Friday, March 1, 2013

My Blog - Author Blog Challenge #1

I've been writing since - forever, it seems. 

Welcome, fellow writers, to my blog, as I embark on the 15-Day Winter Author Blog Challenge.

Today's prompt is: Tell us about your blog. How long have you been blogging? Do you write on a regular schedule? Do you plan your topics in advance or write as the spirit moves you? What was your favorite post? At which post do you look back and wonder what you were thinking when you wrote it? What has been the best feedback you’ve ever received? Have you ever written anything that was perceived as controversial, though you didn’t intend it that way? What tips would you offer other author bloggers?
I've posted daily for almost two years (it will be two full years as of the end of April).    I may not be able to write posts related to this Challenge daily due to circumstances, but I intend to blog all 15 days, and continue my daily blogging streak. So, usually I write whatever interests me that day - within the confines of weekly themes on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday.  Ironically, I won't be following that schedule exactly for the next two weeks.

Four years ago, I decided to start blogging, almost as an impulse, shortly after a mass shooting mere blocks from where I work. 14 lives, snuffed out in an instant, in an adult classroom. Their voices stilled forever.

My mission statement is to tell some stories of the human experience.  I enjoy history and I blog about the U.S. Civil War on most Sundays.  I blog about "sustainable living" on most Saturdays, post something related to the season (currently, winter) on Wednesdays, and blog about what is growing in my yard/house each 15th of the month as part of a "Garden Bloggers Bloom Day" monthly meme.

I write because I must.    I write about things I am passionate about.  I practice my photography, which is another childhood interest.  Blogging allows me to combine both. I plan, when I approach retirement, to take a photography class. I don't think I've written a "controversial" post.  My personal favorite is a post I wrote about a childhood coloring set: "Memories of Paradise". I will probably rerun it sometime in the next two weeks for your enjoyment.  Best feedback? Reading the encouragement you sent a friend/guest poster this past week, when I posted (with his permission) his guest post about his struggle with Bells Palsy.

Social media is a tool for me now, as the manual typewriter was when I was 12. I am an introvert by nature, but my blog frees my voice. I've met writers online.  I've met published authors.  I've met journalists.  I've met many wonderful people through social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other blogs.  I can relate to other people on my terms. 

I am not using social media to its fullest, and I hope to learn more about its use in the coming two weeks from more experienced writers participating in this Challenge.

Tips I would offer to new bloggers:  before you begin, decide on the (themes) of your blog. Themes may change, but start with a plan. Also, choose the title of your blog well, and choose your platform (Blogger, Tumblr, Wordpress, etc.) only after careful investigation. Both will be hard to change once you've been at it for a while.

And finally:  commit to a challenge right away.  It's the best way to "plunge in" and get instant readership.  If they like what they read, your readers will stay with you and spread the word.

Hope to Read You At the Challenge!


  1. Wow... that's a lot of information for just a one day prompt! And you answered everything beautifully. I enjoy learning about other bloggers and this was a great post for that very reason. I, too, can be an introvert, yet I often surprise myself with what I am able to write and send out to the world. Good luck with your challenge!

  2. I had decided to make certain days relate to certain topics on my blog. Friday's I post about finance. Saturday I post about clothing options for making videos, meeting with clients etc. Sunday is Scenic Sunday where I share a couple of photos from our area or recent travel. Other days are related to other topics like social media, video marketing tips etc.

  3. Hey, Alana! I hope you enjoyed The Bird :) If anything, it'll get your mind wondering into Neverland. :) I'm looking forward to the next fifteen days. WRITE ON!

  4. Great tips Alana. Your weekly themes sound interesting too. Looking forward to reconnecting during this challenge.

  5. Hi Alana, I look forward to reading more of you posts :-)

  6. You met the challenge very well! Interesting post.

    I try to write something reflective every 100th blog post. The rest of the time I mostly share photos.

  7. Blogging everyday is a massive effort - look forward to reading more!!!

  8. I admire you dedication to blogging - well done!

  9. "Four years ago, I decided to start blogging, almost as an impulse, shortly after a mass shooting mere blocks from where I work. 14 lives, snuffed out in an instant, in an adult classroom [...]"

    I think I just figured out who you are, so to speak. :-) My mom (coldclimategardening) pointed me to the Author's Blog Challenge. She said a fellow gardening blogger who lived in the area had mentioned it. I know the shooting incident you speak of, so I know you live in our area, so you must be the blogger my Mom meant (So I am guessing!)

    Strange the twisted paths things take on the Internet.

    Just to add my bit, my sister wrote about that shooting too. It is a bit long, but if you'd like to read it:

    1. I am indeed the blogger your Mom told me about. I'm pleased to see that you are a writer. Small world? I'm only now starting to catch up with some of the WABC blogs. I'll check out your sister's post, too. This April 3 will be the 5th anniversary of the incident you mention and the memorial park in Binghamton is getting closer to completion. I also featured some of the collections of the teacher who died that day, Bobbie King, in posts this past December.


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