Blogging Insights # 22- Writer’s Self Doubt

Dr. Tanya asks;

You have heard a lot about Writer’s Block, read and perhaps written about it too. I did an installment of Blogging Insights about it which you can read here. Self Doubt is an affliction that affects writers nearly as often as writer’s bock. You might have seen those stereotypical pictures: an author sits at his desk, writing feverishly. All around him on the floor, are crumpled and screwed up sheets of paper. Or he might have been fastidious and then you will see a huge bin overflowing with crumpled up sheets of drafts and revisions. For the 21st century writer, the picture is a little different. You either keep editing or re-writing the same piece of work on your device or you hit delete and create a new document altogether. Whatever your modus operandi, the worm of doubt can cast a shadow on your best creation. Today’s Blogging Insights is about this fear/doubt/lack of confidence that attacks writers from time to time. The format today is a little different as you have noticed already. I have begun with a longer preamble and I am going to ask only ONE question which I will answer myself first.

Question

How often are you afflicted by self-doubt and what do you do about it?

~*~*~*~

There are many many situations in life where I second guess myself at first. I am the sort of person who takes decisions that affect others, very seriously. But once I have made up my mind, I go with it.

The same is in writing.

As I have often said in my blog that before starting this blog my experience of writing was from my school days. After those days, I didn’t write anything much, maybe just grocery lists. So with my blog, I started a brand new journey. To write for fun. To write for myself and others too. It was a novel experience.

At first, I was amazed that someone is interested in what I am writing. But with the support I got from all my blogging friends, my confidence increased and I started writing with much more panache!

Do I experience self-doubt?

Yes, I do but not too often. The reason is that I don’t write to sell anything or to promote anything. Nor do I write to gain likes and followers. If people like what I write I am happy that my message is getting through. And it gives a boost to my ego, that is the truth.

I write a lot of posts every day. Some of them are just lighthearted rambles and some I write with an intent to give a message. So for the former, I just go with the flow and for the latter, I give it enough time and thought so it is a worthwhile post. And in this process, I do get stuck sometimes. I have to decide if I want to post it or not. Some, like the daily challenges, I let it go, but if it is a post that I want people to take notice of, I sometimes delete the entire post and start from scratch.

At the end of the day, What really counts is if you yourself are satisfied with the post. And if you just press the publish button.

~*~*~*~

#Keepitalive

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A – Z blogging Challenge 2020- Theme Revealed

So I have decided to take part in A – Z blogging challenge this year. To be honest, it took a nudge from Dr Tanya to make me look into the possibility of doing it.

My theme would be;

Other and miscellaneous.

Why?

Because it’s a spontaneous decision and I have yet to think what I will write on. So too give myself open field, I have chosen this category.

So friends see you all in April, with this challenge.

#Keepitalive

Blogging Insights # 21- Optimum Posting days and time

Dr Tanya asks;

QUESTIONS

How frequently do you post on your blog?

Usually, I post 4-5 times a day. It is something I am seriously thinking about cutting down on but somehow I keep on posting at least 4 posts a day. It’s a hard habit to break. And there are so many interesting prompts that it’s hard to resist.

Do you believe there are optimum posting times and days?

I am sure there are. But it differs from blogger to blogger. It all depends on where your readers/ followers are in the world and what sort of interest they have. It also depends upon the type of blog one is writing. So there is no fixed optimum time for all bloggers.

As for days, I think Monday is a good day for Prompts. Quite a few bloggers post their prompts on Monday. I find Sunday a relatively free day and I think if a weekly prompt is posted on Sunday, it can generate interest.

Do you like to schedule your posts in advance? How many posts and how far ahead do you usually schedule?

Like you, I too love this feature of WordPress. I pre-schedule my posts for at least one day, and sometimes a couple of days. If I know that I am going to be busy, I schedule a few posts for the days I would be too busy to write. For my prompt post, What do you see, I usually schedule posts for a couple of weeks in advance.

~*~

#Keepitalive

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Blogging Insights # 20- The long and short of it!

Dr. Tanya asks;

The blogosphere remains in constant flux, changing shape and form according to the needs and desires of readers and writers. Hence any rules or norms that govern it are pretty flexible too.

This is true of the length of posts or content. Post length is arbitrarily divided into short form and long form content.

