The blogging world is a vast ocean, we throw our message out there and hope against hope someone finds it.
Some of us are trying to connect, share, find others, teach, or maybe even send out an SOS.
So how do you start your own ‘message in a bottle’ and make it reach others?
1. Don’t think about if your readers will love what you write or you’re going to be discovered, just make sure you love it, then hopefully, they will. If not, there’s always chocolate.
2. Remember as you send these bottles out, those you’re trying to reach are never far from the madding crowd (hearing people mispronounce the title, Far From the Madding Crowd is actually more fun than the book/movies, is that wrong?). People are busy, so when they open their email to see a hundred billion bottles washed up on their shore, it can be overwhelming.
3. In this same vein, posts can be vampires, sucking away time. Or maybe sometimes a vampire is just a vampire.
4. Posts can also be zombies, shuffling into our readers or mailboxes, taking bites out of the day. I don’t know if I Fear The Walking Dead so much as opening my email, in other words, know your audience…it can be a grave error to write long or many posts if your readers don’t have time to read them. You make your readers snooze, you lose.
5. Adding images to posts amuses me, makes me laugh, makes a point, or just makes me happy. Hopefully they resonate with others.
6. Sometimes readers won’t get what you’re saying or don’t agree. Sometimes your jokes fall flat. Maybe they haven’t read the same books, watched the same movies or TV shows…Some are trolls, actively dislike you, perhaps even use your Gravatar at which to throw darts – the internet is built on people being offended, appalled, shocked, and downright grumpy. Just do what you do.
7. How can you expect people to have a deep relationship with a shallow person? Be real, write your own stuff, if that makes people think, learn, laugh, smile, cry, or even spit their coffee out…they’ll want to read more.
8. Like it or not, successful blogging has a degree of popularity. Let’s jump back to vampires, they depend on brooding, pouting, sparkling, hotness, intensity, and overacting with a penchant for black clothes, especially black leather, but blogging can’t all be about flash and no substance.
9. Get out there, enjoy other blogs, find those messages in bottles and answer them, don’t be timid about liking, sharing or commenting – let others know you’re out there. Make them feel like they’re not alone in being alone.
10. Most of you are part of a large, sprawling, at times dysfunctional, human race family, so you’ll be part of the blogging family. Like vampires, family can sometimes be a pain in the neck, but still we hunger for the connection.
11. When the unexpected or unwanted happens, say, your computer breaks, you have a dental emergency, you can’t get a song by The Police out of your head; out of town company; Fibroflare; anxiety about a coming event; a sinus infection and the list goes on…um, write a blogging advice post?
12. Wow, that advice is bloody awesome…or terrible, depending on your point of view. Forget all of it, just do whatever feels right to you.
And I hope that someone gets your…I hope that someone gets your message in a bottle. Here’s mine.
Why is everybody so gosh darn anxious to rule the world?
I guess the pay and benefits would be awesome, but I can’t imagine there’s any time off.
It would be high stress and thankless, well, unless you paid or forced people to thank you.
And look at all the decisions you’d have to make; I don’t always know what I want for breakfast.
Then there’s the meetings, slogans, pillaging, fear-mongering, plans, plots, the overthrowing, and feeling like you had to wear a fancy military-looking outfit and get giant pictures of yourself to hang up everywhere.
Sounds monotonous and a lot of work.
Tears For Fears might have been exaggerating, for effect, but humans do want what we can’t have.
We can’t seem to help ourselves, it’s a yearning that lives deep inside us.
We want what’s beyond our reach.
It’s what makes us magnificent, but can be our Achilles heel.
Still, the applicants for ruling the world continue to line up:
Terrorists, dictators, villains, supervillains, megalomaniacs with delusions of grandeur, evil scientists, and smarmy government types, admittedly, life could be boring without them, but wow, I’m willing to give it a try.
Corporate types who are working so hard on helping everyone, even the homeless, to give their lives a purpose, maybe as a Wi-Fi hotspot, hybrid car/cellphone recharging unit, or solar panel holder. The sky’s the limit!
