How on Earth?????????

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! All you lovely, possibly deranged, people out there who have followed my blog! I am sincerely very, very grateful to each and every one of you for the support that you’ve given me over the last year and for your warmth and kindness. The blogging community is something very special and I am honoured to be part of it

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! All you lovely, possibly deranged, people out there who have followed my blog! I am sincerely very, very grateful to each and every one of you for the support that you’ve given me over the last year and for your warmth and kindness. The blogging community is something very special and I am honoured to be part of it

Lisa xx

Bloody Hell!

I’ve just realised that I’ve got over 750 followers! How the hell did that happen? Do you know what, I don’t care, I’m just so incredibly grateful to all you lovely people out there who take the time to read the drivel that I post.

I’ve just realised that I’ve got over 750 followers! How the hell did that happen? Do you know what, I don’t care, I’m just so incredibly grateful to all you lovely people out there who take the time to read the drivel that I post.

Massive hugs to each and every one of you, you have no idea how much your support means to me

Lisa x

How to Get More Followers

Have you ever just sat down next to a complete stranger and started telling them your life story, without so much as a by your leave; just rambled on incessantly with no pause to gauge their reaction? If you did you’d probably find that they’d shuffle along and, eventually, off their seat and then walk away as fast as their feet will carry them while turning around every few seconds just to make sure you’re not following them. So, my question to you is, if you wouldn’t behave like that in real life, why would you do it in the blogging world?

Have you ever just sat down next to a complete stranger and started telling them your life story, without so much as a by your leave; just rambled on incessantly with no pause to gauge their reaction? If you did you’d probably find that they’d shuffle along and, eventually, off their seat and then walk away as fast as their feet will carry them while turning around every few seconds just to make sure you’re not following them. So, my question to you is, if you wouldn’t behave like that in real life, why would you do it in the blogging world?

If you want people to follow your blog, you have to engage with them in exactly the same way as you would if you met them in a coffee shop:

  • Introduce yourself.

Of course, your blog can be anonymous but use your home page to tell people a little something about you and your life.

  • Ask them something about themselves.

In the blogging world we do this by visiting other sites and reading what their owners have to say.

  • Start a conversation.

You can write what you like in your blog (that’s the beauty of it) but write as you. Imagine that you’re telling a friend something; you wouldn’t suddenly adopt a Severus Snape voice would you? Or start using the kind of words that they’ll need to go and look up in a dictionary?

  • Listen to their response

Often other people will be writing about your chosen subject so go and read what they have to say about it. Blogging is not a competition, you’re not visiting other sites to size up the opposition but to find people that you have something in common with.

  • Show interest in what’s being said

If you like what you read, leave a comment; in my experience 95% of other bloggers will reply to you and that’s the way that conversations and then relationships begin :O)

Moving on to content. No-one can (or should for that matter) tell you what to write; only you know why you started your blog and what you hope to get out of it. Saying that, if you want people to follow you, what you say has to be interesting. You may have had the best time at Aunt Millie’s birthday party but people here don’t know Aunt Millie and the story of Uncle John and the camel is really only funny if you were there….

You need to get people’s attention.

AttentionImagine being in a conversation with someone whose facial expression never changed, who never used hand gestures and spoke in monotone; how long do you think you’d be able to keep your concentration (or even your eyes open!)? Blogging is no different:

If you write 1,000 words as one paragraph that’s the equivalent of having no facial expression.

1,000 words with no imagery (pictures, memes, gifs etc) you’re sitting on your hands.

1,000 words with every sentence starting with ‘I’ or ‘my’ and you’re sounding like the scientist guy on friends who kept on about his allergies (remember that episode?)

Continuing with our coffee shop analogy, how would you feel if you said something to someone or even paid them a compliment and they just ignored you? Would you fancy engaging in conversation with them again? Would you even stop long enough to finish your coffee? Nope, probably not.

It’s the same in the blogging world; if someone likes something you’ve written, visit their site and read what they have to say. You won’t always like everything that they write but 9 times out of 10 you’ll find something to like or even comment on. If someone comments on your site, that means they’ve taken time out of their day to appreciate you so, at the very least, say thank you.

My last point is about celebrities. If you saw Brad Pitt [insert name of celebrity who most often appears in your erotic fantasies here] in a coffee shop, what would you do? Would you go rushing over, fling your arms around him, beg him to be your best friend and then follow him around all day? Well, yes, possibly but that would only result in a restraining order and some slightly embarrassing explanations. Whilst liking and commenting on every single post that a ‘celebrity’ blogger (5000+ followers) writes won’t result in a restraining order (probably), it also won’t guarantee that they’ll follow your blog.

