I Write Therefore I Can…

cropped-ID-10098730.jpg    I thought before I zipped up my suitcases and head off to the airport tomorrow for wonderful Ireland, I would post a quick article about my favorite topic…. writing.

Everyone has a story and it’s how you get that story out that will determine how well it does.  Now I don’t consider myself a great writer and  I don’t have a vast library of descriptive words that I fill my pages with.  Personally I enjoy reading a book that I don’t have to have a dictionary beside me just to understand what the author is talking about.  There is nothing worse than starting to read a book only to get half way through it and not know what the heck the author is talking about.

In my constant search for information, it boggles my mind how many websites there are out there about writing.  Everyone has an opinion about something and if you ask ten people how to write a book, you will get ten different answers. What works for one, does not work for another, and that’s okay. Personally, I prefer a very simple approach and these points that I found pretty much sum up how I go about my writing.

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Get an idea. You need to get the idea, or else you won’t have a book at all. So when you’ve got the idea, look at it and think, “Could that make the book I have been dreaming about?”. Look at it very closely so that you can get more ideas about the book. Turn it around, see what it’s like at the back and the front and see the blurb and the pictures if any are in the book.
Write down your idea. You also need to write down your goal for it and a few things about what you want it to do. How long do you want it to be? How long is each chapter? What names for characters will you be using? Who will be reading it? Will you have chapters? What genre is it? Will it be told from a character’s point of view, or from the view of the author? There are lots of things that factor into your final story.
Now you’re ready to write. Get out a pen and some paper, or type on the computer. Writing the first chapter is very important. Write it carefully, as it could be the most important piece of the book; people often find a new idea around the second chapter. You should put this down in another document named ‘ideas’. Try to think of ideas throughout your day. Make sure that you write.
Space your story out. Keep writing but keep record of how many pages you’ve got in a chapter. The usual fantasy story would have about seven computerised pages a chapter and 250 pages in the book, with roughly 5/6/7 chapters. That should stretch your story out nicely.
Once you’ve got your story done, look over it twice yourself. What do you think. Whatever you do, don’t compare it to professional authors books, because those authors have a lot of experience. If you show friends or family, they’ll probably tell you it’s great. A good idea is to email your story to a friend and say that an author named Teddy Fitzgerald, who lives in Bulgaria, wrote it. It’s just so mad it just might work..
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After that it’s up to you whether you want to self-publish  or find publisher.  Whatever you choose, be proud of what you did.
Enjoy and Happy Writing

So You’re a Writer….

Having just entered into this wonderful new world, I am constantly reading and learning new things every day.  No- I am not an experienced writer by any means nor do I really think I am very good.  Plain and simple, I just like to write.

So in my search to learn how to write the next best seller, I came across some great sites that have helped me. One of the most important things I have learned is you have to have a plan.  Before I discovered this, I would sit down, start writing and words would flow but then I would lose track of what I was writing about, things would get jumbled and I would give up.  Now, I get an idea in my head, write down a few paragraphs about what my story will be about, make a list of the characters I want involved in my story, then I break it down into chapters.  I try to follow this as much as possible and some chapters are easier to write than others.  I also find that sometimes when I am writing a chapter, I will have a lot more to write about and ideas will come to me as I write – But that is okay.  If you have an idea as to where your story is going, that is half the battle.

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Will I ever be famous – doubt it, but at least I am having fun trying.  I thought I would share a web page that I have found useful along my writing journey.  It has really helped me.  Everyone has a story inside of them, you just have to get it out.   Happy Writing.

10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book

Step Up Parenting

Schoolchildren (14-16) having paper fight in classroom

Wow – it has been a while hasn’t it.  Sorry about that.  Have been a bit busy with, for want of another word, Life…  There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do the things I want to do.  Between, working, writing, planning, summarizing, editing, cooking, cleaning, being a wife, and mother and trying to slip in a few extra minutes to myself here and there, days are definitely not long enough.  The great thing is we are leaving for our vacation in a few days, and I can’t wait.  The green hills of Ireland are calling me.  It’s going to be fantastic.  Just me, my hubby, no work, no phones, and no kids…Just Us.

