Better Blogging!

I have decided that I am going to try to be better at this blogging thing.  Since I started posting the tutorials I have gotten quite a few more followers.  I like that.  I want to reach more people and share my interests.  I never really thought I was a good teacher (to scatterbrained) but I think I can keep my posts structured and educational.  I learn through the tutorials, so it is a win, win.

How am I going to be a better blogger?

Well, for starters stop letting Stumble Upon distract me for 45 minutes before I start a post (but it is VERY fun.) I have written down things that I want to cover in my two main topics; Beginning Web Development and Beginning Artist, which will each get posts once a week.  I have also decided that I want a random post each week on a topic that interested me.  It might be news, a freak out, a book review or perhaps an ode to my preferred tea flavor that week (Touch Organics – white tea this week, fyi.) It will be a surprise every week.

That sounds like a lot of work each week.  Three posts! How is that going to work?

I am going to do most of the typing and research on the weekends and schedule them for the week.  I LOVE the scheduling feature! (That is three exclamation points in this post.  I need to calm down.  We will see how that goes, hehehe…) I still do not have set days I will be posting things.  It kind of depends on how fast I can create content images for each of the tutorials.  Drawing takes practice and Web Development is all about tinkering, both take time to do.

I am also looking for feedback and input.  If you read something in a post and it is not clear (or wrong) please let me know.  I value the feedback and will use it in future posts.  It is hard to correct things when I do not know they are wrong or explain things that are unclear if I do not know.  Tell me!

Thank you for reading and I look forward to writing more and better posts.

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Scheduling Your Posts

I have fallen in love with scheduling my posts.

I have bouts of thoughts that want to be posts.  Once I move them into draft status they seem to just languish there.  I look in on them from time to time, but I cannot seem to make them work for me.  I am afraid to delete them, “I may use them.” and “They are still valid ideas.”   Being practical, I need to delete them, they are not going to be used.

There are times when you just need to go with what works.

Tonight I have written three posts.  One was posted right away, one scheduled a few days out and this one a few days more.  It is nice to have the week all planned out and not worry about what I thought I wanted to say.

Initially I was trying to do a post every week.  The problem was that all my ideas would come on one or two days of the week, or not at all for weeks.  I tried to keep any that I got for the day I needed to post.  That was a failure!  They are just sitting in my drafts, doing nothing.  I have forgotten where I was going to go with them, or they are no longer interesting to me.  Some I still need images for (like a tutorial I have planned.)

With the scheduling I can type up all my ideas into posts and not worry about forgetting what I was writing.  Just write, save, schedule and go.  Now I know my post is going out and I will make sure it is what I wanted to say.  None of this humming and hawing over the topic or content.

If you have not, try writing a few posts, all on one day (when the inspiration hits you,) then schedule your posts.  It was a load off my mind.  It might help some of you who are struggling to meet your blog post goals.

Cheating

Yesterday I got a lovely comment on one of my posts.  It said something to the effect of; “you must spend a lot of time writing.  There is some software to create unique posts for your blog.”  I debated for a while about allowing the comment to show on the blog roll.  In the end I chose not to and deleted it.

cheating_rectI did not really deem the comment worth replying to or sharing.  I am not a cheater.  I do not blog to get people to follow me (it is nice.)  I blog because I enjoy it.  It gives me something to do on slow days, helps me keep tabs on what I am doing (or should be,) and it allows me to share things I enjoy.  Having some software create my posts for me ruins the experience. Why would anyone want to read some computer generated garbage, when a real human is typing these words and doing their best to express themselves in a medium that is not their specialty?

I am not a writer.  I really struggle to type up a post each week (ish.)  I spend many hours thinking about what to post, what not to say, what the best words are, and do I have an image that will support the post.  I spend time on each of these posts, no matter how meaningless the are to those that choose to read them or ignore them.  The only purpose they serve is to put my opinion and skills out to the world.

It is nice if they help someone, but it is not necessary. Even if one of my life goals is to help people with my words or art, it is not necessary.  I will live happy with the knowledge that I put myself out there and tried.  I did, not some computer program that generated a few hundred words that were optimized to get me more followers.

What would the followers be following anyway?  Computer software that knows buzz words, that’s what.  No human being that has feelings, thoughts, plans or dreams.  Software someone wrote and is (probably) being abused by lazy people.

Not me.  I will stick with the genuine human experience, as much as I possibly can.

 

Much to Post about Nothing

Ah the joys of working in an office environment during the Holiday’s.  Nothing much happens.  I have caught up on all of my paperwork, checked on my Cafe in CafeLand, poked around Craigslist, read most of the newer blog posts (even liked a few,) and now I am getting close to being bored.  No better time to come up with a post to fill the time.

