Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 reasons why I do not like to write…

Photo by www.plannerisms.com
I do not like to write.  I have said it a dozen times and now I feel like I have to explain myself to you all.
1.       The first reason why I do not like to write is this stigma that you are only as good as the red marks on your school papers.  That seems to be true.  I am the #1 queen of the red mark papers.  I would get started on a thought, totally screw up the sentence, and the teacher would come behind me with his/her red pen.  I hated those pens, and if I had a second chance, I would have banished those red pens.  (Hummm, I would like to know how they grade now with all of this technology.)
2.      The second reason why I do not like to write is criticism.   Criticism can come in the form of not liking the subject matter to the style of writing, to that equal of the red pen marks.
3.      Third reason why is I am afraid that I will write about the same subject over and over again. 
4.      The fourth reason why I do not like to write is if I am stuck, I have nothing to write about, and if I do not have nothing to write about, you do not have anything to read.
5.      The fifth and finally reason why I do not like to write is….I LOVE TO WRITE.  I found that out when I started my journal a few years ago.  These are the reasons why.
a.       I overcame my first problem by first telling myself that I am no longer in high school, so therefore, I no longer have the red marks.  I found out that teachers have red pens to point out what a child has to correct, but the problem with that is when a child has a question, some teachers’ zone out, and never answer that child’s question.  The last two years of my high school was the most critical, but guess what people?  At that time, English was not a required subject to take.  I graduated in 1982 and according to the curriculum that I was given, I had choir, music theory, and a few study halls. I had really finished my schooling in the 11th grade.  Thank God they revamped the curriculum.  You learn by doing, and so it was practice make perfect or else.
b.      So people criticize, no big whoop there.  Well guess what, it is a big whoop if you want to monetize your blog, and you want readers.  That is what I have to tell myself, and I still tell myself that as I put fingertips to keyboard.  You have to know what you are talking about.  You have hold an interest to not just the person who has the same passion that you do, but to a person who is looked for something new to do.  It is not easy being a blogger.
c.       This brings me to the third problem…the same subject.  You have to know your subject, which some people call a niche.  Now if you are talking about coffee, and you love the taste, the aroma, and all things coffee.  Do not just have subject after subject about Starbucks.  It can get rather boring even for the people who worship Starbucks.  You may even get sick of writing about Starbucks.  If I was to start a blog about coffee, I would first introduce myself and my love of coffee, and why you should read about it each week.  Next post, I would talk about the beans and why it is important to have the perfect beans.  Next post, I would talk about the different types of coffee, and so forth.  When you get enough, a few friends told me about spinning it in a different way. 
d.      This bring me to the fourth problem…being stuck.  Now, in the last paragraph, I started talking about spinning the post.  There are different ways to do this, but to me the write (right) way is to take a piece of the parent post (original post), and elaborate on it to make a child post.   Again using “coffee” as our subject, say you could create a post about the different types of coffee; pod, whole bean, and ground.  You have 3 child posts from that one parent post.  Here is how…Your first post, you may talk about pod coffee and the different types of pods, and what machines uses that pod.  Next post would be about whole bean coffee.  You would talk about what to look for in a whole bean coffee and that you may want a grounder for that type of coffee and why.  The last post talks about ground coffee and what is the difference between the “real” stuff and instant.  Now you have 4 posts (the original and three child posts).  From that, you may be able to break it down further.   I will write more on how that is done at a later time.   DO NOT USE SPIN SOFTWARE! It will only make the Google gods mad at you, and cause your blog to shut down.
e.       Finally, do not just like writing, love writing.  If you are a freelance writer or just started out to be one, it can be the most reward thing to do, once you get started.  Research every subject, unless you are just writing for yourself, but research things anyway.  You do not want the wrong information to get out.  Even if it is how to spell a word.

 Pour your heart and soul into every piece, but give yourself time to relax.  You have the same rights as a musician (I do both, so I know), only you are a composer of words instead of music.  Having those rights means you follow rules and you are mindful of everyone’s works.  Know when a person is copying your work, because words cannot be duplicated if they come from the heart.   I say to you…WRITER, KNOW THYSELF.   