So, other than promising to write in my blog more,  there was a situation this past week that involved my daughter, that got me thinking –  there is a Rant needing to get out. She is 21 and away for her 3rd summer working as a Sous-Chef at a summer camp.  I am pretty proud of her.  After graduating from College in the Baking and Pastry Arts Program 3 years ago, she has decided that this is not the career she wanted and made the decision to go back to school in the fall in an Animal Care Program so she can work with animals, possibly in a zoo or in wildlife conservation.   Anyway, I digress.  The reason for my post is to talk about parenting these days. I have raised two children, and I taught them that they must work hard to get anywhere and most of all they must respect people, especially people of authority.  Two summers in a row now, my daughter has had summer students come up to work at the camp.  They are around 16-17, fresh out of High School and the degree of maturity and respect are definitely lacking.  My daughter has told me about several situations, where girls have bullied other girls in the kitchen, where my daughter and the Chef have had to speak to them several times on their attitude in the kitchen, where they talk back to those in charge, give attitude, roll their eyes when told to do something, give attitude when reminded of chores they have to do and basically talk about people behind their backs.  I am a firm believer that teenager’s actions reflect their home life, and I have to scratch my head when I think, what are parents doing nowadays.  Are they so immersed in their cell phones or their lives, that they let their children run free?  What ever happened to being punished when you spoke back to someone?  That you respected a person you knew was your superior, and  made sure the job was done to the best of your ability, whether you liked it or not.

This past week, the camp has had to let two girls go because of bullying and attitude and apparently before they left they bad mouthed the Chef and my daughter to anyone who would listen, including writing a two-page letter to the catering company filled with lies about the kitchen. Like who does this? Where do they learn this behavior? Their parents come and pick them up with no questions asked. If that were me, I would want to speak to someone to find out what took place. There are two sides to every story. I have never been one to think my children are perfect or have I ever let on that they were. Whenever there was a situation that involved them when they were in school, I made sure I listened to both sides, and I can usually tell when my kids were lying to me. If I felt my kids were being treated unfairly, I would say so, but if I knew my kids were at fault, they would be punished, and I made sure they never did it again.

Parents get off your Asses and start taking charge. Stop trying to be your kid’s friend and man up….be a parent. These, rude, obnoxious, disrespectful bullies that you are raising are our future. Are these the type of people you want to unleash into society?

Personally, I want people to talk favorably about my children after they have left a workplace and as a mother, hearing good things about my son or daughter, is what makes me know, as a parent, I did a great job.

What about some other parents out there. What are your views on how children are raised these days?  Would love to hear them.

Until then…..Keep Writing.

I Finally Did It

I wrote a book.  It might not be perfect, but it is mine – all mine.

I have been ghostwriting Amish Romance Novels for quite a while now, and my husband told me I should think about doing my own book.  I kind of laughed when he first mentioned it thinking – Yea no way I could ever do that. Then I started doing some research on the popularity of Amish Romance and found out it is HOT.  Women love these clean romance novels. So by doing my searching, I then found by accident, the books I had been ghostwriting and I started reading the reviews.  Now the author changed the names and added a few details to the books but the story is mine, but the reviews were all 5 stars so it really got me thinking.

