Merry Saturday, my good readers, and welcome back: Sometimes I’m a Story is back in business!
As you may remember from my last post, I’ve been out this last week, taking a break and focusing on being a fan more than a writer. I’ve got to say, it was a GREAT idea, and I am very, very, very glad I did it.
I’d like to share some of my experiences with you, if you don’t mind—if you’ve been following on Facebook you know I’ve run into some pretty cool blogs during my travels. But I didn’t exactly share what all happened.
- I must read every blog post I run into
- I must comment on every blog post I read (if I haven’t already)
- I must click on every link that leads to another blog post (videos, book sites, and other websites exempt)
- I must comment on the blogs of every person who leaves a comment on MY blog, regardless of whether they leave a link or not (I kind of forgot about this one so I’ll have to do apology comments later… oops)
- I must post at least 3 particularly useful or interesting posts on the Facebook page daily
- I must put all the links on Pinterest
On the first day I came up with a number of guidelines, and I was to follow them. They’ve morphed a little, but this is the gist of what I had to do—if you got a comment from me over the last week, you can be sure that I actually read your post and left my comment for a reason.
Likewise, I had a spreadsheet to keep of everything I read over the coming days. Every day I recorded where I had been, a little snippet to help me remember what was in the blog post, whether I had commented, and whether I had shared it. I also kept a sheet open for a reading list (for the days when I was crunched for time), as well as other notes and blogs I might be interested in following.
And, lastly, I set up a Pinterest board (look to your right) where I would put every blog post I read. I know it’s not the best platform, but the folder method works best for me. I’ll leave it up through Sunday night, in case you want to take a look.
Things I Learned
- there is an insane amount of social media a body can use—the more you have, the greater a likelihood you will connect with someone
- it’s okay to not comment, especially if you don’t have anything to say or you don’t think you would be welcomed there
- a writing voice will either draw readers in or push them away—especially condescending voices
- there is not a lot of blogging that happens on Sundays
- spending a lot of time with people, even digitally, can be exhausting
- blogging stories (‘how I started blogging’) are really, really cool
- a blog post shared at the right time can change a person’s situation
- (i.e. Imogen Elvis sharing a post that inspired me to write almost 2,000 words instead of giving up at 300)
- I don’t know how to use Twitter and there’s a possibility I should use Bloglovin’
- I love Pinterest
- It’s excellent to have a blog to come home to, rather than ending this week with mere exhuastion
Things You Can Do as a Blogger
- write blog posts, so you can start connecting
- connect with other bloggers—especially if it’s just a hobby, then one benefit of this work is to spend time with like-minded individuals
- linkup with other bloggers, and if you linkup, then take the time to look at those who are linking up as well
- I have found a good handful of blogs I’m interested in now because of linkups
- promote other bloggers (and not just so that they’ll promote you back)
- make your own posts easy to share, and be sure to have a suitable picture of yourself or a logo in your sidebar, in case the post pictures don’t come through
- also, posts with pictures are more fun to look at
- be yourself, tell stories, and share what you know
- remember you never know who needs to hear what you have to say
Things You Can Do as a Reader
- keep your hand OFF the mouse while you’re reading—actually take the time to engage in what you’re reading
- if you’re going to say thank you, which I don’t have a problem with, be really specific about why you’re grateful
- “thanks for sharing!” isn’t nearly as personal as “Using underwear as hats never occurred to me before. Thanks for giving me a new perspective on style!”
- return to comments; you may be able to have a really great conversation!
- share blog posts you loved with your friends
- read posts in the right mindset—if there’s something else that’s bugging you to the point where you can’t even focus on the thing you’re reading, then save it for later and come back when you can leave sincere comments again
- challenge yourself, hunt down the occasional odd post
- remember you never know who needs to hear that you care
|Flickr Credit: United Nations Photo|
Ultimately, on a blog we have the same kind of roles: writers and readers. And there’s a delicate balance between the two, even within one person. But the writer says something, and that’s why they post it. The reader gets something out of it, and that’s why they comment.
Which is pretty much discussion.
Both roles matter on a good blog: I’ve noticed that some of the best bloggers consistently reply to their commenters, go the extra mile to approach their readers, and even go so far as to write posts with their readers in mind. And the best readers are there to respond, give feedback, and to be the writer’s biggest fans.
Other Things That Happened
- I reached the halfway mark in the superhero novel I’m currently working on (50,000 words on Friday :) )
- I’ve been reading a manuscript from a girl in my GTW critique group
- I paid some attention to Wandering in a Blur
- I watched Meet the Robinsons
- I thought about stuff… and with that will come some changes
- I’ve realized that I don’t want SIAS to be a book blog, per se, but rather a story blog, which means I’m probably not going to post Thursentaries as often
- I really kind of want to do an ‘Ask a Character’ post, because those look fun (chimeras, maybe?)
- Reading people’s blogging stories is kind of awesome, and always gets me—it might be cool to get a collection of the reasons people blog and how they got here
- not sure how much interest level there would be in that
- I think I might want to do more book analysis than review, because that’s what I usually fangirl about
- again, not sure how much interest there would be in that sort of thing
- there’s a lot of material out there, and once again, I feel like I’m grasping at the threads of a possible idea
- but the balance between what is interesting and what I am good at writing again eludes me
So… 200+ blog posts. 7 days. Too many stories to tell. But, if you’re curious to learn more about my adventures you can definitely check out my spreadsheet and the Facebook page, and ask me questions because blogging is indeed about conversations.
Oh, and one more thing:
Thank you for reading.
Whether you’re just visiting or you’ve suck around the last several months, this last week has shown me that blogging is infinitely more fun when it’s a reciprocal event. And if you weren’t here, then I’d be reciprocation-less.
So thank you. It's good to be back.