My Writing

I think that prompts influence what I read and I know that I delve into some obscure topics that other bloggers would not touch, but I enjoy learning new things.  Since I am a research writer and I write about off the wall topics, my reading takes me to many different places.  Dr. Tanya is asking all of us today, “Does what you read influence or inspire what you write?”, and I think for me it is the other way around, as my writing is influenced by my reading, but like I said, I am different.  I enjoy breaking down complex information and explaining it in a manner that normal people can relate to and no topic is off limits to me.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya.

A Day Without Learning is a Wasted Day

I learn new things all the time, mostly because I am a research writer and I look stuff up, so I can form an opinion.  I enjoy learning and maybe that makes me an oddball, but I am a very well-informed oddball.  I think that learning new things keeps my brain active and that has to be a good thing, it should prevent me from getting any dementia or Alzheimer symptoms.  I know that I have had some trouble remembering some stuff at times, which is probably normal for an old fart like me, but I know what day it is, just by the prompts that I participate in here on WordPress.

Today is Monday, so Paula’s Monday peeve is something that I will read and perhaps participate in and Fandango puts out a picture prompt on Monday’s called Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge, which is usually very interesting.  Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights is a Monday challenge as well as Melanie’s Share Your World.  MM has Wordle and Sadje has What do you see, all of which makes Monday a very busy day.  I could go through every day of the week compiling a list of challenges and then make another list of the daily challenges, so there is always plenty to write about here on WordPress and plenty to read also and I am very happy that I ended up here.

I write every day, although WordPress has never given me one of those streak notifications like so many other bloggers get, and this will be my 3,228th post since I started blogging here.  I learned something new from a good friend of mine today Di at pensitivity who gave me instructions on how to block spammers and her help was much appreciated.  I had a difficult time in the beginning when I first started blogging here on WordPress, until I met a blogger named Sight (sadly he is no longer here), but he gave me real good suggestions on how my site should be set up, which I will always be grateful for.  Nobody can know everything and even when Einstein wrote his theories on Relativity, he needed help with the Tensor mathematics, so he could present his theory to the rest of the Scientific community.

I used to think that my brain was only capable of holding so much information and that in order to learn something new, I would have to purge old information out, to make room for new stuff.  I was wrong, as new neural pathways will open up when ever you decide to use them.  The average adult human brain has the ability to store the equivalent of 2.5 million gigabytes digital memory and the hard drive on my computer will only store 2 terabytes of information.  Every time that I learn anything, I gain a new perspective about the world around me.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with “What are you learning (or are you still learning) from your blogging experience?”

Willing to Adapt

How comfortable are you with change?

I need to be adaptable to stay relevant and I do this by being open to change.  I am trying to embrace adaptability and I want to stay open to finding new ways to go with the flow.  Time changes everything and I need to keep up or get out of the way, so if change is required, or expected, I am comfortable with switching up my routine.  Change is a powerful force that cannot be denied or resisted and Sam Cooke probably describes this best in his song.

How often do you like to change your blogging style or the topics or format of your blog?

I bend with the wind and I have always been a versatile blogger, because I feel that I am able to write about any topic, but I have not changed my blogging format.  Maybe if I did that it would help to keep my readers’ attentionI read all the time about the best blogs being made up of short posts, but I mostly ignore this, because I like to write until I am done saying what I have to say.  I don’t like to limit myself and I hardly ever write posts that impose a word count restriction.  My blogging style comes from being a technical writer and therefor I am a research writer.  I am not going to change my style or my format, but I like to keep myself open to writing about any topic.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with change.

So Many Things

What has your blogging experience taught you?
I have learned a lot from blogging and most importantly is that there are a lot of nice people here in the WordPress Community.  Some of the bloggers that I associate with on a daily basis, even though I don’t know them personally, I am proud to call them my cyber friends.  I am only a very small part of this very special community, but I see how everyone works together to create this distinct spirit that lets people associate with others.  I know that there are some bloggers that would rather have all of their teeth pulled out, than have to respond to a comment, but likes and comments are what separate us from being ordinary and boring, so I embrace them.  I am not big on emojis, but I do enjoy clicking the like button to let bloggers realize that I appreciate all the efforts that they have put into writing their posts, which I have enjoyed reading.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with lessons that were learned from blogging experience.

Playing the Links

How important do you think it is to embed links in a blog post?
It is not as important as breathing is, but for the blogging community as a whole to work together in harmony it is important.  But you asked, “how important”, so now I have to give it a rating.  I will rate this as being a nine on a scale of 0 to 10, because it is such an easy way for others to be able to navigate to another post.  Could blogging be done without embed links, I am certain that it could, but being able to do this greatly expands to value of blogging.

How often do you link to your own previous posts?
Anytime I provide a pingback, I link a post that I have previously written.  But you asked, “how often”, and since most of the stuff that I write is a response to a prompt, then my answer is very often and approximately 95% or more of my posts are written with a link in them, just like this one will include. 

