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To post or not to post…

…on Instagram.  That is the question!

I hope the Bard will pardon me for cannibalising his famous words.  But this calls for something sombre to somehow describe the gravity of the situation.

Instagram, for those of you who have not heard of the social media app, is a photo-sharing site where people share their snaps “instantly”.  I started on Instagram because it helped me practice taking photos for the blog.  It kind of took over my life for a while because it became…very social for me.  I made virtual friends from various parts of the globe, I got a chance to catch up on friends who lived in other countries, it allowed me to see places that I’d never seen before.  It was like getting a travel pass to visit friends and places that I’d never been to.  Then my virtual friends became friends in real life.

Instagram, like any social media site has been targeted by bots, trolls and all the mean nasties that social media has created…and for a while, I was quite pleased about how Instagram seemed to be proactive in dealing with the internet nasties.  You could report the spammers, trolls, inappropriate posts, and online bullies, and Instagram would listen, they’d investigate and they’d take down the offending account.

I actually appreciated the algorithm…until the algorithm seemed to take on a life of its own!  I once joked that the algorithm would run amok in the same way artificial intelligence did in all those sci-fi shows and movies.  I’m not certain if it’s the algorithm that’s gone mad, or if it’s instagram tightening things so that they can slowly monetise the service.  I’m not forecasting doom and instagram gloom.  Just thinking out loud.

I think whilst I have this Instagram shadowban over me, I’ll post my photos and my thoughts on the blog instead!

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Snaps

The drawing board

I took this picture on a whim.  It was taken at a weird angle and no matter how much I straighten the photo, it would not look “normal”.

I haven’t really been blogging a lot lately.  I’ve been focusing on learning how to take pictures.  Actually, no, that’s not entirely true.  I have been taking pictures, but not entirely “learning.”  It’s only quite recently that I’ve started seeing something promising in the snapshots I’m taking.  I’ve got a lot to learn and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

I’ve also let the blogging and the writing slide.  I haven’t really, properly, written anything in weeks.  I have these writing projects floating about in my head but that’s where they currently live – in my head.  I keep saying to myself, yep, I’m going to write…soon.  But I’ve been procrastinating and now I’m looking at the blog and thinking, “Really? Is that all I have to offer?”  I know I can write but I haven’t, properly, exercised my writing muscles in a very long time.

I really think it’s time I harnessed what talent I have.

This piano represents my what I’m afraid will happen to my ability to string my thoughts together.  I played the piano beautifully once upon a time.  Now I can’t even remember if I can play Für Elise or Edelweiss anymore!  I don’t want to suddenly not be able to write down how I feel.  It’s a scary thought.  So I think I must think about how I want to rekindle my interest in writing.  I need to reconnect with the creative in me!

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After the hiatus…?

How many times have I taken a blogging sabbatical?  It happens all the time.  I allow the real world and work to take control of my life and the things that make me happy take a back seat.

Well, if I intend to be the boss of me eventually, if I intend to be responsible for my own time, then I need to take control of things don’t I?  Besides, whilst paying for my own domain name isn’t exactly breaking the bank (thank you WordPress for making this financially accessible!  You guys absolutely rock!), there must be some sort of return of investment!

So I am back in the land of the blogging!

Watch this space…again!

Oh and PS, thanks for sticking with me!  Mucho appreciated!❤️

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Helloooooo dear readers!

Ooooh apparently, on Tuesday, 18 October, I had 64 views on the blog.  64!  That’s the highest number I’ve had for quite a while.  I’d like to think that apart from my most popular post on salt and chilli belly pork, I’ve shared something else interesting!

readerspikeThanks to everyone who came by and read my musings.  Please leave a message as I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

 

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Writing it out

Emma Gannon is my favourite millenial (let me just say that I’m not entirely sure I am using this term correctly, I think I am but if you disagree leave a comment and let’s discuss!).  Mostly because she has done what I’ve always wanted to do.  She has taken a passion for writing and communicating on all possible media (print and social media and now she has this killer podcast and amazing book!) and has turned that passion into a career.

