A Marvelous Thing

I don’t see the internet as being a distraction and I use it all the time to help me with my writing, as it gives me access to information that is not inside of my head.  I guess if you are addicted to social media, then it would be a distraction, as you would be checking it all day long to see what your friends say about what is going on.  That is not me, as I am not on social media and I don’t have any friends, so the internet is a tool for me.  I went through some periods of my life where I was hooked on playing games and I couldn’t get away from my computer, but I have never played any online games.  I agree that distractions are not good for a writer, because when your train of thought is interrupted it could take a while for you to get back on track.  Although some distractions can also be a blessing, as they provide you with the opportunity to rethink and develop a new strategy.  Writing is a combination of talent and practice, but it also requires the willingness to complete a task and therefor you want to try to avoid any unnecessary interruptions.

Written for Blogging Insights #61 by Dr. Tanya where we are to consider this quote, “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet.”

Blogs Are Made Up of Posts

A post can be a piece of writing, an image, or any other content that you decide to publish online, which you are sharing with others.  Since a fool’s errand is a task or activity that has no hope of success and I have just defined that blogs are made up of posts, the statement made by Michael Coniff saying, “Blogs are whatever we make them. Defining ‘Blog’ is a fool’s errand.”, seems to be contradictory to me, but I am always up for a challenge.  He is right that a blog can be whatever you make out of it, but it is not impossible to define what constitutes a blog.  I am far from being Shakespeare, but roses have thorns, and all men have faults, and people can love and hate, because we all live a bittersweet life.  My parting is not a sweet sorrow, and because I am addicted to blogging, I will be back tomorrow.  I won’t say farewell, or adieu, and I will just leave you, because blogging can be anything that you make out of it.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where she asked us to consider the Michael Coniff quote.

Don’t Force Your Writing

Once you figure out what you are going to write about, then look inside of yourself and stop wasting time.  Go with your gut instincts, leave your mind alone and jot your thoughts down.  You can always go back and edit it later, but while your ideas are fresh in your head, it is time to start writing.  Time rolls by like hurricanes, runnin’ after the subway train and don’t forget the pourin’ rain, because all of these things can end up being distractions.  Take the bull by the horns, buckle down and get it done, cross the Rubicon, face the music, and run the gauntlet.  Your article is not going to write itself and the only way for you to get anything done is by getting started.

Written for Blogging Insights new format #43 by Dr. Tanya, where we are being asked to consider the following Ray Bradbury quote, “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way”.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Sometimes I work Fandango into my stories, and I think that we have become really good friends, so there is no malicious intent on either part between us, as he even referred to me as his blogging buddy today.  I have indicated many times that I write for my own enjoyment, and I don’t consider the feelings of my prospective readers when I write a post.  Why should I?  If I lose a follower, or for heaven’s sake, I could lose all of my followers, is that going to keep me from writing?  I write and people are able to read what I write, and if they chose not to that is no skin off of my back.  I never know how a post is going to turn out, and I have written some stinkers, but I pick myself up and start all over again the next day.  Just like the Grateful Dead motto, “Takes time, you pick a place to go, just keep truckin’ on.”  I have no clue what my readers want, so I try hard to write as good as I can, putting my best foot forward and not looking back.  I think that everything that I write is beautiful in its own way.

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where Fandango has stepped in as the guest host and he has asked us to consider the following quote “You must write for yourself, above all.  That is your only hope of creating something beautiful.”

Vibrations Create Sound

Julia Child felt that the only way to learn how to cook was to start cooking and writing works the same way.  When Julia Child made a mistake, she always knew how to fix it and it is much easier to fix something that you write than it is to fix food.  You can’t expect your writing to be perfect, as it may never be, so you shouldn’t wait for perfection.  Get your thoughts written out, look them over and revise where you see it is necessary.  If you can get another set of eyes on your work, that would even be better.  If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, would the sound exist, if nobody was able to perceive it?  The same goes for your writing, and if it remains unpublished and nobody ever reads it, then you probably just wasted your time writing.  I have 3 unpublished books and I am not waiting for perfection, as I know that I will never achieve that.  My problem is that I don’t think the world is ready for me yet.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #37 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Margaret Atwood, which is “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.”

Blogging Distinction

Writing a blog is a creative way to spend your time and if you consider yourself to be a writer, this could be a productive experience for you.  Blogging topics are usually random, changing with the daily prompts, or wherever you derive your inspiration from, making this a more free-form style that is always subject to change.  It will allow you to try new things, but being exposed to new forms, does not have to make you more accident-prone, although you may stumble not knowing exactly what you are doing at times.  Blogging is certainly a less formal type of writing and that could help your writing to become more alive, but if you are not careful with the topics that you chose to blog about, it could also make you more boring.  Blogging is an outlet that allows you to share your words with others and your writing could be viewed like it is being broadcast out to the whole world.  I can see how someone trying to make a valid point about blogging would use a simile to make their description more emphatic or vivid, as they compare extreme sports with blogging.  Extreme sports have a way of evoking positive emotions from the athletes that participate in them, and this also happens sometimes when you are blogging.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #40 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Andrew Sullivan, which is “Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive.  It is, in many ways, writing out loud.”

