Seeing is believing,
or is it believing is seeing?
Or not seeing is believing?
There are things we can’t see that we believe in, and things we can’t see we don’t believe in. How do we choose? I can’t see atoms, air, sunshine, germs, Wi-Fi, magic, ghosts, hope, despair, Santa, love, hate, vampires, cancer, pain, mental illness, God, aliens, pain, good, evil, a cat’s purr, microwaves, pollution, carbon monoxide, autism, a baby’s breath…
Should we assume none of these are real?
I can feel the sunshine on my skin, hear a cat’s purr, use the internet, witness the horror of cancer…Geez, at this point, I’m held together with the duct tape of atoms and hope.
If those things are real without being seen, why not the others?
It’s not the same in blogging, we have to be seen. But how?
1. You know those little bubbles in carbonated drinks, all fizzy, tickling the nose, and expanding the stomach? That’s blogging. It can be effervescent, pleasing, irritating, confounding, overwhelming, addictive. And while most of us don’t want to expand our stomachs, we do want to expand our readership. If you’re just doing it for yourself, that’s great, but then why do it online, why not in a journal or diary?
2. Don’t fixate on number of views. Blog as often as you and your readers enjoy. Do it for the fun of it, for money (stupid question, money is a necessary evil), fame, a book deal, movie deal (I just had an image of who might portray me in the movie of my life, Helena Bonham Carter? No, probably Mindy Cohn).
3. The internet is a giant virtual haystack and yes, in this analogy, you are the needle, I am the needle, more specifically, our blogs are the needles. Shift around the haystack – you can’t expect to just ‘be found’, or find others.
Look for blog parties/linky parties/blog shares…
Jason – https://aopinionatedman.com/
Janice – http://mostlyblogging.com/
Danny – http://dreambigdreamoften.co/
Elena – http://www.livingwithbatman.com/
Vicky – http://www.singlemotherahoy.com/
April – https://diapersandtutus.wordpress.com/
Read, share, like, comment. And blog engagement groups/boards are rampant on Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is overflowing with hashtag days (Suzie https://suzie81speaks.com/ gets us trending every Sunday with #SundayBlogShare – the lovely ladies at http://honeyquill.com/ give us #LinkYourLife – there’s also #MondayBlogs #TuesdayShares #wwwblogs #BeWoW #bluskyfriday #ArchiveDay #WeekendBlogShare).
Don’t just attend, participate.
4. Spread your blogging wings! Search out other bloggers, not just on their blogs, but follow them into the depths of the social media catacombs…
Where I’m a complete twit: https://twitter.com/yadadarcyyada
Where I’m baffled by humanity: https://www.facebook.com/yadadarcyyada
The dark hole where I lose hours of my life: http://www.pinterest.com/dpark2/
Where I google (seriously, not nearly as fun as it sounds): https://plus.google.com/112672588892199127381/posts
Yet another place to bloglove: https://www.bloglovin.com/people/donnaparker10-6312637
5. Your readers won’t always ‘get’ what you’re blogging about or agree. Some will be disinterested, some downright rude…Keep wandering through the blogging desert (or dessert) and you’ll find the awesome ones, astounding ones, generous ones, hopeful ones, ones that inspire, ignite, and make you overjoyed you ever heard the term, blogging.
6. Blogging is about being part of something, otherwise you’d just sit alone typing…and we’ve seen the movies – that can either lead to a bestseller…or murder.
7. Pay no attention to all blogging advice behind the curtain…Blog your way today. https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/04/10/im-hooked-on-a-feeling/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/03/26/why-i-will-never-be-freshly-pressed/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/27/message-in-a-bottle/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/10/16/you-cant-handle-the-blogging-truth/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/05/12/i-cant-make-you-love-me/ https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/26/the-phantom-of-the-blogging-tips/
As a young child I believed many things, if I watched a movie again the ending might change, or the money I put in the bank would be the exact same money I’d get out…my Mom, who worked at the credit union at the time had the delightful task of teaching me this life lesson when I wanted my ‘lucky’ quarter from my account. Oops.
Now, older, wiser, I may not believe what I used to believe, or have to see to believe; I may not always know what to believe, but I still want to believe. What about you?
That’s not always a good thing.
Read some of my stuff, comment, critique, praise, ignore, puzzle, or just do whatever you want.
That’s my blog bio…everything else you’ll learn in my posts or you don’t care.
Every time I think I understand, even vaguely, how the world works, it tilts on its axis, spinning me right round, baby right round, like a record. Turns out, the blogging world is no different. Like everyone else on the planet (that might be a slight exaggeration, overstatement was never my strong suit), I have a blog. If I had a cat it would have a blog about sleeping, eating, and occasionally chasing a mouse lurking around the property. The mouse would have a blog about his adventures trying to escape the cat that bothers him while he’s trying to lurk around the property. And so on.
August 2013, I started this blog to relax, to practice writing, and to be more concise, with varying degrees of success. My Very Me-ness doesn’t always translate well, but no need to worry (hear that brain, no need to worry…forget it, it’s not listening), I’ve been embraced by readers, bloggers, etc. and I feel snug as a bug in a virtual rug.
Blogging has been difficult in many ways, but has made me fall in love with writing again, which guided me to start a year-long project to add even more happiness (Or contentment? Peace of mind?) to my life.
I more or less doubled my 7 goals in my first week https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/, even giving up 4 TV shows, but then I added 2, drum roll please, ok, I really only gave up 2 (math rules!).
This week’s goals:
1. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and play a game with my son (I want chess, he wants Pokémon, maybe we need a Pokémon chess set).
2. Remove 100 calories per day (No cheating, it can’t be veggies…Step away from the cookies).
3. Remove 15 minutes or more of screen time per day and just write, doesn’t matter what.
4. Remove 15 minutes or more per day of sitting time (replace with Yoga and Tai Chi).
5. Spend 15 minutes or more per day submitting articles and manuscripts, especially knowing they might be rejected.
6. Change 15 minutes of internet time to relaxation and rest.
7. Give away, use, or get rid of 1 or more items a day.
1. Blogging is solitary. Wrong. Blogging, my friends, is social and addictive, like sugar, and as the song by Maroon 5 says (I’ve tried to get it out of my head, believe me), I need a little sweetness in my life, your sugar, yes, please!
2.You need to have something to say to have a blog. How snotty and daft was that assumption? Everyone has something to say.
3. Blogging is simple. Wrong again, complicated, yet worth it, despite the intricacies that sometimes make you feel like your head might explode. Mistakes have been made and more shall be made; it’s all part of learning.
4. Success! I thought I needed to be a world-famous writer, then I saw comments that said I’d made people laugh, smile, and think. Anything else that comes along would be the icing on this delicious, chocolatey cake of a blog experience thanks to you, dear readers.
5. Blogging is constant. Wrong. As with life, the only thing you can count on in blogging is change.
For example, I believe the WordPress motto is: If it ain’t broke, fix it a few times a day.
Twitter seems to have a midlife crisis every few weeks and I don’t know what happened to Facebook.
There are: trolls, traffic, topics, taboos, privacy issues, time, concentration…what was I saying? Oh yes, so the question today is, to blog or not to blog?
For now, the answer is…why not?
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 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
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….