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Blogging How To's

Posted Sep 07 2010 12:00am

Lovely and patient Margaret sent me an email to ask two burning questions. At least, I THINK that they were burning questions. By now, they've probably smoldered out and died, and Margaret, you'd be well within your rights to shoot me.

1. You've written that people you know in real life read your blog. How do you deal with them knowing this information when you see them? I have a family gathering next weekend and I don't want to get crap like, "You are so bitter" or "My God you watch a lot of television".

Oh, hahahaha. That's a really funny question - especially after this week. I have gradually, over the course of a few years, come to realize that many of the people I encounter in my daily life lurk on this site. I see people in church that read here. Many of the teachers at school, including my kids current teachers and counselors , read here. I find this out one of two ways - they tell me, or I mention my website in a casual aside, and it's confirmed.

Which, you know, kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and then, alternatively, REALLY SQUIRMY. Because, hello, you are READING ME - but, also - all in my private business and you know what I feel about things that I don't typically share with teachers/principals/doctors/fellow parishioners - it's one thing if it's a stranger, but different to see those people on a daily basis. So, how do I handle it?

I simply ignore it.

Which is weird and random, but I get so freaky-deaky uncomfortable to know that the people I interact with on a daily basis know everything here that I can't think about it and so, all ostrich like - I just don't. If someone wants to talk to me about it, I will do so - but I tend to be uncomfortable. I get the same way with compliments - a lady once told my mom, as we were standing in line at the church picnic, how much she enjoyed and really admired my writing - and I literally couldn't speak. It was THAT weird.

But, long story short, Margaret - it's your blog. If you want to write about television shows until it makes you sound like a founder of the Neilsen family - it's your right. And if people complain, remind them that, like a snapshot, a blog is a piece of your life. You only see what is in the frame, and your readers only see what you choose to share with them. And that may be as broad or as narrow as you'd prefer. It's your blog. It's your call.

2. How long does it take you to write a post? I get complaints (and will next weekend) that I don't post enough but writing a post can take hours.

Sometimes a post will write itself. I can sit down and whip it out in 10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes a post, especially one that is either difficult to write or very factual OR very emotional - that can take all day. Often I will have a topic that I write about for a while and decide to leave. I draft it and come back to it later. I might work on that post for a long time, a little bit at a time. I am on the computer a LOT of the day. I take my kids to school and come home and work for an hour or two. I write reviews of maybe 3-5 goods/services a week, I write for Diets In Review, I freelance and I work on a couple of manuscripts that I've been dabbling in. Take today as an example - I wrote from 8:45 until 9:30. I went running - I ran to the grocery, bought dish soap and noodles and walked home with them in a bag on my back. I wrote from 11:00 - 11:30. I went to boxing class. I came home, showered, and cranked out a post for DIR from 2:10 - 2:35. I got my kids, went to tutoring, went to 3 martial arts classes, came home, made Chicken Scalloppini, ate, took Allegra for school supplies and sat back down at the computer at 9:00 while I helped Gabe finish his spelling and vocabulary. So my life and posting reality is very different from that of a lot of people.

It's all good, though. Different people have different lives and what works for me - online all day, dabbling here and there and coming back to work every little while - might not work for you - and you might not WANT it to work for you. And just like above - it's your blog. If you want to post more often, try doing some shorter, less wordy posts - even the dreaded "meme". It's a good way to get a post out there with relatively little effort, and they can be really fun and informative.

So, Margaret - I don't know if I answered your questions AT ALL. Did I, or are they now as clear as mud?

Do you have advice to share with Margaret?

Do you have a question to ask me? I haven't done a "reader asks a question" in a long time - lay it on me!

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