The Cost Of Blogging

Timing is a funny thing and not always in the “this makes me laugh so hard my sides hurt.”

I can tell you a story or two about how bad timing helped or hurt potential relationships but today I am more concerned about it for professional reasons.

Spent most of last week in meetings on the East Coast and came back with a mixed bag of nuts.

Could be more specific than that, but just in case the powers that be find this post I prefer they don’t hear me asking WTF they were thinking.

Prefer they not know many of us felt like they tried hard to refill our batteries while stealing our mojo at the same time.

I know that wasn’t their intention but sometimes it is just how it goes.

But the real point of my frustration is I came back with one hell of a nasty bug that and have been doing battle with it for days.

What You Can’t See

What you can’t see if me lying in the middle of the road having been run down at least twice by the horses and their mad rider.

All you know is that they beat me silly and I am too dumb and too stubborn to just lie down and take it.

Somehow I struggled to my feet, got knocked down again, got up again and got knocked down and somehow found myself lying in bed covered in muck.

It is not the heroic tale we wish to tell about ourselves but sometimes it is what happens. I’ll even admit I called out not for mom, but mommy.

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Anyhoo, here we are days later and I feel like a shadow of a person but a person nonetheless.

That is progress and I’ll take it while telling you that I am furious about the timing here because I have a big meeting next week and this illness has stolen a chunk of time.

Doesn’t mean that I won’t figure out a way to make things work but there are no guarantees and the hammer upon my skull makes it hard to focus.

The Cost Of Blogging

Your fearless author Old Jack Steiner teaches his children to remember there is a cost for everything.

It is not a lesson in negativity but a reminder for fiscal sensibility and awareness. It is important to pay attention to what we spend money on as well as how and where.

So I try to practice what I preach and remind myself that doing so means I ought to take time to look at the cost involved in some of my hobbies, such as blogging.

Certain things are easy to identify, such as the costs for hosting which reminds me I am not certain that I am getting enough out of Synthesis anymore.

Don’t take that to mean they don’t provide a solid service because they do but I am paying more for hosting two sites than I like.

Hosting doesn’t take into account the cost of themes which for me isn’t bad because although I use premium themes I tend to hold onto them for a while so the cost is amortized over time.

Time

Time is a cost which is why it gets its own subhead.

Our time is worth something and because it is finite I am always cognizant of it.

I pay more than I have to for hosting because I believe the service I get saves me time that I might otherwise spend elsewhere.

And let’s not forget to account for the time it takes to write and publish these posts because that is significant too.

I am faster at composing and publishing than most people but that doesn’t mean there is no cost centered around it.

None of that changes the cost tied into blogging or makes it easier to pretend it doesn’t exist, because it does.

Anyhoo, I have been thinking about how much time I have to invest here quite a bit and I keep coming back to the same place.

Not enough.

Or maybe it is more accurate to say, I still love blogging but not as much as I once did so I am going to have to get around to making some decisions about whether to combine blogs or keep both going.

Decisions, decisions.

The Great Google War of 2016-17 Is Over

I never thought it would happen but it did.

Google slapped me with a penalty claiming I had some funky links that didn’t meet their Terms of Service.

I didn’t expect it because I have done very few sponsored posts and those I did came from reputable companies whose names you know.

Nintendo, Subway, Kenmore and a few others.

I made a point to make sure I disclosed my relationship and went about my business but old man Google didn’t like it.

He/She/It told me about the penalty last October or maybe it was November and said that until I cleaned things up they would not crawl my site.

Since they didn’t tell me what was wrong it took a bit of time to cull through 10,000 posts and guess at what needed to be fixed.

Apparently, I figured it out and was reinstated.

The Great Google War of 2016-17 is over.

Push Forward

I was irritated by the penalty but it didn’t stop me from writing or trying to push forward.

My kids hear me talk about the importance of being relentless and of chasing down our dreams and I do my best to live it.

It is part of why I haven’t been as active here because I have been pushing forward in other places.

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I am a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt…quotes.

 

If you are among the long time readers you have seen me use a bunch of different ones on numerous occasions.

Ideally, they have done a good job of helping to illustrate a point and or add some depth and layers that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

That has been a part of the push, becoming a better writer/storyteller and I feel like I am making progress.

Stories To Share

Got a bunch of stories locked up inside my head that I want to share but I haven’t figured out the who, what, where and when.

Haven’t decided if I want to do it here or elsewhere.

Haven’t decided if I want to test things out here with my pseudonym or if I should do it under my real name.

There are bigger and more important decisions that occupy my days, but this one holds some weight.

Circle back to the quote about courage and you have my biggest issue.

The other stuff that is going on in my life is tiring me out and my reserves are low so my willingness to put some personal stuff out there is a bit lower.

It is not that I can’t handle criticism, but I kind of don’t want to right now.

That is not a good recipe for success but it is a good excuse for not doing anything right now.

So I am working on balancing things out by giving myself a little break. Doesn’t mean you won’t see anything new here, but it does mean that I might continue to wait to produce some new fiction.

We shall see, in the interim I am exhausted after a long day of Superbowl watching and other stuff so will end this now and say see you tomorrow.

Bloggers: About That Parent Blogger Space

Sometimes you come back from your vacation feeling more tired than when you left.

If you are like me you find that aggravating because a vacation is supposed to be a time for recharging your batteries and renewing your energy so that you can live and not just pass through life.

This last vacation wasn’t of the sort I prefer and though it was fun, it left me feeling a bit drained and I have spent this past week feeling like I am dragging.

It is part of why I haven’t written as much as I wanted to but it is not the only reason.

