Through The Blog Storm
Through the blog storm,
we reach the shore
We give it all
but they want more
And we wait for views
With or without you
Can’t blog with
or without views
And you blog yourself all day
And you blog, and you blog
And you blog yourself away.
If this had audio you’d know I sang it just like Bono of U2, it’s like we’re twins, ok, maybe closer to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets, but it’s all good.
Blogging is a lot like cooking. Some people do it instinctively. A pinch of this. A dash of that. Somehow they know just the right blend. Others follow a precise recipe.
1. First thing you need to decide, what kind of cooking, I mean, blogging do you enjoy? Home-cooked, formal, informal, sugar-free, spicy, sweet, sour, no artificial flavours or colours, grilling, gourmet, fusion? Do you want to indulge your readers with moist, sweet chocolate brownies (my secret, melt the butter, let it cool then slowly add it to the mixture) or spicy chipolte chicken taco with guacamole (drooling)…
2. With blogging, like cooking you need an appreciative audience. Those who don’t just eat to live, but live to eat. Those who don’t just like blogs, but love them.
3. Posts can fill up our email like a meal can fill up our stomachs, but too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, sometimes a snack is the way to go.
4. Processed food, junk food, fast food, sure, they call themselves food, but really, food by any other name is not always food…same goes for blogging.
5. The blogging community is family style dining, so just dig in, reach over, around, share, like, join in, engage! Don’t just invite others to your table, sit at theirs too! Eat up! Even indulge in blog parties…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Elena – http://blogsharelearn.com/blogsharelearn-linky-party-may-1316/
Niki – https://therichnessofasimplelife.wordpress.com/
Shawna and Shareen #LinkYourLife – http://honeyquill.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Carolina – https://yesterdayafter.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
Pop Down Under – https://amommasview.wordpress.com/
Janice and all the lovely ladies that give us
Friday Blogger’s Pit Stop and Inspire Me Monday –
6. Don’t think if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, hate you, be a troll under your blogging bridge, or if you’ll end up looking like Mr. Bean with a turkey on your head. Just do what you want to do…that turkey looks good on you.
7. When you don’t have time to prepare a meal, aka a post, or you need some comfort food or a comfort blogging advice post…
8. Sometimes you slave over a hot stove aka computer, plate your hopefully tasty content, and serve it up….you wait for readers to gobble it up, but sometimes they never come to the table, even when called repeatedly. Maybe they’re busy, after all, when they open their email, it’s like a giant buffet has been served up, how much can they possibly eat? Maybe they’ve already eaten or are dining elsewhere. It happens. Try again.
9. Get out there, be a shameless social media self-promoting bloghussy (like me), most of all, enjoy!
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Endlessly baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The desert where I wander: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google, not nearly as fun as it sounds: https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
10. You can tell someone how to cook or blog, but that doesn’t mean they can do it, or do it like you. Or should. Cook what you want, blog what you want, eat what you want. Taste life.
My best advice about blogging and cooking? Don’t miss the donut by looking through the hole. Dear readers, any favourite blogging tips or recipes you can’t live with or without? Bon Appetit!
Take it Easy
Well I’m a-runnin’
(ok, walking quickly)
down the road,
tryin’ to loosen
I’ve got seven
on my mind
Four million that want to own me, two that want to stone me, one that could be a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy.
Don’t let the sound of your own words drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy…
Whether in blogging, work, love, parenting, friendship…The Eagles (goodbye Glenn Fry) had it right – take it easy.
The sound of your own wheels (the ones turning in your brain) aka the sound of your own words – spoken, written, or even in your head can drive you crazy.
Instead, I want to Take It Easy, to celebrate – despite the war and strife, the Canadian dollar sinking faster than the Titanic (the ship, not the movie)…
rising food prices (wait, how many were going to eat cauliflower in January anyway? Eat in season, or frozen), Star Wars mania, lack of affordable housing and healthcare, loss, illness…but at least there’s no zombies, and I still have all of you – my readers and other bloggers!
