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Monday, December 14, 2009

Blog Boggled (Part 1)

            For several years I've heard talk about blogs.  I wasn't exactlly sure what a blog looked like, but I had a general idea of what they were. Then in May of 2008 my internet buddy Stephen T. McCarthy started his blog here on Blogger. 

          Now I have never met Stephen but we became acquainted on an Amazon discussion board where I found myself very entertained by his writing style.  For reasons I won't go into here, though you can find an account on Stephen's blog, he left Amazon and came here to Blogger.  So in order to keep up with him I started a blog at the same time-- end of story.

          Or it would have been the end.  Fast forward to September of 2009.  I had allowed my blog, Tossing It Out, to lie fallow for a year and a half--in short I had forgotten that it existed.  Then in mid-September I was researching Google Ad Sense because I kept getting these work at home schemes from some listings I had placed on Craig's list.  As I was researching, I remembered that I had already set up my Google blog. So I started posting my articles.  And in doing so I revived my old enthusiasm for writing.

          Now shortly before this I had also written a short story called "Princess of the Plinth". I will post this story next week in installments in its rough first draft form. I will offer this up for critique and hope that some of you might have some suggestions for me regarding this story.

          But I have digressed.  I only tell you about this story to enlighten you about the direction in which I have been going in the latter part of this year.  Since losing my job earlier in the year I believe I have been moving toward this writer's life.  During the summer I started re-outlining  ideas for a novel that I have been kicking around since the mid-70s and for a non-fiction book I had started thinking about in 2005.  The writing muse has been prodding me for the past few years in fact.

           So, anyway, I started hearing about this Google Ad Sense program and thought that it might be nice to make money at home while "sitting in my underwear" as they say in the ads.  So there I was, reactivating my old blog.  More importantly, there I was writing.  Writing became a passion and what I was starting to see as a pathway to a profession.  I kept checking my Google Ad Sense status, but they weren't approving my account.  As the weeks passed,  I discovered that Ad Sense might be nonsense.  For me, there was something more important in this new blogging thing that I was doing.

         I think I've been pretty serious and diligent in my blogging efforts.  And I hope that I have been providing some sort of pleasant and informative diversion for those who read my site.  My goal now is to get better.   So here's the deal.  I had no idea what I was doing when I started blogging and my mind is still a bit boggled by blogging and all that it entails.  I have learned a lot since I have started, which I would like to share in case someone else out there hasn't learned these things, and I hope that some of you might know the answers to some of the things I'm still trying to figure out.

           I want to get the most out of my blogging experience and I'm sure most of you do too.  For the next few Mondays I will be talking about blogging and other things related to blogging.

          How long have you been blogging?  Why did you start blogging in the first place?   Did you have to learn about it on your own or did someone help you?   What have been your best resources for learning about your blog?   Are you still waiting to be approved for Ad Sense or do you care?  If you have Ad Sense now, is it worth the effort?


  1. I started to blogging to connect with other writers. I did not know another soul who wrote before I started my blog. I also started my blog to forma habit of writing and also to force myself to push the boundaries of my ability.

    I have met some wonderful people and I am very glad I started it. I have been blogging since the end of Aug this year (I think :)

  2. How exciting that you have found your love again. In a nutshell, here's my blogging story. My sister and daughter have blogged for 3 or 4 years and had encouraged me to do so early on, but thinking it was stupid, brushed them off. Then in July of this year I decided to try it and oh my, I have fallen in love for the first time. :) Not only can I store my writing somewhere for my family to read, I get to know you all. And, and I get encouraged to continue my writing (which I have done since I was in the 6th grade)by other writers. And I am encouraged!

    I am a tech person (at my job) and I just usually google to find out the technical part of blogging, but it's pretty easy, I think. I have not applied to AdSense but may in the future.

    Good luck to you and reviving your writing career.

  3. Hey there, Lee. I don't know anything about Ad Sense, so I'm afraid I'm no help there. I started my blog about a month ago. I knew I needed one (I've heard it's a must for a serious writer making submissions), but I put it off forever because I knew I didn't have the time. Well, I still don't have the time, but I do enjoy it, so I'm making the time. Luckily I've got some wonderful writing friends who have had blogs for a while (one of which, Sharon, is also a follower of yours) and they have been indispensible. I don't know how I would have figured this stuff out on my own. Best of luck in your writing endeavors!