Saturday, March 15, 2014

How I write a post

Pic by theCreativePritz.wordpress.com
OK, I brought up a very important point in my last post on this blog.  It is something that some may be doing if they write a post or article and some may not.   I want to start out by saying there are many different ways to write a post, so I cannot say if mine’s is the correct way, I am just saying that this my technique for writing a post or article.  You have my permission to prepare to write this way or even modify it, just do not lay claim to is, just like I am not laying claim to all of it.  I am not sure if this is a proven method of writing or not. Again, this just works for me.
I have heard that the best ways to write is to just do it.  That may be true, but to me, there has to be some sort of prep work involved.  As I have said many times in my other blog, Simply Organized Crafts, everything has to start out with a plan, so to just start writing may work for some people, and at times when you are stuck for a topic, it does not work all the time.  This goes for any type of writing, rather you are writing for yourself, a blog, or a company.  Planning is the best method for me. 
Thought Process….
Before I put pen to paper (or in my case, fingertips to keyboard), I think about who I am writing too.  I have 5 blogs, each of them are unique (even the ones that sort of overlap each other), but to give you an idea, I have
            My Ambiance Life- That is this one, so I have to keep the writer in mind, give them ideas on what to write about, my thoughts on a subject pressing on my mind, or in the case of this post, how to write.
            Simply Organized Crafts-Ideas for the home, so I have to think about the organizer, the decorator, the person who runs their household.  I have been lacking in that department lately, so I need to reel it back in to that focus.  I also talk about technology for the beginner, the scared of technology, and the technology holdbacks. 
            P.Lynne Designs- papercrafting ideas, reviews of different machines, crafting techniques are what I write about in this blog.  Anyone who wants to know about them are welcome to take a look.  Again, I am lacking, but it is coming back around.
            Tricia’s Baskets- I am a direct selling consultant, so I am showing the consumer how to decorate with the products I am selling, talking about cooking with the products, recruiting and selling, and showing specials (which is all I have been showing lately.)
            Traveling to the Mouse’s House- is all about Disney, anything related to Disney, and traveling to other places (like my recent trip to San Antonio, TX).  I also show bargain tips to make the most out of your trip.  So, my audience are going to be travelers and travelers who are interested in Disney.
Once I think about where and to whom I am going to write to that day (or that moment), I think about the topic.  This is when I open up MS Word and plop down a title.  
I have been learning a lot about titles lately, and they say that a title has to be an attention grabber, like “Being a Consultant is not all it is Crack Up to be.”,   or “Babies are Very Critical.”, “How not to be a Mortimer Mouse.” (Hummm, those sound good).   Next, I just start writing.  If the writing requires research, I will do that too.  The one thing I will not do is edit.  At this point, I have not formulated a clear, cut post.  It is still raw.  If it is late, and I rarely do that anymore, because a girl needs her sleep, I will stop my post in Word, not Blogger or WordPress. 

Finalization

The last process is the editing.  I will read it out loud for clarity, editing along the way, adding highlights and links (in Word).  The only I will not do is add an image, because images cannot cut and paste from Word.  Once that is done, then I will cut and paste the post into the blog platform (Blogger or WordPress). I have a Tumblr account, but have not created a blog there, just follow people.  Once it is cut and pasted, I preview it (without graphic images), to make sure everything in Word transfer over, because sometimes technology will not cooperate with you.  I also make sure it is pleasing to the eyes.  
The last thing is the image.  Depending on the type of post I have, I will place one to six pictures max in the post.  If it is an image and a video, it is just one still photo.   For tutorials, for every instruction, there is an illustrated photo to go with it.
Once it is done, I preview it again.   This time, I am checking to see if the images are placed right.