Have you ever left a link on somebody else’s blog?
Not only do I do that every day, I have also removed some links that others have left on my blog and I just did that yesterday.  The links that others place on my blog, come almost exclusively from prompt challenges that I host.  Once these links enter my comments section, I can alter them, delete them, or do with them as I will, because now they are mine.  I set up my blog to have all of the comments automatically approved, those that WordPress has not marked as spam.  Yesterday on Song Lyric Sunday, where I read every post, as I consider that to be my duty as being the host of the challenge, this person linked back to my post.  I read his post and discovered that this person was linking back to another site that had nothing to do with Song Lyric Sunday, which is all about music and having fun, so I wrote to this person and told them that I was taking their link off of my post where they linked back to.  Now I need to add yet another rule to make people aware that I will not tolerate anyone promoting anything on a Song Lyric Sunday post, so that we can all have fun and enjoy the music and not be pestered by what I consider to be nonsense.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with links.

The Printed Word

Today Dr. Tanya of Salted Carmel asks, “Have you written (or do you still write) for print media? How do you find that different from blogging or writing for electronic media? Which do you enjoy more, and why?”  These three straight forward questions seem simple enough to answer, so I will give it a shot, especially since I didn’t see any other more interesting writing prompts.

I worked as a Technical Writer for years, producing many technical documents that are basically boring to anyone other than those people that it was produced for, and this writing would most likely bore other people to death.  My electrical engineering experience was focused on process and machine control systems, project management, instrumentation, validation and power distribution, all of which required technical writing.  I wrote instructions on how people should operate the machinery safely and how the machines operate and I guess that as long as these machines still exist, that the documents which I wrote are all still in print someplace.

Anything existing in print media is tangible, you can hold it in your hands and turn the pages, whereas blogging or electronic media only exists on the computer monitor, so that is a big distinction between these different forms of writing.  I recently volunteered to become the editor of my local community’s newsletter, which is published every month in print media.  When I brought the file to the printer, they made one copy and asked me to review it, before they printed the 135 copies that I needed.  I noticed right away that some of the print seemed darker than some of the rest of it and I knew right away that even though it looked black on my computer screen, that it was just a dark grey and that I had to change all of that text to black.  I had to go back home and correct this and then bring the file back to the printer, so I won’t be making this mistake again.

I enjoy blogging much more as, nobody in the blogging community is that fussy about content and most of the readers of my print media, I don’t even know who they are.  Blogging is a much more friendly way of writing and I feel a connection with many of the bloggers who read my posts and make comments on them.  When I blog, it is about content that I choose, but my writing in print media has all been about topics which were chosen for me.  In my blog, which isn’t a job, I use my style and I put in my passion and I hope to make a difference.

Written for Blogging Insights Electronic versus Print Media.

Required Reading

Do you like reading posts written for prompts? If so, what kind?
I read a lot of posts from bloggers that write about music and most of the others are prompt related.  I like reading and learning and seeing what other people have to say, but sometimes all this reading can be overwhelming.

When you publish a piece in answer to a prompt, do you read entries by other bloggers? If so, do you read them before or after you have written your own?
When I get involved in a prompt challenge, I never read what others have written, before I publish my post, because I don’t want to be influenced by their thoughts.  I usually read all the entries in the challenges that were published before my post and in some challenges, I will also read the ones that came after my post.  On the challenges that I host, I encourage everyone to read what the others have written.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with posts that we read.

Questions About 2020 Posts

What can you say about your blogging experience in 2020?  Has it been different from that in previous years?
I stayed busy in 2020, writing 84 posts thus far this month.  I wrote 68 posts in November, 68 in October, 64 in September, 79 in August, 64 in July, 56 in June, 68 in May, 42 in April, 46 in March, 132 in February and 73 in January giving me a total of 884 posts for 2020 so far.  I did not seem all that different from my past years that I spent here on WordPress, but I lost some followers and I gained some new ones.  I stopped following a few people, most of them were not reading my posts, so I dropped them from my Reader.  I started participating in some new challenges this year, like this one Blogging Insights and Dr. Tanya’s other challenge 5 Things.  Paula’s 6 Degrees challenge and her new one Tuesday Story were both challenges that I tried this year and I always try not to miss her Thursday Inspiration, but I have missed a few as I have only participated in 74 of her 88 prompts so far.  If anything changed for me this year, I would say that I have become pickier about which writing challenges I get involved in.

I guess I had so many posts last February because I participated in Fandango’s FFE Daily Adage and Bee’s Love Is In Da Blog challenge, which gave me 58 posts.  Fandango ran a Dog Days challenge in August and I think that I caught all of them.  I started writing in Melanie’s Share Your World challenge this year, but I don’t participate every week, as sometimes the questions just don’t strike the right chord with me.  Another new challenge that I just started writing in is Christine’s Simply 6 Minutes which is always fun.  Sadje’s What Do You See challenge was a new one for me also along with Linda’s What Day is it Anyway challenge.

