Blogging Insights — New Format # 3

I have been writing a lot less than I was, but maybe more than I need to write. But to be fair, I am writing a lot less. The photographs take up most of the slack. Since this site really is the only place I have to display photographs — and was the original reason I began blogging — I guess everyone will have to put up with the photographs.

I think a lot of people assume that publishing a lot of material is more important that the content. Maybe we all feel that way when we first start out because it’s such a huge market, we feel a need to put something “out there” that other people will notice.

I went the other way. I wrote a little something which basically said I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the site, but I figured I’d say “hello.” It was at least a month later when I wrote another piece that was equally confused and unfocussed. Technically I began this blog in February 2012, but I really didn’t start to do anything much with it until that fall. It was a beautiful Autumn and I had tons of foliage photos to post.

2012 was a huge year for blogging. It was a presidential election year — Obama’s second — and at least in the U.S., everyone was online. Social media was booming. I had a good launch pad for starting out. Many of the people with whom I’m still in touch were starting out around the same time.

I started to write a bit. Mostly very short pieces. I wrote the blog in the same style I had been writing manuals for years. Sparely with plenty of illustrations. Minimal adjectives, maximum information, and always if there’s any controversy, double and triple-check sources.

I remember when I got my first couple of followers and one day realized I had several thousand “hits.” I ignored warnings that I had to have a singular focus for the blog or it would fail. I have noticed that pretty much 100% of those single-focus blogs are gone because, it turns out, that everyone gets bored having to write about the same thing repeatedly. Unless you are selling something, you need to let your mind roam.

What is “too much writing”? When what you are saying feels empty. When your words have no content. I try to grab a piece of real life and talk about it. Sometimes, the magic works. Sometimes not.

I try to write about things that are important to me and I hope to others.

Climate change is real. It isn’t exaggerated. It isn’t just the weather being the weather. It’s not on its way by 2050. It is HERE. Now and it’s bad. Terrifying. If we do nothing about it, this planet will be unlivable for our grandchildren and their children. If we don’t have our own kids, than for any children. For humanity. That’s assuming this beautiful blue planet survives that long and we don’t blow it up.

I don’t read stuff by ignorant, stupid people. It will just make me angry and frustrated. It’s not that these morons don’t believe in reality. It’s that they don’t care. If it isn’t bothering them personally, as far as they are concerned, the rest of humanity. be damned

House Finches

It doesn’t mean that everyone has to be serious because I like funny even more than serious. Make me laugh and I’m yours. Make me angry and the odds are that I’ll try to keep you from ever coming near my site. I don’t get any joy out of arguing with people who are — well — stupid.

So there we are. Write smart. Back up ideas with sources. Occasionally add pictures to keep old eyes from going dim. Use punctuation. Spell-checkers are a gift from the gods. Write, let it sit, come back to it and make sure you are making sense. We ALL write gibberish sometimes.

I’m always glad when I don’t publish my bad writing. I bet everyone else would be glad if you’d read it. When I think it’s not good enough to publish, believe me — it’s pretty bad.

Categories: #Blogging, #Photography, #Writing, Anecdote

Tags: , , , ,

12 replies

  1. Thank you Marilyn for sharing your blogging journey and tips for writing well.
    I thoroughly enjoy your nature photography.


  2. Marilyn, I highly doubt anything you write is bad! I love your style! Your blog is one of my favourites! Xoxo


  3. Couldn’t agree more with you…. Everything you write is reason for me not to have my own blog. My photo site on Flickr hasn’t been updated for far too long and I hoped to get back to it ‘once my life is a bit more settled’ – it happens that it didn’t happen. The settling down and the need to publish my own work. I AM writing, much, but it goes into personal letters, cards, words of encouragement, I phone, I visit, I invite – YES, you read this correctly. Since being back in Switzerland, I can have ppl at our flat again – mostly when we can sit on our patio, but sharing food and wine, opinions and joy, upset and fears. And I like it – very much.
    As I told you many a times, I like reading you and the reason why is quite easy to understand: You have something to say, it’s always interesting, sometimes you throw in a few wonderful photos, and even if I don’t agree with everything, I can easily live with it as every opinion is solid with foundation.
    So, go on, write if you feel like, don’t if you’ve got no drive, and look after yourself and your family as you did up to now.
    Love from afar, K


    • Thank you VERY much. I wish we had more people around here to invite over, but other than a couple of family members, the others who were friends have passed on. Also, we’re having what I hope is a temporary surge of COVID, variant Delta. But it’s still better than it was last year when I was afraid to go anywhere. We do go out, but we are very careful. And the places we go are also very careful. So far, so good! If you ever decide to write more publicly, I’d love to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoy your pictorial posts and the ones with a story or some social commentary


  5. Brilliant Marilyn and I adore your House Finch photo. My blog is low-volume and low traffic, and that’s ok with me. But yesterday I had 170 page views in one hour. Someone likely scraping the pages. I looked at the list of posts accessed and saw more than a few that were so old I has forgotten even writing them. Today I looked at a small number of them and discovered that the photos were totally gone. The text mentioned things like “in the top photo you can see blah blah” but there was no top photo at all, nor any. Have you looked at any old posts and notice missing photos? Just curious. Anyway really appreciated this post of yours. Best, Babsje


    • Yes, actually. But just recently. WordPress has done something weird with the Media section. I posted a whole set of photos and I looked at them — and they were gone an hour later. I’ve gone to look at old posts and the pictures were missing. Since they were my photos, I can’t see why they would disappear, but WordPress is meddling with stuff again. I’m not going to BOTHER to complain. What’s the point?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! What’s the point and to whom can one complain anyway. I keep my media small – lo res and only the Medium file weight jpg. My media was showing only 68mb of 3gb available as of this weekend so it’s not like I’ve exceeded their limit. I could re-upload a d tweak the posts to put them back I guess. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one losing photos. Best. Babsje


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