Tag Archives: WordPress

writerinsoul

April 5, 2019

Five years ago today I put up my firstĀ post. The gist of that post is still true; namely, that I think of myself as a writer above all else. So long as I am cognizant, I don’t ever expect that to change. Somewhere in the last five years, I started to think,Ā “I will not die without having written.” Not that I’m planning on going anywhere, but I wanted to be sure I wrote something substantial – something of substance – before I’m too old or too dead to do it.Ā  I think I’ve done that. As a body of work, WriterInSoul makes me proud.

Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect and I was leery of trolls, stalkers, and otherĀ weird ilk. My concerns were largely unfounded. Still, blogging is exposing yourself and I felt a bit of trepidation about that but it didn’t stop me. This blog is not a diary. It is not a journal. I only write what I want to write. And — I have never deleted anything I’ve written. I’ve done minor edits on posts, when I saw a typo or something like that but I’ve never “taken anything back” or hidden it. Once it was up, it stayed up. My philosophy was not to post anything I wouldn’t be comfortable with anyone – anyone at all – reading. That said, I was ready – ready in my life – to say a lot here.

The blog doesn’t generate as many comments as it did in early times. ThisĀ post on relationships from 2015 had the most comments. Several of those commenting are no longer around on WordPress. (Kate ofĀ Views and Mews by Coffee Kat,, who has been blogging longer than I have,Ā once said that no one who was around when she first started on WordPress, is still here.) People drop away. It doesn’t pay to getĀ too attached and yet I do feel connected to other bloggers. You hope the people you like stick around but you have no say over it.

ThisĀ post from 2015 on promoting my blog had the second most comments.

The most viewed post is my “About” page and the second most read is the post I wrote three years ago about a man I knew who killed himself. I put up a link to the post on a community yahoo group and many people came to the blog by way of that link. (While I have “advertised” the blog in my community on bulletin boards and once or twice in the small local paper, it is not particularly well known or read. I could promote it on Facebook but I haven’t, in part because I keep my presence on Facebook limited.)

It occurs to me that blogs may start for one reason and continue – if they do – for another. I planned to blog for at least one year. I knew I could do that. Five years never occurred to me (although, that being said, an ability to plan/see into the future has never been my strong suit). I’ve said it before but I often remind myself this is not a job. That is, BLOGGING is not a job; it’s not my job. It has to be something I want, a reward unto itself. If it feels like work I shouldn’t be doing it. I try to find that sweet spot and over these five years, have routinely thought about and evaluated the blog: Is it worth it? What am I doing here? What do I consider a success? Am I getting back what I put in? How much time & effort should I spend? Stuff like that.

Due to not having consistent, decent internet, for some time now I haven’t been able to read other blogs as much as I would like. Reading other bloggers is important to me. There truly is a sense of community and connection and while I haven’t talked to or met any bloggers “in real life” I value the nature of the relationships that exist here on WordPress. Other bloggers are a large factor in why I continue to blog. Which isn’t to say I don’t have readers who are not bloggers – I do and I appreciate them very much as well, both those I know in life and those who I do not.
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The blog is like a living entity. It frustrates, disappoints, pleases, and delights. Having had it five years, I think in terms of it; it doesn’t go far from my mind. I have not lost the recurring urge to blog, a feeling which makes me think of appetite. I write something (eat something) and I feel satisfied (sated). But sooner or later the “hunger” returns. While the posts have dropped off at times, I’ve never let a month go by without blogging. I dunno – I think it would be strange to stop blogging. I imagine if you stopped after having one a long time as I have, you’d have to remind yourself it no longer existed. What would take its place? That’s a bit of a rhetorical thought.