  4. I started blogging in August. A few online friends from AgentQuery had blogs and I enjoyed visiting them. I was pretty nervous about starting one. After all, I'm at the beginning of the writing learning curve, and didn't know if I could really contribute. I've enjoyed it much more than I expected. The new friends I've found through the blog, yourself included, are priceless. To be honest Ad Sense has never crossed my mind :) I think you're doing a great job here!

  5. This is what I enjoy about the blogs! It's fun and interesting to share experiences and thanks do those who have so far. Looks like all four of you are relatively new so far and a similar passion for writing. The AdSense thing now is just a matter of remote curiosity for me--now it's all about the writing and checking to see what my writing friends are learning and what they're up to.
    Good to hear from you Tabitha, Teresa, Susan, & Jemi.

  6. Yo! rLEE-b ~
    In 1970, Tiny Tim said, “I know that I’m a little stranger than most people.” This applies to myself as well, so I think my ideas about and reasons for Blogging wouldn't resonate with many of your other readers.

    Just as I became increasingly nervous when my writings at threatened to make of me one of the Top 1000 reviewers at that website, I believe it would cause me concern if my Blogs here at Blogspot became too popular. Fortunately, I am in no danger of that.

    But just so I can at least contribute a small something to this discussion, I will tell you that one of the things I appreciate about Blogging is that it allows me to store some ideas and quotes for future reference. For example, in a two-part Blog Bit at "Stuffs", I recorded all of my favorite quotes - phrases and expressions that have become oft used standard lines which I have peppered throughout my writing and speaking over the years. For instance, in a recent exchange with you, when I wanted to use a particular Bible verse, I was able to quote it exactly by pulling it from my Blog Bit, quicker than if I had sought it from the pages of my Bible.

    I know that for a lot of your Followers, Blogging is all about improving their writing and networking within the professional writing community. However, for me, it's simply an outlet for my creative impulse, which simply MUST have a forum available to it. I write first and foremost for myself, and so any readership (no matter how meagre) that might come from it is icing on the cake. Having some icing on a cake improves the cake, but too much icing will ruin it.

    For this reason, I cannot and would not alter my writing style or topics in order to gain a greater readership. Nor am I interested in a quid pro quo following. It's all about authenticity and self-expression for me. If I should make a few new friends along the way, who are not put off by my honesty and general weirdness, that is gravy on top of the icing on top of the cake. And I don't mind a little gravy over the icing on top of my cake. Well, I told ya "I’m a little stranger than most people", so don't act so surprised!

    Once again, and for the final time: Merry Christmas and Happy Margarita Day, rLEE-b. Stay safe on your holiday journey and we'll Yak Later, my friend.

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

  7. I think blogging gives me a sense of community with the writing world. Welcome! I look forward to reading your posts :)

  8. I've been blogging a little over a year. It's been a learning experience for me, too, but I love doing it. I've met a ton of interesting people, you included.

  9. I started the blog as a continuation of "The Cracked Bead" which is on my website I didnt have to have my webmaster do my the updates to The Cracked Bead (I know nothing of how to create my website). I am now able to post much more frequently, although I am worried about running out of stuff to write about.

    Ad sense isnt bringing me anything to speak of. It will probably take me a year to get my first check!!

  10. Stephen-- I guess in a sense we are all writing for ourselves. Unless we have a taste that is so bizarre to be incomprehensible or talking about things so completely of personal interest, somebody will be curious to read what we have to say. If I enjoy and am entertained by your writing I'm sure their are others as well.

    T. Anne -- the blogging community is what I really enjoy. There is so much we can teach each other.

    Carole -- same response as above. It's so cool to be able to interact with other writers and other people from all over the place.

    Sig -- I'm sure you won't run out of things to write about. Everyday is a new day with new thoughts. I suspected so much about AdSense and I've mostly lost interest anyway -- now it's all about the writing and networking with other writers.



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