Tagged: NaBloPoMo

Final NaBloPoMo Post!

final nablopomo post

It is the last day of the NaBloPoMo 2014 and I have done it! This is the final NaBloPoMo post! I was away this weekend and had yesterday’s post done the night before thinking that tonight I’d have enough energy to write this celebratory post when I got home.

I was sooooo wrong! I am exhausted and just want to zone out right now…but ok, focus T, focus…just a little bit longer!

This week will be a planning week for the Rangeelichick blog, so it’s going to be a lot quieter than it’s been. I have mentioned needing an editorial calendar a few times now (you’re probably telling me to shut up about the damn calendar already), and I will be brainstorming more content that I can bring to you here (probably expect a post on truffle oil in the near future). I’ll also be catching up on some reading, blog surfing, and Second Life design work I have been wanting to finish.

There are some site tweaks I aim to complete, one of which is to create a static contact page to make it easier for people to get in touch.

I am also planning a little something unexpected, so watch for it in the future!

I’m proud to have completed this blogging challenge. It has given me another sense of purpose and creativity that I hadn’t been fully into before in this capacity. I proved to myself I can write something every day for a month (which is not something I can easily do because I don’t like monotony), and that even when I feel like I have nothing to write about, I can nearly always find something!

This time next year, I’m not sure I will be participating in NaBloPoMo 2015. I feel that doing this was something I really needed to do for myself this year, and it might not have the same kind of purpose for me next time. Ask me in six months! I may just have changed my mind and will have another purpose for doing it.

I had a list of goals when I began, and to review, I am posting them below:

  • Always write like myself. In blogging it isn’t necessary to write as if I’m working on a Master’s thesis.
  • Don’t compare anything I do with anyone who I think has more skill. This includes comparing blog aesthetics, content, writing skill, or post topics.
  • It doesn’t matter if I can’t think of a post topic. If I have no idea, I can post pictures or quotes I find amusing. I don’t always need to write a lot.
  • Always tweet, pin, and share every post no matter how shy I might be to publicize it.
  • Try to start writing longer post ideas on the previous day.
  • If I somehow don’t meet the challenge, I won’t feel like I failed. Everyone learns something from an unmet goal and it is possible to try again!
  • Don’t worry about opinions of others. Nasty comments aren’t constructive and often come from people who have nothing better to do.

In assessing these, I completed all my goals! Woohoo! And I thought it was going to be hard! (I’m certainly not saying it was easy though!) I’d suggest doing a blog challenge to every blogger. It stretches your skills and gets your ideas flowing better. You’re never alone in your challenge, and you will feel good when you have 30 more posts on your blog in the end.

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment, added me on social media, liked something on social media, or shared anything from the Rangeelichick blog. I am thankful for your support and encouragement!

Do you like blog challenges? What has been your biggest struggle with a blog challenge?

 

10 Things I Learned From NaBloPoMo

10 things i learned from nablopomo

I know I am a day early with this post. NaBloPoMo isn’t over for another day–but I kind of have other stuff to do this weekend so I am highlighting the things I learned from NaBloPoMo a bit sooner. I hope you don’t mind!

I had never done a writing challenge before. If you saw me posting at the beginning of November, I talked a bit about how I got sucked into blogging every day for a month. For anyone who might not know, NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Post Month and while you may do a challenge like this any time on your own, the BlogHer website orchestrates a blog challenge every month. November is the big month however, because there is also another large scale challenge going on. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month.

I had contemplated NaNoWriMo, but I wasn’t so sure about trying to write a novel. It’s a great ambition, it just seemed a bit too large scale for me. Blogging is more manageable. It allows me to be more creative than I think I would be at trying to write a book. My blog is a venue for me to do a lot of different things. I can communicate my opinions on various topics, take my love for food and turn it into a post to share, review books I have read, create outfit looks that I think are fun–basically, I can use my blog for anything I want.

My blog is me in word form (and I am quite a mish mash of things).

If you were doing the challenge yourself, I bet you have learned some of the same things. If you haven’t yet done a challenge like this, maybe you can utilize something I have found out during the past month.

