Outraged Parent Bloggers Discover They Have No Power

I overheard a self-proclaimed progressive declare they were going to give up their US citizenship because we put an American flag on the moon.

They said it was a sign of an American hegemony they couldn’t support.

I heard that and thought about pieces of modern art I have seen and how some people spent time telling others what the piece meant.

It is a sign of neoliberal classical monstrosities as presented in the classical sense. It has so much depth I can’t take it. It is simply stunning.”

That is intentionally garbled and confusing. I don’t think half of those self-proclaimed experts have  a clue what they are talking about or whether the artist carved the stone in half intentionally or by mistake.

Maybe I am wrong, won’t be the first or last time.

What I am certain of is that we are living during one of the most intolerant times I can think of.

Doesn’t matter what position you take, someone is going to say you are wrong and a bunch of people will declare you the epitome of whatever epithet they think fits that particular moment.

Makes me think I ought to start a career in professional outrage. I’ll get paid to lead marches, coin terms and come up with examples of how society is against the men and women who make balloon animals.

Outraged Parent Bloggers Discover They Have No Power

I stumbled across the words another parent blogger wrote about how they gave up blogging because people don’t do it for the right reasons and rolled my eyes again.

Not just because he is a pompous windbag who needs a double colonoscopy to pull the stick and crap out of his butt but because he flat out lied.

When you quit blogging because you don’t like what you see and don’t need validation you don’t hire a marching band and skywriters to help get attention.

You just hang up your keyboard and walk away.

Relatively few of us actually do that and it almost doesn’t matter because there are legions of bloggers out there who will fill the space you used to occupy.

Many of your readers will move on to other places and spaces and life will go on as if you had never been there.

Kind of disheartening to look at it that way, but that has been what I have seen and if truth is based solely upon individual experiences well…

people think

The joy of having children in middle and high school comes with a price, or several of them I should say.

The financial one can be stiff because that teenage metabolism allows them to eat ridiculous amounts of food in one sitting and then be hungry again.

Not to mention the whole grow out of the clothes/shoes you bought last week thing.

But that is nothing compared to the social crap that comes with it all, you know that pressure to fit in and be a part of it all.

The I Don’t Care Mentality

Had a long conversation this weekend with my daughter about the importance of adopting the I don’t care what other people say or think mentality.

I believe wholeheartedly  in that Lao Tzu quote and shared it with her because I thought it would be useful.

We have been lucky and haven’t had too many run-ins with the mean girls, but we have had a few.

Last week my daughter had the pleasure of bumping into one of the mean girls from the past and discovered she is still…a bitch.

Her mom is too, no surprise there because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Mom still doesn’t like me, but that is because I called her out in front of all of the parents in school.

Happened a good five years ago, but I don’t put up with bullying and I don’t care if you are the room mom.

That doesn’t really do a good job of giving you all of the details but you don’t really need them and I am not going to waste time trying to explain the who, what, where, when and why of it.

It is done and over and the fact that this lady made a comment to someone about me made me smile. She is still carrying a grudge from all those years ago, that is proof that I won.

The Value Of This Post

Sometimes people ask me to help them determine the value of a post.

Ask me how much this one is worth and I’ll say I don’t know. If you learned or got something important from it you could say it is worth quite a bit.

And if you got nothing from it, well it is not worth all that much is it.

But for me it was worth a lot, it was part of my practice set and is helping me become a better writer.

And it was fun to write, can’t ever discount or put a real value on the importance of having fun while blogging.

That is the key to everything in this business…having fun.

Life is too short to take so damn seriously, now if only I can convince myself to believe that with the with the same intensity as I say it with…

How Often Should You Update Your Blog?

There is no standard answer to how often should you update your blog.

Some people say it should only happen when you have something to say because you might bore the readers.

I say you update as often as makes you happy because if you aren’t happy you won’t last very long at this blogging game, and it is a game.

Since I am jammed for time I haven’t updated things here the way I want or like to, so for the moment you get the question above, the comment and some links to posts you may or may not have read.

How Often Should You Update Your Blog?– Archive Share

And just for kicks here are some more:

thosechallengesinlife

The Blog Posts No One Reads

In the old days I used to refer to blog posts that didn’t have any comments as orphans.