What have you been posting about most frequently in 2020?
Music and I like to mock Trump.

Please share links to a few of your favorite posts from this year.
I have no idea where to start with this, as once I write something, I move on to the next challenge or prompt.  I think that most of my posts are good, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered writing them, so I went to my Site Stats and I displayed my top most popular posts for 2020, which created a list of how many times they were viewed, but most of my top posts on this list were not from this year and maybe that means that my writing is deteriorating or on the decline.

My Mother Was a Prostitute got 137 Views and I wrote this for the FFE Daily Adage with the prompt, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”, but this was actually a story from my second book and I finished it off with the Animals ‘House of the Rising Sun’ video.  I think it was only popular because of the title, but I did get several Likes and some very nice Comments.

My post Sixteen Parkside Lane was very popular getting 209 Views and I wrote this for a Song Lyric Sunday challenge where the prompt was Tom/Dick/Harry.  It was written about the Harry Chapin song ‘Taxi’ and it received 21 Likes and a lot of lovely comments.

LSD and Jerry Garcia may have been my most popular post of 2020, as this got 241 Views, however this does not include my Song Lyric Sunday hosting prompt posts which always do well.  This was a long post being over 3,000 words and it was not a response to a prompt.  I talked about the Grateful Dead playing at Ken Kesey’s acid tests and the women that were in Jerry Garcia’s life.  I threw in a few videos and it got 22 Likes and some lovely Comments as well.

Written for Blogging Insights #61 Looking Back at 2020 by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with our 2020 blogging experience.

Assemble Classify and Sort

How organized are you when it comes to blogging? Do you have a blog schedule or do you play it by the ear?
I write all of my posts in Microsoft Word and they are organized in folders according to prompts that they were written to satisfy, which match the Categories and Tags that I use for WordPress.  I understand that categories are general labels, while tags are more specific, but I can’t be bothered with all of those details, so my categories are exactly the same as my tags.  Supposedly this organization makes it easier for the reader, but I don’t see it and I am looking for things that make it easier for the writer.  I write for my own enjoyment and I have never used category or tag searches on any other blogger’s posts, so I really don’t see how this helps anyone.  If some users don’t find my posts in their searches because of the way my categories and tags are organized, that is no skin off of my back.

How often do you ‘tidy up’ your blog? e.g. go through your Drafts Folder, or go through old posts checking for broken links etc.?
None of my Drafts stay around for very long, as when I write something, I want to post it, except for some of the challenges that I run and although they are written, they need to be released at specific times.  I know that there are a lot of broken links in many of my old posts, usually Youtube videos that have been taken down, but I have better things to do with my time than going back to review old posts and fix broken links.

Written for Blogging Insights #60 by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with blogging organization.

What You See is What You Get

Is your blogging personality the same as your real-life personality?  If not, how is blogging you different from real you, and why?

I am basically the same person as can be seen in my blog, although there are some things about my life that I have never shared before.  For instance, did you know that I was down on my luck after being out of work for a while and when my unemployment benefits expired, I was evicted from my apartment.  I could have stayed at the shelter, but when I checked it out, it looked nasty, so I slept in my car for a while.  I drove to the 24-hour Walmart and stayed in the parking lot till the police kicked me out.  I could go in and use their facilities and get food and drinks to bring back to my car, but this girl that I had dated called the cops on me, telling them that she thought that I might commit suicide.  That was the last thing on my mind, but when the cops confronted me, they discovered that my insurance had expired and they told me to move on unless I wanted a ticket.

Another time I was once fired for sexual harassment, because this company had a zero-tolerance policy and this girl complained about me.  I had a pain in my leg and I called my doctor from work to make an appointment, but the nurse said that she could just call in a prescription for me and I could go to the pharmacy to pick it up with out a doctor’s visit.  I asked the nurse what the prescription was and she said that it was for mulva.  I recognized mulva from someplace and then it came to me that this word was used on the Jerry Seinfeld show.

Jerry was dating this attractive woman whose name he cannot seem to remember, although she told him that she was relentlessly teased about her name in school, because it rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.  Typical Seinfeld, he feels that it is too awkward given the amount of time that they have spent together to simply ask her.  Jerry and George try to work out all the possible candidates that her name could be, and George suggests Mulva, as that rhymes with vulva.  I thought this was a funny story, so I went around the office telling people about that Seinfeld episode.  This girl took offence and told me not to tell that story any more, but I told a few more people anyway.  She went to personal and I was fired on the spot.  The odd thig was that this girl used to tell me stories about her sleeping over her boyfriend’s house and waking up to discover that his dog was chewing on her panties and I felt that this was much more sexual than anything that I ever said.

Written for Blogging Insights #59 by Dr. Tanya, where this week she is concerned with your blogging persona.