“Verba Volant, Scripta Manent”

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“SPOKEN WORDS FLY AWAY, WRITTEN WORDS REMAIN”

Most of us have heard this expression in a more modern version: “Spoken words are like the air, written words are forever there.” Either way, the expression gives us something to reflect on. Those of us who have the privilege of writing in the public arena should think about the effect our words will have on those reading them.

Whether we are writing to educate, inform, entertain or just express our opinion, our words will have an influence on others. Proverbs 18:21 says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” I view the pen (or the keyboard) as an extension of our tongue. We are either bringing something negative (death) to our readers or we are bringing something positive (life) to those who read our words.

I consider this a heavy responsibility. Our followers live in many different countries and are of different ages. We have no idea what their living conditions are and what they are going through at the time they read the things we write. We need to be thoughtful about what we post on our blogs and on others’ blogs as well.

Have you ever Googled your name? If you do, you will be surprised to see your comments on the internet for everyone to see. When people read those comments they will get to know a little bit about you and who you are. Now, in the age of the internet, this expression is even more true…”our words are forever there.” Who knows who will be reading them in the future…prospective employers or possibly committee members who will be deciding on scholarships, grants, fellowships or that doctoral program you have been wanting to get accepted in to?

I have read several blog posts where the writers use profanity to make a point or just express their feelings. Although it may seem appropriate at the time, as writers we need to think about how we will feel in a few years when we go back and reread our posts. Are there any other words we could use that will get that same point across as well?

As someone who has lived several decades, there have been plenty of times when I have said things I regret. I’m glad they weren’t written down for all the world to read. At this point in my life, I don’t want to be writing things that I cannot take back and that will remain forever on the internet. How about you?

Woo Hoo…Made it Through One Year of Blogging!

As of last month, I made it through one year of blogging and looking back I have to tell you, I have learned a lot. A few months after I began blogging, I started writing magazine articles. The format is a little different and you have to write to the specifications of each magazine’s submission guidelines. I checked the Writer’s Guide and I decided to send a blog post to one of the magazines that publish them. 

Within a day or so, I got an email back from the Blog Editor. She said they only publish blog posts by bloggers who have been blogging for at least six months. I thought, “No problem!” I will wait six months and then see about sending in a blog post. However, about five months into blogging, I thought about quitting. It wasn’t what I thought it would be and I was getting discouraged. I seriously considered bagging it but decided to stick it out as my goal had been to blog once a week for an entire year. About a month after that, the readership grew and I am glad that I decided to stay with it.

The problem is real, though. The first five or six months of blogging is hard for a new blogger. It takes time to develop followers and get the reads and comments you would like. I read a blog post on the site Hellbound Bloggers by Harshit Singhal entitled: “5 Reasons Why Most Bloggers Quit Blogging Within Six Months.” He talks about the fact that 9 out of 10 bloggers will not make it through the first year. It is a great read if you want to look it up and very informative. I will mention the five reasons he states that most bloggers quit: 1. Looking for quick money 2. Not passionate about writing  3. Lack of motivation 4. Not enough topics and 5. The unavoidable renewal.

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So it’s tough for new bloggers, that’s seems to be an established fact. When I started blogging, I knew NOTHING about blogging. I just felt like I was supposed to start a blog. I listened to an interview with Kristen Lamb and she mentioned her latest book, “Rise of the Machines, Human Authors in a Digital World.” She is an established writer and her book is full of information about the publishing industry. She also mentioned that it has a special section on blogging. I read it cover to cover and especially focused on the chapters related to blogging. I learned so much from her and I still reread it when I need a fresh insight about the subject.  So, “Thank You, Kristen for all of your help, I couldn’t have done it without you!” 

We can do our best when blogging but we are still dependent on the readers to let us know if what we are writing is speaking to them. I want to thank everyone who read my blog, liked it, commented on it and followed it. I really appreciate the support and encouragement you have given me. I would also like to thank the Lord who gives me the ideas and words to say. I am not a natural writer and without His help I would never have been able to write even the first blog post.

I want to encourage all of you who just started blogging…stay with it. It will bear fruit and it be worth it in the end. If you’re struggling, check out Kristen’s book and you will be surprised at the amount of great information and encouragement you will find.

Again, a big “THANK YOU” to each and every one of you!  Please enjoy a piece of  Blogiversary cake (even if it is virtual) on me!

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Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Why Blog?

pexels-photo-273222.jpegI had been blogging about a month when I sent a blog post to a magazine that publishes them. The editor sent it back stating that they only publish blog posts from bloggers that have been blogging for at least six months. I could understand her reasoning and thought, “Great, no problem, I will send one in about five months.”

At the end of five months, I was thinking, “Why blog?” Does it actually make a difference or impact anyone’s lives? Sometimes there are likes, sometimes comments, but mostly people just read it. At the point I was thinking about quitting, the readership doubled and it encouraged me to stay with it.

Since then, I have been thinking about “Why blog?” and I came up with a few reasons that seem to work for me:

1. Blogging helps me express those feelings I care deepest about.

Before I started blogging, there were several areas that I felt strongly about. Yes, I could express my opinions to my circle of friends and family, but the thoughts went no further. Once I started blogging I could share my thoughts with others, many whom I had never met and some who are from different parts of the world.

2. Blogging makes me organize my thoughts and put them in a logical order.

I blog once a week and when I decide what to blog about, I begin to organize my thoughts and frame them into a cohesive whole. I have to examine my thoughts and see if they make sense and are driving me to the conclusion I think they are.

3. Blogging allows me to share a “Now Opinion.”

This summer I decided to start writing magazine articles. The process is a slow one, and by the time a piece is accepted and published it could be three or four months down the road. If I feel the need to express my thoughts about something that is going on “Now”, I can do it. If I write an article about it, it may be obsolete by the time it gets published.

4. Blogging allows me to connect with people I would otherwise never get to meet.

My favorite part of blogging is getting to connect with people I have never met. It is fun to share ideas and opinions with people that I would not have the possibility to connect with any other way. The blogging community is a large and varied one, and it is great fun to get to read other people’s blog on the WordPress site and get to appreciate their input. I feel I am part of a world-wide community.

5. Blogging is a great exercise in writing.

The only way to get better at writing is to actually do it. If I have a busy week, I know I still must sit down and write. Every time I blog, I am putting into practice what I am learning about communicating with others through the written word.

So, I am staying with it with a glad heart and a positive attitude. I like blogging and will continue to do it. I like the sense of community it brings and I like being able to connect with people around the globe.