I have mellowed out a bit about the blog. What long-term relationship doesn’t mellow out a bit?! And when I say “mellowed” I mean in terms of what goes on in my own head about it. I don’t angst about it quite the way I might have earlier on. Yes, I still want readers and comments but I expect the blog is more or less what it is going to be. I’m not expecting – shy of any highly unlikely circumstance – any big surprises or a whopping change in anything related to the blog. Unless WordPress starts charging (I SWEAR I WON’T PAY TO BLOG, grrr. Writing for free is one thing; paying to write would be entirely another!)

Sometimes I worry that the whole blog could disappear and all my writing – and all the comments – with it. I mean, that COULD happen. I don’t own the blog and it exists in the never-never land that is the internet. Although WordPress has my trust to a large extent, I have no control. If it goes away, it goes away. I have to have that attitude. Blogs exist in space; they aren’t books. (Unless you pony up a whole bunch of money to people who will turn it into one: I’ve seen such ads!).

After five years of being here and thinking about it, I think blogs create connection and curb isolation, for their writers and for their readers. They can make you laugh and think, as either writer or reader. When I write, I make myself laugh and I often figure things out by writing about them. I am compelled to share my life – many aspects of it – and WriterInSoul has let me do that. Thanks for coming along.

Colette
April 5, 2019

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Focusing….

Winter lends itself to reflection.

I’ve been thinking about what I let enter my consciousness. Like a lot of you I get very torn between feeling I should know what’s going on in the world – no matter how ugly – versus feeling that my attention would be better served elsewhere. I am so sick of politics. I am sick of terrorism. I am sick of crime. I am sick of drugs. I am sick of focusing on everything bad, both micro and macro.

I really do believe that what you focus on is what you get more of in life. We’re made to feel guilty if we want to focus on ourselves, on enjoyment, on little things (or god forbid, nothing at all). How can we sit around and watch TV when the terrorists are planning horrendous crimes? How can I watch old Twin Peaks DVDs when every day there seems to be another national or world crisis demanding my attention?

I don’t have the answer but I am leaning a certain way lately. I am tired of letting my energy be siphoned off of me by unworthy sources. THAT’S what it is. I get sucked in too easily and for what? To what end? I’m talking primarily about the space that gets taken up in my head. I find myself getting worked up about things I really don’t even care about! If I stop and think about them. I do this on small local matters and larger world matters.

Too much time passes after which I neither feel satisfied nor fulfilled nor enriched. It’s my own doing. It’s where I’m putting my time, it’s where I’m allowing my focus to rest. I have a lot of say in that. I want to be more conscious about this.

There are certain shows I watch on TV, not habitually but sometimes, after which I feel kind of icky. Sometimes I read things on Facebook, posts with lots of comments, mostly local fare, and I regret it. I find myself getting all reactive (inside) as if it really mattered. I think: Why am I reading this? Why do I feel an urge to jump in (one I usually squelch)? Will it change anything? Will I be more enlightened? Will anything be solved?

Sometimes it seems like you have to wade through 70-80% crap to ferret out 20-30% good. And this ratio can be found in so many places: entertainment, online, in gatherings, etcetera. Those aren’t good odds. I want better ones. It’s kind of my mission at the moment to seek out those things (people, places, events, social media) that pay off regularly and to lessen or eliminate those which are hit and miss.

I’ve said it before. WordPress – blogging and reading other blogs and interacting in comments – is one of the best ways I spend time online. If I’m going to be online – and I am! – I want to read more of what benefits me and less of what mainly passes my time. Right now I’m looking for and following a variety of public people on FacebookĀ  – authors, etc. – who I’ve liked in the past. If I think they’re adding something to my life (knowledge, wit, whatever) I’ll keep following. If not, that’s what the “unfollow” button is for. I’m ditching what aggravates or annoys me. I want to open up space for people who have something to tell me, something I need to hear.

