Liebster Love

I love the blogging community. I have “met” some really cool, interesting people and one of these very sweet people gave me an award!

It’s the Liebster award. Apparently, Liebster (is it German?) means “beloved” and it was given to me by the Knowledge Maven. She always writes supportive comments to my posts and has a really great blog of her own. She’s funny, serious, and thought-provoking. You’ll find yourself nodding your head in agreement when reading  her musings.

This award is presented to those blogs that have 200 or less followers to aid in gaining readership. Very nice! Despite my prior post, I would enjoy adding some new subscribers!

The rules are:

1. Show thanks to the blogger who gave you the Award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment at their blog.

3. Post the Award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet!

I don’t know about their subscriber counts, but here’s my list:

bridgetstraub | Author, Artist, Mom

scrollwork | quirkyisms from a tropical transplant to California

Writerly | by Beth Bates

Recovering Dawn

Totsymae.com | Living the Average Life of a Writer and Artist Trying to Get Her Hustle on. Period.

Enjoy!

Come, Follow Me

What’s been rolling around in my brain recently? An article I read in the New York Times. The title of the article is “Confessions of a Tweeter”. With a title like that, I couldn’t pass it up. If you tweet or blog, I recommend reading it.

I’m not a prolific tweeter as most of my followers know. I’m more of a voyeur because it’s hard to be interesting all of the time. When I first opened my Twitter account, I tried it and just couldn’t manage being quippy and funny even 5 times a day (unlike the 20-30 times a day like Mr. Carlat). I think too much and mull things over too long.

What kind of pressure would feel if you had 25,000 followers? I would feel a huge burden to be entertaining all of the time and could see how that could turn into an addiction.

As I was reading the article, I was thinking about my blog. When I first started it, I tried to blog every day or every other day. It was exhilarating when someone would visit my blog and better yet, leave a comment! “Wow, someone wants to know what I have to say!”

Validation and adulation from strangers! It’s like a drug. I was checking my site stats every day and thinking about my blog all of the time. “What should I write about today?” “Should it be funny or serious, tame or controversial?”

It had begun to consume me. It wasn’t earning me any income, making me any healthier or contributing to my family’s well-being in any way. I actually did have a life, a job, a family. . . the people in my life still needed me to do the things that made their worlds go around. This tug between my new obsession and my life was causing my blog to become a burden, another item on my To Do list.

That’s not what I wanted because I really enjoy blogging. So, now I blog when something strikes me. Sometimes two or three weeks can go by before I feel driven to write. It’s hard to admit, but I can’t be fabulous and compelling all of time!

I’ve struck a balance between my blog and the rest of my life so I’m not ready to give it up cold turkey like the author of the article. I know intermittent posting is not a WordPress recommended way of garnering subscribers, but I’m okay with that. I’m not sure I could I handle 25,000 subscribers!

Has social media hijacked your time? What did you think of the article?

Happy 1st Blogaversary to Me!

March 11, 2010, I posted my first online “musing”. I just finished reading it (again) – I haven’t read it since last March when I first posted it.

Have I made any progress in training my brain to think like an easy-going, non-worrying, glass half full person? I don’t think so, but I am my own worst critic. However, if I asked the hubby or my friends (the people in my life I count on to be honest with me) I would think that they would concur. I guess I’ll have to take a poll! I’ll get back to you on that one.

Have I made any big “What If?” changes in my life? – not really. I’m still a chicken-shit at heart. Changing a chicken-shit into a brave soul is really quite a feat. This will be an ongoing, long process.

Why did I decide to start blogging? I was reading a friend of mine’s blog. I loved it and it inspired me (She hasn’t been on it in a while, but I’m waiting for her to come back to it). You should check it out. I really, really enjoy her writing.

Her blog got me thinking, “What if I started a blog? What would it be about? Me? My family? Would anyone read it? Do I care if anyone reads it? What if I do care and no one reads it?, etc., etc.”

There I was analyzing the idea to death in the usual Jenni-fashion. I told myself to shut up and just do it. So, I did.