People thought it was clever and sort of witty but they also found my audioblogging posts about wandering through Target or the grocery store to be exceptionally good too.

But in the good old days of 2004-06 comments were usually plentiful and it was unusual, cool and progressive to have video or audio on your posts.

Some of my international readers would tell me they thought my accent was really cool and I would laugh and say “what accent? You are the one with the accent.”

Back then I was just a blogger and I never worried about being ranked for Dad, dad blogger, daddy blogger or any other keyword. I just wrote my stuff and had fun.

The Blog Posts No One Reads

Back then if no one commented I figured it was a poorly written post or checked to see if Blogger/WP was having some sort of technical issue because that was almost always the answer.

Now the orphan posts are not unusual and I wonder more if people are actually reading the material I crank out and not just because I crank out a lot of it.

But because we are besieged by content, by bells, beeps and whistles that demand our attention and require our eyeballs, or at least try to.

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So here I sit, writing while on hold, listening to awful music sharing these thoughts with you, wondering how much of the noise catches our attention long enough for us to actually read what is out there.

Wondering if you are like me and have winnowed the number of things you subscribe to down because you don’t have time to read the things you really want to.

Asking myself how much of my best stuff goes unread, unseen and unheard because we just didn’t have the time to read it.

Thinking that it is not just about marketing our material and tooting our horns. That is a part and a piece, but it is not all of it.

I suppose it is also part of why I link to posts like Where Fire Meets Water and The Finish Line Isn’t As Close As You Think because it gives them a chance to be read and seen.

Lately I have done that less to get them read and more because they make sense to me, or should I say something I wrote calls out to me.

Something that I saw, said, heard or observed resonates now and so I put it out again because part of the reason I write is to learn about myself and clarify my thoughts and ideas.

Comment There & Get A Comment Here

Some of the newbies and the old timers will tell you if you comment there you will get a comment here, meaning you can drive traffic to your blog by commenting on others.

There is a lot of truth to that but some of it is growing old for me.

Maybe it is because I have a crazy amount of stuff happening in my personal and professional lives or maybe it is because 12 years into this game I am tired.

What I know for certain is I want comments here because someone was moved by my words and not just because I commented on their blog.

Comment here because the words made you feel, think or see. Comment because you want to be part of a discussion and not because you hope it will make me comment there.

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Final Words- For This Post That Is

The funny thing about blogging is that you never do know what will resonate with others and what won’t.

Your best work will be met with scorn and disdain and or ignored while your worst will receive the opposite treatment.

If you jump on the treadmill you’ll run with a million rats chasing cheese and fighting over some crumbs.

It is a cruel and obnoxious way to put it, but it is sometimes true.

Some bloggers will bully others or at least try to and they’ll go after you guns blazing if you disagree.

But there are other approaches and ways to view the world.

The pie is bigger than we think and realize.

There is an enormous opportunity and if you open your eyes and manage your expectations you just might find you get what you need and maybe even what you want.

It is a hell of a ride, this blogging game. See you in the comments….maybe.

987 Critical Challenges Every Blogger Faces

Do you think that lion in the picture above is sad or just contemplating life?

Is he wondering why the King Of The Jungle still has to deal with the ticky-tack challenges and niggling details that crop up and prevent us from enjoying a smooth passage from point A to B?

I’m not a lion so I can’t tell you but I have some experience dealing with some of these issues and even though I am a Taurus that is no bull.

Because when you start delving into becoming The Best Daddy Blogger ever and start looking at how to make your blog into a Blog because you think it can be something more, well you learn a few things.

Hell, the truth is you don’t have to try to make your blog into anything special to understand and appreciate some of the challenges and hiccups that come with this because in many ways it is no different than life in general.

thosechallengesinlife

987 Critical Challenges Every Blogger Faces

Some of you might think that is hyperbole and perhaps it is, but there are times when it feels like there are 5 million challenges.

Ask anyone who is self-hosted what happens when there is an outage and customer service at the hosting company isn’t able to provide them with a satisfactory explanation about what is going on.

Or ask them what happens when they run into some other kind of technical issue and they can’t figure out how to fix it because they know there is a problem but can’t figure out how to identify what it is.

Hard to find a solution when you aren’t really sure what is going on.

Sometimes you know what the issue is but you still aren’t sure how to fix things.

but I don’t have links on my blog to most of those posts because many of those bloggers have taken down their blogs.