Long story short – I did it.  Not sure where this will go, but it has opened my writer’s gate and the floods of ideas are coming faster than I can handle it.

https://www.amazon.ca/Amelia-Part-1-Two-Brothers-ebook/dp/B01I3TX41Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467981035&sr=8-1&keywords=Leah+Miller

 

 

Writing – Finding your Niche

cropped-cropped-mom-write-e1457650254439-1.jpg  So I have been unhappy with my blog the last little while.  Well maybe unhappy is not the right word because I was actually happy with it,  let’s say I was unsatisfied with it. It didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  I have been reading lots of articles about blogging and from what I understand, to have a successful blog you must find your “Niche”.  That one little thing in your life that you are good at, passionate about and can write about continuously.  My blog originally started off as just a way for me to write and get over the fear of putting words to paper but I found I soon became bored with that.  I wanted to find my Niche – so with much soul searching I have come to the decision that my blog will be about writing.  My experiences, my frustrations,  tips and tricks, interviews and other such articles. Writing is something I have always enjoyed but never did a lot of.  I had all these stories floating around in my brain, toying with me but every time I would sit down to write they would play a annoying game of hide and seek in my brain.  It wasn’t until I found a site for freelance writers that the words started to flow and the stories have come out.   I have been ghostwriting now for a little under a year and have been really enjoying.  It has allowed me to come out of my shell, gain my confidence and let my imagination run wild.  I may not be the best writer but I am learning and getting braver and braver.  As with anything they say research is the key and I have been doing quite a bit, bookmarking websites, pinning pins on Pinterest  any article or information I have found on writing.  There is a plethora of information out that which at times can be overwhelming.  One particular article I read I found very interesting and helpful.  It was an article by Stephen King who is well know in the industry.  I thought I would share with you, because everything he says makes perfect sense to me and it might help someone else along the way.

1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible.

If you’re just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go. It’s “poisonous to creativity,” he says. Writers need to look into themselves and turn toward the life of the imagination.

To do so, they should read as much as they can. King takes a book with him everywhere he goes, and even reads during meals. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” he says. Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with.

King compares writing fiction to crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub, because in both, “there’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.” Not only will you doubt yourself, but other people will doubt you, too. “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all,” writes King.

Oftentimes, you have to continue writing even when you don’t feel like it. “Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea,” he writes. And when you fail, King suggests that you remain positive. “Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”

3. Don’t waste time trying to please people.

According to King, rudeness should be the least of your concerns. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway,” he writes. King used to be ashamed of what he wrote, especially after receiving angry letters accusing him of being bigoted, homophobic, murderous, and even psychopathic.

By the age of 40, he realized that every decent writer has been accused of being a waste of talent. King has definitely come to terms with it. He writes, “If you disapprove, I can only shrug my shoulders. It’s what I have.” You can’t please all of your readers all the time, so King advises that you stop worrying.

4. Write primarily for yourself.

You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfillment. As King says, “I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

Writer Kurt Vonnegut provides a similar insight: “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about,” he says. “It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

5. Tackle the things that are hardest to write.

“The most important things are the hardest things to say,” writes King. “They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings.” Most great pieces of writing are preceded with hours of thought. In King’s mind, “Writing is refined thinking.”

When tackling difficult issues, make sure you dig deeply. King says, “Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground … Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world.” Writers should be like archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.

6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world.

Writing should be a fully intimate activity. Put your desk in the corner of the room, and eliminate all possible distractions, from phones to open windows. King advises, “Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open.”

You should maintain total privacy between you and your work. Writing a first draft is “completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.”

7. Don’t be pretentious.

“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones,” says King. He compares this mistake to dressing up a household pet in evening clothes — both the pet and the owner are embarrassed, because it’s completely excessive.

As iconic businessman David Ogilvy writes in a memo to his employees, “Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” Furthermore, don’t use symbols unless necessary. “Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity,” writes King.

8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs.

As King emphasizes several times in his memoir, “the adverb is not your friend.” In fact, he believes that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs” and compares them to dandelions that ruin your lawn. Adverbs are worst after “he said” and “she said” — those phrases are best left unadorned.

You should also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story. “Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say,” says King.

9. Don’t get overly caught up in grammar.

According to King, writing is primarily about seduction, not precision. “Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes,” writes King. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.” You should strive to make the reader forget that he or she is reading a story at all.

