A blog is a space in which to log entries of any kind. A blogger is one who fills the spaces of his or her web log with such entries. The goal is to produce quality content that we enjoy and love. This should be the reason we begin blogging and why we continue. To produce our passions.
So when did being the spectator become more important than being the producer?
When I began blogging, it was hard to ignore the blogging bureaucracy. Like most, I quickly learned the rules of the trade. They aren’t easy to miss. Guides to blog success are posted at every major intersection of the internet like big electronic billboards: Interact with the right bloggers! Read read read! Don’t forget to comment! Participate in the blogging community! Guest post and reblog!
So, upon the birth of 25toFly and my discovery of WordPress, I immediately found a slew of blogs that I liked and followed. I got to know the people behind them. Friendships were formed and everything was just dandy. It was like being in the popular clique that I was never a part of in high school. And it was fun.
But cliques are exclusive, and exclusivity limits the experience. I started to develop bad habits. My writing was laced with inside jokes that half of my readers couldn’t decipher. I was supporting ideas out of loyalty instead of sincerity. I found myself leaving drive-by comments. I stopped giving new blogs the time of day. I second guessed my own content if I didn’t score a certain number of likes. All of which pointed to the glaring fact that I was caught up in a popularity contest.
None of this was fair of me, because none of it was me.
Reading other works is important. It can inspire us, help us network with other writers and artists, and give us new perspectives, but without balance and authenticity, it can be detrimental to our own growth.
I was so caught up in what everyone else was doing, that I severely neglected my blog. There was so much to read and so many opportunities to seize. By the time I finished chiming in on everyone else’s conversations, writing a post of my own felt like trying to backstroke through peanut butter. So I wouldn’t write anything at all. The next day, the cycle would begin again as soon as I opened my reader, spinning me around like my shoestrings were tied to a high speed merry-go-round.
I had enough. I fell hush.
My comments resembled crumbs, and my Gravatar was practically an apparition. At first, I worried. Were all of the people reading my blog only there because I read theirs in return? Is my blog a stinking pile of uncovered cat poop without my comment reciprocation? Will I vanish into an internet black hole never to be “Liked” again? But then, I realized that it didn’t matter, because even if my thoughts rang true, I’d still be blogging.
To my surprise, detaching myself from the noise for a while allowed me to enjoy blogging like I did before the need to be liked took over. When I finally returned to the conversations, I made sure they were the ones I really wanted to be a part of and that my engagement was genuine.
You see, we are all worthy of the Blogger title, whether we are the next Mark Twain or just want to post pictures of our cats. Your blog is yours. Show it some love, and don’t compare it to everyone else’s. Produce what you love, whatever that may be, and make it your priority. Without it, your blog doesn’t exist. So let’s put the blogging bureaucracy to rest. Your blog, your rules.
- Blogger or Brand?: Extending Your Online Identity (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- Have Fun Reading Blogs (faithfulbloggers.com)
In just about seven months, a black hole will manifest itself. It is the good, non-scary kind of black hole where people of the internet will converge a la reality. That’s right people, the date was determined (pretty much by a land slide) for the Blogger Summit 2013! Hold on to your long johns people. Mine are already packed.
Jen has created a lovely official e-invite for the occasion and we are asking y’all to please RSVP if you are down like a comforter. To do so, just click here, and try not to have a stroke in eager anticipation. We want to herd as many bloggers as we can possible can into a farm of awesome for this event, and that’s where you can help. Please do us a favor and reblog, tweet, Facebook pimp, and take to the streets with megaphones to spread the word.
ALSO, we are going to attempt to make some sort of blable (logo, button, whatever you people call them) to represent the meet up and help publicize it. It will not only help spread the word but it will also be a great sidebar ornament for your blog after you survive the actual meet up. But, we need an image. Read the rest of this entry
Nine days. It had been nine whole days since I had so much as looked at the “add new” post button before I wrote my blogiversary post yesterday. Nine days in internet time is equal to about nine months in real-time. I could have had a blog baby for all you know. Don’t get any ideas, I wasn’t off making blabies. What I was doing was visiting with an incredible blogger from the Motor City. You probably know him as Adam from My Right to Bitch, The Artist Formerly Known as My Right to Bitch, or more recently Live From Motor City or maybe just that hilarious drummer dude that I was lucky enough to virtually drink fake sake with that one time.