You make me happy when skies are grey, you’ll never know, dears, how much I love you – thank you, thank you, thank you for being here!
Friday January 29th we’re going to beat the January blahs, the winter ennui, the snow woes with a knockout blog party!
I was trying to get it together for this week, but seriously, The X-Files is returning, my hold of Season 3 of Orphan Black came in at the library, my son has a Pokemon thingie, schoolwork, housework, workwork, lifework, adulting, decisions, snow, cold, snow, cold (repeat)…I think I’m catching a cold, oh, and did I mention The X-Files is returning?
And some of you may have noticed I’ve been trying out new themes. Turns out choices are limited for mobile-friendly themes in the ‘Free’ category on WordPress, but I will choose in time to expose it (oh my!) for the celebration!!!
Come back Friday January 29th and join in the fun! It’s easy, leave your blog link or a link to an old post, new post, red post, blue post in the comment box (one link per comment, but come back as often as you like).
Introduce yourself, wander around, eat some cake, be astonished at the size of my archives (oh my!), and mingle with the other bloggers. There will be virtual cake, blogging advice, and who knows what else! It may take awhile, but I promise I’ll read, visit, and reply to everyone!
One thing I’ve yet to regret (but the day is young) is blogging. I’ve virtually met some words-cannot-express-how-awesome people here who’ve welcomed me with open arms into their blogging family.
And I get swag! Really, my mail carrier randomly hands me treats! Like books (my drug of choice), or chocolates from Chicago I won from the enchanting Cher https://thechicagofiles.wordpress.com/ a delightful friend, blogger, and ex-pat Canadian. Yes, I got a box of chocolates delivered to my door just for reading a blog post! I love blogging! Those poor chocolates didn’t make it through the night – next of kin was notified…then eaten.
It may seem like the internet is a giant virtual haystack and we’re just tiny needles, but we can find each other with blogging parties and thanks to the tireless efforts of amazing and generous bloggers like:
Suzie, creator and hostess of the trending #SundayBlogShare on Twitter speaks at http://suzie81speaks.com/
Jason/OM shares and helps us share at http://aopinionatedman.com/
Danny is a blog dream-maker at http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Vicky let’s us Weekend Blog Share every weekend
Elena throws weekly off-the-hook linky shares #BlogShareLearn http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Janice offers us a place to pause at Blogger’s Pit Stop http://mostlyblogging.com/
Angie helps food addicts (I prefer devotee or aficionado) at Fiesta Friday http://fiestafriday.net/2016/01/08/best-fiesta-friday-100/
And so, so many more!
Please come back on Friday January 29th, 2016, in this case, size matters, the more the merrier!
Let’s be that lovely bit of blue sky in each others day!
You Can’t Handle The Blogging Truth!
October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…
Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.
For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love.
Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…
I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!
Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.
It was a dark and stormy night…Start a blog they said. It’ll be fun they said.
1. You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?
2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…
3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.
4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.
5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?
6. Invited to Bloggers Bash at a spooky mansion, you accept, bloggers are fun, right?
7. Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ to find an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.
8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!
9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.
10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.
11. You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?
12. Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.
13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.
I Can’t Make You Love Me
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a blog, must be in want of readers.
For some, blogs take off faster than a Nascar driver chasing after sponsorship, for most others, like me, it’s a slow ride…
I know some of the reasons it’s been a slow ride, I’ve broken the first rule of The Blog Club, don’t talk about The Blog Club, no, that’s not it, oh yes, find a niche. Never have, probably never will. I figure if I get bored, you will too.
To me, giving blogging advice is like trying to explain to someone how to: dance, paint, drive, or make love in a canoe. Sometimes you just have to do it and make the mistakes, have the close calls, possibly tip over at the most inopportune moment.
When asked my blogging advice I offered https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/
…but with a rebel yell you cried more, more, more…so here goes:
1. Choose a name for your blog. I didn’t know this was important when I choose mine. Live and learn.
2. Size matters, but it’s more about how you use it, mind out of the gutter, I’m taking about post size. Remember, it doesn’t matter how much they love your posts, your readers have lives.
