I’m on the road this week, visiting with my friend, Nicky, in Kingsport, Tennessee. When I arrived at her house on Monday afternoon the last thing on my mind was writing a post for this blog, but then I received this notification from WordPress:
Four years of blogging! Wow. That’s either four years of time wasted or four years of growth and engagement. I choose to embrace the latter.
In honor of this auspicious occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to link to my first piece. I remember being frozen with fear before pressing the “publish” button that first time. Would people laugh? Would I get angry “how dare you pretend to be a writer!” comments?
Those were wasted worries. Hardly anyone bothered to read the post, thus there were no comments. Nowadays I just write and publish without any worry. I’ve come a long way, baby. Well, maybe.
Like many of the bloggers on WordPress I automatically share my posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 98% of the time it’s a smooth process and my posts magically appear in the Twitterverse, but occasionally there’s a glitch requiring a reset. It’s usually a quick fix and the mundane aspects of my life are once again available for folks to like, comment on, or best of all, retweet.
This past week while I was battling diverticulitis I noticed that Twitter wanted me to change my password. Apparently they’d had an issue with an entity gaining access to their passwords. Well, I’m not the most tech savvy person in the world, and I couldn’t quite figure out how to change the password, so I thought I’d log out and log back in. Seemed simple enough.
Except that Twitter wouldn’t allow me to merely sign back in, forcing me to create a new account. And now, I can’t get WordPress to let go of the old Twitter account so that I can share my posts on the new account. I mean I realize there are bigger issues at hand in the world right now, but this is annoying. I must be feeling better if I have the energy to be bugged by this.
If any friends have suggestions I’m game, just remember to type really slowly so I can understand.
On Thursday night I was bedeviled by a bout of insomnia. I’d broken a cardinal rule and continued reading well past what I’ve come to think of as the “sleep tipping point.” It’s that point when I can feel my eyelids drooping and my breaths relaxing into the rhythms of sleep.
If I’d put the kindle down in that moment I’d have been fine, but no. I was reading James Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, and had just gotten to the period of time following trump’s inauguration. There was no way I could stop. Soon I was wide awake and had swung in the opposite direction of the sleep tipping point.
Studly Doright’s sciatic pain awakened him around 11 p.m., so he went to the den to try resting on the couch for awhile. I finished the book just before midnight, and my brain was churning furiously. I checked my phone–another bad decision, but what the heck? I wouldn’t be sleeping for awhile anyway.
WordPress had a message for me. It said my stats were booming. “Well, well, well,” I thought. “Finally hit the big time.”
Actually, since this wasn’t my first rodeo that thought never crossed my mind at all. I reckoned, and rightly so, that someone had found my blog and had taken the time to read more than one post. I love it when that happens. I always picture someone very much like me sitting somewhere in the world making connections through our shared experiences.
When I looked on my stats page I saw this graphic:
Clearly someone from Canada liked my blog well enough to read 75 different posts. Whoever you are, thank you. This is for you.
I generally have a blog post in the queue and ready to publish at 7:05 a.m. This morning, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, I had nothing. Oh, there were a few words typed into a draft: “milk, cat litter,” but only because I’d accidentally written my shopping list on a blank page in WordPress.
For a moment I wondered what I could do with those words. A poem combining the two concepts of homogenized liquids and cat hygiene, perhaps? Hmmm. Not today, but the topic has possibilities.
As I pondered what to write I heard one of my cats in the throes of dislodging a hairball, so I rolled out of bed to clean up the mess. With a box of baby wipes in one hand and a paper towel in the other I went in search of cat puke. Scout was sitting like a lady in the dining room admiring her artwork which she’d deposited on the carpeting literally two inches from the tiled hallway.
“Dammit, Scout, couldn’t you have turned your head to the right just a fraction and avoided the rug?” I asked, knowing that was a rhetorical question. She never pukes on the tile.
As I bent over to attend to the mushy hair ball mess my nose began to run. I swiped one of the baby wipes under my nose and continued cleaning. Not to be outdone, my nose continued leaking like a faulty faucet. I swiped at it again, only then noticing that my nose wasn’t dripping snot, but blood. So now I was dealing with two icky bodily emissions. Two wrongs, if you will, giving me something to write.
As I finish typing this the time is 6:55 a.m. Looks like I’ll make my self-imposed deadline after all.
I posted my first piece on July 10, 2014, and voila! It only took me nearly three years to reach the 1,000 follower mark. Oh, and if you add in my follower numbers from Facebook (468), Tumblr (78), and Twitter (237), it’s still fairly dismal, especially considering that many of those are folks who follow me on more than one platform.