That’s right, he drove
himself insane all the way down here to Louisiana to hang out, help me fix my poorly assembled bar stools (ten cool points for anyone who remembers this old ass post), drink beers with me and introduce Jack to the joys of chewing gum. The experience was well deserving of an Adamesque rock hand \m/ to say the least! And, in case you were wondering, he is just as attractive in person. Read the rest of this entry
Jen and I came to you last week with a proposal. We didn’t ask you to put a ring on it (us?), but we did ask you to hang out with us in real life. For internet people, this is almost the equivalent of committing to marriage. Luckily, you didn’t throw up, pass out, or flat-out say no. If you did, you hid it well and composed yourself before leaving a comment. This is a good sign.
So what’s next you ask?
Well, Jen and I gathered up the responses and made a list of where everyone is located. At first, I felt like I was a detective solving a murder by drawing connections on a map while smoking a lot of cigarettes in the dark. Then I just felt like I was a cyber stalker. Either way, it felt right.
There seems to be a great divide in the WordPress world. Half of you (who participated) are spread out on the West coast and the other half on the East coast. There were not too many bloggers located in the middle. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to see that a few other southerners popped out from behind their fried chicken and waffles to give a thumbs up for the meet up. *waves*
Here is what we are going to ask you to do next. There are three polls below for you to cast your vote on a location that we have picked. We performed all kinds of high-tech mapping strategies, statistics, probability reports, and background checks to narrow down the choices. We assure you that the options listed are in everyone’s best interest. SO, if you are a tentative “yes” for the meet up, then cast your vote now! Just state which location you would prefer the most in the comments.
Options for West Coast:
- San Francisco Bay Area
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles/San Diego
Options for East Coast:
- Cincinnati, OH
- Boston, MA
- Altlantic City, NJ
- Charleston, WV
- Pittsburgh, PA
- NYC, NYC
- Houston, TX
- New Orleans, LA
- Atlanta, GA
- Blogger Meet Up 2013 (25tofly.com)
- Chicken ‘N Waffles on a Stick (instructables.com)
- Which Do You Prefer: Blogger Or WordPress? (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
New Years Eve turned out to be more terrifying than magical, but only to the outsider looking in. To us, we felt that our imaginary party surpassed magical. We all got pretend wasted and fake made out with one another at midnight. If it had been real, we would all still be on bed rest with mono. Yeah. And of course there was that game of musical underwears. It got weird in all the right places.
Everyone who attended had their own special time at the party. None of the guests remember a lick of the evening, but luckily I had a camera hidden in that bonsai tree everyone kept trying to eat, so that we could all relive it. Hold on to your aspirin.
After La La and I linked our arms in a fancy fashion and did a get-the-party-started-shot out of some vases she found lying around, the first guests started to arrive. First was none other than Rich, Twindaddy, and Calahan who all arrived riding a tandem bicycle. They looked dashing. Especially Rich, who already had a margarita in one hand and a package of depends in the other. He thought it would be funny. It was. After all, we did instruct guests to bring a change of underwear.
Before Twindaddy could even set up the YouTube streaming videos of people doing the stanky leg, we heard a discerning clatter coming from the back yard. Or the roof. This one I am hazy on. It was David Stewart, of course. His homemade helicopter was painted in purple animal print. At first we were confused, but then Renee hopped out screaming, “Sir Mix-A-Lot is getting a run for his money tonight!”. That made more sense and was refreshing to hear.
Speaking of refreshing, as more guests started to arrive we all started coming up with drink concoctions. Emily set up a drink stand in the kitchen that had a sign reading, “Enhanced Lemonade” with a winking smiley face drawn on it. Le Clown later broke this sign in half using only his nose. He didn’t even smudge his new clown make-up.