Pirates and vikings, whom I suspect weren’t keen on hygiene, but apparently look like supermodels when portrayed on-screen.
Supernatural beings and aliens seem to have an unnatural interest in ruling our world, hey, guys, go rule your own worlds!
Laboratory mice whose genes have been spliced, oh, wait, that might have just been a cartoon.
Presidential candidates, sure, let’s include Donald Trump. I wonder, will future GOP debates come with a warning label: Watch at own risk, to your brain.
Criminals – I finally watched Lucy, unsure if it had a pro or anti-drug message, but there was a certain ‘be careful who you hang around’ feel to it.
Hackers, who, for all we know, have tried to save us from some alien invasion or apocalypse and we’ve been all testy with them.
Scammers, who teach us how to weigh pros and cons just by sending us a weird email. Pro, click on it and the subsequent links until all curiosity is satisfied. Con, don’t open it, you’ll always wonder, what if, what if…
Computer software makers who rule the world through versions, chat, and accessories.
Leaders in dystopian futures – I just watched Insurgent and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – definite everybody wants to rule the world vibes and songs.
Cats and they’re doing a purr-fectly fine job.
Vegetarians – unlikely world rulers, but sometimes we just want them to leaf us alone…see what I did there?
Hunters, ok, the loss of Cecil the Lion was sad, but humans directly or indirectly kill animals, humans, and other forms of life on this planet everyday, right or wrong.
Gamers, but at least they don’t care if it’s the real world.
Don’t we all rule the world? You know, in that moment, that moment when you make someone’s day with a smile or kind word. Help someone. Do something you didn’t think you could do. Care. Answer that toy phone when a child hands it to you. Grow food instead of a portfolio. Don’t try to control, but to take part. Show patience, compassion, understanding. Offer help, comfort, support, or inspiration. Don’t give in to anger, greed, fear. To be part of something instead of needing to run it.
That’s ruling the world.
It’s been 2 years since I started blogging and I feel like I’ve won the lottery…accept without any of the money, so yeah, I’d still like to win an actual lottery.
I’m so thankful for your support, likes, comments, shares, advice, encouragement, comfort, and more. I’m also thrilled and privileged to be able to read and view your works. Thank you all.
So come on, I’m talkin’ to you, help me Shout! Shout! Let it all out to celebrate my 2 year blog birthday by leaving your blog address or a link to a post in the comment section below…please!
Now to play catch-up. I’ve fallen behind on my Changes for Happiness project, not the doing, just the writing about it. Will a weak, ‘it’s been hot’ explain the lapse?
Here’s the first 5 weeks:
1. What happens at Costco stays at Costco.
2. Looked at some old photos, I cried, but remembered to be happy it happened, not that it’s gone.
3. Watched something I wanted to watch, but didn’t feel I had time.
4. Bit the bullet (not literally, high dental bills) and made that appointment.
5. Tore up that shirt I loved, to use as rags – it lived a full life.
6. Craved a burger – If I liked it then I should have put an onion ring on it.
7. This was the birthday of my friend of 30 years, Rose, who recently passed away; she would have wanted there to be music and cake.
1. Cleaned first…then checked emails.
2. Decided on 3 fun things and did them (within the limits of time, budget, circumstances, etc.)
3. Broke a bad habit, snapped it over my knee (not that knee, the other one).
4. Don’t like to go shopping, don’t do it often…going to do it even less.
5. Time is flying…going to catch a ride.
6. Added 15 minutes more exercise, Tai Chi and yoga per day.
7. Hell On Wheels is back – I was frontiered and I liked it.
1. Rewatched Jaws – that shark was a handsome devil, wasn’t he?
2. Picked up a random book (eyes closed) from the new release section of the library.
3. Was it weird the random book ended up being Stephen King’s Finders Keepers?
4. Tried again to learn how to juggle.
5. Remembered why I don’t juggle – kept ice on my cheek.
6. Sang Shout! by Tears for Fears at the top of my lungs (received odd looks).
7. My hair is edging toward the Mary Tyler Moore look, unless I’m planning on wearing a hat and tossing it in the air – I need to think about getting a haircut.
