How many Followers and Hits do you get each day? This is a very popular question on the “Off Topic” Forum. I am always a little surprised at the numbers given.
Publishing The Creative Outpost six months ago, my goal was to share some thoughts and experiences while trying my hand at some creative writing. Then the bug hit. The obsession to see how many hits I could get with each new posting. I found myself spending literally hours on one post trying to make sure it was perfect. Some of the criteria for my posts; it had to be creative, funny and sometimes dramatic without the dreaded writing errors. A new post was expected almost daily, and of course the ultimate dream was to become Freshly Pressed!
A few months into my journey, I realized that my blog was beginning to feel like that four letter word, “work”. With experience came the realization that for most people huge stats are not based solely on having a quality site, but are also a result of networking. Networking largely consist of reading as many blogs as possible, commenting and being active on the *WordPress Forums.
Six months later, I now write for the sheer pleasure of it. I positively do not box myself in with a particular theme for branding purposes.
I will never achieve fame and fortune from The Creative Outpost, but I will continue to gain pleasure and pride in my writing. The relationships that I have gained, in the WordPress community, truly means the world to me. When I get a notice in my Inbox that a fellow blogger has posted, I eagerly read it because I want to, and not because I want higher stats.
*Joining in on the forums should be approached with caution!
Image via Wikipedia
We have all experienced being bullied in our lives. Sometimes we are the victims and sometimes the aggressor. What spurs people to bully? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? If we are bullied as children are we more likely to become a bully as an adult?
My 12-year-old son was bullied unmercifully last year at school. As seen in recent media this is a common occurrence that theoretically is no longer tolerated. I called the school and addressed the situation to no avail. Eventually, you give your child tools to help them navigate through those situations. You also tell your child that it will get better when they are adults. It doesn’t, but how we choose to deal with it does.
Recently, I have noticed a new outlet for bullies. Forum bullies. As a newbie, I have been more of an observer on the forum then a participator. Everyone starts posting with the belief and intent to share their ideas or feelings with others. Whether it is philosophy or the daily trials and tribulations, we share and hope others take away something from it. So we post and wait with abated breath for the comments and followers to come. Then you hear it, the cricket sound, “chirp chirp.” Now I have to admit, I have been pleasantly surprised at the response my posts have received. Much to my chagrin, the smallest of affirmations, sends my happy meter through the roof!
Like most of us, I decided to venture into the forum. After all, what better way to spend our time then with others we share a common passion! Most of us decide to join in the fray of commentary on the forum and our first question is usually the same. “How do I get followers?” Now if you are one of the unlucky ones, you make the mistake of typing in all caps, “PLEASE READ MY NEW BLOG.” This is a huge mistake. You will immediately get a response back asking why you are typing in all caps because this is akin to shouting in blogger’s language. Among other common newbie errors is asking for instructions. This question will bring on a resounding response of, “there are tutorials provided by WordPress or figure it out yourself!” You might even hear a rapid-firing of vents from an experienced blogger complaining about how when they started out they had to figure it all out for themselves and maybe you should get off your butt and give that a try. Any of this sound familiar?
Experienced bloggers post a wealth of knowledge and lively entertainment and do deserve admiration and respect. Forum bullies should be ignored and not rewarded. What is the reward of being a forum bully? Are people sitting in their pajamas with a hot steaming cup of coffee just waiting to pounce and show their state of superiority? Does one gain pleasure from this activity? I may never know the answer, but I think we should support and teach one another. If I ever become an experienced blogger, I hope that I can share my knowledge and make the transitions for a newbie a little less painful. I am but one person, but I will continue to be supportive and kind and if that makes me weak then so be it. I look forward to reading everyone’s blogs from experienced writers to newbies and will continue to participate in the forum. Now in summary, I say to all my fellow newbies, “BLOG ON!”
disclaimer: Not all experienced bloggers are bullies
I was watching a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy, and they were listing five things about their loved ones that other people may not know, so I decided to make my own list of my sons and I.
Wyatt (age 10):
1. He likes for doors to be shut in the house, even when there is no one in the room, like the bathroom.
2. He hates to be dirty.
3. He loves to be around little kids and is extremely patient with them.
4. He gives the best back-rubs of any person I know.
5. He likes black ankle socks.
Hunter (age 13)
1. He acts out scenes from movies, like being possessed.
2. He is the most well-adjusted person I know regardless of what is thrown his way.
3. He can speak in a British accent to perfection.
4. He pays attention to his nutrition.
5. He loves the movie, “The Notebook”.
Chris (age 38)
1. I like for my home to be clean with things in its place.
2. I sucked my thumb as a child and still have a favorite blanky.
3. I have a desire to meet people from different places in the world and wonder what their lives are like from day-to-day.
4. I haven’t seen or spoken to my mother in three years.
5. I follow rules and always do the speed limit.
Floating in a cocoon of warmth and contentment.
Then the first stirrings of fear.
Chest is constricted and squeezed, sputtering and drowning.
Unsure of what is causing the new sensations but there is no doubt they are significant.
The squeezing and choking sensations are too much.
The overpowering feeling of being pulled in one direction.
Then the light, bright and foreign.
Movement toward the light.
Gone is the feeling of security, these sensations are all new.
Bright, and now so cold and loud!!!
It started off quite unexpected. A smoldering fire perhaps. The thoughts and feelings seeped into my mind one night. The following morning I had made a decision to just go for it. I made a phone call and my life changed forever.
Why couldn’t I be a homeowner? I had always paid my bills on time and had a job I loved. The bank immediately pre approved me, so my next step was finding my very own realtor. My banker was very helpful and gave me a number of a woman who would fit the bill.
Ruth, my realtor, spoke in detail with me while gathering information about my needs. I wanted something I could afford and something my boys would have plenty of room. After looking through several homes she called with an address. I couldn’t wait to leave work that day to meet her. You just never know when you will find “the one!”
I was enchanted by the little neighborhood on a dead-end street. I pulled up to the house with the For Sale sign posted out front. It was so adorable. I held my breath as I opened the door.
It was a perfect three bedroom home boasting fresh paint, carpet, tiling, countertops and fixtures. And as if that wasn’t perfect enough I walked out the back door to a huge deck with a fenced-in yard. And thus my love affair began. I am actually In-Love with my house.
I have not forgotten my first love, creative writing. The whole process of owning a home has been very time-consuming. I plan to start publishing stories weekly :)