Daily Prompt: Theory

wish

Oh, how I wish I could tell in advance which blog posts would generate the most interest! Sometimes it feels like the more time I spend drafting and carefully crafting a post, the less interaction it initiates. Yet at other times I’ll write a quick quip, off the cuff in five minutes flat, and it simply flies.

Those posts including images definitely seem to draw most viewings, no matter what the written content. But it doesn’t always follow that those images I’m happiest with are necessarily the most popular – often a quick candid snap with my mediocre smartphone gets as many ‘likes’ as my most prized photographic masterpiece.

So I guess it goes to show there’s no rhyme nor reason to blogging at times – readers and viewers like what they like, and simply switch off from the stuff that doesn’t interest them. We all have our own preferences, our own pet hates, our own real world lives inevitably affecting our virtual viewing choices.

The answer would seem to be just to blog about whatever you want, whenever you want, regardless of anticipated audience interaction. Be happy with your own output, and everything else will flow and follow on freely from that. Well, that’s my theory anyway, and I’m sticking with it πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Theory

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Bread & Butter Blogging

I’m feeling a bit stuck at the moment – stuck with my life and stuck with my blog. When things get tough in the real world I tend to close in on myself a bit, withdraw to the essentials, and as my virtual me is very much part of my flesh-and-bones me I find I’m really having to try hard with a conscious determination to create any words or images worthy of sharing in my blog world.

So what you all see here just now is a kind of half-hearted bread & butter style of basic blogging – posting nothing much of interest beyond the barest minimum standard for survival. I’m going to keep slogging away at it all though, because I’d rather keep things ticking over with my boring old blog until real life gives me a break and I feel able to embrace everything fun with my full attention once more.

I might even shake everything up a bit experimentally in the interim, try altering what and when and why I post to see if that helps stimulate my creative motivation. Get away from the same old routines and habits that right now feel like ruts in the road, find something new to do with my camera or my crochet hook or paintbrush or pen and share the results, good and bad.

Because the bottom line is that there needs to be more to living than simply existing, and sometimes it’s all too easy for me to forget that simple fact…

Daily Prompt: Elastic

I really appreciate the impressive elasticity of blogging: However much or little I post, somehow my blog neither looks too full nor too empty. Instead within the supple skin of my chosen blog theme my individual posts can equally comfortably be long or short, complex or simple, and can be posted regularly on a daily or weekly basis, or maybe even only once a month or so.

For someone like me who can be quite erratic in my feast-or-famine posting schedule, it allows for a spectacular level of spontaneity, too. On days when I have a lot to say my blog expands and stretches easily to accommodate my natural flood-plain – but during those times when I hit a bit of a creative block it can just as easily shrink itself neatly and protectively around my drought-ridden dessicated content.

Daily Prompt: Elastic

Plane and Simple

Nope, not a spelling mistake, just a play on words – after a few weeks of experimental trial and error I finally seem to have found a new blog theme I’ve settled on, and it’s a free theme called ‘Plane’ πŸ™‚

It’s quite a simple design, open and clear and easy to navigate through. I’ve kept the default colour scheme and all I’ve done is tweaked the font to something sans serif and added my own header image.

It’s taken me a couple of attempts to find myself a header image I want to stick with, but I think I’m happy with my close-up carnations – colourful and recognisable yet not too busy or stylised – woo-hoo! ❀

Daily Prompt: Critical

I’ve been feeling quite critical about my blog lately – it feels altogether a bit ‘vanilla’, boring and bland. But as at heart my blog is a virtual reflection of me, and as by nature I’m quite a vanilla person perhaps it stands to reason that as long as I’m being true to myself my blog will necessarily be a bit blah too.

I’ve recently changed my blog theme, from one disappearing-into-the-background style to another, and right now I’m still playing about with tweaking a few potential logos and header images until I find one that suits my needs for all weathers, not just emotionally sunny days or depressive dull days.

I don’t want my blog to look too plain, so I definitely want to include some kind of basic graphic element in the design, but I also don’t want any visual stimulus to detract from the content of my posts. The latest logo is an abstract image of words – actually grafitti on a wall here in East London, where I currently live – but it seems to fit for now.

Ever since I started blogging three years ago it seems like I’ve been pulled in two directions at once. On one hand I want a ‘fun’ and colourful blog theme with lots of quirky bells and whistles that demonstrates who I want to be, but on the other I want a subtle neutral base that ultimately lets my words and images have their say.

The thing is, I’ve always been way more a home bird rather than a party animal, a gently-shining table lamp rather than a sparking chandelier, and my greatest desire is always to have a calm and peaceful life, with no more drama – so perhaps I should simply be pleased to have such a true-to-myself blog, however blah it may feel to me at times… πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Critical

 

Exploring Different Blog Themes

I’ve been exploring different blog themes again – for the time being I’ve decided on Sela to replace my old faithful Nucleare, but I’m still tweaking bits and pieces here and there to try to make sure it works for me. As with all the free themes available here on WordPress, there is a lot I like about it but also some things I’m not quite so taken with, so I think I’ll give it a few days to see how it goes… πŸ™‚

SOCS Badge Design Competition

OK so this is a first for me – I’m actually entering a blog competion!

