Category Archives: Blogging

Boring Post Title

I have not yet developed a writing/publishing flow that makes me feel comfortable. Some days I am in need of a topic so I look to The Daily Post blog for encouragement. It feels comforting being a part of a small group of people (based on the ping backs) that engages in a group share. The fact that the group is international is pretty exciting. Sure, I know that it’s easy to interact with people from around the globe via the various social networks. But the amount of time it takes to publish a blog post makes blogging a more personal experience. 

I really should stop writing about finding my blogging voice and just get on with it.

Part of me feels that I am supposed to have some sort of mission for which I blog.
News.
Amusement.
Tranquilizing amusement.
A cause.
Any cause.
THE cause.

One thing that I have yet to do is explore the WordPress blogging community. That is where many people interact. And interacting is what it’s all about, yes? I would prefer not being a person who is just interested in the empty exchange of making it all about me. I do not want a blog all about me. By me, not about me.

Enough of this navel gazing. There’s no digital lint, so head up, and move on.

Re-encountering “Encounter”

Needing some assistance with a prompt today, I turn to the good people at The Daily Post at WordPress.

Daily Prompt: The Luckiest People (Posted by michelle w.)
Who was the first person you encountered today? Write about him or her.

The fist person I encountered today out in the world was a fellow pedestrian. We were on the same sidewalk.
I was walking east.
He was walking west.
We were walking toward each other.
There was nothing ominous or hostile about our looming encounter. But eventually, we were going to meet up with each other at some point on the path ahead of us.

The average street sidewalk in NYC does not permit enough room for to people to pass one another without at least one person adjusting his or her gait. Which one of us was going to make way for the other? Before I knew it, the encounter was over.
We  passed each other without incident.
Crisis averted.
But the negotiation necessary to pass by one another safely, without physical or emotional harm is actually quite complex and far too detailed for me to go into here. (The innovators at Boston Dynamics most likely have such encounters analyzed in great detail.)

My fellow sidewalk opponent was walking at a good clip. I don’t know where he was headed or from where he was coming. Beyond any inferences about how he was dressed or other details about his appearance, I know absolutely nothing about this man. All that I was aware of was that he and I were about to be in each other’s way and somehow, we were going to avert running into each other. The lead up, the anticipation was ever so slightly dramatic.

Blogging to the Wind

No one really wants to read about the process of blogging. Boring. What’s it for? Whom does it help?

Is that what I’m trying to do? Am I trying to help someone, or some people?

I could just treat each post on this blog as a writing exercise and spar with daily prompts. But that wouldn’t feel honest. I feel that I would be wasting my time. I have nothing against the daily prompts. Better to have a prompt than nothing at all during a yearlong exercise of posting something each day.

So I blog for myself first and then, if someone answers, I respond accordingly.

But then what? What’s my goal? Advertising? 2000 supporters who follow my blog, buy my future book and help strengthen my brand presence?

This yearlong challenge will be my journey of discovering my voice. As with anything, the more that I blog, the more that I will learn about the process and the blogging communities.

Read and Click on

What I find curious about sharing aspects of my life on this blog is that people who do read it can get to know me (granted, in small ways). But, it is most likely that I will not get to know anything about them. I figure that most people who interact with blogs do so passively and only read, look and listen. I wonder how many visitors to blogs reach out to the bloggers via comments, emails or social media.

I will never meet or interact with most of the people who visit this blog. I find that very odd the more I think about it.

I am an obscure, unknown author who has no audience. Am I in search of an audience? Aren’t we all? And some more than others?

There are a few who visit here and they are lovely for doing so.

What is key, is to just write and chase the ideas.

It’s a Curious Thing, Digital Socializing

One week ago, I started this blog. It was the top of the year. My blog was spanking new and I started to blog at least once a day for the next 365 days. At the end of the first week of daily blogging, I began to recognize the potential richness that can be gained through sharing my observations online for all the world to see, read and hear. And the richness comes through introspection and meeting other people in the world. Ideas will be shared. New perspectives will be gained. Incidentally, blogging has already permitted me to visit A Mom’s Blog and Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss (Switzerland). Where to next?