Sharing is caring…

Once I publish the post, I am not done.  I share the post to the following sites:  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Sverve, Google +, and a couple of blog posting sites who have my permission to share my posts.   This is how you get traffic to you site.   So far it is working, but not fast enough.  If you are ever wondering why you are seeing only one or two hits on your site, not sharing could being the reason. 
Some tips:
  •             Have a memorable Title.   To have a titles like, How to shake your groove thing, does not cut it anymore.  It has to grab a person and make them want to read it.  
  • Once you have them, you have to keep them there.  Talk about your experiences with the subject, keep the subject in your niche (like scrapbooking), and make a call to action.  What is it do you want them to do, take away, or alert others about?
  • It has to flow from one point to another.
  • Edit.  You want spelling to be on point. (U does not spell you.) Do not depend on spell check too much, because it is not up to date, ask Google.   There are not enough people in the world to play catchup with the spelling.  Use common sense with sentences in ALL languages, not just the common ones. 
  •  
  •  Do share your posts.  This helps you when you want to monetize your blog, or if you want to guest blog.  People do not know who you are or what you are about if you do not share.
  •             Comment on other blogs.  There is a plugin called Comment Luv, and it is great.  I have not figured out how to put it on my blogger blogs, but when you comment on someone’s blog who has that feature, you enter your name, email address, and if you have a blog, your blog URL.  Once you do that, it will pull up the last post you wrote, and display it.  This is another way to get you post out there.
  • Finally, have fun.  This is not a thesis paper, it’s your blog, and your blog has a right to be here.  Take my method to heart, and you will have fun.  One final tip, and I mean it (this is IMPORTANT):  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT PAY SOMEONE TO GET LIKES, FOLLOWERS, AND FAVORS for your blog.  Most of them are fake and it will only hurt you in the end. It may take a while, but you will know a true like and follower when you see one.  They are sincere, take in every word you say, and bring in others without pay. Besides that, you are going to need that money for something else, like your Internet bill.


Be blessed.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday’s Writing prompt: Working with or without others in my generation.