Not An Online Journal

I see so many bloggers that like to write about every event in their day like as if other people actually care and want to hear about this.  They might write something like, “I walked my dog today and she made a really big poop, and I was so happy for her”, wtf that is totally boring and way too much information.  Some bloggers are compelled to write six or more posts every day and nobody’s life is that interesting, so keep this stuff to yourselves, as we all have our own problems.  I am not a very popular blogger and that doesn’t bother me at all, as I am happy to reside in the shadows.  I don’t think that a blog should be an online journal, but many bloggers do this, and they are way more successful than I am.  There seems to be an audience for everything, so people should continue doing whatever makes them happy.

A blog can be about your own experiences, observations, and it should include your own opinions, and if you want it to be a personal reflection of how you spent your time, that should be fine.  You can talk about having to go to the dentist because your tooth is hurting you, or that they have to take their car to the repair shop because their check engine idiot light lit up on your dashboard, but it can be so much more.  The best thing for me is the prompt challenges and although I only participate in a few of them, they do make blogging much more interesting.  If you allow likes and comments at the end of your blog, this is a great way to start conversations and get to meet other bloggers that you have things in common with.  I blog because I enjoy writing and I read other blogs to see what people have to say.  I have no idea why blogging became so popular, but I read a lot of other blogs, and that takes up as much of my time as writing my own posts does.  What you consume out of the blog that you read is dependent entirely on how interesting it was to you.  Let’s face it, some blogs are completely boring!

Written for Blogging Insights by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote which is “I believe the term ‘blog’ means more than an online journal. I believe a blog is a conversation. People go to blogs to read AND write, not just consume.” – Michael Arrington, TechCrunch.

Original Ideas

Bloggers are people that decide to share their thoughts with the world through writing, but like in all things, some are more talented than others.  Mark Twain once said, “There is no such thing as a new idea.  It is impossible.  We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”  I don’t believe this, but if this is true, then writers need to be creative with recycled ideas and present them in ways that are interesting.  I try to be unique by writing things that make my stories stand out and I hope that my readers will be able to find some personal meaning in them.  The philosopher John Locke stated that “all of our knowledge and ideas arise from experience”, so in order to be a good writer, you have to get a life.

Locke popularized the notion of “tabula rasa” which is Latin for blank slate and that the human mind receives knowledge and is formed because of experience alone, as infants are born without any pre-existing innate ideas that would serve them as a starting point.  Aristotle originated this idea saying, “The mind is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable though actually it is nothing until it has thought.  What it thinks must be in it just as characters may be said to be on a writing tablet on which, as yet nothing stands written: this is exactly what happens with the mind.”  Aristotle’s ideas went against what Plato thought to be true about the human mind and the soul existing before a person was born, so his ideas went unnoticed for years.

Let’s say that all people start out the same and we all have access to the same information, so it is our environment and genetics that make us unique from each other.  Creative use of language is a cognitive skill, necessarily rooted in the physical structures of the brain.  Given the extent to which our brains are hardwired for language, and the need that a writer has for storytelling, genetics must play a part, but not every writer will become Shakespeare.  Whether writing is genetic, environmental, or both, writers need to create their own style to set them apart from others and give them their own voice.  Writing is as much about what you say, as it is about the way that you say it.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #33 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Matt Wolfe which is There’s a lot of information out there for free, so you’ve got to figure out what makes your information different.”

What Good Is It

If you publish a book and nobody reads it, it is like the sound that nobody heard from the tree that fell in the forest.  Since sound is defined as our ability to perceive air vibrations, sound does not exist if we do not hear it.  Anyone who has the ability to write a book can self-publish it, but a new author will spend around $2,000 for the publishing fees.  These fees cover editing, cover design, formatting, marketing services and proofreading.  Picture books and graphic novels will be much more expensive, because this requires the publisher to do more work.  Almost no costs are applicable for blogging and people publish blogs every day, but the printed word will still be costly.

Reading is a preferred leisure activity for many individuals, so books are important if they become successful.  Over 3 million books are published each year, but very few become popular and less than 500 make it to the New York Times bestseller lists.  The average American reads 12 to 13 books per year, and book publishing is a huge industry in the U.S. because of this.  Books are sold in hardcovers and the cheaper paperbacks, and even less costly are the digital e-books and now we have audiobooks.  Printed books remain the preferred format for 65% of book readers in the U.S and most people prefer reading mystery, thriller or crime genres.  If your book is not successful, you can still call yourself an author, but it could be an expensive title to purchase.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #32 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Dick Costolo which is “The Internet destroyed most of the barriers to publication.  The cost of being a publisher dropped to almost zero with two interesting immediate results: anybody can publish, and more importantly, you can publish whatever you want.

My Focus

I try to focus on producing good content, which means that I do my research, before writing about anything.  I don’t give a flying fig about my readers, because I write for my own enjoyment and they can either read what I write, or not, as I consider ensuring reader satisfaction to be out of my control, so that is the last thing that I am going to worry about.  I only have 1,565 Followers and I don’t want or need any more and most of my Views come from my Song Lyric Sunday posts.  I do my thing and I get an average of 14 comments per post and an average of 16 likes per post and I realize that this is as popular as I am ever going to be.  I enjoy writing and I like being challenged, so I will continue blogging, but my readers have nothing to do with the content that I produce.

Written for Blogging Insights New Format #31 by Dr. Tanya where she asks us what we think about today’s quote by Brian Clark which is “Don’t focus on having a great blog.  Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.”