Tag Archives | life

Taking stock of one’s life

Someone close to me recently endured a horrible and tragic loss.  I try to find the words, something, anything that could help mitigate the pain he must feel.  I don’t know what to do except to continue being a friend, to show through thick and thin that I’ll be there for any support and comfort he needs.  For it to come during this time of year too, there are just…  no words.  I feel helpless, like watching a horrific accident happen and knowing there’s nothing that can be done to stop it, except to pray mightily and believe God will hear and answer it, even if it may not be the answer I’m hoping for.

Life is too short and precious and something I take for granted.  I’ve wasted it obsessing over the small things, ignoring the big things, ignoring moments I should have seized, and letting fear, uncertainty and doubt rule my world.  If I were to die today I would have virtually nothing to show for it.  And how could I die really, if I never lived?

I hope in the new year to come, I learn to value and be a good steward of the life God has given me, to face my fears, and finally break down the walls I’ve erected that have hindered my capacity to love and care for the well-being of others.

So whereas I face this Christmas with a great deal of sadness, I hope from that will come a wellspring of renewed hope, and joy in knowing death for those of us who believe is only the beginning, not the end.

A New Beginning

Welcome to my millionth, caboolionth, fafillionth, shabbamoolionth blog!

It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for a decade now, each blog ending in an epic flameout of biblical proportions that always leaves me in a state of mental disrepair, babbling incoherent nonsense about cheese and monkeys and drooling all over my fashionable Old Navy hand-me-downs.

This time, I’m trying for something new.

It used to be I’d spend more time trying to keep my blog online than I did actually WRITING on it, or adding all kinds of plugins that gave it bells and whistles that nobody ever used.  I’ve jumped from one host to another in the vain effort to keep myyyyy precioussss stable and humming along just long enough so that I could at least focus my creative energy on creatively creating stuff using all my creativity.  I don’t think I ever truly got there.

And it wasn’t just the obsessive backend tinkering that threw me off either.  I also got wrapped up in the fantasy of turning my blog into a professional MONEY MAKING MACHINE that Donald Trump could be proud of.  I wanted a profession that allowed me to make a living without ever stepping outside my apartment.  No having to talk to people directly, no need for networking, just write and watch teh monies rolllzzz in baybbeeee…

But… that meant having to follow certain rules if I was to ever join the ranks of the .0000000001 of elite bloggers who live exclusively off their blog earnings.  I needed to blog every day, preferably between 10AM and 1PM to maximize exposure.  Eastern Standard Time.  I also had to focus on a niche and write only extensively for that niche.  No eclectic writing for me.  No meanderings about nothing in particular.  Nope, it had to be niche specific and be heavy on keywords Google bots can pick up on to help my search engine rankings, and each post had to be 300-500 words, but no more, or I had to break them up into series.  And tags!  Gotta make sure each post has the appropriate tags!  And hashtags, and with social buttons people can click on to share on social media, and and and and….  *tears hair out*

Then I had to find brands and beg, plead, cry or otherwise whine at high pitch frequencies for them to sponsor me.  Sometimes it worked.  Most of the time it didn’t.

And I couldn’t be controversial.  No offending certain demographics (especially if they have enormous purchasing power, which pretty much meant all mommys in existence.) I had to be a cold and calculating machine, dishing out new content on a daily basis until my audience grew enough that I could finally “make it.”

I learned something though.  It’s easy to blog for yourself.  Blogging for others?  Not so much.

I love to blog about my travels for example, but blogging about how awesome a hotel was so I could get a freebie stay there?  THAT was a chore.  In fact it was so much of a chore that I eminently preferred keying mindless data into a database (like I do at my current job) to the terrifying prospect of having to whore my blog out to prop up a brand.  So between that, and watching my blog singlehandedly bring down fleets of servers because of a random plugin gone awry, I finally burned out.

Months went by without me typing a single word in a blog, any blog.  I was DONE.  With EVERYTHING.  My muse was destroyed, and I had lost all ambition for writing and pretty much living in general (except for Netflix, hot cocoa, pizza, and the occasional Nancy Drew mystery game.)

Only recently did I get the writing itch again.  Events would occur and I’d write about them in Facebook status updates, but sometimes there was more I wanted to share.  A thought would occur in my head that I immediately wanted to write an essay about, and yet I was limited by the functionality of Twitter or Facebook (and sometimes Tumblr too.)

It started happening more frequently, until one day I was writing about a topic on Facebook and thought, “Gee, if only I had a blog to put this stuff on….”

… … … … … … …  o_O

So here I am again.  The Great Blogging Experiment starts anew, only this time under my rules, and using a platform (Squarespace) that fully manages everything so I never have to be distracted by backend/hosting issues again.  I hope.

Before, my blog was about… stuff.  This time it’s about me. Not in the sense of acting like a narc… narcarcissist.. narciss,td… narrc..ssnist…. whatever, but in the realization that my muse cannot be bound by rules or niches, or else it will wither on the vine.  It’s about the ability to express myself freely, whether it’s a quick and dirty post at 3AM in the morning about family and relationships, or a more organized and expressive essay on the virtues of using melted chocolate as dip when eating nachos instead of cheese.  Or some such thing.

Speaking of such, I believe I shall ring in the new year with just such a dish.  ;-)

Thanks for reading, and for all those who continued to stick around despite my occasionally crazy cuckoo incoherence and random disappearances, even after all these years.  ^_^

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