preparation
By taking a step back to observe what’s current in my life, everything became clear content inspiration. From tonight’s dinner menu, to grocery shopping, to sharing my favorite products. There are so many options! The best part is, I’m already doing it, so no overthinking required!
So, how do I choose what to write about when there’s so much? I simply pick the most relevant topic and then document it. Content creating inspired by my daily life makes it seem like the blog virtually writes itself.
After the topic has been chosen, the next steps are easy. Naturally, if I’ve chosen a recipe to write about, I put the recipe on my weekly meal plan and add the ingredients to my next online grocery order. If I’ve chosen to write about something I’ve learned or a product review, I do more research to make sure everything is as accurate as possible. Since I already meal plan, grocery shop, and google everything anyway…it’s not much added work. See what I mean? Easy peasy!
Getting To Work
Next, comes the nitty gritty. As much as I love to cook and bake, I don’t love the mess that comes along with it.
To those of you that wash every bowl and utensil as you go, you are my heroes! I’m much more of a cook all the food now, do the dishes later type. I attribute this to my tweaker personality. I’m constantly monitoring and adjusting seasonings and ingredients throughout the entire cooking process. This ensures a great final dish, but makes it challenging to keep up with the ever-changing list of supplies being added to the pile.
When I’m cooking, the counters are usually filled with food scraps, seasonings, bowls, pot holders, and any thing else that finds it’s way out of place. Not to mention, I’m notorious for spilling something or burning myself at almost every meal (I’m a literal “hot mess” LOL).
Joking aside, I love creating recipes and bringing them to life. I get to bring my love of sensory into play by incorporating a variety of colors, textures, flavors, and smells into every dish. Rest assured, each of my recipes are personally chosen and made with love.
Once the topic is decided and the food is cooked, the next step is photography. After washing the mountain of dishes that is…
Step 2 – The Photography
Before I ever take the first picture, I come up with a design plan. This is the one place in blogging where my event coordinating training comes in handy. Much like for a wedding, I have to create a design concept that incorporates a theme throughout the entire process.
When designing a photo shoot, I first take into account the vibe of my brand. Messy Masterpiece Blog is earthly, raw, and rustic with a little bit of class sprinkled on top. This can easily be translated in pictures by using rustic looking food, with vintage props, and pops of modern décor.
Not sure what I’m talking about? Head over to the Food Gallery page to see what I mean. In each picture you will notice a mixture of both vintage and modern elements surrounding mouth watering recipes.
Next, I think about the type of food I will be preparing. This has a huge effect on which props and backgrounds will be used in order to convey my design concept vibe.
Finally, now that the food has been chosen, the design concept set, and the props and backgrounds are ready, it’s time for the photo shoot.
This has quickly become my favorite element in blogging. My creativity gets full license to do as it pleases. No rules, no boxes, and no failure. Endless possibilities of poses and angles. The odder, the better!
In addition to the freedom of crafting and creating, one of the most enjoyable parts of photography is the attention it garnishes. Living in a house with a husband, two children, and four pets means photo bombing is an every shoot occurrence.
Many of my favorite pictures are the ones taken of someone photo bombing. They’re silly, genuine, and organic. Two great examples can be found right here, on my blog.
The first example is the cat picture seen above. The Paleo Date Snickers photo shoot was set up and ready to go. I stepped away to grab one more prop only to return to find two photo bombers waiting for me. If you look closely, you’ll see cat friend #1 on a chair in the background licking his chops while cat #2 is playing with her tail through the background support chair.
The second picture can be found on the Homepage. I had set up a photo shoot on our new property when my son suddenly jumped in front of the camera saying “take a picture of this mom!” How could I resist my little guy flexing his muscles? And, I’m glad I did! That picture turned out to be the top choice to represent the Food Allergy Hub , inspired by (you guessed it), my son.
When I feel like I have the shots I need, I to move on to editing. Using the photoshop app, I can adjust lighting, color, and texture as I need. However if I’ve done my homework and properly set up the shoot, very little editing is needed. I want any pictures you see on Messy Masterpiece to be as organic and natural as possible.
Step 3 – The Writing
Now, it’s time to put everything together and make a post. My first step, is creating an outline. This goes back to what I said in the introduction. “You have to know where you’re going before figuring out the best way to get there.”
I like to think of a post like a body. Not like a body of writing, but a human body. The outline is the bones. The text is the muscles. The photography is the ligaments that bring in movement. The silliness and humor is the blood that brings it to life. Without the structure of the bones (the outline), the entire piece would fall apart.
When making my outline, the first thing I do is make a title. Then, I can create a writing roadmap by adding the intro, headings, subheadings, and spaces for images. This simple process has sped up my post writing time by two hours. Well worth it!
Now, all I need to do is fill in the gaps by writing everything out in sentence form.
Usually, I write a first draft and final draft at the same time. I write out a section, then go back and edit it. Then, I write the next section, and edit the last two. I repeat until I get to the end and have a completed piece.
This method works best for me as a busy mom of two because I never know when an interruption or plan change will happen. So, by taking a “complete as I go” approach, I rarely lose my place or train of thought before completing it.
When the writing is complete, I give it one last read through before clicking the publish button. By reading the last time out loud, it’s easier to find any hidden typos I might have missed when reading it in my head.
Then, I click “publish” and start brainstorming the next idea.
Blogging is a constant learning experience. I have found things I love (like the photography) while also learning things I don’t like (the techy side). I have struggled to find the time to write and as well as experienced writer’s block. However, I love it all!
From the constant disaster that is my kitchen, to the photo bombers, to my new found love of the thesaurus…blogging is in my blood. It’s become the one place that all of the various pieces of me (the mom, advocate, planner, philosopher, nerd, goof, hard worker, green thing lover) make prefect sense. I’m free to be myself and embrace the Messy Masterpiece God made me to be!