It’s one thing for friends and family to take the time to visit my blog, if they do. It’s nice when they do. Maybe they leave a fancy word or two. (Tim?) It has been fascinating to become aware of the potential interactions with anyone online, anywhere on Earth (Or on a plane in flight? In outer space??). True, the same potential of interaction exists with the current major social networks of today (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.).

The goal of blogging is different than the goals of using certain online social networks. For one thing, blogging can take a lot more time to prepare the posts. Having said that, my one week of blogging has made me more active on the social networks. I’ve been taking small steps, but I have been reaching out more. Setting a header image on my Facebook profile page and my Google+ pages are tiny yet key steps. We’ll see where that all goes. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on bloggin’.

Daily Prompt for Pound of Coffee

Photo of McNulty's Tea and Coffee Co.

Storefront of McNulty’s Tea and Coffee on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, NYC. ©2014 David Altman

The Daily Prompt from The Daily Post
Today’s Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy by Michelle W.
“What does “happiness” look like to you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us HAPPY.”

HAPPINESS looks like McNulty’s Tea and Coffee shop in the heart of Greenwich Village.
HAPPINESS looks like an old,  authentic New York store that has been around since 1895.
HAPPINESS looks like the cohesive layout of the store when I step inside.
And HAPPINESS looks like the gesture of the proprietors welcoming me to their establishment.

“How can I help you?”
“Is there anything particular you are looking for?”
“What can we get for you?”

The image of happiness that is conjured up when I think about McNulty’s is multifaceted. Details. Down. Wood floor. Slats. Worn and wrinkled. West wall. Shelves. Shelves of containers holding rare teas. Glass containers. Good teas. Great teas. Tin and paper boxes of well-known brands from different countries. Scales. Metal. How many pounds of tea have those scales weighed over one hundred plus years? East wall. Behind the counter. Bins of beans. Canisters. Scoops and scales. Grinders and bags.

Now how can I explain what the happiness of the fragrant, roasted coffee beans looks like?

Post Every Day of the Year

In the last two weeks leading up to the start of 2014, I decided that I was going to begin my personal blog (finally!) and make at least one post every day of the year. Initially, I was planning to post once a week at the minimum. But when I caught sight of a WordPress.com email newsletter one day, two things caught my eye –– the number 365 and the name of the  WordPress blog  The Daily Post. And I thought, “Well, why not?”

Posting less frequently would certainly be less difficult. Actually, posting less frequently would be less work. The amount of time it takes to blog daily isn’t the issue. Besides, my blogging workflow will become more efficient with each post. My sense is that anything less than a daily post would never build up enough momentum for me to achieve a consistent, healthy blogging rhythm.

For months I had been wanting to blog. Maybe there was a photograph that I wanted to share. Maybe I wanted to write about an idea or observation. No worries. Fear always won out. Yes, I Tweet, but microblogging is a different animal compared to blogging. (Shall we call it macro-blogging? ) But now the situation has changed. Last year, I used to be afraid of blogging whereas this year I am afraid of not posting every day.

Another idea that held me back from blogging is the fact that there is so much information on the WWW. It is the world wide web after all, not the city wide web or the neighborhood wide web. There is a lot of stuff out there: news outlets; slick websites; kick-butt blogs; social networks and weather reports. Add to that multiple languages and all of the country code and generic TLDs. I had this cockamamie idea that since there is so much out there on the web already, why should I contribute to the glut of content? Why should I bother people and web crawlers with what I have to say?

Eventually, I realized that the only person for whom I need to blog is myself.

Part of my realization involves three books that I read a couple of summers ago. I appreciate the authors of those books very much. But celebrating those writers is a story for future blog posts. For now, there are various conversations to which I would like to contribute at some point. When I do, I want to be ready to best of my abilities. So, I shall blog.

I only just now checked today’s blog prompt on The Daily Post. The prompt, titled Beyond the Pale, is the following:

“When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?”

The post that I am writing at this moment is in the spirit of the prompt. The main difference is that I am in the midst of doing something out of my element. I’ll have to revisit the Beyond the Pale prompt on the first of January 2015. Good golly. Now I really do have to stick with this. Oy.