Blogging has been really great fun. I’ve made some really nice blog friends – I’ve never met these individuals, but I feel as though I know them through their writing. They are the ones that comment the most frequently on my posts and remind me that someone is actually reading what I’m dishing out!

They are:

Shouts from the Abyss

Punch it in!

Perpetually Peeved

Living Dilbert

Recovering Dawn

Writing has been a really good exercise for me – it has really made me think. So. .  . .I’ve been thinking a lot

Wait! Maybe it’s not a good thing…I think I’ve turned into a little bit of a daydreamer (What am I thinking about?Everything). That’s not good – daydreaming is not very productive. One of my traits is having the ability to hyperfocus – it seems to be slipping. Shoot!

Any who,what was I talking about? Oh yeah! What was my most popular post?  The one that described our Bed Bug Adventure last spring. This was a couple of months before bed bugs became a big news item (we were ahead of our time!).

My second most popular post has been my first one – Thoughts on “What If?”.  I find that somewhat interesting. I guess I’m not the only one out there wondering what the heck we are supposed to be doing here.

Well, I am definitely looking forward to my next year in blogging about this, that and the other thing. I hope you are looking forward to reading about it!

image source

Why am I blogging?

Why am I blogging?  I have to say that I haven’t quite figured it out yet.  In the past, journals and diaries have never really held an interest for me.  However, blogging is very popular and trying to keep up with my children in the technology department is a goal of mine.  This might be one small reason, but it still doesn’t really answer  the question on why I started a blog. 

Do I want to be famous for blogging like Perez Hilton (really, what else is he famous for?)?  Not really.  Do I have provocative views on the topics of the day that people are dying to read?  Probably not.  Am I a wanna be journalist without a major in journalism?  Definitely not.  Am I a budding writer that enjoys putting pen to paper (so to speak) just for the love of writing?  Most definitely not – I’m a math major!

How did blogging get started?  Why are average people like myself blogging?  Well, I did a little research and found that this question has been asked repeatedly.  I came across this blog that addressed this question:  Why Do We Blog?.   I did find some interesting responses within this post and found that I was nodding my head a little while I was reading it.  One comment got me thinking – “Do I want affirmation and admiration?”  I don’t really think that is my motivation either.   However, I have to ask myself, “If I’m starting a journal/diary, why am I doing it online?”.  This leads to the next issue – Privacy Settings.

Setting up this blog has been a project.  What did I want it to look like?  Would the format represent who I am?  What colors do I want to use?  Then, the big decision for me – which Privacy Setting (Blog Visability) was I going to pick? 1, 2 or 3?

  1. I would like my blog to visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing) and archivers
  2. I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors
  3. I would like my blog to be private, visible only to visitors I choose

Is all of the contemplating over-analyzing the ding dang thing?  Well, duh.  I’m prone to over thinking – it is what I do.  It is the biggest stumbling block to my big “What If” question (see prior post).

Do I want people I don’t know reading my observations and views and then commenting on them (assuming I will eventually get a reader or two)?  Hmmm.  I’m still not sure about that.  I haven’t really quite decided that I want my friends and family reading my thoughts as I post them.  As of this writing, I haven’t told anyone (even my husband and kids) that I was starting this little project.  Being a very private person, my husband would wonder why I felt the need to start an online diary.  Will the knowledge that people close to me will be reading this subconsciously impose a filter on my writings?  Do I care about that?  Should I care about that?  Another Hmmm.  Those are good questions.

There is something cathartic about writing thoughts down – I completely get that.  It can definitely help you define and clarify your positions on topics.

Okay, after putting all of this down in writing (and re-reading it, editing it, etc.), I have decided on Option #1 in the Privacy Settings.  Why not?  It would be interesting to hear what people have to say (assuming, again, that I get a reader or two).

Regarding my family and friends, am I going to tell them?  Yes and no.  I will tell my husband, kids and my BFFs first.  Then, maybe branch out from there.  Comments from those closest to you can give you great joy or great sorrow because you really care what they think (unlike comments from strangers). So, regarding the filter issue, I guess I will have to figure that out as I go along on this writing journey.