Without Apologies

 

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If you miss one or two of my blog posts, I will not accept your apology.

People comment, email, and DM to apologize for not visiting my blog or doing so a week or more after I’ve posted.

For the love of all that is covered in chocolate, please stop.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s very sweet (the chocolate and your apology). And I’ll admit I’ve done this myself to fellow bloggers.

Of course I like seeing you here but, if you can’t make it, it’s all good.

If I don’t see you for a long while, I might inquire. But, if I do, it’s out of curiosity or concern not anger or upset.

Every once in a while (or more often), we get overwhelmed in the blogging world. We can’t keep up. Either with writing our own posts, reading others’ posts, commenting, or replying to comments.

It’s. All. Good.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I don’t know how many times I’ve blogged about this but I don’t care. I’ll blog it again. I’m a broken record. Whatever.

I do not believe blogging should be a source of stress in people’s lives. And, yes, we are people. With lives. Outside the bloody internet.

Sometimes, we can’t catch up and need to rid ourselves of guilt and empty our inbox. I think we’ve all been there. Or most of us, anyway.

I will not tell you that you’re doing something wrong or not doing enough.

I won’t.

You’re good. Just like that.

But I also will not tell you you’re wrong for wanting to be everywhere and do everything. Sometimes, we do this to ourselves.

So, if you really feel the need, you could pop over here and leave a smiley face and I’ll know you were drowning in notifications. Then I could save you, you know? It’d be a secret code or something.

I’ll drop by your blog and leave you a life vest.

 

 

I’m not even going to ask.

If you’re overwhelmed, stressed, falling behind in the blogging world…take a breath, empty your inbox, and throw away the guilt. If people get upset about you missing a couple of their posts or not replying to their comment…well… *shrugs*

You’re all good here. Cheers, gentle readers.

 

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Just Say ‘No’

 

I am overwhelmed.

 

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(All I can think of is The Princess Bride: “Is this a kissing book?“)

“Is this a complaining post?”

No.

Sort of.

Not really.

When I wrote Envy and Honesty six months ago, I had no idea how many writers were struggling.

This is huge, people.

Listen.

I’m not going to whine but I will say that you are not alone in feeling stressed.

Falling behind on blogging? Haven’t written for a day (or a week)? Give yourself a pass.

I know. There are endless articles telling us what we SHOULD do and COULD do if we REALLY want to and if we TRY HARDER and MAKE the time.

This is awesome if you’re asking for a kick in the ass. Sometimes you need a nudge, you know?

Personally, I’m sick and bloody tired of seeing this “advice” directed toward all writers. Because we are all different.

Excuses aside, this type of boot camp approach does not work for everyone. It might be motivating to some but is detrimental to others.

If you’re overwhelmed, stop reading that stuff. I know this is blasphemy, but…it’s just a blog. It’s just a word count.

Please. Give yourself a break.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

If you’re overwhelmed, do you feel pressured to keep up or do you take a break from blogging/commenting/social media? 

 

 

Taking the Red Pen to Your Comments

 

If you’ve commented on my blog, chances are, I’ve edited you.

 

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Please pop your eyes back into your skull and know this: I do not rewrite comments. I edit. Or, more precisely, proofread.

Why? Well, for one thing, I can’t help myself. I mean, I can not help it. My OCD-ish tendencies notice typos like a giant slug in a rose garden.

When I see an extra space, I delete it. When I see a forgotten period, I add it. If you type ‘dp’ when you clearly meant ‘do’, I change the ‘p’ to an ‘o’.

That’s how I roll.

Second. If I know someone pretty well, know their writing, and see an error, I’ll correct it. It might embarrass them to have a misspelling. Eh. It might not.

But I have had plenty of people submit a second comment correcting their typo. “Oh no!” or “Sorry! I meant to write…” I trash that and just fix it for them. Unless it’s a funny comment. Then it stays. (Seems I’m not the only one with typo/commenting issues. Just saying.)

I wish people would do this for me. *sigh*

Third. If you leave a really long link, it messes up my mobile site and the page just sort of floats around making it difficult to read. So I turn your long link into a short link.

Instead of http://sarahbrentynflash. wordpress.com/ 2015/09/01/ legume-allergy- leads-to-domestic-troubles-2/

It neatly says: Legume Allergy Leads to Domestic Troubles

If you’re new to Lemon Shark, I won’t edit you. I don’t know you or your writing style.

You could be using slang or live in the UK and your ‘realise’ is not a typo but a right proper way of spelling ‘realize’. You could be the next e e cummings and like using all lower-case. It’s cool. Your little letters are safe with me.

I love my readers and their comments. I do. I appreciate the time it takes to read and respond to a post. I also have some kick-ass commenters at Lemon Shark who add so much to the discussions.

You might be a bit offended by this confession but do give me a bit of a break. (I’m trying to uncover my true colors—refer back to mention of OCD).

And, if it helps, I edit my own replies. All. The. Time. Especially from my phone. Damn auto-correct. Also, the cute emojis sometimes show up very differently once I hit “post comment”. I’ll put a frog face (no, I don’t know why I’m putting a frog face) and then it’s like… Wait. What is that? Edit. Change. Aw. A smiley face with its tongue sticking out. Much better.

So, if you’ve commented here, I’ve probably edited you. #SorryNotSorry

 

Have you ever edited a comment? Are you going to stop commenting here because of my confession?

 

(Someone please make my day and tell me you’ve found a typo in this post.)

 

Do You Love Your Blog?

 

There seems to be a theme with themes.

 

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It’s like the whole blogosphere decided to redecorate this month.

Is it coincidence? Is this a thing? Was there a memo? I missed the memo.

The hard truth about my theme? It’s bland. Blah. Boring.

Also, I love it.