Short form posts are approximately 300 to 400 words, can be read in about two minutes and do not usually require a lot of critical thinking to assimilate.

Long form content is, loosely defined , a piece of writing more than 1000 words, some say not less than 2000 but again the criteria are arbitrary. It is a popular notion that the search engines prefer longer posts.

 

My Questions

1. Do you prefer writing long form or short form content?

I prefer short posts. They could be a few words of poetry or a couple of paragraphs of prose. Writing long posts requires a lot of time and as I am posting 3-4 times a day, shorter posts are more my thing.

2. How long, in your opinion, is the ideal blog post?

It really depends on what one is looking for. If I want detailed information, the post or the article has to be long enough to provide that information. If it is entertainment then any length that does the job without dragging is ideal. Typically, posts that carry information about physical and mental health or those related to DIY projects are by the mere nature of the topic, long. Poems, on the other hand, are short content.

3. What do you prefer reading, shorter or longer posts?

I am mostly pressed for time so a short post, carrying its message loud and clear is my preference. But if I want details, a long post will supply those. So my preference changes according to the type of subject the post is dealing with.

4. What are the topics on which you would like to read longer posts (say, more than 1000 words)?

As I said earlier, physical and mental health topics are those which usually need more length. And so do the informative types of posts. But the post should not be repetitive or too verbose. In today’s world, time is usually much in demand and short on supply so it is better that people write posts/ stories and poems which are just the right length for the greatest impact.

Thank you, Dr. Tanya. Great questions this week.

~*~

#Keepitalive

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Melanie asks!

Melanie has asked a couple of blogging related questions;

Do you ever ‘stretch’? 

If by stretch, you mean stretch my mind, then definitely I do. That’s how I learned to write flash fiction, short stories, and poems.

If by stretch you mean do I stretch the facts and truth? When writing a true story or an account of something that happened, I do add a bit of fiction to it to make it more interesting. Not to totally change the truth but to make the reading of that account more fun for the reader. I think we all do, even if we are telling the story or while writing it down. Because very few happenings are that funny or interesting by themselves.

Expand your horizons by writing outside your comfort zone?   If not, why?   

Initially, when I started writing, I thought I would write on the topics that I knew about from personal experiences, like diet, health, exercise and weight control. I also planned to write about health issues that women face after a certain age, drawing from my medical knowledge gained in med school.

But slowly I have ventured into fiction, poetry, and prompting.

The weekly prompt, that I have started was quite outside my comfort zone. But it has been well received and people are responding well.

All this is the adventure that is blogging. And it has taught me that the learning capacity of a human, whatever their age be, is unlimited. And it does us a world of good to step out of our comfort zone and try new things. It keeps our minds young and healthy.

Thank you, Melanie, for these insightful questions.

If you feel like tackling these questions, follow the link on the top of the post.

#Keepitalive

Blogging Insights # 19- Writing Prompts

Dr. Tanya Asks;

Questions

 1. Do you like to respond to writing prompts?

I really love doing prompts. They start my creativity going and the daily word prompts are really a great way to write on something which is outside one’s usual range of topics.

 2. Do you feel that they add value to your blog?

Now, this is really a very important question. Do they add value or is doing the prompt game just an easy way out? I frequently ask myself this question. I am actually at a point where I feel that I should cut back on my daily posts, which are mostly based on prompts.

But the right people to ask this question would be my readers. They can really tell me if it adds to my blog or otherwise.

 3. What is your favourite kind of writing prompts?

Any which gets my imagination going. Words are easier as they are versatile. Pictures are a bit more challenging. But if I get an idea with my first look, I am good. Otherwise, I struggle. The most challenging ones are the wordles. They have 12 words and some of them are very unusual.

But all prompts are fun.

 4. Which ones are you less likely to do?

I don’t usually do the poetry prompts which are based on different forms of poems. Since I know virtually nothing about them, I just leave them alone. Usually!

Thank you, Tanya, for these Blogging Insights Series. It is not only fun to answer your questions but it does give us a perspective look in our own minds and writing.

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The real me # 18

Rory is the host of The Really You!

A Guy Called Bloke Banner The Really You JPEG

The Really You!

Season 1 – Game 18

Question Fun Directory

What is or who is The Really You? No, really, as in really you? Who are you really? That’s basically what this game is about – who are you – who is – the really you!

Every week – just three questions – about you to tell us!