Linda over at lindaghill.com has asked for ideas for a new design for the ‘Stream of Consciousness Saturday’ badge, and as today I was playing around with zoomburst photography I simply added the wording to one of the more flowing, abstract images I created and have decided just to go for it.

I really love the dynamic feeling of movement in the image, which underneath it all is actually a bunch of carnations, and as Stream of Consciousness writing is all about the unfettered flow and fluidity of thought I figured it might suit as a conceptual background behind the lettering – so here goes!

SOCS

I do appreciate it may be a little too pink for some tastes, so I won’t be offended if no-one else likes it – and after all it’s not the winning but the taking part that matters! πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: Amble

My little blog just kind of ambles along aimlessly, sharing some of my photographs and some of my poetry, and most recently, a couple of illustrated posts about my newly-rediscovered enjoyment of drawing. It’s always been a real challenge for me to share my oh-so imperfect words and images – I worry so much in life about being ‘not good enough’ so historically in real life I’ve always preferred to keep my trial-and-error efforts private. But here on my blog I feel surprisingly OK to share my stuff, in the same way as I enjoy viewing what everyone else has been up to πŸ™‚

I try not to worry too much about checking the stats page, but I do have a ‘follows’ tally and a ‘visits’ count on my home page so I can get an immediate idea of how my interactions from other bloggers are doing as I go along. I know I’ve said it before but it’s always worth repeating – my blog is basically my personal creative space, and I have such fun sharing whatever it is I choose to share. Of course I love it when other people ‘like’ my posts and I’d be upset if I had no reaction at all, but ultimately I blog for me, so I just post what I like and hope for the best!

So thank you all for viewing and reading and commenting and just for being an all-round awesome blogging community – sending much love to you all ❀

Daily Prompt: Amble

 

Daily Prompt: Substandard

One of the difficulties inherent in growing up always feeling ‘not good enough’ is that you can all too easily become too much of a perfectionist at heart, terrified of showing any less-than-excellent artistic by-product of your all-too sub-standard self. The risk of public failure feels too much to bear to the extent that sooner or later you might even stop trying – because if you don’t try (or so your reasoning tells you) you can’t possibly fail, and avoiding failure seems to be a far safer bet when it comes to a motivating factor than attempting the fragile futility of scoring success on a first attempt.

For years I wrote poetry I squirreled away in secret, showing no-one, and spent ages day-dreaming of being some kind of a creative visual artist avidly exploring the joys of drawing, painting, photography, needlework. But as I would never be good enough (or so I repeatedly told myself), what was the point of pursuing anything seriously? So instead I dabbled half-heartedly, frustrated, convincing myself I was absolutely fine paddling around in the shallows, pretending to myself it wasn’t that I was just too afraid to take the plunge and dive in deep…

And then soon after turning 50 I started blogging, and began sharing some of my ‘best’ photographs and poetry oh-so-very tentatively at first, images and words shyly declaring themselves apologetically as if with a discreet little throat-clearing cough. To my surprise and delight, people responded enthusiatically, so I tried regularly sharing some relatively incomplete creative experiences, decidedly unpolished works-in-progress still in the process of struggling onwards and upwards on a steep learning-curve.

And through not being so afraid to put myself out there I found I’ve improved as I’ve gone along in a decidedly trial-and-error hap-hazard process of playing around until I finally get it right, and it feels great. So now I’m ok sharing my sub-standard stuff, because after all everyone has to start somewhere, and you’re never to old to learn. And one lesson I’m learning loud and clear is that you don’t fail by falling down, but by not getting back up and trying again, time after time, for as long as it takes to get to where you ultimately want to be… πŸ™‚

Daily Prompt: SubstandardΒ  Β 

What Makes a Blog ‘Real’?

Lately I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of confidence about my blog. Although to be fair I’m actually having a bit of a crisis of confidence about me, so as I’m feeling ‘not good enough’ and my blog is my online creative space, a virtual extension of me, then I suppose it stands to reason I’d question its authenticity too.

I worry that my blog has no real purpose. I’m neither a proper writer nor a photographer promoting my product; this isn’t a mummy blog or a foodie blog or a political blog. I’m just an ordinary menopausal middle-aged woman who dabbles in poetry now and again and posts a few fair-to-middling pictures when the muse strikes.

I neither share my blog across any other social media platforms nor have any affiliated links with anyone or anything, so one sense my blog is just as insular and introverted as I am. But in another sense I don’t like the growing feeling of unease that maybe me having my own blog is somehow slightly pretentious, a bit of a self-aggrandised vanity project and nothing more.

Does anyone else ever have doubts like this, or am I just plain weird? All advice and words of wisdom from all you ‘real’ bloggers out there will be all too gratefully received… πŸ™‚