What is the Meaning of Blogging?

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I had to take a break from blogging for a few weeks, due to needing to deal with a financial emergency. I have managed to begin to recover the situation now, and I am glad to be back here to say hello to all of you. 

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I missed the connection with all of my lovely followers, and the gentle clicking of the laptop keys as I watch the words flow out as if they have a mind of their own.

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Words can have magic and power. They have the power to inspire and uplift. And they have the power to destroy and crush.

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image from PINTEREST

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Some people wield words to brag and give the impression of importance in the grand story of their lives.

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Others use words to manipulate and to lure unsuspecting victims to their demise.

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 Still others, simply seek to reach out for that elusive human connection, and to convey compassion and deep meaning to the readers. 

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And some writers seek to entertain, to delight and bring laughter and inspiration to their readers.

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.image source PINTEREST                                           image source PINTEREST

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While others see writing as therapy and a way to discover and express the thoughts both hidden and exposed. 

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No matter what, words are a tool that are used by each person in their own unique way. We are all connected in the universe and part of a greater humanity.

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The feelings and experiences of one person, can be felt and related to …by someone on the other side of the world.

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Blogging is a way for us to hang onto our humanity, in a world that continues to get more technical and where people spend more time staring at screens than they do into the eyes and faces of other people.

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 What are  the things that matter the most to all of us? What are the questions and the puzzles that we seek to solve?  

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What are the emotions and thoughts that arise from the farthest reaches of our subconscious, when we lay in bed at night? 

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Let’s see what you have to say.

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Write your thoughts and feelings down. See them flow out from your fingertips and onto the laptop screen. 

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.image source PINTEREST

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Whether you be new to blogging, or a seasoned practitioner… your voice is needed by someone who is waiting to read just the very words you are about to write.

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There is a heart and a mind that is needing to hear just the very thing that you are about to type. So get blogging and keep those thoughts flowing !

Overcoming Perfectionism for Business

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Take a step. Do something that you want to do, even if you are not exactly sure where it will lead you. 

You have heard the phrase  “Ready, Fire, Aim,” but there an adaptation of that quote by Thomas Peters and Bob Waterman. 

“Ready, Aim, Fire. “

I love this quote. You do not always know exactly what to do or how to do it. You cannot predict what how other people will respond to your ideas. But if you have an idea, you should go for it.

It might be an idea for your blog, or a business idea you have. If you try something, then you will see how people react to it. You can always tweak it later. 

You can use the information you gather from the feedback that you get. Then you can adapt based on that feedback. 

If you wait until you think it is perfect, before trying something then you may never go for it.

The only way to know what things will work is to try something and then try something else. 

Perfectionism is the desire to do things perfectly and the fear of not being perfect. But no one is perfect and the world is unpredictable. 

Your journey to discover your possibilities will have failures and successes. You might be surprised how well an idea you have will work. If something does not work quite the way you expected then ask people for their opinions. 

If you are not sure what your target audience is then you will discover this along the way. If you do have an idea who your target audience is, then you can try to see things from their point of view.

Put yourself in their shoes and always think of the people who will be experiencing you. Think of what those people need and what their values are. 

The emotions of people are important when you think of business or blog ideas.

Entrepreneurs are pioneers of their own unique ideas. Your frontier is in front of you and all around you. 

You can give people something that will inspire and challenge them.

You discover what you can do as you go along. You have to take one step at a time. Do not be afraid to try something that you think might be a good idea. 

Ready, Fire, Aim. It can work. You can evaluate the feedback and connect with people in an honest way. 

People respond to others who seem human like they are. You do not have to pretend to be perfect. It just makes you look pretentious and above them. People like to do business with people that are real like they are. 

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Captivate Your Audience – How to Open and Close a Talk

Are you looking for new ways to spice up your writing and get your readers to really respond to what you say? Do you ever have to give talks, presentations or speeches?

Maybe you make YouTube videos. Here are some ideas for making your talks more memorable and perhaps your writing too.