Because I’ve been snoozing at the wheel I’m discovering that authors I’ve liked have published books – some several years ago and I didn’t know it. Where have I been?? I need to catch up. I’ve allowed my focus to become jumbled and fragmented in ways that don’t sit right. My last post about my “Kinda sorta New Year’s Resolutions”Ā  is one concrete step (20 books, 10 visits to local lake, 10 new recipes) in that direction.Ā The course needs slight correcting. I feel as if I AM steering a ship and am now throwing my weight and resolve into turning the wheel a few degrees. I can almost hear theĀ creaking andĀ heaving.Ā 

 

Note:Ā p!ease forgive a day or two delay in responding to comments, thanks.

Dinosaur shame

AĀ recent post by Bun KaryudoĀ about updating his computer reminded me that I regularly get prompted to do the same on my outdated home computer. I see it so often that I barely pay it any mind. Even WordPress tries to shame me into action with this half-hearted dinosaur illustration. I thinkĀ it’s holding a computer or keyboard. That’s my best guess. Are the dinosaur and his prehistoric electronics sinking underwater? It’s hard to tell. There’s something printed in the upper left corner of the “computer” but even with a little magnifier, I couldn’t make it out. Anyhow, these people and their “Draw Blinky the Dinosaur” illustration don’t know who they’re dealing with. I still have cassette tapes. Homemade cassette tapes. Our little dinosaur friend ain’t gonna shame me!

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writerinsoul

April 5, 2016

So… it seems like only two years ago (which it was) that I started this blog. I pretty much knew that I’d make it to a year. Beyond that, I didn’t really know, think or plan. And just as I’ve seen with many other blogs, I wrote considerably less in year two than one. There were reasons for that beyond any kind of expected/predictable “blog fatigue”, that is, stuff in my life that took me and my energy away from the blog, but maybe I’d have written less no matter what.

Even as it stands, I feel good about this blog, as a body of work. I’ve covered a lot of ground. Took advantage of my “outlet.” WordPress stats tell me I’ve put up 471 posts. About 140 of those are my “Short Thoughts” posts, which are, well, short. From my tag cloud on the blog’s main page (for those unfamiliar, that’s the auto-generated collection of categories on the lower right side of the screen, i.e. “tags” that I assigned my posts; the larger the font, the more I wrote about said topic), I see Humor has been the largest one consistently for two years. Which I’ve found interesting because I thought initially this blog would probably have more straight prose, i.e., not-so-funny posts. I guess it’s good I feel humorous most of the time although I always write what I feel like writing – I don’t say to myself, “I am now going to write a humor piece.” Humor is followed by Relationships, Nature, and Men as my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th favorite topics. I’ll take that. Summer and Food are not far behind those.

As I did one year ago, I want to say thank you for reading. To you who’ve been with me from the start or darn near it, as well as those who’ve come along later, and even anybody possibly reading this blog for the first time (just so long as you think it’s wonderful and intend to return; I have standards, you know). I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t have readers. It is hugely gratifying to feel like I’m connecting with you. That’s always been so. Whatever else I can say about it – and that’s quite a few things – there IS something addictive about blogging. Thank you for coming along on my blog ride.

Colette

writerinsoul

October 9, 2014

My blog is 6 months old. I want to thank those who’ve read it, who’ve commented, who’ve “liked,” who’ve followed, and who’ve anonymously added to my “stats” by stopping by, bloggers and not. Without you, without evidence there are people “out there,” I can’t imagine that I’d have maintained the interest to keep at it. I know myself; I’d have gotten frustrated/discouraged (more than the occasional why-am-I-doing-this mucky moment).

It really is a symbiotic relationship, something I didn’t quite comprehend before starting. What would be the point in writing a blog if no one read it? (Modern conundrum: If you wrote a blog and no one read it, would it still be a blog?) Before starting, I had a vague idea I’d have readers and they’d probably be strangers, but I didn’t have a clue where they’d come from. The not-knowing what would happen was the most nerve-inducing aspect. To jump-start the blog and commit to it, I even published several posts before telling anyone of its existence. That actually helped!