Be yourself, have fun and make new friends because the WP family is amazing and worth every single minute that you spend getting to know them :O)

I’m going to qualify all of this by saying that I am not an expert blogger so you can take everything here with a pinch of salt but someone asked me for advice about growing a blog so I thought I’d share what I’d picked up along the way.

Have a great day everyone :O)

Lisa x

 

It’s My Round……

Do you have a local, a bar or a coffee shop where you can walk in and be sure of finding someone that you know? You can sit down for 10 minutes or a couple of hours and just chat with people about anything and nothing. If you’re feeling down they’ll buy you a drink and listen to your woes and you do the same for them if they’re having a rough day. Do you know a place like that?

Do you have a local, a bar or a coffee shop where you can walk in and be sure of finding someone that you know? You can sit down for 10 minutes or a couple of hours and just chat with people about anything and nothing. If you’re feeling down they’ll buy you a drink and listen to your woes and you do the same for them if they’re having a rough day. Do you know a place like that?

For me, that place is here on WP; granted there is no-one serving drinks (something for the marketing department to think about!) but there is everything else that I love about a local. It’s warm and comfortable with a constant stream of chatter and laughter. What makes it even better is that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to wear (be honest haven’t you chatted with your WP buddies in your PJ’s before now) and I have zero social anxiety (always a big plus).

FriendshipIn just a few months I have made friends with people who come into this bar from all over the World, (that’s you guys by the way). You are funny, patient, kind, loving, charming, understanding and completely non-judgmental. You are always there with a comforting word, some wise advice and a virtual hug on the days when I need it most.

I have felt your suffering as you made yourself vulnerable, shared your deepest fears and doubts; at those moments it feels so natural to hold you and tell you that you are loved. I have laughed with you as you recounted hilarious tales about your life. We have even chatted about politics and religion with calm and pleasant interest in each others opinions. You’ve shared poetry which made me weep and verse that filled me with joy.

I have learned from you, each and every one of you so, if you stop by the bar today, I’d like to buy you a drink, give you a hug and say thank you.

Lisa x

Where is Your G Spot???

Where do you get your best ideas for your blog? You know, those posts where you feel like you’ve created something really special and you want everyone to read it right away. Do you have a special place that just seems to feed you inspiring thoughts? I like to call it the Genius Spot, hence the title…..ooohhh you thought I meant……noooo sorry, I was talking about something else entirely!

Where do you get your best ideas for your blog? You know, those posts where you feel like you’ve created something really special and you want everyone to read it right away. Do you have a special place that just seems to feed you inspiring thoughts? I like to call it the Genius Spot, hence the title…..ooohhh you thought I meant……noooo sorry, I was talking about something else entirely!

Chuck-Norris-doesnt-turn-on-the-shower-memeFor me it’s the shower. Before you ask, I have absolutely no idea why; it’s not as if I’m at my best first thing in the morning. Normally it takes at least 2 cups  coffee before my brain is firing on all cylinders but, when it comes to writing, around 80% of my ideas come when I’m standing under the water and trying not to get shampoo in my eyes. It’s usually a single word that just pops into my head and then the idea for the post just seems to form around it. Irritatingly the initial thought then just wanders off to do its own thing but I’m left with my inspiration for the day.

So, come on where is your Genius Spot? Where’s your magical place where ideas run free and unfettered? Perhaps you’ve found a beautiful sunlit glade that stimulates your grey matter, maybe you’ve got a favourite chair and when you sit in it the thoughts just flow. Do you get your best ideas sitting on the toilet; you can tell me, I promise I won’t laugh, I’m a shower cogitator for God’s sake ;O)

Why the Chuck Norris meme? Well, to be honest it has only the very slightest relevance but I really love Chuck Norris jokes…….you can share some of those as well if you like….

Anyway, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you

 

Lisa x

Why Is This So Hard????

Since I started this blog a few months ago I’ve written over 125,000 words and, for the most part, they’ve all been pretty well behaved. They pop into my head in their droves, without any real prompting and then just seem to organise themselves into something that I can hand over to you guys. We have fun together, they flow and I ebb and we mosey along at our own pace, holding hands and skipping occasionally. So why is it that, when I try to organise them all into book format they decide that they hate me and they’re going on holiday without me?????

Since I started this blog a few months ago I’ve written over 125,000 words and, for the most part, they’ve all been pretty well behaved. They pop into my head in their droves, without any real prompting and then just seem to organise themselves into something that I can hand over to you guys. We have fun together, they flow and I ebb and we mosey along at our own pace, holding hands and skipping occasionally. So why is it that, when I try to organise them all into book format they decide that they hate me and they’re going on holiday without me?????