10. Master the art of description.

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s,” writes King. The important part isn’t writing enough, but limiting how much you say. Visualize what you want your reader to experience, and then translate what you see in your mind into words on the page. You need to describe things “in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition,” he says.

The key to good description is clarity, both in observation and in writing. Use fresh images and simple vocabulary to avoid exhausting your reader. “In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling,” notes King.

Dreams do come true …..

2901 - Straight Ahead
Dreams do come true

This is a story about music. Not only is it about music, it is about the love of music.  It is about the creation of something so powerful that people will flock to buy, download and at times steal just to listen to it.  It is also about dreams.  Dreams, that a man had one day to let the world know about his music.  It is about perseverance, dedication, stubbornness, satisfaction and pure unadulterated joy.

This story is about my husband, a man who loves music and a man who fulfilled two dreams he had despite the odds against him and all those who said he could never do it.

Not only does he love to play the guitar, he also loves to write lyrics and over the years, he has written several songs, which are filed away in a big white lyric binder in his office. Of all those pages of lyrics, four of them had special meaning to him and he felt they needed to be set to music and heard.  He believed in them and he believed that the lyrics were powerful enough to have an impact in the music world.  Different bands that he had formed over the years performed the songs at some of the smaller gigs they played and they were always met with great applause from the various audiences.

Fulfilling his first dream to play live was crossed off his list several years ago, when he had the opportunity to play at a Woodstock type concert in a small town called Ettyville, Ontario. Even though it took him a few Mikes Hard Lemonades to get up on stage, once there, he didn’t want the evening to end.

His next dream was to record a CD with four of his original songs. Whether the CD was ever played anywhere, didn’t matter. He just wanted something that he could look back on and say – I Did This.

Bands come and go and life has a habit of getting in the way, so the dream of recording had to be put on hold for a while. The idea of recording was brought up to one of the bands he had played in but all the band members felt they weren’t good enough to record not to mention the cost that was involved.  Being a very stubborn man (yes, stubborn) he decided he would take a different route.  He hired a music producer who brought in session musicians and a singer.  Hiring Steve Foley of Audio Valley Recording in Ottawa, was one of the best decisions he made.  Brian brought him the clay and Steve molded them into masterpieces.

The CD – 2901 – Straight Ahead contains four songs, full of meaning and emotion.

Tip of My Soul is a tribute to musicians like Buddy Holly, Ronnie Van Zant and all other artists who left us either by accident or by self destruction and even Brian’s  Mother who died of cancer way to young. He believes that any talent he has was bestowed on him by his Mother who made sure that her son not only played a musical instrument but played it well.

Jagged Glass, also named after a band he played in for a while was written as a result of being in a very difficult and painful relationship, and his message to anyone entering into one is to tread slowly, stand your ground, be yourself, and don’t tolerate bullshit that gets thrown your way.

Loud as Hell is a result of dealing with a table full of bullies at a wedding he was photographing, who constantly badgered him about the fact he wasn’t smiling and also from the constant reminders from his band mates that his amp was too loud, which Brian would always replay – It can never be TOO LOUD.

Straight Ahead was inspired by the 3 long term relationships in his life, the transitions between these relationships, the mistakes he freely admits he made along the way, and finally finding that one person who completed him and how now after all these years, he can finally move Straight Ahead.

I am so very proud of my husband. Most people have dreams they never fulfill and as they grow older they look back on their lives and have many regrets. My husband had a dream and he made it happen.  He had to sacrifice a lot to get there, but he did it.  There were some brick walls along the way that had to be pushed down, but that never stopped him.  He never gave up.  Every time I listen to these four songs, I feel nothing but pride.

Please consider  downloading the EP  and the sale of the CD will be coming soon on Amazon – and if you love the music, please spread the word. I believe in these songs and I believe the world needs to hear them. The only thing I ask, is when you listen to them – play them Loud as Hell.

