Likes, Comments, and Follows

This blog is intended to communicate with others. I am blessed when people read what I have written and acknowledge in some way. My goal is to build a blogging community.

The most common response I receive is a “like” message for a particular post. It says so-and-so thought my post “xxx” was awesome. It then invites me to check out their blog. It will list the titles of some of their recent posts.

Now, there’s no reason for me to be anything but honest here. I follow several blogs. I generally choose ones that the bloggers share some common interests with me. Unless something really stands out in this “like” invitation, its not likely that I’m going to check out their blog. Nothing personal, so please don’t be offended. The “like” doesn’t really tell me anything about the blogger.

When someone comments on one of my posts, I will very likely respond to their comment, hopefully in a timely manner. I also am likely going to visit their blog. If we share some common interests, or if their blog is extraordinary, I am likely to follow it. I like comments. It shows that they read and thought about what I wrote. If they disagree or agree is irrelevant, I like the communication.

Last, and best of all… when someone follows my blog, its the beginning of community. I almost always reciprocate by following their blog. When I read an excellent post on theirs, I wil (with their permission of course) re-post it in my blog, highlight it on my facebook, google+, Twitter, etc. This promotes other’s work, which in turn I hope makes them better writers. It builds the blogging community, which as I stated earlier, is part of the reason for this blog.

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Making A Gem

The difference between a professional photographer and an amateur photographer is the professional takes hundreds of shots to get maybe a few good, and perhaps even one great picture. The amateur misses many photo opportunities because they only shoot when they think it will be a masterpiece.

So, what does that have to do with writing? Maybe you already guessed.

I follow some blogs (not as often as I should) of some amazing writers. While sometimes the content of their individual posts may not be amazing; I am awed by their consistent quantity. In a few cases, these bloggers are writing several posts every day. I don’t know how they do it.

I am a writer. I often write in my head. I do not often enough sit down to my laptop and literally write what I have been composing in my brain. This makes me a frustrated and ineffective writer. My inactivity on this blog reflects this. Every now and then, I’ll hit a hot streak, and I’ll declare that I will be more consistent. If you have followed my blog for very long, you know it doesn’t usually work that way.

One of my hindrances is a desire to make every post in this blog a gem, a meaningful work of art, an outstanding example of my craft. Yeah. I have worked multiple days on writing profound (at least I thought so) and time-sensitive posts, carefully phrasing and checking grammar; and then, thinking because I never closed the window, when the post was completed, I could click publish and it would publish to my blog. If any of you have ever tried this, you may know what happened. It disappeared, and did not publish.

If I had any sense about this, I would just simply write in this blog regularly. Don’t worry about every post being a gem. Take a lesson from the professional photographers.

New Skin, Just Not So Much Of It!

New Skin

If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?

(Thanks for the great prompt suggestion, indianmacgyver and iamj0ann!) .

I would like to experience being a young woman. This is not to say I’m unhappy with my assigned gender. But TEMPORARILY I think it would be interesting to gain that perspective. I find trying to write from that perspective (being a middle-aged man), my wife (one of my most faithful critics) will read what I have written and pronounce it as “tripe!”

She clearly tells me that “no woman would think/ feel/ say/ do anything like” what I have written. I appreciate her truthful criticism; because she obviously understands a woman’s perspective much better than I do. I have the wrong kind of plumbing for that insight.

But, to temporarily be a young woman would enrich my understanding of their perspective, and make me a better writer.

This Blog

After going back and reviewing some of the posts at the beginning of this blog, I have come to certain conclusions:

  • Started with the best intentions of regularly posting, I have not. This could be, in part, because I never intended this blog to be a “This is what I did today”/ diary-type blog. I have written posts that I thought had some thought, purpose, and/or inspiration. Sometimes I have had these thoughts, but just didn’t sit down to write them while they were fresh on my mind. In 2015, my goal on this matter is to publish at least one post per week. Sometimes I know there will be more; but I want to write more engaging posts that will encourage feedback/ comments/ interaction.
  • The clearly-stated purpose of this blog was to be encouraging my fellow writers to improve our craft. In some of my earliest posts, I addressed this and provided writing prompts, author/ publishing information. Unfortunately, these did not spark any comments. My desire to use this blog to create an interactive community of writers wasn’t working. I became discouraged, and sort-of put that sort of dream aside. Even if they were not specifically about writing, my other posts were intended to spark interaction with my readers. In 2015, I will work to post regular material specifically directed to my fellow writers, and hope that it reaches them, challenges them, and inspires them.
  • I have received notices throughout the duration of this blog, informing that so-and-so “liked” certain of my posts. That is nice, but I desire more communication. I am not really sure how to reach more people with my blog, but I will investigate and try smarter ways. It’s not just a numbers thing. This blog is intended to build a community of peers.

So, in conclusion, if you are one of my readers/ followers, or if this is your first visit, I want to hear from you. I want to not only interact with you; but I want to encourage you, and help you in fulfilling your passion (for writing, that is).

Small Giant Steps

Today had its ups and downs…

  • This morning, I weighed 259.6 pounds! This was the first time since I was in my twenties that my weight was in the 250’s. I know that since Sunday, I lost only about 2 pounds; that may not be much. However, like when I broke under 300 pounds, it is a major milestone.

  • I have a very painful dental situation that has been going on for over a week. I called off work today because I had an appointment with a local dentist (actually located a block from my house). He had called in a prescription for antibiotics and 3 days worth of pain medication on Friday. Because I have no insurance, the dental office recommended I apply for CARECREDIT. Essentially, it is a credit card specifically for medical expenses, so you can make payments. If you pay off the balance in 6 months or less, there is no interest. That sounded really good to me. The number they gave me did not work. The website: CareCredit.com would not go beyond the opening page, and therefore I could not apply. Further research revealed another phone number. It took about 20 minutes to answer about 5 questions, only to be denied.

         So when I went to the dentist this fine day, after filling out all the paperwork, they told me I could only be treated if I could give them $150 today, and then we could make payments for the rest. I only had $50 to give them today. Now I sit in pain, unsure what or when I will be able to handle this situation.

  • I have been checking my kickstarter.com project and with 21 days remaining, I have 0 comments, 0 backers, and 0 dollars. It is discouraging. I have put it out on all the social media I participate in. I have emailed and IM’ed some godly people I know, asking for their feedback. I get NOTHING.

  • Tomorrow I return to work with the dental issue unresolved. I like my job. If I had known what today would have been like, I would have gone to work, no matter how bad I feel.

  • Now, according to a book I’m currently reading, I am supposed to put a positive spin on everything I experienced today…

  1. Today was payday. My check had a half-hour overtime.

  2. That weight was encouraging.

  3. The antibiotics are starting to decrease the swelling and pressure on my tooth and gum.

  4. The weather was lovely today. temps in the 70’s, partly sunny, not unbearably humid. The neighborhood was filled with the wonderful aroma of fresh-mowed grass on my walk home from the dentist.

  5. I am writing this post in my blog. I also submitted two assignments to Scripted.com on Friday. The money should be coming next week.

 

Kickstarter Launch

My Kickstarter project has been accepted… quicker than I expected. The launch date is tomorrow:

SUNDAY JUNE 1, 2014

The duration of the project is just 30 days, so on July 1st, I will know if it worked or not. I will post the link tomorrow morning. I hope to hear from all my friends. And hopefully my friends will spread the word. Just like the ripples of a small stone thrown into the water. Kinda cool visualization, huh?

I am excited but also nervous. I have never done anything like this before. It’s all or nothing. If my project meets or exceeds the goal, it’s a green light. But if the goal is not met, I get nothing.

Really Good News!

Today, Saturday April 19 2014, I stepped on the scales this morning. I saw something I had not seen in about 30 years… I weighed 263.4 pounds!!! Since February 2013, I have lost 90 lbs!!!!!

Please share your success stories in comments on this post. They don’t have to be necessarily weight related. I want to hear about whatever you have done successfully. If you add a link to your blog in your comment, I will direct my readers to you as much as possible.

Let me hear it!