Tag Archives: blogging

Blogging Insights

Melanie from Sparks from a Combustible Mind passed on the idea for this post. Please check out her post and the blogger who originated these questions:                                                                                            https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/27669916/posts/55683

How important are images to a blog post?

What is the role of images in blog traffic and reader engagement?

How many images on average do you use in a blog post?

I think that images can be important to a blog post, but that really depends on the blogger and the subject of the post. From a pragmatic standpoint, having the occasional image can be easier on the eye than being confronted by large chunks of text, but I also don’t need the images either. I choose images and imagery because I connect well with them. Since I also do lots of photographic posts, I often like to make the image the focus, but I do use words to enhance the images. Sometimes, the images enhance the words; it depends on the links that I’m making.

Great Slave Lake in Autumn

Most people have become inundated by images and media of all kinds. For some people, especially people who have been raised to expect lots of visuals, not having them could be jarring. For others, having a break from all the imagery could be a relief. I think that in the end, it’s really the content of the post that drives whether or not the blogger wants to use visuals.

Skaha Lake in Summer

On average, I only use one or two images per post, but I have been known to use several. If I’m doing a post that’s not specifically photographic, I will use some of my pictures to back up a point I’m making.

Cameron Lake in Spring

I like these lake photos. Lakes can be calming, menacing, a giver of life, a taker of life. They can be all of these things, all at once. Images communicate. Sometimes just one thing, sometimes many things. Sometimes images communicate complex feelings or ideas that we don’t immediately understand.

To me, choosing images or visuals to add texture or depth to a post or having the images stand as posts on their own is dependent on thinking style, content, mood, and about 12 billion other things that go into making a person a person, because blog posts are what the bloggers are. 🙂

A Blogging Anniversary

I recently got a notification that I’ve been on WP for seven years now.

It has been a growing, very changeable period. I started with wanting to share an experience, and through writing about that experience, I was able to sort through what happened and how it happened and how I had contributed to it. I wanted my blog to be informative for others, and more importantly, I wanted it to be a sort of catharsis. But, as with so much of life, it turned out that I had much more to learn than to share.

So, what happened? I didn’t know it then, but I started with a question about being a human being. I was asking, where in my head do I come from? And later, where in OUR heads we do WE come from? And still later, where in our heads are we going?

This blogging experience became a journey of interior exploration which became a journey of exterior exploration, an exploration of others and how they bounce off me, how I bounce off them, and how that bouncing changes us, even if only in the smallest of ways.

When I was much younger, I used to think that everything changes. Then I thought that nothing changes. Then I realised that in between the everything and the nothing is a world of life, that if I spent too much time worrying how I should change or not change, or how others should change, that nothing would change.

Which is really interesting, because physically, lots has changed, and that lead to a further discovery of inner landscapes that I didn’t know were there. I did a 360.° What comes around goes around. 😉

In the last seven years, I got married. I moved to a different province to take a job in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Then I moved, sort of, again, this time to take a job in Canada’s north. My home is in BC and I have another home, a “work home” in the Northwest Territories.

I am now an administrator and the buck stops with me. It was scary at first but I have become more comfortable as I have become more experienced. I am paid very well; I am at the top of the earning capacity for my profession, something I thought I would never achieve. I didn’t even think of it as a possibility, but now it’s a reality and I’m grateful.

My M retired. About three to four years from now, so will I. We have started looking for another home; it will likely be our last one.

As I have changed, so has the content of this blog. I started with posting about narcissism, then I slowly started posting about lots of other things. I still post about narcissism and still read about it, but it’s less dominant for me now.

My readership has changed lots too. The vast majority of the bloggers I followed in the first couple of years have stopped posting. A few announced that they were leaving. Sadly, a few passed away. Others have completely revamped their content and moved on to other topics as well.

Some of those first blogs that I started to follow are still here and I love that I’ve gotten to “know” these bloggers so well, even though we’ve never met and in some cases, I don’t even know their real names. I don’t post under my real name either – I post under my grandmother’s name. I remain cautious about the old ex-narcissist still lurking out there behind his computer screen.

Those I have followed for years now have changed too, and I have enjoyed that they have shared those changes. Some of the changes were planned major departures from the previous, others much more subtle. These bloggers welcomed me, enveloped me, and challenged me to think or feel or see in a different way. Thank you. 🙂

I initially wasn’t sure how this whole blogging thing was supposed to work, but I got the hang of it. I still remember thinking that it was pretty amazing that someone would click “follow,” that people would want to read or look at what I have here. It still amazes me.

Having said that though, blogging is kind of odd. We say a whole lot about ourselves, either directly or indirectly, and we put it out there for others to look at, comment on, and to decide whether they like it or not, literally.