It’s not all of them you understand, ‘nice’, ‘then’, ‘if’ and a few others hang around but, to be honest, I think that’s just sheer laziness on their part, they’ve been in my head for so many years they just can’t be arsed to move. Their more exotic counterparts however, have no compunction in sodding of to the beach the second I sit down to write anything longer than 1,000 words – why? It’s not like I don’t look after them and try to make their lives interesting; they spend their time swanning around on blog posts, flexing their muscles and throwing sly winks at the pretty little poems that live on other sites, no-one could call that onerous could they?

You would think that, now they have French words to compete with for my attention, they’d be a little bit more co-operative and make an effort to wrap themselves around my thoughts in an orderly fashion but oh no! However, sneaky I am: offering to bring ‘scurrilous’ and ‘bunbury’ out of retirement, promising to keep ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ confined to quarters, nothing will get the little buggers to work in a group big enough to warrant the title ‘book’.

Worse even than that is the way that they run around scaring my thoughts so that they panic and go wandering off all over the place. A few hundred words wrapped around a couple of interesting thoughts and there’s perfect harmony, ask for anything more than that and I’ve got anarchy on my hands! Admittedly there are some thoughts that don’t want words wrapped around them and will fight them off kicking and screaming but I really don’t see why that should prompt this kind of rebellion.

I’m not going to give up, I’ll find some way of getting thoughts and words together for long enough so that I’ll be able to wrestle them into a book but until then you’re stuck with the blog I’m afraid…..

Have a wonderful day everyone and, if you have any suggestions for placating words they’d be gratefully received

Lisa x

You Lovely, Lovely People!

I would love to be able to give each and every one of you a personal thank you and a big hug but as I can’t this is for all of you with my sincere thanks:

I would love to be able to give each and every one of you a personal thank you and a big hug but as I can’t this is for all of you with my sincere thanks:

hug

Lisa

x

Sunshine Blogger Award

And the award goes to…….those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community and, apparently, that includes me! I am chuffed to little mintballs!! A big shout out and a huge thank you to Word Hunter who kindly nominated me for the award and set a bunch of questions that I found surprisingly difficult to answer. Of course that could be because I’m still suffering from the plague a cold but enough playing for sympathy (if you could just pass the tissues and a hot toddy would be lovely, thanks) let’s get on with the rules:

i wonAnd the award goes to…….those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community and, apparently, that includes me! I am chuffed to little mintballs!! A big shout out and a huge thank you to Word Hunter who kindly nominated me for the award and set a bunch of questions that I found surprisingly difficult to answer. Of course that could be because I’m still suffering from the plague a cold but enough playing for sympathy (if you could just pass the tissues and a hot toddy would be lovely, thanks) let’s get on with the rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog

Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions

List the rules and display The Sunshine Blogger Away logo in your post or on your blog

So, off we go, here are the questions that were put to me:

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

Quite simply I needed something that would help me fill a void in my life.

2. What is your favourite book/ books?

Difficult to narrow it down but I suppose the ones I have read repeatedly are The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory (I find Henry VIII fascinating despite his proclivity for offing wives), the Harry Potter books, anything by Terry Pratchett, Weaveworld by Clive Barker……OK I’m going to stop there otherwise I’ll be here all day!

3. How do you gather ideas for your blog?

I feel that I should be explaining a ‘process’ here but, to be honest, I don’t have one; random thoughts pop into my head (often when I’m in the shower) and, after a bit of fiddling about, they end up on my blog. Occasionally I’ll read something in the paper that inspires me to write but I find the news too bloody depressing these days to use it for ‘inspiration’ very often.

4. What an ideal day like to you?

Honestly? One spent with my husband but as that’s no longer possible I’m going to say one where I wake up……..

5. Who inspired you the most?

My brother. He has achieved everything that he set out to achieve because he has absolute focus (whereas I have the attention span on a gnat)

6. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

I’ve been asked this before and I think I said ‘the power to make people laugh’ but I;m going to change that to ‘the power to give people inner peace’. Sorry if that sounds a bit hippy, new agey but I think that’s what most people really hope for……..it’s certainly what I hope for anyway.

7. What is most important to you while writing?

Om. Sounds bizarre I know but I always have an Om chant playing on Youtube whilst I’m writing, it helps me concentrate

8. Do you enjoy poetry?

I do yes.

9. Which kind of poems do you like?

Those that move me in some way

10. Do you have a favourite poem? Which one?

This one by Stevie Smith, it’s called Not Waving But Drowning:

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought   
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,   
They said.
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always   
(Still the dead one lay moaning)   
I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.