Photo by Google Imgines
Today, I am doing a double prompt.  I just wanted to warn you that it could get quite long, so if long posts are not your thing, I apologize ahead of time.  One of the things I have allotted myself to be part of, is two sites that have writing prompts, BlogHer and SITS Girls.  My reason is quite simply, “in case I do not feel the love from the other prompt for the day” .  Let me clarify that, because at the moment it is only making sense to me, the writer.  In other words, I go to my writing prompt book, where I have save the month’s prompts from both websites, and look at the prompt for the day.  If I do not like the prompt, I will not write about that topic, so I will write from the other one.  But what if I do not like the other one as well?   I will just simply write from the heart.   I will do a follow-up to what that truly means to me at another time.   For now, let’s get on with the topics.  (Yes, you read me right, topics.)
Do I work well with others or by myself?
That is a tough one.  I do both.  There are times where I absolutely love working with other people, while at times I just want to be by myself, and work that way.   You know, there was a time, where I worked in an office or a store with other people.  It is called working a traditional job.  In fact, I never really considered going self-employed, until it hit me in the face 5 years ago.  (More like 14 years ago.)  I love working with other people.
The reason why I love working with people is education.  You can really learn about the person you are working with when you are bored or have a little down time.  You can also learn from them as well.  That education comes from things such as shortcuts on how to do a job better and smarter, where are the best places are to eat at around your work place, and what the supervisor likes and they do not like, unless that person just hates the pants off of you the moment you hit the door day one.  
What I love about working by myself, even in a traditional work setting, is having one’s own thoughts, taking the time to be careful not to make mistakes, and not having a person breathing down your neck, making sure that you do the job you were giving.  If there is a deadline, you do not have people interrupting you, and asking you how close you are to making that deadline.  You can get into a zone and before you know it, you have plenty of time to relax, because you have made the deadline ahead of schedule.
This leads me to why I do not like working with people.  There are some people who, lol, can I say they just don’t get it?  You tell them a thousand times what to do, and they come back and ask the same question.  When they finally get the instructions right, they still do it wrong, and you end up doing the whole project by yourself anyway.  If you work with a supervisor, sometimes they refuse to hear your ideas, because they have it all figured out, and they remind you the reason why they are over the project and not you.   They will even tell you that if you do not like it, you can ask to leave the project, but then you can be fired.
What I hate about working alone is I do not have anyone to bounce ideas off to except the client.  I do not get to hear the “you can go about it this way” idea that could lead to the same conclusion.  True, I can always learn from my mistakes if I have to repeat the same project, or apply the same techniques with a different project, but it helps when there are things that I want to do, and have someone help me with that accountability check.  Which brings me to the ability to talk to someone every once in a while.  Not someone who runs their mouth every 2 minutes, but someone, again, to bounce ideas off to. (Question:  How do these people ever get any work done?  I’m just saying)
So there you have it…On to the next topic, what I love about my generation….
I was born 7 months after President Kennedy was killed, 4 years old when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, witness the birth of Sesame Street at age 5, and the birth of the personal computer in the home at age 12(1977).   If you were born in 1964, that was me in a nutshell as far as major events go.  That is one of the things I love about being born in this generation.  We are not too old nor too young, we are just right.   I enjoy the old fashion way of communication, but at the same time, I love social media and the internet.   I do not like that a person sits across the table from the person you are texting to, when you just simply open your mouth to ask a question.  While these things are great, we, as people do not communicate like we should, and that is what I do not about the younger generation.   As each generation gets older, the more they do not communicate.  
It was nice to have the music that was music when I was in my 20’s.  Now, there are songs out there that I have no idea what they are singing about.   If I find a good song that I love, I am going to put it in my playlist.  I am careful to what that song is about.  It is getting harder and harder to do that.   I do not like the words, “Shorty” (girl), “Bitch” (a nasty, opinionated woman as oppose to being a female dog), “Ho” (an abbreviated version of “whore”), which I do not either version of the word, and “Skank” (no comment).  These are all demeaning words of a beautiful gender of people, a woman, and I do not think that anyone would want to be called that, but that is what these kids are listening to in this “so called” music.
We were the last generation to be taught how to respectful of others, especially our elders.  I never talked back to my parents and if I did, I knew what was coming to me.  My parents never hit me just to be hitting me, but I got a little tap on the butt as a reminder, and I only received one or two of them.   We were taught to respect God, learned how to worship Him and His Son.  I am not saying that these generations who came after mine doesn’t do that, but it seems to me that the majority are screaming, “What about my rights to do what I want?” Not, “what do I need to do to get by in this thing called life.”
I would have to say that it was not all great for our generation.  Our first disaster that we were all conscience of was the Savings and Loans problem, next was the Challenger explosion.  I was too little to remember when Dr. King and Robert Kennedy was killed.  I had to look up when the Savings and Loans crisis took place.  The first one I remember was Challenger, and I was in my early 20’s when that happened.  I remember I was watching Young and the Restless when that happened. (I was off from classes that day).   I was in my teens during the Disco era (I was in 7th grade so really a pre-teen).

I could go on and on about my generation but I am up to 1368 words at this point so, I will shut it off now.   Have a blessed day, and comment below about ether one of these subjects.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Vacation time in San Antonio

