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Archive for the ‘The World of Blogging’ Category

The Best Blogs on Writing

February 7, 2009 Leave a comment

We spend so much time blogging and looking for good, consistent blogs on writing that when you find a great list already compiled, you feel like you hit the mother lode.  You feel like sharing it with the world.

And so I hit the mother lode yesterday.  Christina Laun obviously has good taste and spends a lot of time online.  She has compiled one of the most comprehensive list of writing blogs I’ve ever come across.  She categorized and wrote a short summary of each contribution. 

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2009/02/05/top-100-creative-writing-blogs/

I encourage you to rummage through the 100 she has targeted as the BEST.  Pick out a couple to follow.  One of my favorites is Randy Ingermanson’s Advanced Fiction.  I just started looking at Laun’s selections, so I may have more that are worth following.

Let me know what you think of her list.

Blogging

November 14, 2008 Leave a comment

I have been blogging for a few months now and realizing that successful blogging is not successful without equal attention to all its parts.  Writing well and offering substantive content are certainly plusses.  However, there are other components…marketing related. 

A successsful blog includes reading other blogs and leaving messages.  Surfing the web to see what others wrote and their online presentation.  You are in a quasi competitive position.  You want people to read what you’ve written (otherwise why bother writing it in cyberspace), yet you never dreamed you would be competing for eyes.

To draw attention to your blog, you leave messages and add your blog address on other blogs.  Be sure to email all your friends, family and colleagues announcing that you have launched the best blog ever.  If they like it, they will pass your blog onto their friends. You offer contests. You link to other blogs.  You carefully select metatags and sign up with other search engines.  You join social networks and describe your blog on each of them.  Some examples of social networks are facebook and my space.  Others might be jigsaw.com, linked in, classmates, reunion, you get the idea?  You could run down the directory from your college or group membership.

One other thing that attracts readers.  That is if you have an edge to your writing. Maybe you write with humor?  Or maybe cynicism?  Your writing has to have bite.  You need to engage or incite people, so that it gets readers to think and revisit.  Or if you aren’t prepared to critique or write humor, try supplying straight fact or information. 

If you give a reason for people to visit, they will come and come back. 

Blogging Expectations

July 22, 2008 Leave a comment

Sorry about the hiatus.  I was contemplating in what direction I was taking this blog.  I am debating whether introducing more of me into the content would dilute the content.

 

So, I have been scouring other writing blogs to see what other bloggers say on the topic.  A couple of them have two individual blogs.  One dedicated to writing and the other dedicated to more personal perspectives. 

 

I can barely find time to write this blog (I work full time).  So sustaining two blogs is not happening. And while I could blog at work, because I am often alone in the office, I do not.  No, I don’t consider myself a goody two shoes (I wonder where that strange expression came from?) by any stretch of the imagination.  I just think that I can accomplish more if I try to keep my activities confined to blocks of time. 

 

Okay, I also think that when you are hired to do a job and you do your own thing on company time, you are in essence stealing from the company.  It isn’t traditional stealing in tangible goods, but nevertheless, it impacts the bottom line.  How does a small business truly grow if everyone on the payroll takes undue advantage of the situation?

 

I began this blog on a whim.  Writing daily was my first goal.  I know that if I keep the channels open, writing becomes easier.  It’s like playing piano.  You lay off the keys for awhile; you get rusty.   It also builds a readership.

 

During my hiatus, I have been learning about search engine optimization and working on writing projects.  I sense that I am spreading myself thin, so I’m paring down again.

 

I will stick with this blog, because I have things about writing to share.  I will work on my writing. 

 

And while we are on the topic of knowledge and sharing….did you ever notice that as we grow older, we seem to know less? 

 

Visit again and learn what I just noticed about aging and learning.  Sometimes, it is painful to be that observant.

Blogging with a Purpose

July 13, 2008 Leave a comment

When I started blogging, I never realized just how much energy it would take to sustain writing consistently.  I have to admit it became a little easier the more I posted, but still sometimes I think of it as work instead of a fun thing to do.