What are you reading then?

I have Doggerd by Sue Vincent, We hide what we hate about ourselves by Mel of Learner at love, and A better man by Louise Penny on my kindle, open at this time! I am juggling these three and trying to finish them.

What prompts you to respond to prompts?

Words, which I can weave into a story or a poem. And pictures that trigger my imagination to write something about them. Sometimes a single word can make an idea pop into my brain and a post, poem or a story comes out in my writing.

What is your favoured style of writing genre?

Though I never imagined, poetry is my new favorite genre of writing. I find that it is easier to express myself via poems. A few words carry a wealth of meaning and have more impact than paragraphs full of words! I would not say that I write good poems because they seldom rhyme and are mostly free verse, but it really gives me satisfaction when I can say what I want to, by a poem!

~*~

#Keepitalive

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Blogging Insights # 18- Do you have a niche?

Dr. Tanya asks;

Questions

Do you have a niche for your blog If so tell us more about it. (ignore the rest of the questions).

When I started my blog I had decided that I would write about the issues women face after the age of fifty! Physical health, mental health, and social issues.

I also wanted to write about diet and weight loss. It is a big thing with me and I have spent more than half my life trying to lose weight.

But all these decisions are now on hold. I am doing a lot of writing but not only on the topics, but I had also initially decided on. I am writing on a number of other topics, doing prompts, both words and pictures, and writing stories too! I may come back to my original idea but not yet.

Have you ever thought of niche-ing down and why?

I think I have answered this one in the first question. I may do this sometime in the future. Or I may write more of my niche subject along with what I am writing now. It’s all in the air at the moment.

What are the topics you like to write about?

I love writing about life! That is a broad topic. But then it is the most versatile one. I like sharing my point of view on different aspects of life, the way we think and the way we react.

Food, diet, and health are also my favorite subjects to write about. I also do all types of prompts, which give a lot of variety to my writing.

If you chose just one as your niche, how much would you miss writing about the others?

I really would miss the prompts that I do. So I won’t give up on those, even if I do start writing more on my niche topics.

I think a niche is much more important in a blog if you’re making money off your blog. It helps attract the type of readers and followers who are willing to invest in your blog. But if your blog is for your own entertainment and satisfaction, it really doesn’t need to be on a specific topic.

~*~

#Keepitalive

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Blogging Insights # 17- Sharing and Caring

Dr. Tanya asks;

Question:

Do bloggers share all their tips or trade-secrets and should they?

~*~

This is a two-part question, and I will answer it in two parts as well.

Do bloggers share their tips or trade secrets?

It depends on what sort of blog a blogger is running. If they have a blog where they are doing their own thing and are not concerned with the actual business of blogging then they usually don’t share any tips on their blogs. If they come across a certain problem in blogging, they might mention it or can at times suggest a way to tackle it. And if they have a specific niche subject they may not do that either.

On the other hand, there are a few blogs that deal with the sole subject of blogging. They are always sharing tips on how to improve one’s blogging skills. They will be addressing topics like;

Increasing viewership

•Writing better content

•Promoting the blog on social media

•Tips on the technical aspect of blogging

•How to avoid pitfalls in blogging.

These bloggers are always keen to help and guide other bloggers on all matters of blogging. They share their well earned knowledge and expertise with their fellow bloggers and are a good reference point. One such blogger is Renard of Renard’s World. I think of him as a guru in our part of the blogosphere.

Should the bloggers share their trade secrets with other bloggers?

This is a question which I think most of us would answer as a yes. If you have the know-how, share it freely in the community spirit. But there are some people who cannot be bothered to do so. But thankfully in our corner of the blogging community, most people are generous and share. But be careful while taking advice from other bloggers. Use your own common and brain. If the advice seems conflicting with what you already know, then double-check it. Sometimes what people think is the right way of doing things is actually not!

In short, if you are a new blogger, others are keen to help and guide you. And if you are a seasoned and veteran blogger, do go out of your way to guide others. It’s all about caring and sharing.

Go out and show some love!

~*~

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2000 Followers! 😍 Thank you!

A big hearty thank you to my WordPress readers. I have officially crossed the 2K mark.

This is my performance so far. I have been blogging for 17 months now.

I really am grateful for the support of all my blogging friends here on WordPress.

Let’s hope for more happy times together.

#Keepitalive

#Blogging

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