Sarah brought plenty of tequila which me and La La hoarded all night, and Cathy and India brought some other inferior liquors. Just kidding. No liquor is inferior. And Cathy, I had no idea you could down a gin and tonic through Adam‘s beer bong like that. Impressive. Good thing JackieP was on standby with the water to hydrate us all, until she found the room with the clapper light and disappeared for the rest of the night.
We didn’t just drown ourselves in booze. There was also a feast. It had resemblance to the imaginary feast in the movie Hook.
Vyvacious brought some gourmet batman looking stuff to the table which started a chain reaction. Everyone started whipping out their treats. Not those kinds of treats. Adam
is brought a cheese ball. Lori brought an edible insect that I stayed away from, because I wasn’t sure what it was. I ate Weeb’s desert instead. She got kind of mad. To top it all off, I found Lauren frying chicken in the kitchen with mmkng (hello, hello kitty underwear!). They were whispering to each other, “Be vewy vewy careful” and snickering madly.
Suddenly, about ten till midnight, the famous bromantic couple Brother Jon and David Harding busted through the door. Brother Jon brought the ultimate party platter of bagel bites, pickles, and pizza rolls, and David had everyone fist dancing simultaneously. Naturally, but very unnaturally. He was also chanting something about giants ruling. The only one not fist dancing was Amy. She was swaying in the wind like a willow.
As the clock struck twelve, and I frantically searched for Calahan, Le Clown raised his sparkling water to which everyone fell silent. He made a toast that was too beautiful to be translated. Or, I am just rusty on my French. We all had a moment of silence for the absent Jillian and Ridicuryder who decided it would be bad for his abstinence to show up to a party with women, booze, and underwear celebrations.
Then everyone became one.
I slipped out of the kissing cluster just in time to find Calahan, who was nuzzling in the corner with Jack and humming the tune of All By Myself . I didn’t dare interrupt him.
As guest finally started making the trek home, I made sure to warn everyone not to disturb Maddie who passed out on the front yard sidewalk with Moses’s tie on. As the number of party people dwindled, La La and I took a much-needed seat on the front porch. As I lit my last cigarette, we saw Carrie and Jules stealing the tandem bicycle. They had a large bag tied to the back.
Just before they turned out of sight, I watched three identical thinking crowns fall out of the bag and skip across the asphalt. “So much for the party favors” I though, just before I gave in to sleep.
Bonus: LaLaBec Productions Out Take
- Becca and La La’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (25tofly.com)
I had a dream the other night. Here is what ensued:
I was invited to some undisclosed honorary event of high magnitude. Everyone was there, even Jared the Subway guy. For some reason we all had to ride in one over sized charter bus to this event. While in line awaiting to board the bus, I got stuck behind Jared. I could see all of my blogging buddies way ahead of me already claiming seats on the bus. Stupid Jared. You didn’t shrink down to half your original size just to block me from all of the witty banter and F words unfolding on that bus.
I formulated a plan to catch up with my people. In a flash of genius, I decided to distract him by whispering, “I don’t have five bucks for your foot long, but give me six inches and we will call it even”. Surprisingly, this didn’t phase him. He just stared me down blankly like I was less desirable than a veggie sub. There was no other option, so in a final attempt to get around him, I ran to the back of the line and screamed, “Where did all this fried chicken come from?”.
After successfully making it onto the cozy bus, I was searching for a seat when I bumped into a man. Not just any man. The holy grail of men. Eric Bana. He turned, almost in slow motion, as the bus’s high-powered air conditioner blew his hair ever so perfectly across his forehead. “You have a lovely necklace there”. Apparently dream me was wearing pearls, which doesn’t make much sense, because I don’t do pearls. But hey, Eric Bana gets what Eric Bana wants. I’ll be happy to quit my day job and become a fucking oyster hunter if need be.
He then flashed a flawless smile as I replied, “Why, thank you”. It was so beautiful. It is the kind of conversation I have always dreamed of having with the sexiest man alive. Yeah, I did that on purpose. Read the rest of this entry