If you could turn back time, would you do it? If you could travel back in time, would you do it, and where in the when would you go? For you, is time: 1) money, 2) of the essence, 3) a big ball of wibbly wobbly wimey stuff?
This morning I woke up later than usual to realise it was actually not later than usual at all because the clocks have gone backwards an hour. I knew it was going to happen before it happened, but then I forgot what I knew and only remembered I knew it when I knew it again because it happened.
Since I have an extra hour today, I thought I’d use the time wisely like I always do, and write a blog post about blogging. Well… it sort of is about blogging and sort of not about blogging (like all of my posts and their subjects… which is why now I often just categorise the post as uncategorised. I realise it’s making my blog even messier than it already is… I’ll not tidy it up later).
I do have a few blogging questions for bloggers about WordPress, which I’ll hazard a guess no one will answer because (they’d have to read this post and the wordcount on my posts tend to scare the crap out of people… I could reduce it if I left out all the ad-libs like this one, but they’re one of my favourite bits about writing a post) questions about blogging, particularly ones which have a technical edge, tend to make bloggers shy away.
I’ll jot them down here, then move on:
- Is anyone else having trouble ‘Liking’ posts when you’re not in the reader feed but on someone’s actual blog? I can’t ‘Like’ posts which aren’t in the reader feed. I only noticed this glitch after I activated the Gutenberg Editor (which I love!!! I’ve been hanging onto ‘classic’ for dear life, but I’m in a jumping out of my comfort zone phase atm), however that was also around the time when I started exploring and following more blogs and bloggers.
- Has anyone else noticed in their Stats section – Referrers links from ‘web traffic generators’ (those companies which offer to create more ‘views’ for your website/blog)? Over the last couple of days I’ve noticed links from two different web traffic generating companies appear in the Stats section – Referrers of my blog and it puzzled me. They may do it as a form of ‘phishing’.
- I’m not going to ask if anyone else is having problems with WordPress unfollowing blogs which you’ve followed and want to keep following, that glitch has been happening since I started my blog in 2013. However if I’ve unfollowed you and you’ve noticed that I have, can you please let me know as I haven’t unfollowed anyone I’ve followed except for Thought Catalog because it spammed the reader and I couldn’t see anyone else’s posts (and they were all 3 things about, 5 ways to, 7 secrets of, etc). [teeny update made several days later: after having written this bit, I decided to finally go through the long list of blogs I’m following and unfollow those who are no longer blogging]
The other day I suggested to someone that they should consider blogging. I don’t make that suggestion often because that would be annoying, like that pusher who used to hang out on a street where I worked and would regularly come up to me to sell me drugs which I had told him every effing time that I didn’t want.
I know that I looked like I could have used some of that kind of self-medication, because I was so stressed out by life at that time (and later on I blanked that period out of my mind, I’m only just now letting the memories back into my awareness), but I already had enough poison in my system and didn’t want to add more.
FFS, dude, when a person says NO it means NO and it doesn’t matter if you think their NO should be a YES, and that you think you know better than they do what they needs. THEY SAID NO! One time I shouted NO! in a way which made him almost somersault backwards away from me, and as he left I think he muttered something about me being too crazy for him – he didn’t bother me again after that.
“I encourage people to remember that “no” is a complete sentence.”
― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
The person said NO to my suggestion that they should try out blogging, and that’s that. I’m not going to push them to do what they don’t want to do. Blogging is best when it is entered into willingly, and done for the love of it.
I love blogging. Someone suggested to me that I try it. I hemmed and hawed for a bit, but the suggestion came at a time when I was boldly going where I hadn’t gone before, challenging my self-imposed restrictions and limitations, so I cut the hem-and-haw short and took a leap of faith. I am so glad that I did.
My first blog was on tumblr, and it was great fun. Then I killed it (blogicide is a fairly regular occurrence among bloggers, especially after the honeymoon period wears off and your relationship with your blog enters the – WTF am I doing and WHY!?! – phase. That phase may loop around, and around – I still sometimes get the urge to delete and retreat). I killed it because I’d painted myself into a very human corner with it. I wasn’t going to start another blog, but then I did because the cravings for it were too strong. That blog, which was another tumblr one (which is also now dead), lead to this one (at one point I had a tumblr, this Wp, a deviantart, Twitter… now I just have An Upturned Soul).
An Upturned Soul and I have been through a lot together. We’ve laughed, groaned, ranted, raved, hurt and healed, shared TMI and been very cagey, been over-attached or too detached, repeated the same story over and over ad nauseum (although each time it was told it was a little different and it was interesting to see what changed and why), rambled, babbled, and over-analysed everything. We’ve chatted with others, sometimes others chat back. We’ve exchanged stories with others. We’ve learned a lot from others. We’ve sometimes fallen out with others…
We’ve made a lot of mistakes, not just the technical ones, not just the obvious ones, but also the abstruse ones, and those ones which begin with listening to others and their advice about what you should be doing, such as other bloggers who may share their blogging expertise…
Which reminds me…
I particularly like the tips:
- Be yourself! I would add that blogging can help you to figure out how to do that and can make it easier to be yourself outside of blogging. It can help you to get to know yourself better as you write and read your own posts, and everything else included in the experience of blogging.