To me, it’s crisp, neat, and clean. That appeals to me and my OCD so much.

I hope readers like the look of my blog. But, because I do, I haven’t changed it.

I suppose it could be warmed up a bit but that’s what my words are for. And my photos (which never clash with the background because, really, there’s nothing to clash with).

There are a lot of themes to choose from on WordPress. Simple, classic, set-ups are timeless. But there’s something to be said for having splashes of turquoise and pink making your blog pop.

Everyone has different tastes. If you love your theme, that’s what matters.

You want your blog to greet you with a smile. When you sit down to write a post, it’s awesome to have a happy feeling before you even begin. Because. You love your blog. And it’s yours.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Have you ever changed your blog theme? If so, why?

 

 

Saw Donna Parker’s new theme just yesterday. She changed it because her old one (that she liked) wasn’t mobile-friendly. So there’s one answer. Still wondering about all the others though…

 

No, Thanks – I Don’t Need a New Car

 

I dropped a bomb on Monday.

 

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I’ve had super supportive, somewhat supportive, thought provoking, and downright disapproving comments on that post. The only thing they have in common is that they’re amazing.

I love every single one of them.

They made me think of a conversation I had with a friend of mine about validation.

Most people need it. Not many like to talk about it.

There are two types: External and Internal.

People are primarily motivated by one type of validation or the other. There are positive and negative aspects of each (which I won’t get into here).

External needs approval from the outside world.

Internal needs approval from within.

When your inside says “I look horrible”, it doesn’t matter how many people say “You look great!” Because. Internal.

Well, that’s me.

I could be at a party with 50 people all saying they love my hair and, if I don’t like it, I’d leave at the end of the night still hating my hair.

But just because I’m an Internal Val kind of gal doesn’t mean I don’t want to get compliments on my hair. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to get lovely comments from my readers.

Although my validation comes from within, I still value others’ opinions.

It’s not where I live—I don’t need it in order to feel good enough. However, I appreciate it because it causes me to reflect, to look at myself or a situation in a different light. (Also, it’s nice to hear.)

I always love the comments from my readers; they are interesting, thought-provoking, funny, and helpful. But I am truly touched by the comments from my friends on that post. A heartfelt thanks to you all for taking the time to share, support, and commiserate.

So I dropped a blog bomb and it blew up in my comment section. (In a good way.)

Also, behind the scenes, I received quite a few unexpected phone calls, emails, tweets, and DMs.

There was a lot of serendipity.

I’m in the eye of the storm, I believe. Because things have calmed a bit, giving me a chance to think more clearly. But there are dark clouds headed my way.

See you on the other side.

 

My Sunday thoughts in (a bit over) 200 words.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you think about validation? Are you an Internal or External? Do you get your validation from yourself or others?

 

 

Update: I was just today reminded of this post by Gulara Vincent: When Quitting is Healthy. Her post is more goal-oriented than giving up on a dream but it’s similar in that quitting can sometimes be a positive thing. It’s definitely worth a read.

 

Blog Comments — Why Do We Reply?

 

I haven’t replied to the comments on my last few posts. Egads! So I’m not allowed to post another one. I mean, it’s an unwritten rule, right? Wrong. It’s a written rule. You must reply. Also, there’s a written rule that says you don’t need to reply. There is disagreement in the blogosphere. And so it goes. I feel I’ve danced this dance before.

You simply must reply to comments on your blog because:

  1. It’s rude not to
  2. The whole point of a blog post is to generate conversation (i.e. comments) and you should keep that going
  3. If people take the time to comment, you should take the time to reply

These are all true. But so are these:

  1. Some people don’t care (or even notice) if you reply
  2. The whole point of a blog post is whatever the person who wrote it wants it to be – regardless of whether or not it generates conversation
  3. If people take the time to comment, it’s because they wanted to and you shouldn’t feel pressured to reply

I attempt to reply to every single comment on my blog. And not just a string of “thanks” but thought-out responses (with the occasional “thanks”). There are times, especially with my shorter posts or my flash fiction over at the Reef, it takes longer to reply than it takes me to write the piece. Also, as I’ve mentioned, I feel I can’t publish my next post until I’ve responded to each comment.

In this way, blog comments stress me out. But I love them. I love my readers and appreciate their comments. So much. I also love the conversation that can emerge from a simple Thought Bubble. I try to reply to all of them and 90% of the time, I do. Because. Love.

But sometimes it takes me a little while or I miss one. And I need to be okay with that. I suppose I’m writing this in part because I hope you’ll be okay with that. (And to ask you to continue commenting because, if you don’t, I will cry.)

When I publish a post, some readers return to “like” my reply. (“Hey! Saw that you wrote back. Cool.”) Others reply to my reply. (“I like what you said and have something to add.”) Others comment and move on their merry way, never returning to said post. (“I didn’t notice you replied.” Or “I’m up to my earlobes in work and writing and reading blogs and composing my own replies to comments and I don’t have time to come back.”)

It’s all good.

When I read another blogger’s post, some reply to my comment within minutes. Some reply days or weeks later. Some never do.

I’m not offended if they don’t reply or if it takes weeks. I’m not annoyed if they do reply and I’m alerted via email 30 seconds later. It’s. All. Good. See? Things are good. This is serious stuff, this blogging business. But, really, in the grand scheme of your local ice cream parlor, it’s just plain vanilla. Not a chocolate sundae with whipped cream, colored sprinkles, and hot fudge with a cherry on top, you know?

If you miss a post or two or a comment or two, forgive yourself. Your readers will. Hell, if they don’t, you don’t need them.

Anyway, I forgive you. So, there’s that. *hands you a cookie*

 

Sarah B Leave a Reply (2)

 

What say you, gentle readers? Do you reply to every comment? Do you just click “like”? Do you ignore and publish your next post?