I spent WAY too long making a banner for my blog, only to upload it and have the theme I’m using cover it up, plus the whole image isn’t showing up. I’m using the EverBrite Multi theme. What’s going on here? The banner displays correctly on my phone. UGH. Anyone have any advice?
My renewed commitment to writing has resulted in my using the Discover feature in WordPress. The results? Y’all are good, and I feel intimidated.
Most of the posts I read where written by bloggers with the ability to convince me that watching paint dry is as exciting as the grand opening of the world’s fastest roller-coaster. I read about comfort food, the impending decline of facial hair among hipster men, and the importance of listening.
While the subject matter varied widely, I noticed a few consistency. People on WordPress can spell, at least from what I can tell. I’m horrible at spelling, which makes me grateful for the word predictor on my phone. Good bloggers are serious about blogging. It appears that the most engaging writers spend a significant amount of time writing. Images get my attention. It doesn’t matter what the topic is or how well it’s written, I’m more likely to read a post if it has an image along with it. Really good writers blog about their passions. Their enthusiasm makes me excited to read their posts, even if it’s about something I know nothing about.
So, why am I intimidated? Well, I’ve already said I’m a bad speller. I’m not sure yet how much time I’m going to put into writing. I enjoy taking pictures, but pairing them with a post every time I write feels overwhelming. I know what I’m passionate about, but I worry about what my kids/mom/sister/lover/friends/coworkers will think when they read my innermost thoughts, posted for all the world to see.
This blogging, it’s risky business if it’s done well. Tell me: am I doing it for the right reasons? Am I making too much of it? Is it worth it?
For a number of months, I’ve kept icanhasgrace alive almost exclusively with tumblr pictures and commute cam videos. This is my accountability post marking a renewed commitment to write.
As with everything on this blog, the main requirement is that I create content with my phone. Pictured above is a compact bluetooth keyboard and my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The photo was taken with my Samsung Gear watch (first generation), and edited on the phone using the Pixlr app.
My future posts won’t be as geeked out as this one. I have thoughts. Deep thoughts. I’m going to start using this blog as therapy. (Sorry, family.)
Stay tuned! And thank you for subscribing and reading.
Frank is my husband-if-we-could-get-married-in-the-state-in-which-we-live. He started a blog this year. Find out what he’s liked about that and what’s been a struggle. Visit his blog at www.afranklife.com.
I most definitely did not wake up this morning feeling like P. Diddy. Given that I am neither a 42 year-old African-American rapper/producer nor a mind-boggling successful singer/songwriter (Ke$ha), I guess that’s okay. Frankly, it would be weird to wake up feeling like anybody other than me, although I would enjoy a Freaky Friday experience with either Sean Combs or Kesha Rose Sebert at least once.
It’s been a sleepy day for me. I haven’t moved from the bed except to refill my coffee cup and to eat leftover Mexican food from last night’s dinner. The rain that precipitated a flood advisory has come and gone sans flood, and now the only sound I hear comes from a snoring dog. There are four animals in the room with me, two cats and two dogs. All four are dead to the world. It’s hard to believe this is pretty much what they do all day long, day after day.
I wonder if my day is any different, really.
Of course, the laziness of today is a rarity. If you’re a Little Saint, you know I usually get up pretty early and head to work because you have seen me on Commute Cam. (Yes, the reality of Commute Cam isn’t even debated, as compared to, say, the moon landing or the existence of vampires.) But even though I’m awake every weekday, most days working my butt off (unlike my dogs and cats), I sometimes feel like I’m sleeping through life.
I’d like to answer with an emphatic, “No.” Who wants to admit that they sleep through life? However, given that I asked the question, I have to admit that sometimes I do.
In the About for this blog, I wrote, “icanhasgrace is my attempt to share my passions.” I believe therein lies the key to living life to the fullest. One must know what one is passionate about and touch upon those passions daily if one wants to avoid sleeping through it. I’ve been blogging now for almost two years. Even so, I am hard pressed to put into words what I am passionate about.
P. Diddy and Ke$ha aren’t the only people who have figured out that, in order to be successful, you have to be passionate about what you do. I follow several lesser-known people in the blogsphere and the ones I admire the most are written by people who blog about their passions. They also, from what I can tell, have huge followings. I’m talking in the thousands.
The most hits I have had on icanhasgrace was 306 views on December 5, 2009. I think somebody fell asleep on their keyboard and his or her head kept hitting refresh to make that happen.
There are reasons why icanhasgrace hasn’t taken off:
- I’m just not doing a very good job at blogging my passions (I’ve already admitted this is an issue as I’m not entirely sure what I am passionate about.)