- Don’t be a trend follower I would add – unless you enjoy it! And, imo, that includes don’t follow every piece of advice on a blogging tips and tricks from a blogger’s post, because they’re sharing what they do and it might not be right for you.
- Change is healthy I would add that if you try something out, make changes and it makes things worse rather than better, you can always return to doing things the way you were doing them before the change with the added bonus of now appreciating what you might have been tired and bored of before.
- And this one – Refrain from likes explosion – made me chuckle, I would add to that – If a blogger ‘Likes’ a post of yours, and maybe clicks to follow your blog after their ‘Like’ on your post, you don’t have to visit their blog and ‘Like’ a couple of their posts in return (particularly not the top two in their Top Posts & Pages widget – that’s happened to me twice this week, thank you but you didn’t read those posts, did you?). Likes are great, but only when they’re genuine – some bloggers ‘Like’ posts on other blogs to generate ‘Likes’ on their posts. There was one blogger awhile ago whose entire blog was all about getting ‘Likes’ on posts. He only would ‘Like’ you to get you to ‘Like’ him back – and it worked, his posts had a gazillion ‘Likes’. He followed every blog to get followed back too. He used WP’s Daily Post to find his ‘victims’. You don’t have to follow everyone who follows you, take some time to explore their blog and posts, then decide if it’s what you want to read.
And now for something completely different…
One of the joys of blogging is that you can stand alone, talking to yourself, out loud, in public and no one thinks it’s strange, scary, weird or crazy (okay, it does depend on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it…). And they might join in, talking to themselves, out loud, in public.
The Haunted Wordsmith (aka Teresa, who is a very talented writer and author, so go and check out her blog to read her brilliant creations) shared this fun post – Three Things – and invited others to join in.
She answered the questions posed in the image below:
And now I’m going to join in and answer them too…
3 names you go by: Meow (that’s what it sounds like when my cat summons me), Pakootie (in Minecraft), Google (that’s what my neighbour calls me, because our chats usually include me sharing everything I’ve researched online about something like Honey Fungus).
3 physical things you like: having a body with moveable fingers to type (although occasionally it would be nice to pass through walls and astral travel), that electric space heater over there at this time of year, fluffy things (when people ask me what I want as a gift and they don’t mean magic ability, that’s my answer) except when it’s mold growing on the windows.
3 things that scare you: being followed by autumn leaves (one managed to find its way into my sweater pocket the other day and it freaked me out because I did not put it there. It’s on the knick-knack shelf above my desk now), being woken up by a wasp (last night after I turned out the light and was just sinking into cosiness, I heard a loud reverberating buzz near my head – a queen wasp was in the bedroom and hadn’t gone into hibernation yet. I really shouldn’t scream when a wasp is flying around me, what if I’d swallowed it!?), the chainsaw because I get easily distracted and can be a tad clumsy (which is why I haven’t got it working yet), but that wood really needs to be cut and it’s so nicely seasoned.
3 things you’re wearing now: a pencil in my hair to keep my hair out of my face and in a bun (although I just took it out to chew on it, it’s going back in now), I should be wearing my glasses but keep forgetting even though they’re right there next to my elbow (still not wearing them… although I quite enjoy wearing them… I am wearing them now as I re-read this mess), fluffy things because it’s nippy now.
3 accounts you follow: There’s this thing which can happen in the blogosphere where a blogger gets a bit worried about upsetting other bloggers if they do a list of bloggers they like (ie. for a blog award nomination) and mention some but not all, and the ones who weren’t mentioned might take it personally in not a good way.
Here are 3 of my most recent ‘Likes’ with my reason for ‘Liking’ them, I chose these for this answer because they’re all discussing blogging:
Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #27 (The “Bit of Whining but Lots of Yearning” Version) – I liked the honesty, and how well he described the problems and complications a blogger can create for themselves in their relationship with their blog, and with their followers.
LEANING ON A RAILING IN THE MORNING LIGHT – Marilyn Armstrong. Also liked this for its honesty, for describing issues which bloggers can find themselves struggling with, and because it shows someone solving a problem by being true to themselves. (I thought I’d pressed follow on Marilyn’s blog, but WP says no… I’ll figure it out later because it requires a bit of a Heath Robinson fix due to the glitch I mentioned earlier, #1, which also affects pressing follow on a blog’s home page).
Friday Follies Day One. I liked this because it made me guffaw out loud, and because Nan was promoting a new blogging challenge created by a blogger and living up to her promise to participate in its launch. Nan is also the co-creator of – Weekly Prompts (I’ve linked to the About page because it’s an interesting insight into blogging and bloggers) – which was created to fill the breach caused by the closing down of WordPress’ Daily Post (which was a WP blogger hub, a community meeting, greeting, and interactive sharing place. I’m actually grateful it closed down because I’ve benefited from observing how bloggers have dealt with the loss. It has been very inspiring, and it seems more fun than the WDP – which is why I’m joining in now)
The Daily Post does still exist, floating in cyberspace like an old satellite which once was active and now it is not, if you want to check it out. It has blogging tips, tricks, advice and rules. The Blogging Etiquette section is worth exploring.