I like blogging.  Did I kill the fun when I limited the topic to the business of writing?  On some days, such as this, I like writing about whatever I’m thinking about.  (Okay who’s yawning out there?)

Unless my blog becomes a reveal all reality journal, what will be the attraction, the hook?  And do I really want to venture into the realm of telling people I hated my ex-boyfriend’s mother or brother or couldn’t stand my husband’s best friend?

Is it okay now to air the family’s dirty laundry?  Remember the Jones next door will know my secrets and the Jones family in Siberia will too.  

Victoria Schmidt writes “if you can’t stand conflict in life, then you won’t be able to write conflict on the page.  Conflict is what stories are made of, so get used to it.  Enjoy it.  When writers can’t stand to do bad things to their characters, they usually are terrified of conflict.  These writers rarely have successful careers.”  Her point is well taken…but who goes out there and taunts viewers to charge them with daggers? 

Okay, yes shock jocks like Howard Stern and Don Imus, well known for antagonizing one group or another do it.  Yes they are successful for not dancing around conflict but what is the price they have to pay? 

Will I ever be that controversial?  Probably not.  Do I have something to say?  I think so.

So, my immediate issue is that I need to make blogging fun again.

We blog because we want attention.  Otherwise why not write in a journal and hide it under the mattress, the way most people did four decades ago? 

I’m changing the tone, but not the look.  I’m evolving and so is this blog.

Welcome to: The World According To Cori Chu. 

Blogging: The Newest Panacea for Good Health

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment

 

Geesh.  Blogs are now the new hip research project.  The hypothesis is that blogging is good for you. 

 

And this is a surprise?  Didn’t anyone read the same studies I read about 25 years ago  (cough, cough)? How writing encourages good health was the research topic.  Isn’t blogging considered writing?  So why wouldn’t you surmise that the results might be similar? 

 

The 25 year old article stressed how even the simple act of writing a list of things to do can greatly improve your well being.

 

Drawing up a checklist can relieve mental stress, it reported.  By looking at the tasks at a glance, you can tell how realistic your expectations are.  When half the list falls to the next day, it comes as no surprise.  You have become mentally prepared for the stress of  not completing everything you had hoped and therefore, alleviating some of the stress that accompanies leftover tasks.  As the tasks are accomplished, you tick them off,  and aside from getting stuff done, you also get a surge of serotonin, a chemical in your brain, which makes you appreciate what you accomplished.  You feel good.  You feel satisfied.

 

So what if you poured your feelings onto a page, spewed forth your anger, your frustrations and recognize your many gratitudes and why you feel so blessed?  Will it have a more noticeable, positive impact?  If I remember correctly, it does.  When you spill your guts onto a blank page, it is like opening a pressure cooker valve release. 

 

At Southern Methodist University and Ohio State University College of Medicine the scientists conducted clinical tests that show that writing contributes directly to your physical health too.  They noticed that their subjects who wrote thoughtfully about their traumatic experience showed increased T-cell production, drop in physician visits, fewer use of sick days, and overall improvement in physical health.

 

This makes sense, because say we accept the assumption that writing relieves stress.  If stress is relieved, then the immune system is not compromised.  Supposedly, stress and over eating can cause the immune system to slow, leaving the body vulnerable to greater opportunities for infection.  So it is safe to say writing is considered a stress coping mechanism.

 

Research also reveals that writing improves memory and sleep and speeds healing after surgery. 

 

All of this is not new.  People have been writing journals and diaries for eons, but what is different is that blogging has allowed the researchers greater access to the process and content.  Bloggers share their thoughts with the world.  And maybe that’s what is making a difference in this round of research studies.  Bloggers hide nothing. 

 

One article referred to blogging as self-medicating.  Interesting viewpoint…maybe this is up for further exploration in another entry?  Suddenly I’m feeling quite tired.  Did I over do it with the self medication with all this thinking and writing?  Until another day.