First bit of Nothing

If Melancholy really was a town I was wondering how you would find it.  Most of the time I just “fall” into it, but I have noticed that one can choose to go there or take a road or path to get there.  These observations lead me to believe that Melancholy Town is in a valley with steep walls that is close to the “Road of Life.”  This way when you are walking on the road you can misstep and fall into Melancholy Town.  You can also see an exit from the main road and choose to walk down the hill into Melancholy Town.

Then I started thinking about the geographical location of the rest of the emotions.  Depression would be a dark gray, grassy plain a short walk from Melancholy Town, you can take a visit to Blah ditch as you head over (just in case you do not want to be Depressed.)  When it comes to Anger I start to have problems with my map.  Anger could be some mountains on the far side of the Depression Plains, or it could be a boggy swamp.  Most people think that Anger is in opposition of sad, but both emotions feed into each other and Depression can be a symptom of Anger and vice versa.  I think mountains because they can naturally be shades of red, though a swamp is dark and will “suck” people in just like anger can.  Maybe a mountainous region surround by a bog?  I am going to have to sketch this out one day.

I did not really thing of the positive emotions.  Joy and Bliss would have to be on the other side of “Road of Life.”  I envision lovely brooks and meadows as far as the eye can see.  Some rivers and lakes for the “deeper” emotions.

 

Second bit of Nothing

Working with spread sheets on a daily basis can be really draining.  I feel like my brain is going to ooze out my ear at any moment.  When I finally got everything updated and calculated I was bushed (part of the reason I am close to bored.)  As much as I love Excel, I hate it at the same time.  I would love to just have each cell input as I think about the contents of it.  If math needs to be done, just mystically happen.  Automatically know that I want the cell formatted as text and not general (who wants a 8 digit number to turn into a date?)  I have had to do a lot of reconciling of various records and files with other programs and databases.  Some were much easier than others.  My brain still feels like mush, just thinking about it makes it mushier.

My Third bit of Nothing is/was kind of negative.  I was thinking about the people that protest in front of the Planned Parenthood.  I wonder if they were going to keep to their Thursday ritual and spread hate during the holidays.  I hope not.  That is already a bad thing to be doing.  Protesting during the holidays instead of spending time with your family is just stupid, borderline moronic.

Well, I think that is pretty much all I have right now.

I tried to add some photo’s but my office computer is blocking the popup.

Maybe some artist out their can come up with a sketch for what geographical emotions would look like.  It sounds like an interesting project.  I might work on it too.

Happy Holidays

 

Blogging: A method of Expression

I have never really been much of a writer.  I prefer to draw and paint.  I love all kinds of art and crafting but writing has never been something I did to express myself.  Images are worth a thousand words, so to speak.

Blogging is a newer way for me to express myself.  Especially since I am away from my painting materials right now.   I used to keep a journal, sporadically.  Just so I would have a way to create stuff that I was unable to come up with images for.  Sometimes I really did not want to turn my experiences into images, they might be to dark or just take me places I was not willing to go.  Now I do my best to keep on a schedule and put out things that are interesting, not just to me but to others as well.

Writing is low cost and easy way for artists express themselves.  All artists should give it a try.  I may be well read, but I am not a very good writer.  It takes quite a while to ensure that my posts are free of spelling and grammar errors and that my words make sense when read.  A writer friend says that is normal and that all authors do that.  It is much different than how I paint/draw and that is probably part of my hang up on writing.

There are many similarities to painting and writing.  While the process varies from artist to artist some things are key. They both usually start with an idea and an outline of the major areas.  For an artist this means outlining the negative spaces and areas of different colors.  A writer may outline the progression of the story and attributes of the characters.  If it is an article or research paper this means creating the thesis and outlining the major points and finding backing statements.

The second stage is where things start getting a little different.  I fill in the back ground first and re-outline any areas that may need it.  A writer may invest time in building the characters or research points, ensuring that the background information will enhance the story, not detract from it.  For a painter this is also the stage where colors and form may start to change.

This is where things get more varied by type of artist. Since I do a lot of surreal stuff with little or odd detail work, I focus on the forms in the painting.  This means that I fill in blocks of color and shadow then move on to any details that may be needed.  I would liken this to a writers first round of edits.  There are many ways to do this.  Some artists fill in ALL of one color or ALL of a block then move on the next.  This would be like writing all of one characters interactions or all of one chapter before moving on.

Lastly I do my detail work and any highlights that may be needed to accent the shapes.  Time for the final edits for the writers.  This includes a top coat to keep the image from getting wiped off when cleaned and my signature.  The only thing left to do is find someone who whats the work (finding a publisher.)

In the end writing is another form of art and it will take time before you are considered accomplished.  Painting is the same way.  Just because I can paint something without drawing the lines does not mean that I did not practice hours in the past.  I take it for granted that writers end up doing many, many edits before getting things right.  Probably more edits that a painter has, even for a well thought out piece.

Keep creating works of art with whatever your medium is. 🙂