There was a time when I used to push people to check out my Other Places You Can Find Me page because I had guest posted at around 50 or so different blogs.

I thought highlighting that would help market my work and give something back to those other bloggers by providing them with a good link.

It worked for a while and then someone told me they had come across a bunch of bad links and I discovered a bunch of those bloggers had taken down their blogs or made them private.

Others were still live but the links to my posts were bad so I reached out and asked what had happened.

Some told me they had changed the URLs and some never responded at all. I wasn’t about to yell at them or whine about it so I just took down the links.

It is frustrating because what I really want to do is focus on my writing and becoming a better storyteller.

Isn’t one of the benefits of having children in middle and high school knowing they are responsible kids and you don’t have to worry about them the same way you did when they were infants and toddlers.

It is not like I have to ask them 10,000 times to clean their rooms or do their homework. Right.

Right. 🙂

brickwalls

The last time I changed my theme I did so because I thought it improved the experience for those of you who are kind enough to read my words.

I thought that providing a way to insert bigger pictures would enhance the texture and add layers which would also benefit my ability to tell a story.

Based upon feedback and my experience it seems to have done that quite nicely but it also created a number of technical issues too.

I don’t have time to go through 10,000 posts to make sure all of them work as they should but I do try to do a little bit of work on it each day.

Sometimes I wonder if that means I am not determined to break through the brick walls.

Sometimes I wonder if it is tied into some of the disdain I feel about the need to always get first place.

I am not someone who requires a lot of validation. Doesn’t mean I would be upset if I was named the best whatever because that is always nice, but it is not what makes me wake up and get out of bed.

The Real Question

The real question here isn’t about creating a list of all of the challenges bloggers face and that is not just because list posts are the lazy bloggers ways to create content.

It is about asking what happens when you face one or more of these challenges.

What do you do when you discover your home internet service is down for an extended period (thank you Time Warner) or the kids are screaming while you try to write.

I do my best to look at all in the same terms my good friend Ralph suggests:

“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

And then I’ll tell you I’m also known to toss in an extended stream of colorful language.

Sometimes parenting, life and blogging are best described as not being for the faint of heart.

You will be challenged. You will be inspired. You will be angered and exasperated but if you do it right you’ll have a lot of fun too.

Is Bad Content Worse Than Bad Sex?

Poorly written content reminds me of bad sex and sloppy kissers.

It should be filled with exhilaration, excitement and anticipation of a deeply moving and spiritual moment yet when push comes to shove you wind up disappointed and deflated.

Words Should Make You Feel Something

A good post should make you think and or feel something. A good post shouldn’t be a like a bad date where you wonder what you were thinking when you agreed to go out with he/she.

You shouldn’t finish reading it and wonder if there is anyway to get back the five minutes you just lost. You shouldn’t be able to relate it to the night you spent with Rusty or Susie, the human car wash whose idea of making out was to kiss your lips once and then lick your face like a dog who just discovered peanut butter.

But this content war we are in now is doing just the opposite of what it should do.

It is creating a culture of consumption that isn’t focused upon creating content that provides real and significant value because there isn’t time to do that.

It Is a Mistake

It is a mistake that you don’t want to give into. Think about it for a moment, none of us want to be known or remembered for being the bad kisser. You don’t want to be the punch line of the story about the worst moment of intimacy.

Nor do you want to be known as the blogger whose content is consistently inferior.

Figure out a better way of doing it. Look for an angle.

whytowrite

It Doesn’t Have To Be About Sex

You don’t have to be as graphic as I am, although I can tell you that when I compare a poorly written post to being caught by a tooth it is something that people remember.

There are lots of other alternatives such as comparing poor content to empty calories, but that is your choice.

The point here is that if you want to break free of the clutter and be noticed you need to do more than just come up with catchy or outrageous headlines. You need to be able to provide content that has some substance.

You need to figure out how to make people think and or feel something. Use your words effectively and good things will come from it.

Or keep pumping out that crap and be known as the person who was so bad their partner fell asleep right in the middle of things.

The choice is yours.

Editor’s Note: The post above is as true today as when it first ran. I changed the headline and added a photo or two just to see what sort of impact that would have.

New post(s) coming later tonight.