Some of it is because I am still in that funny place where I want to be part of the parent and dad blogging communities and yet find some of it exhausting.

Why?

It is not because I have shared every thought or told every story, even after 13 years in the blogging game there is plenty to say and share.

But some of the passion for participating isn’t what it used to be and I can’t decide if it is because so many of the bloggers I used to run with have decided to hang up their keyboards or if it is just a moment in time.

What I am certain of is that my place has changed and that I have little interest in the stories about infants, toddlers, breast feeding and all the other young kid stuff.

That is not to demean or diminish any of it because it is of tremendous importance, but I have been there and done that.

My focus is on the middle and high school years because that is where my kids are at and that transition changed everything.

It Is Harder

Those of you with little kids might not like hearing this, but the little kid stuff is generally easier than the bigger.

That is provided we are talking about children who don’t have special needs or major health issues.

It is different when your kids are older and you have to deal with the drama that comes raging hormones, teen drivers, dating and middle school madness.

When your kids and friends are on social media and think it is funny to post videos of themselves doing stupid crap but never think of potential consequences you find yourself in a different position than being sleep deprived.

You might not like the four year-old who doesn’t share but you really aren’t going to like the boyfriend/girlfriend who rips your child’s heart out and there is not a lot you can do about it.

The days of putting them in the crib/play pen/room whatever are gone.

And if we circle back to social media for a moment let’s not forget the kids and their friends sometimes Google themselves and find posts you have written about them.

This hasn’t happened to me because I never used names but I know people who had trouble because the cute story they wrote about a two-year-old was used by other students at school to endlessly tease them.

Outraged By Outrage

I tell people all the time they can’t tell me what to be upset or not be upset about. My feelings are my feelings and I am not a robot.

But there are many moments when I am outraged by the general outrage. In our effort to create more tolerance we create so many moments of intolerance.

I can’t keep hearing about privilege as if it is the only reason good or bad things happen to people.

Sometimes you are a good person or an asshole and it has nothing to do with age/gender or skin color.

It is just who you are.

Live More, Write Less

It is my unofficial motto for 2017.

I am a writer by birth and by need. I can’t stop writing any more than I can stop breathing.

But I can pull myself away from the computer and the phone to focus on living in the moment and experiencing things live.

It is something I have been doing and talking about for a while now.

Sometimes it is hard to put the phone down and not take pictures because I wonder if I’ll regret not having a recorded history of that special moment.

But there is magic that you miss when you spend your life looking through a lens.

Same goes for putting everything down on paper as it happens.

This is a year for reminding myself to live and love hard, but first I need to take a nap or drink some coffee, I am freaking tired.

I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. 🙂

One last note/thought to share.

643 Ways To Cook Your Mother-In-Law

There probably are more than 643 ways to cook your mother-in-law but I cannot share nor recommend any of them.

Not because I can’t bring myself to write them down or cut and paste them into existence but because this blog doesn’t promote cannibalism, murder or serious mayhem.

Minor mayhem maybe, but major or serious…not usually.

However we do like to air our the archives and share posts that not everyone has had the privilege of reading and or commenting upon them.

  1. The Hijinks & Shenanigans Of Angry Lost Lovers
  2. If Your Son Wasn’t A Jerk
  3. Please Give Me A Second Chance
  4. The 867 Finest Recipes For Cooking Your Cat
  5. Unfriending Proves People Hate You
  6. Does Your Past Dictate Your Future?
  7. You Won’t Become Smarter But You Might Be Sexier
  8. Sometimes You Run Towards Danger

So there you have a tiny sample of some of the sorts of content you find here.

Ten thousand posts or so and counting. Might update this a bit later with some more original stuff for you to read but figured an update with links for those who have never been exposed is better than none.

The Kind Of Blogger You Want To Read

Sometimes I play around with spending time rooting through the archives here to try and do a thorough analysis regarding the evolution of the blog.

I am curious to see a breakdown of the types and kinds of posts that have run here and see if that gives me any insight as to how it has grown or regressed.

Probably won’t happen because I don’t have enough extra time nor enough interest to do it. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and take it on then or maybe not.

The Kind Of Blogger You Want To Read

That is the single best and worst thing to happen to me as a blogger.

It is the great contradiction that has pushed me to become better and at times stifled my words.

The desire to have more people read me and the concern that they’ll dislike or even worse be so bored they won’t return.

poetryandcommunication

Not going to lie and say my ego doesn’t love being told something I wrote was good, but what really resonates with me is when someone says my words move them.

There are times where I am sincerely surprised because I didn’t think what I wrote was particularly good.

Moments where I wonder why no one cared that in the prior post I bared my soul and yet this piece of nothing caused them to cry.

Times where I shake my head because I issued a call-to-action that was met with ambivalence and the story I wrote in five minutes has people asking for more information.

It is just more proof about how subjective our feelings about writing is.

Speaking about subjective, I get chills watching this video below.

Sometimes I forget how much Chicago is in me and that even though I am forever a California boy, I wouldn’t exist without Chicago.

It made and molded so many people in my family it is impossible for it not to influence me.

Who knows, I may even live there one day.

In spite of my love for Chicago, I still wish my Dodgers had won it all, but this isn’t bad.

What Comes Next?

That is a question I have been asking myself for a while now.

What comes next?

I am still growing and learning how to become a better writer and storyteller but that is not really the question here.

The question is what direction do I want to take the blog in. What will make me happiest and serve the greatest good.

What will drive me to sit down and just write with reckless abandon.

I am still evaluating and thinking about those things.

There is no rush to come up with an answer either.

If you stick around for the ride you’ll see what happens and if you don’t, well maybe our paths will cross again at a different time or place.