It wasn’t all that long ago in fact, that I read most blogs don’t make it past 3 months. That certainly got my attention (and I’m glad I didn’t know that before starting). Still, I know I have more in me. This blog is a fabulous outlet and I’ve developed a real affection for it. I love having a place to put what I have to say, to write. In this endeavor, I know I’m doing what I should be doing, what I am meant to be doing. Thanks for coming along. Let’s keep having some fun.

You too can have a blog! (well, maybe)

Before I started this blog I was kind of intimidated. Blogs and websites seemed mysterious. What did they look like behind the scenes?? Could a regular person understand? I didn’t really know anyone to ask. I also don’t think of myself as very tech savvy and I heard a bunch of words associated with them that meant zippo to me. Who wants to learn THAT? Booorring!

I feel, in the months since I’ve been here, like I’ve gone behind the curtain. Ohhhh. So this is what they look like. Let me show you around a little.

WordPress – the only blogging platform I’ve seen – is fairly user-friendly. I am going to guess that over time it and other similar sites, have become more so, which is fortunate for the likes of non-techie people. Behind-the-scenes is not as pretty, or colorful as I might like but it’s not bad. The posts themselves are written in a word processing form, with options to do things like insert links or italicize, assign to a category, etc. Thankfully, drafts can be saved and/or revised. There’s even a “Preview” button! Yay!

The main area in WordPress, the command central if you will, is called the Dashboard. I love that, the word itself. This may sound peculiar, but I have good associations with dashboards. It probably goes back to childhood and the mysterious lights and numbers and buttons that captivated a child (but couldn’t be touched). I also have good memories of sitting in a car talking – let’s go with talking for these purposes – listening to the radio and staring transfixed at the dash. I’ve always found them visually appealing. Sadly, the “dashboard” in WordPress looks nothing like the dashboard on a car [insert sad face].

There are also notifications for whenever someone likes or comments on a post, a list of followers, links to blogs followed, and blog stats. WordPress is decidedly fond of numbers. There’s a business-like feel to most of it, although a few auto-comments from WordPress are goofy and stand out in contrast to the overall vibe. They make me think someone in the 16 to 22 year old range is writing them. If I could, I’d be giving them a withering look in response.

I have no direct interaction with “management” if you will; WordPress doesn’t send me any personal messages. That said, they write articles geared to bloggers with advice or information. Also, they do change things around from time to time, without notice. That’s a little weird. If you preferred the “old way”, tough. For example, when I first started, I could post large photos, but that’s gone away, at least from my blog “theme” (the layout the reader sees that a blogger chooses).

To blog, it helps to have a knack for ferreting out information and solving problems. I generally like a challenge so it suits me. Without that inclination, someone would probably grow frustrated and/or bored with the mechanics of blogging. Luckily, there are forums available to ask questions, and they’re archived. I’ve never needed to ask a current question; when something comes up I Google it and invariably find an old answer.

While I’ve chosen a free blog (with ads I have no say-so over), there are paid options to upgrade, get dot-com added to your site name, or just to add fancier stuff, colors and so forth, to your blog. A blogger is not pressured to cough up cash, so much as reminded it’s a possibility.

The whole kit and kaboodle is definitely a learn-as-you-blog endeavor. For the first two months I wrote this blog I thought a small headshot of me was displayed on it. Come to find out, only I could see it. In the early months, I’d find something, a way to accomplish a task, and later not be able to find it again. The right hand side of my blog, that you, the reader, can see, with its lists of categories, recent posts, and tiny calendar, are all things I selected to put there (from a list of options). They are called widgets, who knows why. I can make ’em disappear too!

I have my limits. I don’t really need or want to become a WordPress savant. I’m here to write above all else. The mechanics are secondary. In the end, the prose is what matters.

Short Thought 44 (WordPress)

Behind the scenes, WordPress mixes things up every now and again. There’s a few ways to edit a post. When the main one loads now, it displays the words “Beep, beep, boop” while 3 tiny balls bounce below. Every time I see this, I have an urge to punch a teddy bear in the snout.