Blog Stuff, Humor, Writing

The first rule of blogging

A week ago, I wrote a post titled Writing without writing, which is possible to do, but is it possible to blog without blogging? I’ll answer that question. The first rule of blogging is—you have to blog! You have to write something. Words, if possible.

If you’re keeping track, (humor me) you know I’m not doing so well at blogging. We’re two weeks into the month and I’m three posts behind. My mind is blank—well, no, it’s not blank, but nothing on my mind right now is a topic worthy of blogging about. Um … like now. (That was ninety-seven words about nothing, if you want to keep track.)

Hey, here’s an idea—I’ll blame it on Leap Year. Yeah, that’s it. The extra day in February threw the earth off its axis … or something. Threw me off my axis, maybe. That explains my recent equilibrium problem quite nicely. It’s hard to think straight when you’re staggering around.

Oh ho! Then we had that time change thing, doncha know. I was rudely flung forward an hour into the future. Seems that could mess with your brain, don’t you think? I mean, what could have happened in that hour I missed? I’ll never know. That question will haunt me for the rest of my life.

(Add 107 more useless words on your abacus.)

Do I need mention the weather? Weird, aint’ it? We only toyed with winter here, and now we’ve flung open the door to spring. When the natural progression gets disrupted, I wander off track, whistling aimlessly. Only I’m not, because I can’t seem to pucker like I used to.

So, yeah. I was supposed to be cleaning while I wrote without writing, but sadly, I haven’t accomplished much on that front. I did write a couple scenes for the new novel, but given my state of being, they’re probably nonsense. Maybe I could use them in Words With Friends.

May your days be balanced and productive, friends.

(Total worthless words: 322 … and now you know how to blog without saying anything.)

Blog Stuff, Links, Writing

From me to you and you and you and ….

Two fellow bloggers cited me for awards this past week, so I’m taking time to say thank you and pass them on. First up, Jennifer Neri, who gave me the Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is German for dearest or beloved and carries the sense of “favorite”.

The rules say to pass it along to five favorite blogs with the stipulation they’re to have less than 200 followers. Unfortunately, I don’t know how many followers most blogs have, so I’ll just bring to your attention some blogs I’ve never cited before, but enjoy reading.

Recipients, do what you will with your award. Feel free to obey or disobey the “rules” of reciprocation or passing along.

At Judith Baxter’s blog Growing Younger Each Day she rages against growing older with humor and great insight.

Chris King‘s blog is named bridgesburning, but I don’t know why. I do know she says a lot of interesting things there.

Victoria, Lisa, and Christi at Writing Up An Appetite combine writing and food, two of my favorite things!

Darlene Foster blogs often about her travels, so it’s probably no surprise that she’s the author of a series of children’s books featuring world travel.

Kate Cardon Parish‘s blog kateschannel is what it sounds like, her show. So go tune into her thoughts on life.

Jessica Luton shares some uplifiting advice on her Serenity Writer blog. And if you follow her on Twitter she’ll inspire your day too.

Hmmm … that’s six, not five. Oh well, I gave you one to grow on. 🙂

I was going to cover both awards today, but that’s a lot of links to throw at you in one sitting, so I’ll leave the second award for the next post. Enjoy the links.

Blog Stuff, My Books, Questions, Social Media, Writing

Has my blog passed its Use By date?

Today, I’m questioning the continued existence of this blog. It’s reached the point where I can no longer deny that visitor stats are in decline. Ignoring the ludicrous bump they took after being Freshly Pressed in March (and the overflow to the following month) and the mysterious slight rise in October, my visitor counts have decreased since 2010.

I have no reliable way to know how many people might read my posts in email or a blog reader, so I tell myself that I still have tons of interested readers, they just don’t come online to be counted. But am I fooling myself?

It’s been a weird year on this blog, for many reasons. I admit my posts have deteriorated from hopeful excitement leading up to the publishing of The Brevity of Roses, to disappointment, grumbling, whining, and bewilderment. Hmmm … sounds like a good way to send readers scrambling, doesn’t it?

  • Novel thought—maybe I should work harder to write quality posts.
  • Maybe I should post less frequently. I, too, get overwhelmed trying to keep up with some bloggers.
  • Maybe it’s not my particular blog. (I’m grasping here.) Maybe blogs are passé. Maybe everyone has moved on to something else. Something shinier. If so, I didn’t get that memo.
  • Maybe it’s cyclical. Many of my earlier followers have gone on to be serious writers, and some of them serious bloggers. They have their hands full with their own followers. Others are still working toward publication and they want blogs with helpful writing advice, which they’re increasingly hard-pressed to find here.
  • Maybe that’s the thing— I’m comparing apples and oranges again. I blog, but I’m not a Blogger. I don’t have any clout—or should I say Klout? I’m not destined to have a big following. I shouldn’t expect a growing readership.  Accept that. Be thankful for the readers I have (and I am). Move on.