Please Click to 2901 WebPage  to download

Life Keeps Getting In My Way, Damnit

mom writeSo another week that has been crazy busy and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.  I was desperately trying to come up with a Blog Post that would be both interesting and titillating but damn if I could come up with anything.   So I was sitting pondering in the five or so minutes I have in the morning to think about these kinds of things when it hit me – I will post a sample of a book I have been working on.  It is kind of like my test book to find out just how hard self publishing is.  I don’t expect it to go anywhere, just want to try it and I certainly don’t want to attempt self publishing with my Wedding Book I have been working so hard on.  So, without further ado,  I bring you a teaser from my book I call Lies of Lace – (at least that is what I am calling it now, it very well may change.)   It is going to be about a women who is very promiscuous until she finally meets that one man who won’t bend for her.  Desperately wanting to add him to her list of conquests, she discovers that she has broken her first rule and this is – Don’t fall in love.  Will she forget her wicked ways and settle for just one man, or will she continue on her path of self destruction.

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Rebecca stood in the lobby waiting for the elevator to arrive. Come on damn it, she muttered to herself as she pressed the up button for the 5th time.  Finally, the doors opened and she went inside and angrily pressed the 9th floor button. Arriving at her floor, she dodged her way to her office, hoping no one noticed she was late.  Turning on her computer, she quickly scanned her emails to check if there was anything important.  Yawning she sat back in her chair and took  a few moments to catch her breath.  Thinking back on her evening, she smiled to herself. I really need to stop doing that, she thought to herself, but he was kinda cute. Rebecca and her friend had gone out last night for drinks after work.  After a few too many, they struck up a conversation with a fellow who was in town on business.  He was your typical tall, dark and handsome and he immediately took a shine to Rebecca.  Sensing that three was a crowd, Rebecca’s friend said her goodbyes and headed home.  Rebecca stayed, enjoying the sexual banter that was going back and forth between them.  Before she knew it, they were back at his hotel and the rest of the night was spent in a marathon of hot steamy sex.  Smiling, she thought to herself, I wish I could remember if he was any good. Rubbing her temples, she really hoped the throbbing in her head would go away.

“Hey Becca, you coming to the staff meeting,” Paul, one of her coworkers said popping his head in her doorway.

“Oh Shit, ya. I completely forgot about it,” she said slipping her shoes back on and grapping a pen and pad.

Entering the boardroom, Rebecca took one of the last seats available. The smell of cheap aftershave in the room always reminded her of her grandfather and jelly beans.  She felt her stomach do a summersault and poured herself a glass of water, hoping that would settle it.  She hated these meetings.  All everyone did was sit around and listen to the Director go on and on about useless crap that really didn’t matter.  When it came time for the roundtable, everyone was so bored; no one had anything to say. Looking around the table, she discovered she was sitting across from one of the most eligible bachelors in the office.  Corey had been with the company for less than a year and still had not come out on one of their bar hopping excursions that had become so popular.  Staring at him, Rebecca was hoping to at least make eye contact with him, maybe get a smile out of him.

“Good morning staff. Glad to see you could all make it,” Mr. Peterson said as he walked in and took his spot at the end of the table. At that point Rebecca tuned out. Hmm I wonder what he kisses like, Rebecca thought as she continued to glance at Corey across the table.  I bet he has muscles under that dress shirt.  I would love to undo each button with my mouth and then ….”

 “Rebecca, did you hear what I said,”

“Hum, no sorry,” Rebecca stammered realizing that everyone at the table was staring at her. “Sorry, Mr. Peterson, I was thinking about the report I am working on.”

“Well that’s what I was asking you. How is it coming?”

“Good, I should be finished today. I just have to make some edits and it will be good to go,” Rebecca said rather embarrassed at being the center of attention.

Once the meeting was adjourned, Rebecca grabbed her pad and headed back to her office. She had a full day ahead of her and needed some aspirin if she wanted to get anything done.  Grabbing two pills, she headed over to the water cooler to wash them down.