These tips are designed for people who give presentations or talks, however there is something that can be gained from this advice as far as writing goes as well. After all a speech is a piece of writing that is given verbally.

This video is from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It discusses ways to get the attention of your audience with a great opening. It also gives some ways in which you can close the talk as exciting and interesting as you opened it. 

I recommend watching the video if you are interested in this topic. The speakers do a good job of communicating this information by using demonstrations of both good and bad openings and closings. But I will give you the main ideas here. 

Openings

The three ways they suggest to open a talk are as follows. They also give specific examples of Ted Talks that used each of these. One of the Ted Talks happened by one of my favorite speakers, Kelly McGonigal.

  1. Tell a Story – you should tell a story that will elicit the imagination of the audience and bring out emotions
  2. A Quote – you can begin with a famous recognizable quote or even one of your own quotes
  3. Question – You can ask a question for the audience to consider or you can ask a series of questions that cause the audience to delve deep into their thoughts and more importantly their emotions

Closing

This video suggests three ways to close a talk so as not to lose steam from the momentum you created during the talk and so as not to lose the audience at the end. The ending is very important because often it what sticks with the listeners (or your readers) after they leave. 

The ending is so important because this is where you have the opportunity to cause your audience to take action of some kind. This might be a new way of thinking or feeling. It may also be a physical action or to change something about themselves.

  1. Hope for a better future – you can suggest ways that the future can be better based on what you discussed
  2. Sell the benefits – you can remind, repeat, and press the benefits of the product, idea, change you want to create or whatever it is that you want the audience to remember the benefit features of
  3. Call to action – What do you want your audience to do? You may want them to spread awareness, make a life change or buy your product. The closing is a great time to remind them about what you want them to do or think

Here is the video for your enjoyment. Let me know what you thought about it in the comments and if you see any ways that you might be able to incorporate any of these ideas in your writing. Did you notice anything I may have used in this post?

If you enjoyed this video, here is another video from the same YouTube channel. This one is particularly relevant for public speaking. It talks about voice, body language, eye direction and other presenting issues. State management is also important, which is to present a certain mental, emotional state that will transmit to your audience.

How to Make a Live, Clickable Links on Your Posts

Someone asked  me how to make the links they put for their nominees live. This is in reference to blog award posts. However you can use these same steps to make any word or phrase on your post clickable and it will go to whatever site you want.

 STEP ONE

First – go to the link that you want to make live. This is going to be the Home Page of the blog that you want to link.
Next  – Copy the link……like this……

Highlight the URL  which is in your address bar. It starts with https://

(That is the URL for the blog you want to make a live link for.)

Make sure you highlight the entire thing, even if it is long.

How do you Highlight something?

The way I highlight is to put the curser at the beginning of the thing you are highlighting, then hold down the left button on the mouse and slide it across the letters of the url (or whatever you are copying)

As you are using the mouse with the button down and sliding it over the words, the words should turn blue (or another color…it is blue on my computer)

After the entire https address is blue, then let go of the button and stop.

STEP TWO

 Save that to your computer temporarily by hitting two buttons at the same time…

.Control (ctrl..lower left on your keyboard) and the letter C, (make sure C is upper case)

When you hit control and C at the same time, it saves whatever you have highlighted in blue.

STEP THREE

 Go back yo your post. Find the blog address you want to make a live link.

Highlight the entire URL  that you typed on your post, that you want to make into a live link, ,

Make sure it turns a color. Leave it highlighted like that.

STEP FOUR

Now you need to use a wordpress tool which is at the top of your post. I will explain. It is not hard at all.

You will see things across the top of the box that you are typing the post in. Make sure you are in the mode for editing or typing a new post. 

You will see the  letter B, which is to make something Bold. Then you will see the  letter I slanted sideways, which is to make something italic. 

