Five Curious Things I’ve learned about blogging

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing (and maybe blogging)

After seeing my amazing stats on Saturday it occurred to me that It’s officially been a year of blogging and I’ve learned a ton. So today I am sharing some of my hard earned wisdom.

1. Get it done ahead of time

If I put off writing my blog (heck, if I put off doing anything) the universe bites me in the butt. If I think that I can squeeze writing my three to five hundred words into the morning of the day it’s due, that will be the day I will oversleep. With a migraine. And it will be snowing and I’ll have to drive someone to school. And they’ll forget something important. And I’ll run out of gas.

In other words, karma. I have been a procrastinator all my life and now that I am “reformed” if I slip off track, karma will be there like a seven headed snake.

2. Writers block is a myth.

Except when you have a deadline breathing down your neck and not one teeny tiny idea of what to say. Then it’s a huge monster lurking behind your chair, making fun of you. Better to write when the muse appears and do it a week, a month, heck it doesn’t matter how far ahead you are. If you have some extra blogs in the can, you will be a happy blogger.

3. Take care of your friends.

Your friends are the ones you can count on when you need help, and likewise- your friends need you. Right? Right. so drop by their place and leave a comment. Tweet, FB and whatever else you can do to help them along. At the very least remember to say “hi!” on twitter once in a while. You don’t keep good friends by leaving them alone, you need to stay in touch.

4. No matter what kind of thing you have just installed on your website you will want ten others by the end of the day. (But stay away!)

I love everyone’s sites. I love their widgets and plug-ins. I love the rotating book covers that link to Amazon (that they probably make money off of every day). I want them all. But my website capabilities, not to mention my website, do not extend to adding these things gracefully. Take putting a video into the posts. I can now do this. But it took me an hour to figure out how to do it. First I consulted WordPress for Dummies. Well, I need the remedial version. Maybe it’s because I did not sit down and study it from front to back but when I go to consult the book about something that should be simple, it isn’t.

So I look at all the different pages and try to figure it out. And then I go to YouTube and search for it. Inevitably there is some kind soul who has actually reduced the things I’m trying to do to baby steps. And I play and re-wind and take notes. And an hour later I can embed a video. Something that really takes less than thirty seconds and no ability to accomplish.

5. Blogging is easy, and it’s not.

When I first thought about blogging every week I got scared. What would I write? Would anyone care? Can I do this week in and week out?

The answer is yes. Yes I can do this. Yes people care (or at least they pretend to). And yes, it’s scary but then so is everything in life. You can stay home and do nothing or you can venture out into the blogging stream and get your feet wet. So here I am. And it turns out, as long as I don’t wait till the last minute, I can think of things to write. And people do care! (Or they fake it, either way I’m happy.)

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support over the last year. Especially thanks for the encouragement on Little Red Riding Wolf. And do go and enter the contest HERE. Otherwise I will be forced to eat all the chocolate myself and then I won’t fit into the t-shirts.

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17 Comments

Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

17 responses to “Five Curious Things I’ve learned about blogging

  1. Some poignant truths here. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Louisa for commenting. I see you have Josh of the Damned on your website today. Very cool! I hope you registered with the rafflecopter widget so I can add you into the contest. Great to see you here, welcome!

  2. Brinda Berry

    You have some wise thoughts summarized in this post. I feel 100% better when I am a week ahead on blog posts. I’m weird like that. Also, in the beginning, I felt like blogging was just an online diary. Write it and they will come. That’s not necessarily true. I’ve learned a lot about online blogging friendship and so glad I have it. I enjoy opening my email to see your blog posts and wish you a very successful 2012!

    • I’m not sure about wise, but I have been learning about blogging. I really didn’t know what to write. And of course what I was doing was all about writing. Now comes the hard part. I really should be focusing on what I write, not the process, but the process blogs are the easiest to write!

  3. Waving HI to you, soon-to-be-published-Jessica, and already-published-Brinda. (Yes, I see you up there.)

    ALL great points, Jessica. Brinda also taught me about “paying it forward.” She met my blog in its infancy. Mere weeks after WordPress ate my first post when it accepted my second. I plan to torture WordPress in a future novel, but I’ll cleverly disguise his character. [insert clever W.P. name here] will be handsome, and straight-forward on the exterior. When he’s exposed as a VILLAIN, he will take the reader deeper and deeper into a dense forest with crumbs of obscure advice until YouTube [insert clever Y.T. name here] slays him.

    Phew! I feel better now. The Helpful Guy at B&N told me NOT to buy any “for dummies” books. Why? No. It wasn’t a compliment. He said “for dummies” books (in his experience) are typically written by experts on the subject who like to spew forth all they know, which is USUALLY tons more than the average user needs/wants to know. He recommended a picture book for me. Hmmmmmm. Must think about that one.

    GREAT advice on writing articles in advance. I currently practice the “wait and the words will come” paradigm. Which explains why my “regular” weekly posts are a surprise if they happen on time. SNORT-worthy descriptor on your Day of the Post dilemmas, btw.

    • I love YT slaying WP. How about he takes on the Dummies too? I’ll think twice before buying another how to book, now that I know I can find everything on Youtub for free. You should have seen me last week trying to figure out how to use a pressure cooker without instructions. Thank God for You Tube and all the lovely ladies who have been brave enough to film themselves in their kitchens.

      You do great posts, that’s why I have you on RSS feed!

    • Gloria, this is just a hoot of a comment! Thanks for the chuckles. Writers are such excellent purveyors of black humour! (Canadian spelling, don’t you know!)

  4. Great, thoughtful insights, Jessica.

    If I might add my two cents to #2? Write ahead of time even if the muse doesn’t appear. She is not reliable, the deadlines are. Id she doesn’t show up, write without her, for, if she is real, she is an egotistical, vain little wisp, and she’ll come out of hiding rather than let you write successfully without her.

  5. Ah, Jessica, you have such a great tone. You make me laugh while teaching me several valuable lessons. Ditto, ditto and ditto to your five points here, friend!

  6. You’re insights are amazing! Which doesn’t surprise me because you rock so much! I need your blog discipline… so much! *Muah!*

    • Blog discipline! That makes me laugh. I’m just blog desperate! I’ve learned that when I really think I can’t do something, the only way to learn is to jump in. Having said that, don’t expect me to be bungee jumping any time soon!

  7. Great advice which I really need to follow. Must must must write my blogs in advance and NOT at 6.30am while trying to get kids ready for school and myself ready for work. I am still new and learning and soooo grateful there are bloggers like you out there. Also grateful that my ever patient, computer genius hubby knows all those tricky embedding answers and does it for me! Love all the friendships I am slowly making too 🙂

    • Oh Claire, definitely not while you are trying to get kids off to school! And get your genius hubby to teach you all the embedding tricks so when he’s off at work or play you can do them yourself! I’m still struggling with my website, but I’m really glad now that I am trying to learn how do to this stuff. (ok, some days I’m glad and some days I wish I had enough money to hire someone like Diane Whiddon to do my site for me. She does such a fantastic job!) Congrats on getting your site up and running!

  8. Great advice Jessica! I also love the frills and thrills other authors have on their website (they make it sound so easy to do) and found I have no hand at doing it. I’m also a lifelong procrastinator and when I wait until the last minute karma laughs and plays with me wickedly.

    • I wish you could have seen what my website looked like at the beginning. It still has a long way to go. And of course, being a free wordpress site, it can’t do everything. Like the rafflecopter plugin that I’m using for the contest. I had to embed it on the paranormal freebies site and direct everyone there. It’s an experiment that I hope is working! It’s all good though. Keep up the good fight!

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