#DigiLitSunday: Digital Writing

digilitCheck out additional #DigiLit Sunday posts with Margaret Simon here.


How does a post come to fruition?

Here’s an inside look at the content and the process for today’s post.

What’s the focus?


Where did my idea come from?

My idea was to tell how a post originated from one idea/ one tour during my recent trip to Rome. It was a topic that I briefly addressed two weeks ago (while in Rome) under the topic of Motivation here.


My “S-Notes” on my phone which I used frequently on this trip.

s notes.png

But WHAT am I going to write about the catacombs?

This is the stage where I pour a cup a coffee, add categories and tags, go for a walk with Mya, because sometimes the “ideas” actually work themselves out in my head. I draft in my head multiple times before I begin to put fingers to the keyboard.

I briefly addressed this topic in an earlier post.  I thought I was done writing about it.  But my brain won’t let go.  I bought books at the gift shop.  Books . . . books that I am currently reading . . . curious about the “bits and pieces” that I learned while traveling and now want to add to my knowledge.

Does that ever happen to you?

Google’s response to the word “catacomb” was that they were present in London, Paris and Rome.  Many locations, many purposes, but my connection to “world civilizations” was in Rome.  “Rome Catacombs” led me to some interesting sources including National Geographic and the Vatican.  The Vatican source seemed the most promising as the National Geographic source had already pointed out that the Vatican owned all of the Christian Catacombs (numbering 40 known ones at this time).

(Yes, I went to google first with “Catacombs”, then “Roman Catacombs” and then “Calixtus Catacombs”.)

What specific information was I looking for?

I wanted to know more about “deacon Calixtus, who would later become pope (217-222), the task of supervising the cemetery of the Appian Way, where the most important pontiffs of the third century would be buried.” (Source: Vatican)

Our tour began with story boards and I was hooked.


Picture taken of tour guide and story board. 09.01.16  fgmcveigh

Our guide was amazing.  The stories were riveting.  And now I’m embroiled in learning more about the catacombs. Sixteen different popes were buried in this set of catacombs along with 50 martyrs.  But this was also the burial place for the common persons during the second through fourth centuries.  The oldest tombs are those in the top levels as later tombs were dug below those previously interred.

What was the most interesting story for me?

The story of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, who was martyred and who is also revered as an “incorrupt” saint.  Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic belief that divine intervention allows some human bodies (specifically saints) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness.



Today, once I had settled on my topic, The Catacombs of Callisto, I drafted. I did not revise.  I did do some minor editing – especially checking my quotation marks.  I also used the spell check embedded in WordPress.

What’s your digital writing process?  

Is it EXACTLY like your handwritten process?

Draft to publication:  1 hour and 42 minutes (I was lost in pictures for a bit.)




11 responses

  1. This reflection of your process gives me a little peek into your mind. I love how you shared your learning as well as your thinking about the drafting. When I travel, I am like this, focusing on one specific thing to learn more about. Thanks for joining the conversation today.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. The post didn’t exactly go as I had planned because I often “revise” “a lot” – Up to 30 or more times. That was so interesting to me this morning. Maybe when it’s a real experience and I am using my basic question and answer format, I don’t revise as often / as much as I think.

      Obviously more data needed!

  2. I love how you let us look into your process (and the catacombs). Truly the teacher mind at work. I draft and revise like you before I touch a paper or keyboard. Then when I write the words in my head, the drafting and revision work continues and sometimes starts all over. It is a fascinating thing to consider.

    1. Julieanne,
      I really think about “process” as students are doing more digital work. I don’t think there is such a rigid process (if there ever was?), but that we need to be more aware of our own processes!

      1. Absolutely! Recognizing what we do and sharing has led to the best lessons.

  3. I always enjoy learning the thinking behind someone’s writing, especially digital writing. I find it fascinating! Our writing then becomes mentors for our students’ work. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Julie. The more we seem to be aware of our own metacognition while writing, the easier it seems to be to have deep conversations with student writers!

  4. As others have said, I loved reading about the steps you took to create your post. I’m impressed that you accomplished so much in such a relatively short time. I’ve had one distraction after another today and haven’t accomplished half of my to-do list. Maybe I should write about revising that! Thanks for sharing, Fran!

    1. Catherine,
      I was lucky that this was FIRST on my list. I had lists of lists today so I know that feeling of “unaccomplishment”.

  5. […] posts about Rome are here, here, here, here, and here with this one quick photo from O’Hare before our international […]

  6. […] Planning – Where does an idea come from?  – my blog post […]

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