“Hey Rebecca, Jane was looking for you,” Paul said coming up to her. “She is in Production, something about the edits on the latest book or something like that.”

Nodding to Paul, “Thanks, I’ll head right over.”

Popping the pills into her mouth she washed them down with some water before she headed over to the Production Department.  Walking in  she saw Jane talking with Corey. They both looked up as she walked in.

“Hey, you were looking for me,” she asked.

“Morning. Corey and I were just going over the latest edits in the Anderson book and there seems to be some discrepancy with the wording of one of the sections.” Jane said. “Do you think you and Corey can put your heads together and come up with a solution?”

Looking at Corey, Rebecca smiled, “Yea sure. Corey, do you have some time today to go over this?”

“Yea sure, how about after lunch,” Corey said not looking up from the papers he was shuffling through.

Looking at Jane and shrugging, Rebecca said, “Perfect, see you at 1:00 then.”

Heading back to her office, Rebecca didn’t know why she felt excited but at the same time nervous about her meeting with Corey. Men normally tripped over each other to get to know her but for some reason, Corey hardly looked her way.  She always made it a rule to not sleep with anyone she worked with but for some reason, she looked at Corey as a challenge. She was bound and determined to add him to her list of bed partners one way or another.

Busy Weekend And Other Such Stuff…..

blog    Hello you wonderful people out there. It has been a crazy week and I have not bothered to update my blog. I shouldn”t say not bothered because that is not correct.  I have worried about not being able to update it.  I have just been too frikken busy.  It has been very hectic at my day job and I try to do as much writing as I can in the evenings.  I was working on (actually just finished today) another Amish Fiction Romance story, but this time I hit a brick wall in terms of where I wanted the story to go.  It felt like all my creativity disappeared and I couldn’t for the life of me, think of anything.  I would sit down at the laptop and pouffff, my mind would go blank.  Isn’t it  strange how that happens. This weekend, I sat down Saturday morning and it was as if the ideas started to flow like lava  – I managed to finish a 13,000 and some book in two days.   Isn’t it funny how that works?

For some of you thinking, Does this woman not have a life? I will explain.  My wonderful husband is on the waiting list for back surgery so his evenings and weekends are spent lying on the couch because the pain becomes too much to bear when he is standing or sitting.  He manages to go to work everyday but by the time he get home he heads straight to the couch for the remainder of the evening.  My heart breaks for him because he is an active guy and having to stay put on the couch is just tearing him up. But, one has to do what one has to do. I know once he has surgery, our lives will return to normal, so until then I have lots of time to write.

walking dead

Tonight is the season finale of The Walking Dead.  Must say, I am excited and nervous beyond anything I have ever experienced.  Who is going to die tonight?   I know I will be on pins and needles through out the show.

I was going to update my Weight Loss Page even though my week has not been as successful as I wanted it to be.  I have been eating healthy but  there was my husbands birthday on Wednesday and of course there was cake.  And with the cake there was ice cream.  And of course I had to have some so that threw my eating plan way off kilter.  I will make a point of sitting down tomorrow night and updating my page and hope for a better week.  tI will actually be grocery week so I can buy good healthy things for me to eat.

This brings me to another beef.  Adult children living at home.  And I can post this rant because my kids do not read anything I write.  Both my children are still living at home and going to school and the rules are that with them working strange hours I would be responsible for one meal and one meal only – Supper.  If they wanted things like Ice Cream or chips or snacks or lunch items – they could buy them themselves.  Is that reasonable?  After all, I am not a restaurant that caters to everyone’s taste.  My daughter is great – she will go to the grocery store  and pick herself up items that she wants and never complains.  My 22 year old son on the other hand will eat anything that he can get his hands on and that is free.  At 57  I have to hide my food. Trying to buy myself healthy choices is difficult and I feel like such a meany when I do buy something and I have to say to him – Don’t Touch It’s Mine.  As a Mom, we are used to providing for our children, making sure they have enough food so it is very hard to say NO you can’t have that.  My son will go to the grocery store to pick up a few things and he will come back with a bag of chips and a bottle of pepsi.  I wonder what his cupboards will be like when he finally moves out – two boxes of KDinner and a bag of chips. Hopefully if I get invited over to a meal, I won’t have to bring my own.