Hello from San Antonio, Texas.  I am here for 4 days that actually started Thursday, March 6, and I am leaving to go back home Monday.  I will not be giving any particulars about the trip on this blog, however, I will have that on my travel blog, Traveling to the Mouse's House. (Sorry, IPad does no allow me to do back links).
All will say is I went with my church group, including my mom and my pastor to a women's conference, and I had a blast.  I found out a few things along the way.
 1.  Plan for backup.  Friday was our free day, and my mom and I have a cousin who also lives in San Antonio, so we have a saying in our family, which is, "do not come into town and do not stop by." We flew in, so she came and got us.  I wanted to go with the others down by the Riverwalk, but I had figured out that our cousin would be upset at me if I did, so I suffered the inconvenience, and went with my mother and cousin.
2.  Do for yourself.  That evening, the original plan was To go a popular eating place called Papadeux (San Antonioans, sorry I botched up the spelling of that name, I know it is French).  Anyway, it was a two-hour waiting period, and some of us were starving.  Everyone got their own, but did not invite me and my mom to eat.  No, take that back., mommy did not want to impose, so we ordered in.  The hotel's food was not the best, but we ate it anyway.
3. Saturday was wonderful.  We learned about our bodies getting older.  (I do not need the older info as much, but I will the big 5-0 in July, so I might as well plan for it now.). I found out that a lot of bad habits can be undo by just exercising and eating healthy, two of the things that I have not been doing well.  A few weeks ago, I had bought Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs, but I had not started it yet, because I knew I was going to be on this trip, and I did not want to stop it once I got started.  Guess what I am going to be doing Tuesday?  If You guessed Shaun T, you got it right.  I also found out that a lot of pharm companies have talked Americans in thinking that they need all of these meds and synthetic vitamins.  Do not take my word for it, look it up yourself, consult your doctor before trying it.   I have more where that comes from, such as God has made you uniquely, so do not spend thousands of dollars trying to change your looks.  Again, I challenge you to search yourself.
4.  Finally, have fun.  Dispite Southwest Airlines messing up my luggage (filing a claim when I get home), a stopped up sink when we got into our room, high priced dips that did not taste good, and the wrong size vehicle to carry 11 Columbusites back and forth to where they need to go. (Nothing beats being 49.5 years old, the youngest in a van, full of middle-age to elderly women, praying and hoping that a SA cop does not pull you over for having more than the legal limit of passengers in a van with the sounds of Kool and The Gang blasting away.). By the way, no one was drunk in the van, just 10 old women and a baby (me) being silly.
If you cannot laugh at the moments in your life, you are not having fun.  Tomorrow, it is church, and yes, we will be riding legal, and then go down to the Quarry Market after that.  Monday, we will check out of our rooms, and bid a fond farewell to the Lonestar State of Texas, and say hello, to the Buckeye State of Ohio, and remember the friends we made here.   I hope visit one day again.
(Please Note: This is my first time in Texas, but it will not be my last).  Cross that one off the bucket list.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My parents are so cute….

photo from Fotolia.com
People often talk about how cute babies and children when they are engage into something for the very first time, having a sense of wonderment, and looking at you for reinsurance.  Their eyes light up because they have a accomplish something that they have never done in their short little lives.  At least that what I see when I observe my nephews and niece, as well as my friend’s two year old son.
Seniors do not have that same excitement.   Technology especially scares them to death, and sometimes, if you watch closely, they are not sure of what they are doing.
Take for instance, today (well Sunday where I live), my dad was watching CNN, and he had heard about this documentary about Egyptians called The Square.  I am not sure what it was all about, but he wanted to watch it, so he asked me about where to find it….Look it up.   OK, first of all, he has the same type smartphone I have, which is a Samsung Galaxy S3, but I looked anyway, because that is what you do when you were raised to almost stop what you are doing, and help your parent.   So, I found out that you can get it on Netflix.   I told my dad about it, and he said, “Good, can I get it on my television?”   I do a double check, because due to cutting back, I cancelled my Netflix account a couple years ago, I was not familiar with the new policies.  I told him that he could get it on his television, but he needed one of those desktop DVCR boxes.   “Can I get it on WOW?” he asked.   I explained that it depended on if WOW had it on Pay per view or On Demand.  So, he calls customer service, and he was searching at the same time.   Dad was getting frustrated with the many channels that was the television, so he had me look up, while he sat waiting on hold, and then he started fussing that he watches the news and sports, and he and mom did not need all of those channels.  He was right, because unless me or my siblings come over, that is all they watch, in addition to old movies, CBS soaps and Christian channels for mommy.
Another part of my Sunday had to do with how playful my parents still are with each other.   Daddy likes to pick, and I listened to the two of them.   Mommy told dad that he was being a pain in the neck, and he said, “Patti, you see how your mom is treating me?”  “She said that I was a pain in the neck,” after 62 years (52 of them in marriage, and 10 years dating).  I guess so, dad likes to frustrate people out of fun.  I had to really chuckle later on when they were sitting on the couch, and he started picking at her hand.   They were being cute.

So folks, the moral of my Sunday was this:  In the mist of celeb couples like Robin Thicke and Paula Patton splitting up, and others no longer seeing each other, I can always count on cute couples, like my parents, Sidney and Nellie Logan.   Let everyone say, “Awww.”