Keep going across and look at all the symbols you see…..thnext is ABC with a strike out line through it, Then you see bullets and numbering. Then you see a pair of quotes…..

then you see things for aligning the post left, right or middle of the page. 

After those, you will see a funny looking symbol that looks like a paperclip. This is what you want. 

Hover your mouse over top  of that paperclip symbol and it should say Insert / Edit Link

(you can hover over each one to see what they are if you like)

Check to make sure the link you are making live is still highlighted. 

Then CLICK this Insert / Edit link button…

You will be given a pop up box that will allow you to paste that link into it. You want to Paste what you have previously copied (in step 2…your computer is still holding that..don’t worry)

Then you want to paste your link into the URL box like this….

You want to hit two buttons at the same time…. Control and the letter V. 

When you hit control and the letter V (capitol letter) you will paste whatever you previously copied.

Your copied link should now paste into that box which is asking for the URL. 

NOW your link should be live. You can check it by saving your post and then viewing it. Then click on the link and see what happens.

Summing Up

That is the long detailed version. Now we will sum up.

To copy something you highlight the words and then  hit Control and the letter C (Upper case C)

To paste it you highlight what you want to turn into a clickable link, then you hit   Control and the letter V ( Upper Case)

Control C = Copy

Control V = Paste

The tool at the top of your new post page (or edit post page) has symbols that you can hover over and it will tell you what they are.

The symbol that looks kind of like a paper clip is the INSERT LINK tool.

To copy the link you want to paste, you go to the site and highlight the URL from the address bar.

Then hit Control C and save it to the computer

Highlight the link that you typed 

Go back to your post.

Highlight the link you want to make live.

Go to the INSERT ? EDIT LINK tool and click

Paste your link into the box

Save your post and check the link.

Extras

I usually make it obvious that the links are clickable by a color  and / or underlining. You can use the tools at the top if the page to do any of this. Just highlight what you want to bold and then hit the B. 

Changing colors is the tool that is the letter A on the second line of your tools. The second line starts with word paragraph.  There is a drop down arrow after the A that has your colors. Do it the same way…HIghlight what you want to change color , select your color from the drop down list next to the A symbol. 

This sounds so much more complicated than it is. If I was sitting next to you..or even over the phone…I could show you easier and faster. Once you see how to do it, you will be able to show someone else and it will be easy for you to insert links into your posts from then on.

Put questions in the comments and I will go over anything that was unclear to you.

Annie …on writing…

Writers can touch the humanity of their readers.

Humanity is Messy, Lonely, Complex, Sad, Magical, Mystical, Beautiful, Sensual and Deeply Poetic

As a writer, be as human as you are. As a human, pour your inner longing into your writing.

Writing is the naked task of bearing your soul for all to see…Pouring out your heart for all to feel…Allowing elements of your own perceptions to be perceived by another person’s mind and sent into the universe.

It is not for the faint of heart. True, meaningful, writing is for the courageous of spirit and mind.

If you are feeling fear, then it is fear that  should be spilled upon the pages.

 If you are feeling passion, that passion should ignite a spark that could set your pages ablaze !

If you are feeling sad, then let the pages of your writing catch your tears.

Writing that comes from the soul, sends an imperceptible energy connection between yourself and the reader.  Writing can  transcend time itself, and connect humanity in all its conditions.

Therapeutic Value to Various Blogging Methods

Blogging as Therapy?

Can writing be therapeutic for us? Many bloggers would say that they find blogging very therapeutic for them. Sitting down at our computers and writing our thoughts and feelings out, gives us an outlet for our emotions.

It is a way to let our feelings out and not keep them bottled up inside. When there is no one to talk to, we can sit down and talk as much as we need to.

Types of Writing

What  different methods of writing have you found to be beneficial to you? Do you write with a main topic in mind and then let it flow? Do you create an outline, with the main ideas and subtopics on a piece of paper first?

Perhaps you have experimented with a  free writing or  “stream of consciousness”  way of writing. Or maybe you do some research before or during your writing process.