3. Try to use images that work with your post. Adding a random picture of an adorable kitten just to suck up to the cats who run the internet might be smart, but come on, who does that?
4. Don’t get too stressed about the numbers, like right now, most numbers seem down on WordPress, who knows why? First, I blamed the Royal baby, but Princess Charlie is just too awfully cute. Then Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, Mother’s Day, elections, weather, labour unrest, but in the end I had to admit the truth – it’s WordPress. They probably changed their algorithms, come on, they’re always changing something, so statistically (and they love stats), it has to be them.
5. Poofread, er, proofread or get someone else to (and you can always correct it afterwards). We all make mistakes.
6. I can’t make you love me, well, actually, my posts, but one of the best parts about blogging is connecting with your readers and other bloggers, without all of you, what’s the point? Like everything else, sometimes you have to take someone’s hand and other times, offer yours.
7. It’s not a race or a contest. Don’t worry if a post is going to go viral, or get Freshly Pressed https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ or be nominated for awards, or making you rich and famous. Take a deep breath. Right now is about right now.
8. Blogging advice can be confusing, here’s the problem, what I think is terribly catchy and clever might not be to others. Obviously I think I’m writing something good, otherwise why would I publish it? Do what you want to do.
9. To be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy like me or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous rejection while promoting on social media….aye, there’s the rub. I like Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, but Facebook just lays there like a mouldy, old ad-filled sock.
10. Don’t worry about if you’re going to offend someone, it’s the internet, someone is always, and I mean always, offended. Always.
Who am I kidding? I have no idea what works. I’ve poured my heart out and had the post sit there, alone, shivering like the last leaf on a tree before winter. Just do what you feel is right, in the famous words of those sage philosophers, Cheap Trick, “Surrender, Surrender, but don’t give yourself away”.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice?
I’m Hooked on a Feeling
I can’t fight this feeling, deep inside of me, I’m hooked on a feeling…blogging, you don’t know what you do to me.
I’m not entirely sure how many posts about blogging advice I’ve read in the past couple of years. Some posts were extremely helpful, others decidedly unhelpful, many didn’t pertain to me, and others gibberish. So here’s my best blogging advice that will most certainly change the way you blog forever!
1. Have a blog.
2. Write posts that are 300 words to whatever-your-readers-think-isn’t-too-long. Think of each post as a summer hat, you want it to cover your face and neck, but you don’t want to be the one with that Royal Wedding hat.
3. Add pictures and images to your posts. There are many ways to do this – take photos, make memes, scan, find, paint, draw…and please credit them, if possible.
4. Publish the post – this part is way more important than it seems.
5. Read. Not just books, but other people’s posts as well. If you don’t have time to read, how do you have time to write?
6. Before writing or posting, don’t think about if people will: Like it, share it, reblog it, tweet it, agree, disagree, unfollow, hate you, become your worst nightmare troll, make voodoo dolls of you, or nominate you for awards. Don’t think about becoming rich and famous. Just write. Write, because if you don’t the words will burst out of you like an alien bursting out of your chest! I can’t guarantee they’ll show up at your blogdoor with flowers and candy for each post you write, but it’s worth a try.
7. Think of the internet as a massive, sprawling, loud house party. Sometimes it takes time, effort, and quite a few trips to the ‘refreshment area’ to find people and have them find you.
8. Engage with your readers and other bloggers, be generous, share the works of others, but don’t always expect reciprocation in kind. Think of the blogging community more like a big chain link fence – the links don’t all connect, but altogether they make something strong.
9. Don’t worry about who’s reading or not reading your blog and what they might think, although, you might want to worry if you worry about that too much.
10. Share your work. Be a shameless self-promoting bloghussy – like me! Be as overexposed as Miley Cyrus, wait, even as I type that, it sounds like bad advice. A little mystery goes a long way. The important thing is to be out there, getting experience and learning.
11. Most of all, enjoy the process. Never in the field of human communication has so much been written by so many to so few. It’s a massive virtual haystack (yes, sadly, you’re the needle in this analogy), so just sit back, type on, press publish, and enjoy the ride.