  1. Before you write for others, you must first be able to write for yourself. You need to be writing about things you are interested in or believe in. Don’t try to blog about something you aren’t very passionate about. Those feelings will show, and your readers will figure it out!
  2. Write in your own voice. Again, this is something readers can easily pick out. When I first started trying to blog, I hadn’t written anything in a long time. I was trying too hard to sound grammatically perfect. What content I ended up with turned out to be stiff and formal sounding. That is totally not me, and those I had asked to read it told me so! If you swear sometimes in every day conversation, do it on your blog (I do). Just be you and write how you would talk.
  3. Practice really does make perfect. The more I have written, the faster I get at writing and posting my blog entries. Granted, I need to have my topic idea, but my speed has increased over these last few weeks.
  4. Quality over quantity is important. There have been some posts I have done that I feel were kind of “cop out” posts. It was so important to me not to miss a day of the challenge that I sacrificed a little quality in favor of quantity. Going forward, I will not be doing that. Yes, sometimes quotes are ok, but I want to invest readers more than that.
  5. An editorial calendar would have been a big help. I am ok at coming up with something to write on the fly when I had to. It also helped me to know that every Friday I was doing a Fantasy Wardrobe Friday post, and almost every Saturday would be a recipe post. Though, some of the other days when I wasn’t in a mood to write, I didn’t know what to write. That made me feel somewhat flustered even though this entire challenge is voluntary!
  6. Write content in advance. This goes hand in hand with keeping an editorial calendar. There will be days you have life to deal with, or you aren’t in a writing mood. If you plan and write some content in advance, you have a little breathing room for when unexpected things come up.
  7. Don’t obsess over your Google Analytics. If you are just beginning, traffic will be slow. It’s good to be aware of your traffic, but don’t keep refreshing your analytics dashboard every five minutes. You will see your traffic increase in time.
  8. Utilize social networking. You don’t need to be a member of every social network, but you should be active on a few. When I post, I have a plugin that publicizes to Tumblr and Google+ when I hit my WordPress publish button. I edit the text in the publicize section before actually posting to my blog. Then I go to Twitter and send a tweet complete with picture when applicable. I schedule a tweet for the following morning via Buffer. I also share with my Facebook and Pinterest.
  9. Try to engage with people on your social networks. I need to work on this. My Twitter followers have grown over the past month, but I know I need to personally be better at adding and engaging as well.
  10. Find blogs you like and leave genuine comments. I need to work on leaving comments and connecting with other bloggers; I haven’t done much of this. I think when I get my blogging schedule figured out I will feel like I have more energy for commenting. At the moment, it seems as if all my time goes into writing. I want to set time to do the social part.

I could keep listing the many things I have learned, but I will leave you with these ten for now. A blog is forever a project of growth. I think I have said that before! It’s true! There is no success overnight, and we all start from the bginning and work our way up. I hope what I have taken from the NaBloPoMo blog challenge will benefit you in some way if you are thinking about doing a challenge, or if you are starting a blog.

What have you learned participating in NaBloPoMo? What have you learned as a blogger? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

The One Blogger Skill

One Blogger Skill BlogHer Prompt

I am taking the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompt that landed in my email today and I’m going to roll with it! As bloggers, we are always trying to improve our skills. One week we are learning and tweaking our SEO, the next we are researching how to take better photos. There are a lot of things we are trying to do in rapid succession. But we all have the one blogger skill we hope to get a better grasp of so that we master it. Until then, we see this skill in our favorite bloggers, and admire what they are doing with that skill.

I love reading about the personal experiences of other bloggers and how they are helping themselves and their sites grow. When they write posts about what they learn, it helps the rest of us too. We get to read about what that person tried and discovered, as well as what worked best for them–or didn’t work at all. While every blog is different, in reading what others have done we can make more informed choices on how to progress with our own blogs.

The one blogger skill I wish I had that I often see in others is the ability to plan an editorial calendar. Granted, I think I needed the NaBloPoMo challenge to give me the extra push I needed to focus and become more determined to get myself into my writing groove. Deciding to do this gave me some confidence in my ability to write regularly and share. But as I touched on a bit in yesterday’s post, I wish I would have planned some content in advance.