All of the photos in this post are of roads. They were taken through the windshield of our blue Ford truck while we were travelling rather long distances. M and I very much enjoy our long drives. We talk, we think, we daydream. These roads all lead to places large and small, unique, ugly, barren or dazzling. But really, in the end, it’s the journey, isn’t it?

Kind of like blogging. 🙂

Random Acts of Kindness Award

Ursula from An Upturned Soul has gifted me with the Random Acts of Kindness Award!

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Thank you, Ursula! It was very surprising and very welcome. 🙂

Ursula is a truly gifted writer and thinker, and I’ve been very lucky to know her since very early in my blogging life – about six years now. She has become a friend, and over the years we have had many interesting conversations via comment-chats. Ursula’s parents were both narcissists, and when I was a beginning blogger and still sort of reeling from the experience of my ex-narcissist, she often opened my eyes, pointed to different interpretations, helped me to see that I had all the tools I needed to have, and very generally communicated that I was travelling a learning curve that just had to be travelled. Ursula is smart, funny, insightful, patient and caring (I’ve seen her really pour herself into helping a reader figure out narcissism or come to terms with it – including me), wonderful to know and I just love her. She lives her life kind of sideways, and I think that is what gives her her extraordinary ability to really see and know human beingness and to also work her way through the uber-demanding and extremely difficult set of crazy-making issues that growing up “in-narcissist” will produce.

From Ursula: This award was created by Mws R Writings, and you can check out the birth of this award and her vision for it in her post —> Random Acts of Kindness Award/RAKA – Mws R Writings.

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The rules are:

1.Tell who you nominate and why.

About a year and a half ago, I came across a very funny blog. I re-blogged one of  Brian’s posts because I couldn’t stop chortling and chuckling and I wanted anyone reading my blog to become acquainted with this great story-teller. Not only is Brian funny, but his humour is informed by a difficult childhood, a very kind heart, an acceptance of humanness in all its weirdness, and an insightful facility with life’s vagaries that not only makes me want to laugh, but also sometimes to cry. Brian is a blogging gem who shares peace, tranquility and insanity. 🙂

2. Copy and share the picture that shows the award.

Done.

3. Share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

When I was in the middle of dealing with my ex-narcissist, when I thought I was losing my mind and heading for bankruptcy, a very good friend of mine held me together. She fed me (in more ways than one), opened her house to me and listened as I repeated my fears, blamed myself, kicked myself, and ranted and raved. She provided a haven, gave me books (about narcissism) to read, and through her kindness required me to start thinking again. She pointed me in the right direction and gently prompted me to stop wallowing. C, you are the best and I love you.

4. Nominate anyone or share to your own page if you choose to participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who gifted you, or the original post.

That’s it.

I’ve enjoyed blogging a lot. I have learned a lot, been challenged to change my thinking, and have “met” many interesting people. In the meantime, I have been able to sort myself out in lots of ways.

What a great thing.

 

 

 

 

Why Do You Blog?

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The idea for this post came from https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com who asked this question after being prompted by a blog that she follows: https://aguycalledbloke.blog.

It’s a good question.

Why DO I blog?

Well, for the most part, it started out with wanting to hang a warning sign on the Narcissistic Personality Disordered people among us who go crashing through the lives of the unsuspecting, causing all kinds of damage and mayhem; in some cases even murder.

But along the way, many things changed. In interacting with other blogs and reading the comments, I came to realise a few things.

The first is that I had a lot more to learn about narcissism than I could impart. Intellectually, I knew that before I started, and knew that I could only write what I had experienced. But I also didn’t know it. The “ordinary”experiences and thoughts of others provided a depth and challenge that I wasn’t able to achieve on my own or through just reading the work of professionals on the topic.

Ordinary experiences, as in, “yup, I experienced a narcissist in my office and here’s what learned. I’m not a psychologist and I didn’t have one living in my house. But here’s a piece of the puzzle,” became central to how I thought about narcissism and to how I thought about people.

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So, my idea to write about narcissism from a position of experience quickly became writing about narcissism to help me think through it in a more cogent, spherical way.

It also became a way to think about my responsibility in it. Again, I had recognised that I bore some responsibility, but I needed to explore that. And writing about it, reading others’ writing about it, and considering how they saw it, helped me to place myself, including finally being able to admit that I had been raised by a narcissistic mother. I really began to see how I had contributed to my own issues.

My thoughts about narcissism, how I had been affected by it, and my part in it, were chaotic and driven. Writing about it was therapeutic.

I don’t consider myself to be a writer. I’m never going to write a great novel or even a really good blog post. I dabble in writing because the mental exercise of it has been good for me. And, it’s given me the opportunity to read some really good stuff by other bloggers who are far more talented than I am.

Reading blogs about narcissism lead me to other blogs that weren’t about narcissism, and now I follow and randomly read lots of blogs that have nothing to do with it. I have branched out in my own posts. Sometimes I still write about narcissism, and I definitely still read about it, but it’s not the main theme any more.

