Blogging With Purpose

Blogging with Purpose
It has been almost a year since my nearly fatal brush with death. A lot has  changed since then. My “life-changing” event seems to have caused a lot of things to change in my live. Like the proverbial pebble in a pond, the ripples grow ever larger from this life and death experience and these ripples show no signs of stopping. These changes have led me to this post and blogging with purpose for my own blog that has suffered a bit from the effects of these pebbly ripples.

I’ve already relayed a lot of the things that have happened since my almost meeting the  ” big guy”  and I’ve found a wealth of new opportunities have come my way. It makes almost dying seem worth it.

For a start, I am busier than I’ve been in years. I write, on average, eight to ten articles a day for the Las Vegas Guardian Express who, as far as I know, are the only news site to pay their writers (and Deputy Managing Editor/Senior Entertainment Editor) so handsomely for their labour. The chap who owns the paper has gone from recruiter and  mentor, to friend in a very short time, he has joined my growing list of people who have been influential in changing my life for the better.

And busier.

And more profitable.

But it isn’t all about the money. It’s about realising dreams. I feel a huge amount of satisfaction when people ask me what I do for a living and I can answer, “I’m a writer.” It is nice to be finally welcomed into the professional realm of writing after so many years of doing it as part of whatever job I happened to have at the time. Writing adverts for companies, even the USAF, wasn’t exactly how I saw writing as fulfilling my creative side.

Unfortunately, my “personal” writing, which means this blog and my inputs to it’s daily dietary requirement for film and book reviews, is suffering. I am getting better at trying to do a post a day, but my poor blog feels starved. I used to do several posts per day as well as visiting my favourite blogs to read and comment or just to stop by an like. That has all suffered.

But I do not despair. Well, not for long at any rate! I am getting things scheduled better and trying to keep my input up. The reading and commenting and liking and following will soon catch up. If you are among the many wonderful people who’ve taken the time to follow my little blog, which is growing oh so steadily, I thank you. I also wish to pass on that I will eventually get around to reading, commenting, et al, very soon.

I do need to shout out the lovely Kate over at Katie-Marie Lynch (FilmPunk) for giving me the Epically Awesome award of Epic Awesomeness! I am truly grateful for the gesture and regrettably I am unable to participate in the furtherance of this lovely award. The rules are simple and very straight forward, but, time consuming.

In my attempt to keep blogging with purpose I’m only just finding time to do daily posts on my first-born blog with WordPress this week! I am trying to do other things as well, but my poor brain is struggling after too many years of “minimal” living to cope.

Which brings me to my next fawning gesture of gratitude, one that includes Kate. The opportunity to get in front of the camera again after all these years was wonderful and I will be forever indebted to Natasha Harmer, the writer/producer/director of the film Once Bitten, Twice Shy, she blogs over at Films and Things and is an immensely talented individual. The lovely Kate was part of the crew that day and she impressed me mightily. As did Meera Daji and Fiona Lockwood on the day.

I owe them all a great big hug and thank you for taking it easy on an old fella who’s forgotten more than he remembered about the craft. They made a wonderful team and I hope to work with them again.

The “Big Guy” willing!

So that’s my “personal output” for today. A not-so-short post about, among other things, blogging with purpose. If you’ve got a bit of spare time, have a read, but please don’t nominate me for anything. I just haven’t learned to schedule my time well enough to respond properly! I’ll read you later!

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60,000 and Rising

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It was with great joy this morning as I squinted with sleep filled eyes at my stats page and saw I’d finally crossed the 60k mark. With one hand on my ubiquitous coffee mug and the other on my Macbook mousepad, I scrolled down and also saw that my following list had increased.

All was right in the world; God was in his heaven and my blog was continuing to grow.

On a more serious note, I’ve got to say that I am really overjoyed with how things are going with my blog and my writing. On the topic of my blog, I can only say thank you from the deepest part of my repaired heart to all the folks who keep reading and commenting and following my site. You guys really make my day. Nothing is better than waking up in the morning and seeing that my site is continuing to grow while I sip my first of many cups of coffee of the day.

While I still don’t have a huge grasp on what my particular “niche” is, I’m happy with continuing with what I am doing. It seems to be working and I don’t want to rock the boat too much!

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I do need to say that my input will be slowing down. Instead of the 3 to 4 blog posts per day, I will be dropping down to 1 or 2. I will also be using some blog space to promote upcoming Tomorrow Comes Media (TCM) hosting events, which I have just started doing and the first one up will be Michael West’s brilliant anthology Vampires don’t Sparkle on May the 16th.

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I’ll be featuring a guest post from one of the contributors to this brilliant anthology and I’ll have another event on the 19th of May.

I am currently spending a lot of time writing articles for the web magazines Guardian Express and What Culture! Added to that is the review work and interviews for Rogue Cinema and the research I’ve been doing for my book, so my attention is spread pretty thin at the moment.

I am getting requests from new authors to review their newest work and if you know of anyone who exchange a copy of the latest and greatest book for a review let me know!

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So, intense (for me anyway) workload aside, things are going well (knock on wood) and the film Once Bitten, Twice Shy is still on for filming on the 6th of July this year and if you want to know more about this click on the link above and you’ll be redirected to the film’s website.

So before I sign off here today, I will reiterate how pleased and  grateful I am for the time that you lovely folks in the WordPress community spend supporting my blog. While I am not very good at visiting other sites as much as I should, I continue to try to repay the kindness that you’ve shown me.