Some of the bloggers I follow regularly have written about editorial calendars and how much they help in the content creation process. This is something I will be trying once this challenge is done and I determine what days of the week I will be posting. The daily thing is not a routine I can continue after November, so I will knock it down to 2-3 posts per week. I think that is still a pretty good goal, and hopefully with an editorial calendar I can plan things out a few weeks in advance.

Do you utilize an editorial calendar? How is it working for you?

 

Inspiration: Winston Churchill Said…

If you are going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill

“When you are going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill

This is a quote I saw the other day, and I felt it gives some good advice. No matter what hell a person may be going through at a point in his or her life, just keep going. That is the only way to reach the light on the other side. We have all been there.

I thought I’d make this a short post today. I am not saying blogging daily for NaBloPoMo is going through hell, in fact it’s far from it! But some days, short posts are appropriate.

Share and enjoy!

10 Questions: Game of Thrones Meme

Game of Thrones Meme

I am obsessed with Game of Thrones. I love it. It’s the best thing since sliced bread and then some. I’m not just talking about the show either, the books are just as addicting to me if not more.

The fantasy genre has never really been something I was crazy about. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great fantasy movies and books out there, but I have never felt strongly compelled to give them attention. I tried watching Lord of the Rings and it really bored me. I have seen a few of the Harry Potter movies, but didn’t get into them much either. I didn’t even try with that book series.

Usually when there is a book or movie that is given a massive load of hype, I run the other way. I ran screaming from Twilight like no other (not literally)!

Game of Thrones has me though. Perhaps it’s because it’s very medieval, and I enjoy historical settings and costume. GoT isn’t history, it’s in a fictional land with a certain amount of magic and fantasy woven into a good mix of drama, action, wit, and intrigue. George R. R. Martin just had a great formula when he began the book series. It keeps the reader wanting more.

I started watching the show in order to see and understand why it was all the rage. I hadn’t read the books, and I had just watched the Tudor series on Netflix and was looking for a new show to watch. When I saw the first episode, I had been a bit leery. There was a beheading in the first half (ewww…), and I think I remember the whitewalkers (aka zombies) being in the first episode too. If you know me, you understand my hatred of zombies! Regardless, I decided to continue on.

Once I got caught up with the show, I asked myself if I wanted to delve into the books. I waited until the last season was done airing, and this August decided to crack open A Song of Ice and Fire. Now it is November and I am one fourth into A Dance With Dragons which is the fifth book. I think I might be a little lost when I am done reading it! I will have to wait until the next installment comes out before I can continue.

I thought today I would answer some GoT questions as a blog prompt or meme. If you are a follower of the show or book series, feel free to answer these questions yourself as a blog post, and put a link to your answers in the comments below!

Game of Thrones Questions

Who is your favorite GoT character?

Tyrion. His wit makes the show! Sometimes you want him to shut up so he might save his own ass from getting into yet another predicament, but he figures everyone is out to get him anyway, so why not be a smartass?

Which GoT character would you choose to be and why?

Daenerys Targaryen. I am sure that is a common choice! Although her life hasn’t been without struggle, she’s coming out on top as she gets older. She is smart, gol oriented, kind, but not one to be messed with. She is also a pretty fair ruler. This bites her in the ass sometimes, but she learns from her mistakes and proceeds with caution.

Who is your least favotite GoT character?

It’s really a tie between Joffrey, Cersei, and Tywin. The more I read of Cersei in the books however, she is the worst. I have a feeling she will get her punishment in the end.

If you had to travel across Westeros with a companion or two, who would it be? Keep in mind, there may be danger along the Kingsroad!

Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly. Weird choice, I know. I think when on a trip across Westeros, it would be good to have a strong swordsman, and someone who is really intelligent to help keep the group on track and know other useful information. Plus, between the two I am sure they have plenty of stories to pass the time!

What weapon would you choose to wield in GoT?

Either a sword like Needle if it had to be an actual piece of weaponry, or knowledge and cunning. Physical weapons are important, but if you are a fool in GoT, you won’t last long for sure.

If you were going to live in Westeros, where would you choose to make a home?

Dorne. It’s warm there, they have stayed out of a lot of political stuff, and women can rule. Also, if you were born a bastard, they don’t ostracize you as the other parts of Westeros do. The make it such a huge deal in the rest of Westeros!

If you were to live in the Eastern lands, where would you choose to make a home?