For me, blogging has become, for the most part, about exploring others’ ideas, humour, travel, photos, musings, reflections and food, just to name a few. I love that I can read a blog about exploring Dorset (https://thedorsetrambler.com) – whose author/photographer writes about his explorations in the most gentle and lyrical way – and then switch over to see what’s going on in someone’s kitchen (https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog).

In a nutshell, it has become the journey to otherness, the exploration of what’s not-me.

Why do you blog?

Rebel Coffee Cake/Blogger Awards Nominations

I have been nominated for a blogging award. 🙂

I’m not going to do the award requirements but I do want to pass on the names of the nominator and the other nominees.

In particular, please take a look around Cecilia Kennedy’s Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks blog. Lots of good recipes and tips. Many thanks for the nomination, Cecilia. Much appreciated.

https://wp.me/p8ngk4-pL

And, enjoy a photo of Yellowknife’s Back Bay on Great Slave Lake.

Happy Monday after the clocks have fallen back.

A Few of the Blogs I Follow

Happy New Year! 🙂 I hope 2017 is off to a good start for you!

To begin the year with the right winter flavour (Yup. I know. Some of you are in much warmer climes, and yes, I’m jealous), here’s a seasonal winter picture that I took in my former hometown:

A Canadian Winter Scene - Ice Fog on the Prairies A Canadian Winter Scene – Ice Fog on the Prairies

Since becoming a pilot many years ago, I have (obviously) had a big interest in weather and have developed a serious appreciation for its nuances. In this picture, I love the muted, gauzy, exaggerated light of the sun trying to break through a temperature inversion. Later that day, the sun did break through and the frost quickly disappeared.

But that’s not what I want to write about. Really.

I’ve lately been thinking that in blog years, I’ve been around WP for quite some time – four years! – and have been following and reading some of the same blogs for about that long. So today, I thought I would pass on the names of a few of those blogs. They are fascinating and interesting and have stood the test of time. In blog terms, that is. 🙂

So, to those who have stuck to it and kept blogging, despite all kinds of life stuff and no doubt the occasional temptation to just stop, you have my most sincere appreciation.

There’s no award involved and no questions to answer.

I just want to say thank you.

I just want wish you good luck and continued happy posting:

  • Ursula at anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com. Ursula is a fantastic writer who will make you think, laugh and cry. She’s had a big impact on how I look at the narcissistic interactions I’ve had in my life, but her writing is about so much more than that. I’ve also learned as much, if not more, from the comment sections of her posts. Drop by for a visit.
  • Jenny at http://charactersfromthekitchen.wordpress.com. I love Jenny’s museum visits and travels and her witty humour and great photos. She’s taken me along on some really wonderful day trips. Stop and say hi.
  • Nelson at http://oneoldsage.wordpress.com. Right now, my neighbour Nelson (he lives close-by in the Okanagan) is working on a novel-length piece of fiction, but he has shared trips to Europe and his thoughts about surviving cancer, among many other things. He really is “one old sage.”
  • Jenny at http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com. Jenny doesn’t publish as much as she used to because she’s been very busy with her elderly parents and she’s also just become a grandmother! 🙂 Her heartfelt poetry is touching and genuine – have a little browse.
  • Jill at http://jillweatherholt.com. Jill has just published a book! 🙂 For a long time now I have enjoyed her kind, thoughtful, compassionate posts and comments.
  • Caitlin at http://broadsideblog.wordpress.com. Caitlyn is a journalist, traveller, teacher, liver of life and fellow Canadian who lives and works in the US. She writes about many and varied topics and they are always interesting, well researched and well done. Take a look through her archives.
  • Ross at http://rossmurray1.wordpress.com. Another fellow Canadian, Ross is a humourist who lives in Quebec. Until recently, he was a regular contributor to CBC’s Breakaway (http://www.cbc.ca/breakaway). Like Caitlyn, he writes about many topics, and he’s always enjoyable, acerbic and witty. He’s also published a book!
  • Ned at http://nedhickson.com Ned lives in Oregon and is a very busy man. Take a look at his blog and you will see what I mean, but you will also enjoy his gentle and self-deprecating humour and commentary. Ned was also one of the very first bloggers I followed.
  • Mark at http://exileonpainstreet.com. Mark’s posts are eclectic, varied and genuine. He shares his visits to New York’s museums along with journal entries from his callow youth and other observations about life and such. He’s always a fantastic read.
  • Christopher Martin at http://christophermartinphotography.com. Christopher is a truly gifted photographer whose nature and wildlife pictures are amazing. He takes many of his photos in the Alberta foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  Right now he’s doing a series on the snowy owl; last spring I spotted one of his photographs (it shows an elk being hunted by wolves) in The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com). You can find the wolf series of photos on his blog, but be aware that they also show wolves doing what wolves do best.