11. What is the One thing you value the most in your life?

The fact that I have one.

Right, now I have to come up with 11 questions and 11 bloggers to nominate so, in no particular order, here are my nominations – drum roll please…..

  1. Darren because he is a genuine ray of sunshine in the WP world
  2. Wendi who does so much for others even though she suffers herself
  3. Billy who has his fair share of struggles but still keeps his wonderful sense of humour
  4. Tom, a genuinely great bloke who’s just been through a tough time
  5. Brian who is absolutely hilarious
  6. Matt, not because he is a bringer of sunshine exactly but because I think he’s a creative genius
  7. Lorraine who finds light in the darkness
  8. Dr Perry who always motivates and inspires
  9. Andrea who makes me chuckle
  10. John whose quirky little posts bring a smile
  11. Mike because I love his writing

Right, now I need to think of some questions………..here you go:

  1. What’s the thing that you like most about yourself?
  2. Do you have any little oddities?
  3. A million dollars or a 1000 hours of bliss? Which would you prefer?
  4. Which animal do you most identify with?
  5. Do you believe in fate or think we create our own destinies?
  6. Which of your blog posts are you most proud of (feel free to add link)
  7. It’s your last day on Earth – what will you do?
  8. What’s your favourite quote and why?
  9. If you had to give up one forever would it be reading or writing?
  10. What’s your happiest memory?
  11. Who are you?

Ok, I think I’ve covered everything. Thanks again to Word Hunter for the nomination and I look forward to reading the answers from my victims nominees in the near future.

Have a great day one and all

Lisa x

1,000 Comments!!!!!

I’ve just realised that my blog has 1,000 comments and I am absolutely chuffed to little mintballs!! Thank you so much to everyone who has ever stopped by and commented on one of my posts, it really does mean so much to me and I love chatting with you guys (which is weird because in real life I’m pretty unsociable)

I’ve just realised that my blog has 1,000 comments and I am absolutely chuffed to little mintballs!! Thank you so much to everyone who has ever stopped by and commented on one of my posts, it really does mean so much to me and I love chatting with you guys (which is weird because in real life I’m pretty unsociable).

This has made my Saturday – hope you have a great one too :O)

Lisa x

Freedom of Expression. Tag! Attitude!

Good morning everyone, I hope you’ve had a good start to your day ;O) Yesterday, the lovely Richa, creator of fun and inspiring iScriblr, nominated me for the Freedom of Expression challenge; how could I say no to that! This is a first for me so I’m very excited and a little nervous (really hoping I’ve understood the rules!). At the end of the post I’ll be nominating 3 other bloggers who I really respect and admire and I hope that they’ll pick up the challenge. Here we go guys:

Good morning everyone, I hope you’ve had a good start to your day ;O) Yesterday, the lovely Richa, creator of fun and inspiring iScriblr, nominated me for the Freedom of Expression challenge; how could I say no to that! This is a first for me so I’m very excited and a little nervous (really hoping I’ve understood the rules!). At the end of the post I’ll be nominating 3 other bloggers who I really respect and admire and I hope that they’ll pick up the challenge. Here we go guys:

“I really hate to have to say this to you but your attitude sucks!”

The anger and disappointment in her voice was more than clear

“What do you know? You don’t know what it feels like to be me!”

She knew she was being unfair but stubbornness kept her going

“No, you’re right, I don’t, but I do love you, I just want what’s best”

She was still angry but trying hard to diffuse the situation

“If you want what’s best, you’ll just accept that I’m getting married”

The tears were coming, she was frustrated and hurt

“I can’t! He’s just not right for you. Please don’t do this to me”

Pleading now, she was desperate for understanding

“This is not about you. I love him and I want to be happy”

Defiant again, she turns away, back straight and rigid

“But he doesn’t love you………not in the same way, you know that”

She knew the words were almost cruel but they had to be said

“No, I know it’s not in the same way but I really need him”

Defiance gone she is smaller, more vulnerable, lost

“You don’t need him, you’ve got me……..Mum…..please”

She opens her arms, tears streaming, eyes begging

“He’ll never replace your Dad, you know that, but I’m lonely”

They embrace gently with mixed attitudes of hope and despair……

I am now passing the baton over to 3 wonderful bloggers:

Wendi at simplychronicallyill as, despite having to deal with many problems of her own she is unfailing kind, considerate of others and a real inspiration

Billy Mac at goodtobealivetoday because he is funny and charming and fighting his own battles on a daily basis

Darren at artyplantsman because he is a kind a gentle soul who made me feel truly welcome when I first became part of the WP family.

These guys really inspire me and I hope that they’ll do the same for you.

Lisa x