Carpe Diem – To Blog or Not To Blog

 

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Over the past several months I’ve made an attempt to loosen up or at least appear more laid back. I’ve actually never thought of myself as uptight. In fact, I dare say that anyone who knows me well would be surprised for anyone to refer to me as a “stiff shirt”. The first time someone was bold enough to say that before they had an opportunity to work closely with me, they thought I was a stiff-shirt, I was surprised.

I spent twelve years in public school with the unofficial title of “class clown”. Nonsense is my overriding spiritual gift. It isn’t a role I pursued; it simply came naturally. I guess I could successfully mask over the persona of nonsense if I wore a coat and tie to work every day with a freshly starched shirt and somehow managed to keep my mouth shut. I know what you’re thinking. You’re right; therein lies the problem.   My mouth is in gear before my mind is in motion. It happens all the time. To my defense, most people think I’m really funny. Others folk, God bless them, just think I’m funny. There is a big difference between the two perceptions.

So what have I done differently? I’ve stopped wearing a coat and tie to the office.   I used to have more pride in the way I looked. Now I’m content to just fit in. I am not being critical of management. The casual, dress-down, demeanor isn’t just where I work, it is everywhere. If you want to wear a coat and tie and not look out of place, you need to either move to Dallas and work downtown or work at the State Capitol. In every other venue you can double as head of the organizational chart or anywhere in between by the way you dress. Everyone looks the same.

One of the last times I went to a big church, I was shocked. The pastor was wearing Levi’s and a sports shirt with an open collar. In addition, his shirt wasn’t even tucked in. He was wearing it out, but it was heavily starched and ironed. He had a Bible in one hand and a cup of Starbucks coffee in the other. Who would have thought?

I posted my first blog on April 2, 2014 on Facebook. Actually, I didn’t even call it a blog. At the time, I was simply sharing a true story. I thought it was funny. Folks obviously liked it. By the end of the week, enough folks had responded with encouragement for me to keep writing that I couldn’t stop. In addition, I had garnered more new friends on Facebook in a week than I had captured in the previous six months. Previously, I had half a handful of friends. After a week of posting about “the trouble I’ve seen” or my life with the General, I had a handful of friends.

At some point, I moved beyond Facebook and started posting a “real blog” on Weebly in addition to Facebook. I think Lilian, my granddaughter, was ten years old when she created and set the blog up for me. From that day until now, I’m still posting the same nonsense I put on Facebook on Weebly as well.

In an effort to be transparent with folks I’m associated with at work, I sent out a group email to all employees and board members to let them know of my blog. I thought it would be one way to dispel any misperception that I’m a stiff shirt. Honestly, if you can’t figure out the “real me” from the “true to life” nonsense I share, then I don’t know what else I can do.

Earlier this year, I started a new blog site through WordPress. I did that because it was easier to scroll down to previously written blogs. In addition, folks could subscribe and have an email delivered electronically to their computer on a daily basis. WordPress also connects with Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

Consequently, I know have three different forums for distributing the same blog. So, how many people read it? I really don’t know. Some folks occasionally make a comment or click “like”, but apart from that, I don’t know who actually reads my blog.

On occasion, I either fail to post my blog in a timely fashion (before reader’s have their morning coffee) or it fails to appear on whatever forum people general read it. It is always a “feel good” for me and an honor when folks reach out to ask: “Where’s you blog? Please keep writing. It gives me a flashback to being 12-years-old and having a paper route. Trust me, when folks didn’t get their morning paper, they called me.

Yesterday a sweet lady, somewhat older than myself was disturbed that my blog was posted. She called her granddaughter to ask for assistance. As it turned out, yesterday’s blog didn’t appear on Facebook with the exception of through a link for WordPress. Consequently, I posted it again last night.

Obviously, writing a daily blog holds some kind of intrinsic value for me. It is one way to be connected with people. It is another way to dispel the “stuff shirt” persona. Recently, I saw a friend I haven’t seen in about a year or perhaps even longer. She said, “I read your blog every day. I, too, am a writer. I can tell by the way that you write that writing is something you really enjoy. At the same time, I enjoy reading it.” How would I have known that if she hadn’t told me? I had no idea that she was a reader who regularly catches my script.

My son regularly shares my script with others. Does he do it because he thinks it has value or does it do it to make me feel good? I’m afraid to ask. Either way, it increases the exposure to my writing. Under the concept that confession is good for the soul, I am sometimes a little envious (okay, maybe “very” is more accurate) when someone’s post goes viral.

Last night, out of nowhere, I received an email notification from WordPress. It was entitled: “Your Annual Report for Word Press”.   I thought I’d share the content with you this morning.

To kick off the New Year we’d like to share with you data on your blog’s activity in 2015.

Crunchy Numbers – A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

There were 322 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 127 MB. That’s about 6 pictures per week. 

The busiest day of the year was March 23rd with 111 views. The most popular post that day was “Delayed Gratification is a Sign of Maturity”. (Note: It pictured my daughter, son-in-law and their new Audi. They waited a long time to get a new car).

The following posts received the most views in 2015: 

  • Is it Patterned Behavior Or Is It A Ploy To Drive Me Crazy? (Posted May 13, 2015) (Note: I simply made reference to the fact that the General has a habit that I find somewhat frustrating. I find it frustrating to be told what to do while I’m already engaged in completed the requested activity. It happens all the time.)
  • Only Secure Men Wear Pink (Posted March 17, 2015) (Note: My first adventure of receiving a pedicure as a gift for my birthday. Hint – “Could I be too old to bend over and cut my own toenails.)
  • Good News/Bad News (March , 2015) (Note: The grandkids didn’t want to go home. They wanted to stay for a week. I mention that was both “good news/bad news” and would be blog worthy. The General was not happy that I mentioned their staying would be good for my blog. I resolved to “keep my blog ideas” to myself.
  • Well Since This Is Not Motel 6 and You Aren’t’ Coming Home Tonight, I’m Turning the Porch Light Off (May 2, 2015) (Note: My flight out of Washington D.C. didn’t get me all the way home. I had a very long unplanned layover in Nashville)
  • I Owe, I Owe, So Off To Work I Go (July 2, 2015)

Top referring sites were Facebook.com, lnkd.in, twitter.com, henly Baptist church.org Wordpres.com Reader

Where Did They Come From: That’s 33 countries in all! Most visitors came from the United States. Canada & Columbia were not far behind. (Note: Maybe folks in Columbia read my blog while drinking their coffee) 

My most comment posted was “A Day Late and A Dollar Short”.

I obviously need to stop writing or I’m going to be late with this posting. Thank you for your support and your investment of time to read the nonsense I write. I am not a “stuff-shirt”.

All My Best!

Don

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2 thoughts on “Carpe Diem – To Blog or Not To Blog”

  1. Don, I have read all of your blogs. Left a lot of comments. cut back on those thinking I made too many. Love all the response to your blog from others. We have a lot in common besides being cousins. We live with “the brass” in our lives, that being John & Treva. Need I say more?

    Liked by 1 person

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