All of these methods are valid. One is not better than another. People tend to have one preferred method of writing. Although they may utilize one or two the other methods as well.

What is your primary method for writing for your blog posts? I am sure you can picture yourself sitting down to write about something right now. How would you begin?

Writer’s Personality and Preferred Writing Styles

The therapeutic value, to the various writing methods, is a bit different because each one requires a different type of organizational and thinking process. Your primary method of writing is tied to your personality.

Even the number of methods you use on a regular basis has to do with your personality. A person who has a regimented, scheduling type of personality will most likely stick to their tried and true method, without straying too far away from it. A more eclectic person will most likely want to utilize more than one writing method.

Mood of the Writer

Someone with a wide range of personal mood fluctuation, like myself, will select their writing method, based on the mood or mental state they are in at the time. There is no right or wrong to your choice of writing methods. It is an individual thing.

A new writer may use a certain method because it is easier for them at the beginning. Most likely this would be a method that requires some pre-planning in order to feel confident before beginning to work on the piece.

Experiment with Different Writing Styles

As you grow in your writing abilities, you can experiment and be a bit more playful with your writing style and experiment with various writing methods.

To expand your view and enhance your writing, I would check out all different kinds of blogs. You will see that there are very different approaches to writing that end up with very different results.

Various Types of Blogs

Also some blogs are focused around the person themselves, while other blogs are about a general topic or concept. It is fun to make it a game and see if you can identify what writing method the writer likes to use.

Journal Style Writing

Some people write their blogs in journal style. That is, they write what happens in their lives from day to day. This type of blog is in chronological order and is usually started by the writer with the intent of being a therapeutic outlet.

The original purpose of this kind of blog is met, as the blogger writes out their thoughts and feelings. The subsequent benefit is a self esteem boost, when the blog becomes more popular.

Research Method of Writing

It may surprise you that writing by using the research method, can be therapeutic as well. If you are having anxiety, the act of going through the research process, will focus your brain on what you are learning. There can only be one part of the brain dominating your mental state at one time.

If the rational, analytical part of the brain is switched on, then naturally the other functions will become subordinate. The amygdala, which is the fight or flight part of the brain, is in charge, when you are in a state of extreme anxiety.

You mind may have trouble focusing at first, depending on how severe your anxiety is, but the more you get the analytical part of the brain turned on, the less your brain will be able to continue with the racing thoughts that are causing your anxiety, Your fears will be able to calm down.

Stream of Consciousness Writing

Another method of writing is called “Stream of consciousness” writing, This method is at the other end of the spectrum from research writing. Whereas, in research writing you are being very organized in your writing, in stream of consciousness writing there is no organized structure.

I am a musician and in music we would call this “improvising.”  You are letting the music stream out of you as it comes to you. In the case of writing, you are letting your thoughts flow out, by way of your pen or keyboard.

Writing to a Prompt

There is also “prompt” writing, where someone gives you a writing prompt and you have to base what you write around the original prompt. This is sometimes done as a contest or a game, given by other bloggers or writing sites. A prompt can be a line from a story, a famous quote, a photograph or any other bit of inspiration.

Which Type of Writing is Best for You?

All of these methods are valid, and you can create amazing posts by experimenting with each one of these. The more things you learn about and try, the better of a writer you will become.

Even if you experiment with a method and decide it is not your forte,  you will still gain some insight into yourself,  by doing some writing in this style.

You do not have to post your experiments, unless of course you want to. This is an exercise for your brain, in order to stimulate creativity.

Have Fun and Grow Your Strengths

It is also a way to get in touch with possibilities and tap internal resources you may not be aware of. The more different types of writers you read and the more methods you try, the more versatile of a blogger you will become.

As you explore your personality and find your voice as a blogger, your self esteem will be boosted. This has tremendous therapeutic value, in addition to being able to write out your feelings. Many bloggers find that blogging is very therapeutic for them, including myself.

Happy blogging! Have fun with it!

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