My Approach to Writing and Blogging

David FrangiosaBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Reflect Better, Self Care Better


  • How do you push past the doubt you have regarding your writing skills?
  • Determine why you want to write & just write!
  • Share your ideas on blogs or other places to get feedback on your writing.
  • Consider writing a book if you have more to say than can fit in a blog post.

My Approach to Writing and Blogging: Writing can be intimidating.

You put your thoughts out there for the world to judge. It’s easy to question or doubt yourself.

Can I communicate the points I’m trying to make clearly?

Is this idea even worth writing about?

Am I the person that should be writing about this?

It can be overwhelming and stop some people before they even start. I relate to every single one of those thoughts, but I’ve managed to overcome them in order to publish a book and numerous blog posts for both my own blog and as a guest blogger/contributor to different sites. Even with those experiences, by no means do I think I’m a great writer and those doubts still creep in. How do I push past that doubt?

Writing and Blogging: Start with Why

As is the case with everything I do, I need to know my purpose. With writing, I rarely write for other people. It’s not about them. Don’t get me wrong. I hope people enjoy my work and find value in it, but external validation is not the reason I do it.

Writing helps me organize my thoughts and make sure the way I’m communicating my ideas is in line with my values. Sometimes, seeing those ideas written can expose unintended consequences of an approach and lead to a better application of that idea. That is how writing started for me. I tried to make sense of my thoughts in a narrative form for five years before I even thought about publishing anything. Publishing was never my goal and because of that, I generated some pieces that were valuable to me. It wasn’t until I found value in my own work that I decided to share it.

Writing helps me organize my thoughts and make sure the way I’m communicating my ideas is in line with my values. Click To Tweet

Writing and Blogging: Generating Ideas

Because my writing is mostly for me, this part is fairly easy for me. I write about things that I’m trying to work out in my own mind or things that I’m struggling with in that moment. Student engagement, assessment, educational research/philosophies, equity, learning: these are all complex topics that no one has an answer for and there’s no right way to approach them. Writing about these topics helps me clarify my current position and expose areas that I may need to further educate myself on, which will lead to another post trying to work out those ideas.

I also like to reflect on how implementation of these ideas has gone. Did things go the way I had hoped or is there room for improvement? That’s not to say that sometimes I’m not at a loss for inspiration. When that happens, I’m happy to entertain suggestions. Once, I was asked how I use portfolios. I realized that I had not really documented that completely, so I wrote a post about it. The ideas are everywhere. I just stop qualifying which ones are worthy of writing about and just write.

The Writing Process

Just start hitting the keys. Stream of consciousness works well for me. I don’t read as I go or edit. I don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. You can waste so much time trying to decide if/where a comma is needed. I just write. I didn’t do this when I first started writing and lost so many good thoughts.

As I would edit a section and try to make it perfect, whatever that means, an idea would pop into my head about what I wanted to say next. More often than not, by the time I was done editing, the idea had vanished, or I couldn’t phrase it in the way I had initially thought of it. That was always very frustrating to me. Writing is about the ideas. You can edit later.

So now, I get all my thoughts out and I walk away. My wife will usually read the rough drafts, asking me what this one’s about. My response is usually that I’m not entirely sure until I go back and read what I wrote. I take her suggestions and reread my work, reorganizing, editing, and adding those pesky commas. I go through this process a few times with each piece. As you start writing more, you’ll acquire a style and there will be fewer edits. It’s just a matter of repetition.

Writing and Blogging: Sharing the Work

Blogging is great. It’s easy to set up your own blog and share posts on social media. It can be frustrating and discouraging when you share a piece and don’t get feedback or engagement. This is when I go back to my purpose and remember that this is for me and if others find value, even better.

Guest blogging for Teach Better or other established sites that already have a following can help share the work. I contribute to Teach Better, School Rubric, and hopefully a couple more established sites very soon. I’ve found that reader engagement is much higher and there is more feedback with pieces published on these sites. It’s a win-win. The sites get content to promote, and you get feedback on your thoughts.

Education Magazines

If your goal is to publish in an education magazine, that’s a little tougher. Due to the high volume of submissions, understand that most proposals will be rejected without feedback. Don’t take this as a judgement of your work. It’s just the way it is.

I’m not going to lie, it still stings when you write a piece that you’re really proud of and it gets turned down. You’re not alone. Everyone who’s in that magazine has been rejected from it at one point or another. If you keep developing ideas that should be shared, submit them and try not to take it personally if the work is not accepted.

Getting a Book Published

This was the best professional experience of my life. I know every publisher is different so this is just my experience. In March 2020, I started the process of looking for a publisher. I really had no clue what it entailed until I was nudged by AJ Bianco to submit my work to Corwin.

The initial part of the process is to write a prospectus for your work. Who is the intended audience? What’s the market for the book? What’s the competition? Provide a table of contents with a summary of each chapter and a writing sample. The prospectus was seven pages plus the writing sample. I took that prospectus and emailed it to the acquisitions editor I thought best fit the work.

After some meetings, suggestions, edits, and emails back and forth, we signed a contract a few months later. We had about six weeks from the signing of the contract to complete our first draft, which was more than enough time as we had most of these ideas already written out. It was sent off for peer review, and then we had six weeks from the time it was returned to write our final draft.

They really need a better name for it because it was anything but final. There was image editing to make sure the figures were high enough resolution for print. We went through and made sure all the citations were fair use or had permission.

Finally, we went to copy editing. Every step of the way I got to work with professionals that are way better at this than I am. The whole process took roughly a year and at the end of it, I know the product is exponentially better than where it started. This is a big undertaking, but totally worth it if you’re ready.

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Writing and Blogging: Do What’s Right for You

There are many ways to share your work. Choose the platform that best suits you. Just because you see someone else writing a book doesn’t mean that’s what you need to do. If you’re happy blogging, keep blogging. If you have an idea you’re passionate about and have more to say than can fit in a blog, then write a book.

Writing is about you. Don’t write for other people because that’s going to be a chore. Write to clear your head. Write to work out your ideas. Whatever you do, share it because others can benefit from your experiences.

See the full “Writing Tips & Tricks” blog series here!

About David Frangiosa

Dave is a high school science teacher from Northern NJ. He’s been performing action research on grade reform since 2015, leading to co-authoring the book Going Gradeless. He is an educational blogger and podcaster, hosting From Earning to Learning. Dave has also presented at numerous local, regional and national conferences.