3 careers you’ve considered: Rescue Helicopter pilot – but my dyslexia would have made learning how to fly a chopper, and then flying one if I’d miraculously passed, a game of – Today we all die or not (so, yeah, that wasn’t the right button to press, should have pressed the other right button which is on the left, the other left), Free Diver – because I saw The Big Blue, and I’d spent a large amount of my childhood underwater pretending I could breathe there (didn’t do this because I saw The Big Blue), Author – when I was in my late teens I wrote two books, one of which I sent to a publisher who made me an offer, but I self-sabotaged my way out of it because I couldn’t handle not being rejected (yes, you read that correctly, and yes to everything else you’re thinking right now except for that, that’s a no to that).
I’ve changed quite a bit since then, partly thanks to blogging about what a mistake-making mess I have been and still am. I’ve had people ask me if I’ve written a book, tell me that I should write a book, in the comments on this blog over the course of the years that An Upturned Soul has existed, and I was invited to write for another blog which was sort of an online magazine. I’ve always answered NO. I love blogging, and can write up a storm in my posts, but I’m not an author, and don’t need to be one because I can blog and this medium suits me better. I’m free here. I’m happy as is, doing things the way I do them – it took me a lot of time and self-work to get to this lovely plateau and admit that I like it here, this way.
It’s not easy to go from idea and ideal to finished product, it can be or become a Sisyphean task, and then to get that finished product out there, generating interest, income, and keeping it safe from all the new predators in the world wide web (the internet is great for authors, but it can also be not so great for authors) – I’ve read many posts from many writers and authors discussing all the trials and tribulations. They’re cautionary tales, but there are also some with very happy endings where the hero fulfills their quest, gets the kingdom and triumphs against all adversity.
If a bona fide publisher asked me to write a book… I’d consider saying YES, however the chances of a bona fide publisher doing something like that is the stuff of films and TV shows, books and stories, and those based on a true story have had… …edited out of them.
I’ve already done something like that with and in my life. So to the person who asked me very recently if I’d write a book, and then got slightly bossy with me telling me I had to do it because they wanted me to do it, they even told me how I was going to do it by taking time away from blogging which I love to do, and when I shared the info in the paragraph above – they called them excuses which they would not accept. They are not excuses. I appreciate the compliment, but I don’t appreciate it when a compliment turns into a contract. I appreciate your enjoyment of my blog, my posts, and our comment-conversations (and no, not every blogger replies to comments, it’s up to the blogger whether they do and how they do it). If you appreciate my blog, my posts, and our comment-chats… you do realise that if I did as you requested and took time away from my blog to write a book, things would change here, the way I blog would change. Please respect my love of blogging.
3 places you want to visit: I used to travel a lot, I was actually born while my parents were traveling and they kept traveling throughout my formative years. I’ve moved around enough to last me several lifetimes. For the first time in my life I own a house and it is home sweet home (when I’m not blogging, or working, or playing video games with my partner at night, or sleeping, I’m fixing it and there’s a lot to fix… especially as I keep accidentally breaking bits. I am now a plasterer, a painter, a brickie, electrician, plumber, and carpenter – the twisted roof truss had to be done by an expert). Whenever people ask me where I’m going for vacation, for holidays, I always say nowhere (I’m now here). I do love exploring other places and cultures online. If I could teleport, and wander around somewhere for a couple of hours – South Korea because of Hyori’s Homestay (and my recent addiction to K-drama), Iceland because it’s quirky, stunning landscapes, and to see the Northern lights, and The Seychelles because of those rocks.
3 fictional crushes: All crushes are fictional in a way because we fall in love with who we imagine others to be, and want others to be for us, and it’s not necessarily who they are… but I get it, 3 fictional characters upon whom I’ve had crushes. Usually my crushes are mental (which could mean that either I’ve fallen in crush with their mind or they’re completely mental in a way I find cute and cuddly). Noel Fielding as Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh because he is almost as weird and crazy as I am, Kristen Schaal as Mel in Flight of the Conchords because I’m almost as weird and crazy as she is, and I’m developing a crush on Kassandra, one of two characters you can play as, in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey because she survived being thrown off a cliff by her Spartan leader father who… nope, no spoilers today.
I thought I’d add one more 3 things question, based on one I saw in a post on my reader, and shortly after that I saw another post by a different blogger who said that they’d borrowed questions from another blogger’s post to answer in their post. As per blogging etiquette, the source of this question is here – The Shimmering Jane Ridgewood Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award – and it’s a great read. I didn’t ‘Like’ it until a few seconds ago because I forgot to do it when I read it and enjoyed it.
3 facts about you that others may find odd: I regularly forget to ‘Like’ posts when I’ve read them and enjoyed reading them. Sometimes this is due to something in the post reminding me of something else I forgot to do and I rush off to do that. Sometimes it’s because something in the post prompts me to look something up online and… how did I end up here reading about this!?! I follow a few blogs I don’t like because they remind me of things I don’t want to forget. I don’t like the taste of chocolate.
That’s it… and over to you!