Where to from here?

Lake Ballard WA

Which way now?

I am not sure how long I have been blogging but it goes back a few years. I am at a turning point with it and not sure which way to turn.

I still enjoy being part of the blogging ‘family’ but feel like I would like to tear mine up and start afresh. When I first started my blog I used to wear my heart on my sleeve and share my deepest thoughts. Even though I am doing that just now, I have grown less comfortable with it.

I have stopped taking new photos to add to my archives and find I am using the old ones over and over again when I do post a blog. It gets a bit boring!

Perhaps it reflects the major changes in my life since I started the blog. At the time I was working full-time in a fairly stressful job and had a busy life. I have been retired for eight years now and once again have a busy life but doing things that I love to do.

My involvement with the University of the Third Age has added a new dimension to my life. Tomorrow my ‘Let’s Talk Philosophy’ group starts. I thought there may be half a dozen people interested but I have twenty-five people enrolled and I am nervous but excited about getting started.

Getting back to the blogging ‘rock bottom’ – I am happy to hear ideas as to how to reignite my enthusiasm or change direction. I am sure I am not the first person to reach this point in my  blogging journey. All ideas are welcome!

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Ten good reasons to start a blog

IMG_2057I have agreed to share the knowledge I have gained over six years blogging with some fellow community members through our local group of the University of the Third Age (U3A). It is not a paid position but a sharing with like-minded people. It doesn’t commence until May so I have some time to fine tune the content.

I started thinking about the many reasons to start a blog and thought I would share a few of mine here. Please feel free to comment and add other reasons I may have missed.

  1. Learning about using WordPress (and keeping up with the changes) keeps my brain active.
  2. I have met so many amazing people from all parts of the world and been able to enjoy their photos, weather reports, local happenings, different cultures/styles of architecture and more. It really adds to my knowledge of the world and reminds me of how much we all have in common.
  3. The joy of getting a “like” or even better a “comment”. It always brightens my day.
  4. The opportunity to put some positive words out into cyberspace and hope that I am able to add a little joy to someone else’s day.
  5. I sometimes have ideas that I want to share and it provides me an avenue to do so and get feedback from others.
  6. My interest in photography has grown since I started blogging. I have discovered it is one of those things I can lose myself in it – time flies by!
  7. The diversity of blogs provide such a vast resource of valuable information- I take down recipes from other parts of the world and try them out at home – great fun. There is also lots of wisdom out there!
  8. When I got my current part-time job I was able to provide my blog address to the editor so she could see that I can put a few sentences together.
  9. It is MY voice I am putting out there. I know at times that some people may not like what I post but I reserve the right to have my say.Being an introvert I find it harder to express myself in person than I do in writing.
  10. I feel a real connection with a number of bloggers that I have followed for some time. I know that if I was in their neighbourhood I would love to drop in for a coffee and a good long chat.  🙂

There are probably a lot more reasons to blog and I would love to hear from you what you think.

 

Four years old today

I am talking about this blog – allaboutwordswa that I started four years ago today. I did a Google search on “how do I start a blog” and took it from there to here!

I received a Happy Fourth Anniversary from WordPress today. When I first started the blog I tried to write a post everyday and averaged about five times a week but lately I don’t write as often – not sure why.

I started other blogs during that time and my most recent It’s a Small World  is focused on photos taken by my microscope (Supereyes) and I am having lots of fun with it.

I learned a few things from blogging during this time. Some thoughts follow …

  • I have met so many amazing people  from all over the world and developed some online friendships.
  • My blog provides an avenue where I can think out loud – express my opinions or ask for input from others. It also reminds me of our common humanity.
  • The skills I gained in using WordPress were really useful when I was studying online and using online tools earlier this year.
  • My blog is evidence that I can string a few words together – I include it on my resume (sometimes) so that  potential employers can see that I am computer literate and they can get a bit of an idea about who I am from my writing.
  • I have another blog, Naturaliste Enterprises with my resume and work experience included.
  • When I get really interested in a particular topic – this year it has been about Baby Boomers and retirement related issues – there is an opportunity to put all my thoughts in one place – yes – another blog! This one is called Encore Australia. I saw a lot about Encore Careers in the US and it motivated me to set up an Australian website in relation to these issues. I hope to do more work on this in 2015.

Along the way I have gratefully received over 3,000 comments from readers, had nearly 30,000 views and a total of 600+ have subscribed to read my blog. It is encouraging to get followers and to have people read my posts but I don’t allow that to drive my writing and input.

This is my opportunity to say thank you for reading my posts and I love it when you leave a comment that leads to a discussion and the ‘likes’ are much appreciated as well :-).

IMG_0604 (Copy)

 

Ways of learning …

My preferred learning style is to get my hands dirty and experiment. Ask me to do most things and I will dive straight in and have a try. Learning how to use my WordPress blog is a typical example. Recently I am helping a friend with her website and thought it would be useful to have some sort of manual to put some structure into the process.

There are HEAPS of manuals, videos, websites etc on how to use WordPress – all of which are probably excellent tools. I found one particular manual called Easy WP Guide, WordPress Manual by Anthony Hortin from Maddisondesigns.

It can be downloaded as a PDF so I did that and printed out a copy (140 pages – 70 back to back) and bound it. I then sat down to read it from cover to cover. I am pleased to note that I figured out most things myself through trial and error but there was one thing I learned that will be invaluable in the future:

I found an extra line of the tool bar – and that means I can write in different colours – and I didn’t know this before!

I can’t believe I have been using WordPress for over three years and didn’t know this. I still have more to read and to learn. Maybe there is value in reading the manual after all 🙂

Is there a point to blogging?

18 February 2014 006 (Copy)I am home again after spending some time away visiting my extended family. Sometimes the topic of blogging comes up. People often ask me the following:

  • what is a blog?
  • how do people find my blog?
  • why do I do it?
  • what does someone have to do to start a blog?
  • what do I like about blogging?

I find it hard to respond to these queries as there are many answers for the points. Blogging has become a part of my life over the last few years and I am reluctant to let it go.

I try to explain about some interesting people I have met through blogging and their eyes seem to glaze over. I have learned a lot from other bloggers. I am more aware of where people are geographically located and I know more about cultural differences in other places in the world. I have also learned how much we all have in common.

My technology skills continue to grow as I keep blogging. I noticed in my recent online studies that I wasn’t daunted by some of the technical challenges that would have overwhelmed me if I didn’t blog regularly and look after my site.

I don’t worry about how many people read my blog and/or comment. I get a buzz when it happens, but it is not the motivation for my writing. I enjoy the interaction with like-minded people, whether it be few or many.

I enjoy sharing insights I have about life – I haven’t had any ‘aha!’ moments lately but sometimes they come out of nowhere and it is good to share.

The fact that I blog makes it easier for me to sit in front of a computer and write about other things as well. Tomorrow I will be working for about four hours in my job with the local paper. I HAVE to write and get it done in that time. There is no time for me to sit staring at a blank screen (or do any rewrites for that matter).

So, I have told you some of my thoughts about blogging – now I would like to hear from your point of view, if you would like to share.

cheers

Lorraine

Contagious … I wish!

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?

I would build a widget for my blog so that no matter what I wrote about, the widget would give a sprinkle or two of magic dust and my blog will become viral. It will be on Facebook and even in the news.I would also be Freshly Pressed 🙂 on WordPress.

Wow, wouldn’t that be wonderful!

One is better than noneBut seriously now, I wish I knew how to make a really successful blog or website. Successful being determined by the number of views, likes and subscribers. I really enjoy blogging and the interaction with other bloggers, but, just once in a while it would be great to see my statistics sky-rocket!

What is the secret?