Braavos. I wouldn’t choose to live there for the climate, but it seems like such a diverse place. There appears to be something for everyone in Braavos in the books.

Where would you definitely not want to live? Name two.

I would never live in the North. I already live in the North…Minnesota should change its motto to “Winter is coming.” It’s too cold and knowing there are zombified creatures north of the Wall creeps me out. I also would never live on the Iron Islands. It sounds like such a rough place to be.

Who would you pick out of anyone from the show or the books to rule the seven kingdoms if you had the choice?

As of now, I am torn between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. They seem like the most level headed rulers to me, but as I continue to read the books my opinion may change!

If you were the ruler of the realm, what would your top three priorities be?

  1. Making sure the Wall was well armed and equipped.
  2. Assigning a team to plan and execute a strategy to rehabilitate the war torn areas and get food production going.
  3. Destroy Harrenhaul. That place really needs to be put to the torch. Maybe I’d do the same to the Dreadfort.

Have fun answering these questions, and don’t forget to post a link in the comments so I can read your answers!

NaBloPoMo: My Personal Goals

National Blog Posting Month

My blog has been here for quite awhile, getting dusty and waiting for all of my intentions to be constructed into posts. I think it’s time to write some shit!

For a few years, I have heard the buzz going on about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You know, that yearly conquest aspiring novelists want to accomplish throughout the month of November where the end goal is to have 50,000 words written by the time the writing bell tolls on November 30. That number of words is enough to be a bit fear instilling. Luckily, a person can’t be penalized if they don’t make the goal but it’s a pretty arduous goal I would say. I thought it sounded fun, but writing fiction isn’t my first choice of genre.

While the thought of penning a book is so tempting, I am not so sure I am ready for that. It involves more planning than I feel like I want to put in at the moment. I need a project that can be broken down into smaller bits.

Since I am trying to strengthen my writing skills to go back to my former writing post at Audacity, an online Lifestyle magazine for individuals with disabilities, I had considered just participating in NaNoWriMo anyway. Regardless of the fact I would be writing fiction, it is still using my brain to be creative with my words. The sense of community also appeals to me.

Nathasha, Audacity’s editor, suggested I participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) instead. Similar to NaNoWriMo, a pretty intense writing goal is set. The objective is to publish one blog post per day throughout the month of November. Anyone can do it, and the BlogHer website has a place where bloggers can sign up to the blogroll. There are also writing prompts if a blogger is stuck. The deadline for sign up is November 5th.

Think I can do that?

You won’t hear me saying that I can’t or won’t, but fear makes me hesitant to commit to things like this at times. I am a “What if…” person. I also have a strong procrastinator gene. I do work best under pressure usually, so maybe having to do a post a day will be enough to push me.

What ifs have held me back from blogging and from some personal growth at times. I have put too much stress on writing in proper English which kept me from writing like myself. I have compared my skills to others who I thought had better skills, which is not a wise thing for anyone. I have worried about the opinions of others and the nasty shit people say for no reason.

Enough worrying, right?

I have also spent so much time reading about blogging, social marketing, monetizing, etc., but yet I haven’t been making myself really put what I learn to practice.

It isn’t like I need to write a thousand word post every day. This is my space after all. If other people like it, it’s a bonus.

So, today the challenge commences. Let me begin by setting a few rules for myself.

  • Always write like myself. In blogging it isn’t necessary to write as if I’m working on a Master’s thesis.
  • Don’t compare anything I do with anyone who I think has more skill. This includes comparing blog aesthetics, content, writing skill, or post topics.
  • It doesn’t matter if I can’t think of a post topic. If I have no idea, I can post pictures or quotes I find amusing. I don’t always need to write a lot.
  • Always tweet, pin, and share every post no matter how shy I might be to publicize it.
  • Try to start writing longer post ideas on the previous day.
  • If I somehow don’t meet the challenge, I won’t feel like I failed. Everyone learns something from an unmet goal and it is possible to try again!
  • Don’t worry about opinions of others. Nasty comments aren’t constructive and often come from people who have nothing better to do.

If I keep reminding myself of these things, maybe I can get through the next 30 days and have a very successful first NaBloPoMo!

Are there any words of advice you follow or habits you have when you participate in NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo? Leave a comment!