So, if you aren’t already familiar with these blogs, go by for a little visit – you won’t be disappointed.

Do you have some long-time follows that you would like to share?

To Moderate or not to Moderate? That’s the Question, but What’s the Answer?

What's moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?
What’s moderate? A whole bottle of wine? Two? None?

As bloggers, we get all kinds of comments. They are intrinsic to the whole bloggy bit. I look forward to comments. I like making comments. They are the lifeblood of the blogging world. They range from the hilarious to the poignant. But every now and then, we can get comments that prompt a different range of reaction.

There’s the kind that sets your teeth on edge. The kind that pisses you off. The kind that creeps you out.

I publish comments that I don’t agree with. I try to address them the best way I can without being rude or offensive. Live and let live. Not everyone is the same and diversity is healthy.

The creepy ones? The ones that make you feel like you’ve stepped on a dead slug with your bare foot? Those get labelled as spam and sent somewhere.

Then there’s the kind that you don’t know what to do with.

I got one of those yesterday. It rambles and it’s contradictory. It’s confusing at times. It sounds like Sarah Palin.

It could be an honest attempt at expression from someone who struggles with that … or maybe not.

The other thing is that there are bits of it that I really disagree with, and that’s the problem.

Am I being a chickenshit? Am I being lazy? Do I just not want to deal with the layers of stuff going on in this comment? Am I saying that this is my blog, I don’t like that comment, and commentator, you can just stuff it?

Because what really gets me is that this is a comment about narcissism. And the writer ends this comment I-don’t-like with, “and I’m not a narcissist.” Which immediately makes me think that he/she is a narcissist.

But it also sounds like it’s coming from a narcissist. I feel like there’s an attempt to reel me in, to undermine, to, to, slime all over everything.  Sometimes, narcissists like to troll, like to present themselves as victims. Sometimes, they do a sort of hiding in plain sight. Covert narcissists. Then, there’s the narcissist who claims to not be a narcissist. Just so they can press some buttons and laugh at the discomfort they cause.

But maybe I’m over-reacting.

This comment has made me uncomfortable. And because of that, the comment is hiding in moderation-land. And maybe that’s all the warning I need.

If it makes you uncomfortable, don’t go there.

What’s moderate? Letting this person comment and then possibly opening some floodgates to a conversation I don’t want to have? Or is it my duty to just take on the bad with the good and get on with it? Just because I don’t want to do it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

Do you publish comments that you disagree with? That you don’t like? That make you uncomfortable? What are we supposed to be moderating? What’s moderate, anyway?

A Whole Year, with Thanks

A decorated birthday cake
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So WordPress reminded me a couple of days ago that it was my anniversary! I’ve been blogging for a whole year! I think it’s time for a round-up!

October, 2012 – I started the year all serious. I was going to  save the world from narcissists!

November – Still serious about the dreaded narcs. Was starting to realize that there was a lot more to write about, though, and a lot of interesting stuff to read, like why I shouldn’t fear potatoes and why google is better than yahoo.  With names like that, recreational water torture is probably better.

December – I wrote a couple of rants about the holidays. I hate shopping, so shoot me now. Happy Thankshallowmas. Jenny Pellett thought this was great – thanks, Jenny :). Btw, there are lots of great writers around here named Jenny .

January – I was back at work after some medical leave and then got sick. Go figure. Water was a central feature of my life.

February – I did a couple of fairly well-received posts on narcissism and then moved on to other things.

March – I was back ranting and/or commenting again and began thinking about changing the name of my blog.

April – I changed my name! No more Mr. Narc Guy. Well, mostly.

May – I wrote a lot of random stuff. And then I wrote a post called Random Stuff.

June – I did some whining about how I’m not a morning person. You’d think that I would have this out of my system, but oh no. I just found out that non-morning types live shorter, unhealthier lives. If I wasn’t awake when I first started reading the article, I was certainly awake afterward. Since then, I have radically changed how I deal with sleep, I eat healthier, I exercise more … yeah, right.

July – I dipped my toe in the fictional waters again after a long absence.

August – M and I got married!

September – Waaahhh! I broke my computer! When it recovered, I started whining about the holidays again. Yup. That would be me.

October, 2013 – Only one post from me, because I’m monumentally busy with a change-of-career project that I’m working on. I’ve been reading all of you, though, and enjoying your posts thoroughly! 🙂

But this post together with a post from Rarasaur got me thinking. How long do we bloggers last? The shelf-life seems pretty short. Many people whom I started following last year don’t post anymore, even though they were doing well. Is keeping up the blogging harder than people anticipate? Do many not really understand what they’re getting into and how they are essentially making a commitment when they click that “follow” button? What do you think? Any thoughts about this?

In any case, I want to send a sincere thank you to all those who follow me or have clicked like – I appreciate you all. 🙂