Many I know have quit blogging, or greatly curtailed it, so apparently they don’t miss it. But I believe I would. And since I’ve already concluded that I’m a bust at Twitter and Google+, my blog is my only real “public” presence. Still, I’d hate to be the last to realize it’s time to mark this blog expired and remove it from the shelf.

*sigh*

I’m stubborn. I’ll probably be the last blogger standing. But maybe some changes are due around here.

Any suggestions?

Blog Stuff, Opinion, Real Life, Writing

The privilege of blogging

Three years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would publish 500 blog posts, but as of today, I have. Readers come and go. I doubt anyone, but me, has read all of those posts. If you have, you deserve a reward. (For being subjected to my attempts at humor and poetry, you deserve diamonds and gold.)

This blog dresses in comfy clothes and bare feet, and often I worry that it reveals too much, but several of you have told me you appreciate the honesty. I’ve never been able to predict which of my posts will resonate and inspire many of you to respond, but I’m thrilled when that happens.

To me, blogging is an invitation to discuss. I’ve never understood bloggers who don’t reply to comments. (Sorry, if I just stepped on your toes.) I feel that anyone who takes the time to read my blog and comment, deserves a moment of my time in response.

As a blogger, I could voice my beliefs on aliens (earthly or otherwise); the paranormal; Congress; Big Business; gods, devils, and angels; the death penalty; or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups vs. Junior Mints. I have that freedom. Yet I choose to leave those worthy topics to other bloggers. (Though you never know what I might say in comments.)

About three times a week, I type out 300-400 words to post here. I rarely choose a trending topic. I forget to observe holidays. I just write what’s on my mind, which is usually something connected to writing fiction.

I’ve also been known to write about books I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, food I like, games I play, places I’ve visited, crazy thoughts I have … whatever. Sometimes you catch me with the glass half empty, but usually it’s full, and occasionally it runneth over.

No matter what I blog about, I know it’s a privilege to have a voice. And it’s a delight to have you lend an ear to it—or an eye, I guess. Thank you. Stick around for the next 500. By then, I should have this blogging thing down pat.

Inspiration, Writing

Bloggers who inspire and help keep me sane

I’m astounded when I think how many people have come into my life the last three years through blogging. Only twice, since my school days, have I had a “social circle”. The first developed when I joined a church. That lasted twelve years. For several years after that, I retained a couple of church friends, and then we drifted apart.

A circle of virtual friends

In 1988, I moved 2,000 miles away from my birthplace to California. I knew no one here, and since I didn’t work outside the home, I met very few people. My growing family sufficed as a social circle. Fast-forward twenty years. I decided to take fiction writing seriously, and soon realized I needed the company of other writers.

That was the beginning of a new social circle, though for the most part, it’s become a virtual circle. I started this blog five months after I started my new life as a writer. I’ve met many wonderful people, mostly writers and poets, through blogging. I can’t imagine making it this far without them.

If you scroll down, over there on the right side of this page you’ll find links to some of the bloggers who’ve entertained, inspired, and taught me. At various times, most of them have kept me company on this blog. Some have helped me through numerous private emails. A few are writers I’ve met in real life. You would do well to visit their blogs.

I said in my last post that I would mention a few who recently lifted me from my despair and inspired me to come clean about why I self-published. So here goes:

  • Michelle Davidson Argyle is open and honest about her struggles as a writer in both her public and private blogs. Many times, I’ve read her posts and marveled that her thoughts and feelings mirrored mine. With her post on failure, she inspired me to change my attitude about my self-publishing venture.
  • Cristina Trapani Scott has inspired me many times, but recently she wrote a post about words as food that woke me up to how malnourished I’d become. Recalling the days when writing sustained my soul, I felt starved. Her post pointed out not so much a needed change in attitude, but a change in focus.
  • Jessica Luton is new to blogging, but she’s long been an inspiration on Twitter and Facebook. Recently she wrote a post about opening ourselves to abundance. It was another reminder that my attitude needed changing.
  • Chris King wrote a post about aging and how to find more joy and energy. Since all the stress in my life had certainly made me feel I’d aged rapidly, I appreciated her post. Again, it pointed out the need for a change in attitude.

These are not the only bloggers or posts that inspired me this year. I hesitated to make this list, knowing I would leave out important ones, so know that these are only a few of those most crucial to my renaissance. I hope you enjoy them.


Photo credit: showbizsuperstar