So why do I continue? I asked Studly Doright, my husband of forty plus years why he thought I continued writing in spite of my low followership. He said, “I dunno. Because you’re a masochist?”
So there you go! And if you’re a follower, thanks for being here! I love each and every one of you. Yes, even you.
Every now and then I’m nominated for an award on WordPress. The first time this happened I was all aglow. What an honor! And truly, it’s always an honor for someone to consider my humble little blog worth a mention.
But the awards come with rules:
Nominate 5 or 8 or 135 bloggers and link to them.
Answer a dozen questions.
Stand on your head and wiggle your toes while whistling “Yankee Doodle.”
And while I might’ve made that last one up, the sad truth is I’m a lousy rule follower, and the last few times I’ve found myself a nominee I have politely excused myself from the game.
So I thought, what if I just made up my own award? With no rules, only a suggestion. Ta da! It’s the “Must Read” award. I’m awarding it to Mike Steeden, one of the most imaginative writers I follow. He is a quirky genius with a flair for the absurd, writing a mixture of prose and poetry that I find delightful. I highly suggest you read Mike’s blog:
I’m having an issue with premature publication on WordPress. Often, I’ll have several pieces queued up to publish on future dates. If I go into a piece to edit it, WordPress totally ignores my original date of scheduled publication and publishes it immediately when I click the update button.
This makes me say bad words as I rush to change the date and delete the post from my Facebook page. I’m becoming fluent in bad words. Ok, I was already fluent in bad words, but the ones I’m using are beyond the pale.
Any suggestions for preventing premature publication, viagra, perhaps for textual dysfunction?
I just upgraded to a premium package. I guess I’m happy with it, but they kind of had me over a barrel. I couldn’t attach any photos to new blogs without upgrading, and I know how much you all enjoy my stellar (cough! cough!) photography.
But I’m griping because for some reason WP has begun publishing posts that clearly were marked as “scheduled.” I’ll go in to edit scheduled posts and the next thing I know they’ve published. It’s ticking me off.
So if you click on one of my posts and nothing is there please know it wasn’t my doing, but an overzealous WordPress glitch.
I knew my second anniversary with WordPress was imminent, but couldn’t remember the exact date. Thank goodness one of us was keeping tabs.
Two years ago today I was sitting in the exact same spot in which I find myself now. I was bored and lonely and addicted to more than one computer game: Bejeweled Blitz, Plants vs. Zombies, and a couple with names I don’t recall, but one had to do with building castles and the other with raising dragons. It was a sad life.
Oh, I had Facebook, but my tendency to say exactly what I thought had alienated a good many of my friends. My liberal political leanings aren’t shared by many of my family members or childhood friends.
To compensate for my loneliness I’d begun reading a couple of friends’ blogs. One had just started hers and it was so charming and comforting that I began thinking perhaps I could do something similar. In the weeks prior I’d had some interesting and mildly humorous incidents in my life and thought, “I can do this! All I have to do is record all the goofy things in my life.”
Now, as awkward as I am, I couldn’t write a daily blog based solely on personal mishaps, and soon I was just writing filler until something good came along. Sometimes I did something wacky on purpose just so I could write about it. If you look back through my early archives I’m sure those posts are easy to spot.
Then I had an epiphany of sorts and just began writing for myself. That’s when the poetry started, along with a few short pieces of fiction. Occasionally I’m asked why I’ve never published anything and my answers vary. Honestly, I’m not sure anything I’ve written is worthy of being published outside of WordPress, and I’m clueless in the business of publishing, to boot.
I still compose and publish everything on my iPhone, and I still publish at least one post per day.
My favorite part of blogging is the connection I’ve made with other bloggers from all across the world. I read posts from writers in Great Britain and India, Germany and Italy, Australia and South Africa, among many others. We comment on each others’ lives and offer our own insights. We learn from one another.
I’m fascinated to read of the differences in our cultures and comforted to note how very much alike we are. We all just want the best possible lives for ourselves and our loved ones.
Every now and again I decide it’s time to stop blogging. I mean, it’s a good deal of work and there are likely much more profitable ways to spend my days. But then some random thought pops into my head demanding I write about it, and I begin frantically punching letters into words and words into sentences on my iPhone keyboard before the idea fades into oblivion.
After two years of blogging I’m still somewhat of a pariah on Facebook; although, I’ve found a couple of groups of like minded friends with whom to share congenial conversations–some I’ve met through WordPress. I’ve weaned myself from every computer game except Words With Friends. I’m less lonely and better informed. Blogging has, corny as it might sound, saved my life, or at least my sanity.