hiding food

 

 

To Blog Or Not To Blog – Is That The Question?

blogA couple of weeks have gone by since I made a serious effort to get my blog up and running.  I went through theme after theme trying to find the perfect one that just felt right.  Not understanding all the concepts, I turned to the wonderful people in some of the blogging communities I joined and asked questions as well as YouTube and the Internet.  Slowly I began to  understood a little more and blogging took on a whole new meaning to me.  I am by no means an expert and I still have a long ways to go, but I thought I would share a few things I have discovered in my journey.

  1. Blogging takes a lot of work.  It isn’t a matter of just setting up a page and writing in it every once in a while.  You have to interact with people and interact often.  Most important is to get your name out there.
  2. When I first started, I joined every blogging community I could find on Facebook.  I am not sure this was a smart thing to do because I soon became lost. Too many comments to comment on,  not remembering who I liked or followed.  I spent more time clicking peoples blogs only to discover I already followed them. I would have been smarter to maybe join one for beginners and work on that, then as I got more confident and experienced, join others.
  3. First thing I did was get my blog on every social media site I could find, Pinterest, Stumble etc. – not sure that was a smart thing to do  because I didn’t and still don’t understand how some of them work.  I think I would have been wiser to look into each site and fully learn how they work so I could interact properly.  These sites all have great benefits but if you don’t understand them, they are useless.
  4. Having a niche is very important.  Without one you are just  blogging for the sake of blogging.  If you are going to want people to follow you, you need to have something worthwhile for them to read and something interesting that makes them come back for more.
  5. Adsense isn’t going to make you lots of money.   Everyone wants to make money on their blog, well maybe not everyone but most, and I don’t expect to get rich with mine but I thought some pocket change would be nice.  So far with Adsense I have made a whopping 3 cents. – Yahooooo – am living the dream.
  6. There are a lot of great people out there.  Yes, there are.  Wonderful, helpful people who will answer questions and go out of their way to make sure you understand.
  7. You can like, follow and share all you want, if you don’t have good content on your blog, it will not go anywhere.   You have to walk the walk.  If people like or follow you, you have to make sure you like and follow them.
  8. If you are going to blog seriously, have a game plan.  Just don’t go into blogging without thinking it over or making a schedule.  Because I work full time and only do my blogging in the evenings and weekends, it is important that I have a plan.  I didn’t at first but realize now just how important it is.  Take some time to organize yourself so you know what nights (or days) you are going to do what.
  9. When ideas hit you, write them down.  There have been so many times I have been sitting on the bus or even sitting at work and an idea for a blog article will pop in my head and by the time I get home I have forgotten what it was or can’t find the words anymore for what I want to say.  I now make a point of writing it down or if I am on the bus, use my notebook feature on my cell phone.
  10. Don’t be afraid.  For years I never really wrote anything because I thought it sounded stupid, I didn’t think I was any good or I thought no one would want to read my rantings.  Now I wish I had started writing years ago.

So after making these discoveries, I have stepped back, taken a good look at my blog and made some changes.  Not sure it will help but I am bound and determined to make a go of it.

What has blogging done for me?  Well for one thing it has given me confidence.  Confidence to know that I have something worthwhile to say and people will listen.  It has improved my writing and allowed me the freedom to say what I feel and feel what I say.  It has given me courage to not be afraid to put words to paper or words to computer screen in this case.

Blogging is fun and it is also a lot of work.  Don’t give up – there are a lot of success stories out there and those are the ones that keep me going.

Happy Blogging to all you wonderful people out there.