- I’m too lazy about publicizing the blog. (I have automated feeds set up for Facebook and Twitter so that whenever I post anything new it alerts my friends and followers. I tag all my posts so search engines can find them. But I don’t wear the t-shirt Mom made that says “icanhasgrace.com” on the front, I haven’t made up business cards, and I don’t encourage my Little Saints to spread the word about the hilarity that is Commute Cam, the weekly glimpse into the beauty of God’s creation that is Sunday’s Shot of Grace, or the in-depth investigative commentary of posts like “Jesus Said, “Love Your Neighbor.’ How ‘Bout We Stop Right There.”
- Just when I buckle down, focus, and get on a roll, adding posts at least once, sometimes twice a day, I slow down, get side-tracked, or start reading a book or watching tv. That’s when the blog fills up with moths and crickets.
There is a fourth point to make. It’s a point that “keep[s it] honest” as Anderson Cooper would say. That point is, let the blog be what it is. I could let the idea, the dream, that one day a blog post, or a shot of grace, or a Commute Cam will virally propel me into a life of fame and fortune be my purge of the week. I may get along much better if I write, take pictures, and record part of my drive to work only because I enjoy doing it.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” after all.
My daughter sent me a reminder of her love via text message. This happened while I was reading a post about the uselessness of microblogging. It seems the author of the post had lost his feed to twitter for a month. No one noticed, not even himself. It inspired him to slow down on microblogging and to pay more attention to his blog.
I think that’s something I would like to do as well. After all, twitter updates are fleeting things, but blog posts last forever.
If I really post more here at icanhasgrace, I’m going to want one of those new Google tablets coming out this Fall. Typing this much with my thumbs on my phone is for the birds. And they (birds) don’t even have thumbs. Yes, I could have gone upstairs and turned on the desktop computer, but what a pain, right?
To pull all of this together: Ruth texted her love for me in order to soften the news that she wanted to skip church today. I blog about it on my phone in order to prove how much I need a new gadget. We all want something, right? And there is something very wrong with that. Twitter, and social media in general, stimulates that part of me that wants more, that part that wants me to buy, to go, to consume.
Even having said that, I still want that tablet in the Fall.
Today, I stumbled upon a blog called Alice and Kev. Rather than potentially discourage you from having a look by describing it here, take a moment (or several if you get hooked like I did) to admire the simplicity, creativity, and purpose of this blog.
How I wish I could be so creative!
The author of the blog breaks all the rules of blogging (no tagging, no blogroll to encourage incoming links, etc.) but one: He blogs his passion.
Not so long ago, most of us left our mark on the Internet anonymously. We hid behind usernames and online ids that might have revealed a little about who we were (I used to lurk around using the handle “OneNuttyGuy”), but not anymore. Now, the Internet is all about transparency.
How did this shift from anonymity to disclosure come about? My theory is that, as social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter grew in popularity, people grew more and more comfortable revealing their identities on the web. In fact, the rise of social networking sites made this transition almost necessary. I remember both Facebook and Twitter encouraging me to use my real name when I signed up, saying something about how it would make it easier for my friends to find me. It hasn’t been that long since I did not want my real-life friends to find me on the Internet. Now, there’s no difference between real-life friends and virtual friends. Over time, I’ve met my virtual friends in real life while, increasingly, the primary way I communicate with my real-life friends is online.
For the most part, the breakdown of the anonymity boundary is a good thing. As a result, there’s a whole lot less flaming, trolling, and hate speech online now because our names are attached to what we say and do. Accountability has increased. No longer can we hide behind an online pseudonym. However, now that we’ve been outed, there’s rising pressure to filter the lives we reveal on the web. Most everything has to come across as upbeat and positive. Nobody complains about work, personal relationships, or even disobedient pets. Like the wives in the movie The Stepford Wives, we’ve come to expect delivery of perfectly sanitized versions of ourselves online.
Take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and see what your friends are saying. Do those status updates reveal anything negative? Or is everything shiny and happy?
There have been times when I’ve wanted to blog more honestly about situations in my life, but I either give up before I start, or I end the post with upbeat resolution. Well, guess what? My life isn’t like that. I get angry. I feel disappointment. I feel resentful. I get depressed. I know fear.
Know what else? I bet you do, too.
For many years now, there’s been talk about online community. Until we’re able to be honest with each other—willing to share our flaws, fears, and all—community will always elude us. We’ve come a long way because now we know each other’s names. But until we trust one another enough to reveal our vulnerabilities, then we will continue to be shiny, happy, plastic, Stepford posters.