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I know, I need to update this picture, the chin scruff is gone!

Skoal!

 

 

 

It’s the Big Four-OH-OH!

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Wow! I woke up this morning and after a long debate on whether I really wanted to get up or not, I finally rolled out of bed. The first thing I do in the mornings is pop the old kettle on for my caffeine fix (aka getting my heart started) and the second thing is to check the internet.

This of course entails checking: E-mail, my blog, YouTube channel, sites I contribute too and the daily news; I also check my “physical” mail.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that my blog now has over 400 followers!

The words pleased, chuffed, excited and grateful spring immediately to mind! I always go all “Sally Field” when I hit a landmark like this; “You like me, you really like me!” Sniffing back tears and gazing at my computer screen with a big dopey grin on my face. (Sorry Sally)

Sally Field reference aside, I am very happy.

Happy to know that there are, at this count, 402 of you who have obligated yourselves to reading whatever drivel nonsense thoughts that I set to computer screen. My old grasshopper brain continually comes up with things to write about and I am so grateful that so many of you have taken to the time to follow my literary hopping around.

So thanks guys and gals (and businesses) who have shown the ultimate sign of acceptance and followed my little blog.

“You all ROCK!”

*I also have to thank WordPress for having a site that allowed me to reach so many folks. Much more than any other site I’ve been on. So suffice to say, “WordPress, you ROCK!”

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Cheers!

Blogging Part 4: Etiquette Part II

That little badge of excellence.
That little badge of excellence.

Metaphorically strolling through the recent entries on the Freshly Pressed page, I noticed a disturbing trend. Some of these recent winners of that coveted page placement aren’t responding to their comments. They are responding to a few, but not many.

When I got Freshly Pressed last year, I tried my damnedest to answer every single person who commented. I would have continued doing so if I hadn’t had a heart attack and wound up in hospital and almost dying. At that point my blog and getting Freshly Pressed was forgotten. I think it would be safe to say that the only things that existed in the world for me at that point was the hospital.

If I remember correctly, when I came home four days later, full of scars, stitches and medication, the first thing I did was to check my blog and answer comments.

I can hear a lot of folks saying now, “What makes you think that what you have to say on the subject is worth reading! You don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers.”

And they would be right.

But what I do have is appreciation, manners and courtesy. And a real idea of time.

I have quite a lot of time. I’m ill-heath retired and I don’t have another paying job to go to. I am writing/hosting for other web sites, but that is non-paying and not enormously time-consuming. I do all my own housework (But honestly? How much mess can one bloke, on his own, make?)

I do my laundry, cut my grass, run errands. But all of these things, as a rule, don’t take hours.

Stop shifting in your seats and looking at your watches! I am making a point here!

But where I have a lot of time, most folks do not. They have full-time jobs, children to raise, an entire family to clean up after, hobbies to pursue and lives to lead. If one of these people take the time to read or like or comment; they are making a statement.

They are saying, I like what you’ve just written, or your point of view, or how you write. By commenting, they’ve taken even more time out of their busy lives to say something.

If these busy people can take the time to comment? You can take the time to respond. Don’t let getting Freshly Pressed make you forget your manners or, more importantly, your appreciation.

If you are like me, you would keep writing your blog, even if no-one liked, commented or reblogged your work. But it is precisely those little things that make blogging more satisfying and enjoyable.

Try to remember that in future you Freshly Pressed bloggers. I’ve been there and I’m telling you; only a heart attack kept me from responding back to everyone who commented on my Freshly Pressed post.

Etiquette is not just about leaving comments, it’s also about responding to them.

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All advice given with a pinch of salt, the same way it should be received.

The BIG THREE-OH-OH or 300 (for Purists)

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So I lay my head down to take a nap (I’ve been very busy lately and damned if it’s not tiring) and when I wake up, all fuzzy headed and wondering where the hell am I and what just happened. I pass the 300 follower point on my blog!

(How’s that for one long-assed opening sentence? Well I’ve got plenty more where that came from.)

Seriously though, I am pleased, excited, happy, (You like me, you really like me! Sorry Sally Field, I couldn’t resist.) and surprised. When I started blogging seriously back in 2011 I never dreamed that it would become such a huge part of my life.

Mind you I never knew that I was going to have two heath issues in one year (one of which was kind of critical) and have all that extra time to write. I did pretty good while I was working full-time at a real job, but my “not-real” job is a lot more fun and the lunch breaks are better.

You will all be happy to know that this is a short post. It will not be one of my 1000 word plus Margaret Mitchell length rants or reviews.

No, this is a quick 0410 in the morning shout of “Hurrah!” and thanks. Thanks to all you great folks out there who have made the ultimate show of interest and followed little old me.

I am eternally grateful and pleased to make your acquaintance.

Now go out and get your friends to follow.

Now.

Just kidding! I love you all for reading, following, commenting, and “liking” my stuff. Gee, it seems like I’ve said that before. The only fly in this honeyed ointment is that WordPress obviously do not give an award for the big 300!

So… what? Is 300 not as amazing as 200 was?

Still complaining aside, I’ll leave you all with one thought; this is how a blog post from moi looks when written at 0400 hours in the morning…after a nap!

Thanks guys! I raise my coffee cup in toast and say, “You’re the best!”

Cheers!
Cheers!