12. Ignore all the aforementioned advice. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy. Get whatever you need from the moment.
What about you, dear readers, what would be your best blogging advice, besides Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Why I Will Never Be Freshly Pressed
I don’t own an iron…
Many of you reading this are WordPress Bloggers. You may have heard of being ‘Freshly Pressed’, where WordPress Editors pick out posts that are instantly given a lot of attention. It feels like their way of saying some bloggers are better than others, that they’re more worthy of sharing.
I even Googled, ‘How to get Freshly Pressed’.
Hmmm, note to self, next time you search, add, ‘on WordPress’, because, wow, that got weird, really fast.
Apparently none of my blog posts have: ‘enlightened’, ‘inspired’, ‘entertained’, or got the WordPress Editors ‘talking’.
Oh well, at least I’ve learned a lot about blogging, sorta…
I’m more concise (applause).
I know about: fonts, stats, sharing, widgets, I know what SEO stands for, Search Engine Oops, maybe I don’t.
I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest – I’m everywhere and as it turns out, nowhere.
I’ve virtually met fantastic people…or who knows, maybe they’re all one giant app that pretends to be bloggers and readers.
I’ve made mistakes…many. I’ve had popular posts and some you could hear crickets chirping as the post sits there being ignored.
I’ve been encouraged, discouraged, disappointed, and delighted.
I’ve learned to not take it too seriously.
Yet for Freshly Pressed folks, apparently I don’t write ‘unique content’ that’s free of ‘bad stuff’ (where’s the fun in that?).
I don’t have a ‘point of view’ (that’s silly, everyone has a point of view, even if they borrowed it from someone else).
I don’t paint them ‘a picture’ or make it easy on their eyes (this seems like a blatant attempt to get me to buy a Premium package).
I don’t add ‘relevant tags’ (too many tags, not enough tags, make up your mind).
My headlines can be ‘ignored’ (I already put the word ‘Obscure’ in my tagline).
typoos, er, typos. Sorry I’m not prefect, WordPress.
I’ve tried, I really have, for over 500 posts, but sigh, I’m still in The-Land-of-Never-To-Be-Freshly-Pressed. It’s worse than being Friend-zoned.
- Well, I never really wanted to be Freshly Pressed anyway (so there).
You can keep your FP Clique.
You keep your special jackets that say FP on them and super-duper secret decoder rings.
Keep your secret Clubhouse where all the Freshly Pressed elite virtually hang out and talk about us losers that will never be Pressed.
Just realized, this little rant probably got me banned from being Freshly Pressed, for my blogging lifetime. So what? I was never going to be anyway (er, was I?).
So, why will I never be Freshly Pressed? Ummm, no clue….
My 1 Year Blogaversary!
August 8, 2013 wow, that seems like a lifetime ago.
That blog post was, Fibromyalgia is a Four Letter Word (it still is).
Since then I’ve made a lot of mistakes, did I say a lot I meant a ton, or perhaps a tad more; probably said a lot of things people don’t agree with; and had some wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out moments, no worries, it’s still there, more or less.
I’ve learned a lot. Had some revelations about people I thought would be supportive, turns they weren’t, and still aren’t.
I’ll take it as a life lesson.
Plenty more people have been extremely supportive.
Thank you to family and friends, those who have pressed like, or shared, or reblogged, or followed, or subscribed, tweeted and retweeted, given me awards, or a combination. It means more than you’ll ever know, really.
I have ‘virtually’ met some awesome people who are kind, supportive, funny, helpful, generous, hopeful, caring, and have mind-blowing things to say and they share it. Thank you.
This year has opened up new portals for me.
I’m reading books I might never have read, learned things I didn’t know my brain could learn, but most of all it’s given me hope that maybe I can be more, it’s given me a glimpse of me, a me that I sometimes fear is gone forever.
So please join me for this virtual celebration of my 1st Blogaversary or Blogversary or maybe it’s a blogbirthday!