1. Kept writing that book.
2. Tried to accept the idea of Ben Affleck as Batman – isn’t doing the impossible good for the soul?
3. Wrote down 5 things that make my life tough…tried to eliminate or mitigate their effects.
4. What would I do for those Klondike ice cream cones on sale? Don’t ask, don’t mmmm, ice cream.
5. Tried to go cold turkey to stop binge-watching Haven…mmmm, stuffing and gravy and biscuits.
6. Wrote about Haven, sadly it didn’t work it out of my system.
7. Rewatched Clueless – wow, Paul Rudd is now Ant-Man, 20 years can really be harsh. Whatever.
1. Little brown bird landed on my shoulder as I was walking, then flew off (and no poop) – briefly like Snow White.
3. Dreamed about sleeping in.
4. Noticed that it’s my 2 year Blogiversary/Blogaversary/Blog Birthday on WordPress, since I’m having company for the weekend – invite everyone to the party early!
5. Pack up a box of stuff and give it away.
6. Trying to accept that some people will never change…and would I trust them again, even if they magically did?
7. Deep breathing. Note to self, don’t do this while calling people.
Thank you for dropping by to celebrate with me – you realize, of course, all of the above involved chocolate, right?
People talk about troubles, sing about troubles, write about troubles.
We try to solve troubles, outrun them, avoid them.
Troubles can tear us apart or bring us together.
I’ve worried over the years that I might be a trouble magnet, or that I brought on troubles…or even that I was troubled. As I got older, I realized troubles find most everyone, in one form or another, it’s how you meet those troubles, that’s what matters. I’ve had varying degrees of success with that part.
Distracting ourselves from our troubles by thinking about the troubles of others, isn’t that part of the magic of books, TV, and movies? I recently got captivated by “The Troubles” of a small supernatural Maine town…Sounds Stephen King-ish, that’s because Haven, my new addiction, is loosely based King’s The Colorado Kid and is crammed full of King references. Haven, going into Season 6, with it’s hilarious X-Files meets Twin Peaks meets Psych meets Supernatural à la Stephen King, but with more romance, just keeps getting better, unlike King’s Under The Dome.
Syfy’s Haven is bursting with talent, much of it Canadian (filmed in Canada), including the incredible Colin Ferguson (I miss Eureka soooo much), Adam Copeland (WWE’s Edge), and rumour has it William Shatner will soon visit Haven – that will be the icing on a wonderfully weird cake. And the complicated bromance between Nathan (Lucas Bryant) and Duke (Eric Balfour) is a delight to watch (sigh).
Should I have escaped some of my own troubles by falling into a Haven, or enjoying a 20-year-old pop culture burp (aka Clueless based on Jane Austen’s 1815 classic, Emma), or a war between angels and humans in Dominion? Perhaps not, but as it turned out, it gave me the excuse to slow down, take a break, and start to feel ever so slightly better.
Like most books, TV, and movies, these programs are actually about the characters, about friends, family, romance, and the choices they make, that we all make every day and how we face those choices, handle them, and the fallout (good or bad or neither or both). The supernatural stuff is added as a cool hook (yes, I’m including Clueless as supernatural, wouldn’t you?).
So I’m glad to be back, more or less, and here’s what I got from my mini-break…
Life is for living and the living…small towns in Maine might be the exception.
Turns out they can tear us apart, literally and figuratively (you lied to me, INXS).
Life is short and unpredictable…enjoy the ride.
There’s always more than what we can ‘see’.
Little is as it seems.
You never know what’s going to be a trigger – for memories, anger, sorrow, joy, pain, hope.
The things you own can own you.
Sometimes what seems like a haven isn’t and vice versa.
Apparently angels, especially archangels like to dress in black leather, a lot.
John Lennon was correct, life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.
Love is the best and worst thing that can ever happen to you…sometimes both.
And last, but never least, you don’t need to be afraid of what you can’t explain…except Donald Trump, some things are just too freaky.