If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blogging, Writing, Eating and Old Friends

I've been asked on many occasions from all sorts of folk about blogging and writing.  Some of the questions are as such:

"What is a blog?"
"Does it cost money to have one?"
"Where do you blog at?"
"Can everyone read it - like the whole world?"

The writing questions are always the same:
The #1 question I get when someone discovers I am writing a book is, "How many pages have you written so far?"
"Is it going to be published?"
"Since when did you start writing?"

There are a few other questions, but these are the ones I am repeatedly asked.
So why not answer a few?

#1 What is a blog? Quoted below from Wikipedia

"A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual[citation needed], occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited."
"On 20 February 2014, there were around 172 million Tumblr[4] and 75.8 million WordPress[5] blogs in existence worldwide. According to critics and other bloggers, Blogger is the most popular blogging service used today, however, Blogger does not offer public statistics.[6][7] Technorati has 1.3 million blogs as of February 22, 2014.

That is a lot of blogs.  There isn't much of a risk of standing out in this crowd.  The good news is with all of those blogs there are bound to be a good number that interest you.  Forming your own blog circles by following other blogs will always keep you in good reading.

#2 It does not cost any money to blog.  It does take up time which many folks equate to money but if you like doing it, then it doesn't cost a thing in my book.

#3 Blog hosts are set up on the world wide web and the main servers are named above.  Blogger, which is my host, is the most popular.  I have tried WordPress and didn't care for it.

#4 Yes, everyone can read it if your profile is set to public.  How they come across it is an entirely different thing.  For example, my #1 viewed post is How to Butcher a Deer.    (this is one of my very first posts from 2009 and could use some work)
Why?  What would you type in a google search bar if you wanted to know how to butcher a deer?
Exactly.  It might not pop up on the first page, but it is there.  Labeling your posts and including keywords that others would type into a search bar help in getting the public to view your blog.
I currently have 543 blog posts.  There has been a total of 79,397 views of my blog.
By blogging standards, this is just a drop in the bucket but I started from zero.

Onto the writing-
"How many pages have I written so far?"
I chuckle at that question because it always seems that people judge a book by how long it is.  If I were to answer 7,  I am 7 pages into it.  I would most likely get a look that said,"Oh you're a novelist huh?"
"If I answered 200 pages so far..." I get an entirely different response.
"Wow that is great!" and it leads to the next question.

"Are you going to publish it?"
I always want to answer this one with," No, I just got a really good deal on print paper from Office Max and couldn't pass up the opportunity to use it.  I normally line the bird cage with it when I'm done."
Of course, we all want to publish it.  What good is it raising a child and nurturing it and then never letting them out of the house?
It might not ever get published by a big publishing house, but it will get published one way or the other.

My favorite question of all time.
"When did you start writing?" or rephrased as, "I didn't know you wrote?"
You know the look, one eyebrow up followed by an uncomfortable silence because let's face it, in today's world of x-boxes, Facebook, Instagram and reality TV, books and writing are a thing of the past and you must be a nerd.
I started way back in kindergarten maybe first grade, where I learned what letters are and how to spell CAT and DOG and Dick and Jane
Then I realized I could take those letters, form them into words and then Dick killed the CAT and DOG and fed them to Jane.  That was the day I knew I was a writer.  I had an entire realm at my fingertips. Other worlds and galaxies far, far, away.  Nobody set the boundaries except me.
I was hooked.

So in this great world of blogging and writing I came across a handful of blogs that I liked so much I read them whenever they posted.  They have been my favorites and my standbys.

One of them is Bruce Johnson from The BLOGDOG blog!!!
While at a Home and Garden show yesterday I noticed a banner hanging that read "Dreammodeling".
It clicked right away that this is the company that Bruce owns.  One look at the guy standing there and it was confirmed.  I had just met a fellow blogger.  It was pretty damn neat.

Bruce has switched one of his blogs to WordPress and here is a link to it.

At the home show with me was my wife and an old high school friend of mine, Jason, and his wife Tricia.  We all had a great time at the home show (which serves beer) and afterwards we walked along the night time streets of downtown Grand Rapids in search of a restaurant for dinner.  

We chose Judson's Steakhouse which lies inside of a building called The B.O.B.
The B.O.B houses three separate restaurants in one building, a brewery, stand-up comedy, live bands and a whole host of other exciting things.

We dined on escargot and grilled brie for an appetizer and my main course was a pan roasted duck breast with a date, almond, cherry and orange compote with a tart cherry vinaigrette.  A side of steamed asparagus and the most wonderful truffle, herb, gruyere, scalloped potatoes.
I enjoyed a nice amber craft beer with dinner as well.

It was a great afternoon and evening and I look forward to meeting up with these two friends again.

Stay tuned for another post in the next few days.
It is sure to have me busy this year.



  1. How neat to meet a fellow blogger :) I've been a few in person and its always a fun experience :) Your dinner sounds delicious; always good to get together with friends :) Cute with the questions asked and how you answered them about writing. I'm with you; I didn't care for WordPress, I do like the format on Blogger better.


  2. I felt sort of there with that pic coming my way… gosh, too cool is all I can say.
    As to that dinner - empty candy wrapper was mine! LOL
    Great post!

  3. You got to meet Bruce! So cool! You know, for all of our years of blogging, we still haven't met any of our fellow bloggers. Each time we plan it, something falls through. But it'll happen one day! I refuse to believe you all are just computer people I'll never meet!

    Also, I've learned from random people that you're only successful if you can be found in Wal-mart.

    "Oh, so you're published, huh?"
    "So, like, your book is in book stores?"
    Yeah, we're stocked in a few.
    "So, like, can I get it at Wal-Mart?"
    ...Uh, no. Sorry.
    "Oh. Never mind." *sudden and immense loss of interest*

  4. Very cool you got to meet Bruce. I am now drooling from the very descriptive menu you wrote. That is my kind of food. All that's in the house right now is PB&J. Thanks a lot! LOL JK.


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