emmagannon-ctrlaltdeleteShe is one of a handful of superwomen that I follow on social media, mostly because they inspire me.  I mean hello, they’ve accomplished what I wanted to do ages ago (when I was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and less disappointed with the world) and they are so much younger than me!  I know people always say 40 is the new 30, and I am right there, just over the threshold (I turned 40 this year) but there are days when I think about what I need to learn, what I have to do and I wonder if I’ll ever get this particular ship out of this harbour.  I know the inertia that I’m feeling is something that only I can overcome.  I’ve got to light that firecracker under my backside and I’ve got to start moving (literally and figuratively!) if I want to get to where I want to get to.  I have a plan in my head but a plan isn’t really worth anything if I don’t attach any things to do and action points to it.

First thing to do is to create an environment where I am doing things that will get me to where I want to be.  I have to create a positive go-getter frame of mind.  I know that the day job is important at the moment because the day job will help me fund the activities that I need to participate in to get to where I want to get to.  I am reminded of Emma Gannon’s podcast episode with Paulette Perhach who talked about the importance of the side-hustle and how important it is to keep hustling.  I have allowed myself to wallow in the wishing stage of this whole endeavor so really, I haven’t been hustling as yet.  But hustle I will and hustle I should!

I have been wondering about my blog, why it hasn’t really taken off in the way my previous blog did.  I had people reading my blog, commenting on my blog, actually following my blog.  I lost that when I moved into a different blog hosting platform (Blogdrive did have a community and people actually read other people in Blogdrive) – this is not to throw shade on all the people following my blog; to you lovely lot, I am forever grateful.  I’m not assigning blame.  I just think my blog was stuck in a particular kind of blog theme where people shared their feelings to try and find validation.  We all want that all important thing: validation.  But it’s also important to know that people also want to read inspirational stuff, aspirational stuff.  Because if you boohoo and rant all the time, you bring your readers down with you.  It’s okay to vent, but I think it’s also important not to overshare your emotional and psychological baggage.  I think the audience isn’t as receptive to that anymore.  There has to be a balance between saying it like it is and depressing the heck out of your readers!

The quote below is a screen grab from Emma’s blog entry about Sharing Less.  It resonated so much.  And yes, I am going to write because I have something to say and I have a great story to share, not because I need validation.

emma-gannon-quoteOh and I know that I’ve started to view my writing differently because every time Alan asks me “are you sure you want to blog about that?” these days, I no longer feel like I am being attacked.  I stop and think about what I really want to say.  I don’t say this enough but thanks Alan♥

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To write

When I was little, I sat next to my Tita Migen’s portable Olivetti typewriter and lovingly trailed my fingertips on the keys.  I wasn’t allowed to use it.  I was told that it wasn’t a toy.  My aunt was a writer and she wrote short stories and articles for various women’s magazines in the Philippines.  One of her poems (it could be more than just the one, I can’t remember properly) was published in an anthology of poems written by the great and the good of Philippine literature.

At 9, I wrote an updated version of The Little Match Girl for our school Christmas party.  I remember that I called the main character Marina.  I don’t even know why I called her that.  But my “writing” the script for the “play” necessitated making several copies of the script.  So my aunt relented and allowed me to use her typewriter.  I loved it.  I loved the clickety-clack sound the typewriter made as I copy-typed my handwritten script (I was a two-finger typer, of course!).  I loved the smell of paper and onion skin (this was of course the mid-80s) and the way you had to be careful because you needed to make sure the carbon paper wouldn’t smudge the onion skin and your fingers.  I loved it.  I loved putting my words down in typeset.  It was the most exhilarating thing I’d ever done (not too hard to top as I was, after all, only in third grade).

Whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said I wanted to be a doctor.  But writing always niggled at me.  I always asked myself “what if I could write for a living instead?”

One summer, I think I was thirteen or fourteen, having read all the summer reading books (Nancy Drew, Sweet Dreams teen romances, the classics, of course) I had access to (I daren’t attempt to read any of my mum’s Mills & Boon books because I was told those were for older readers), I took one of my composition notebooks and started writing a story.  It kept me out of trouble that summer!  After reading what I wrote, I covered the notebook in wrapping paper and plastic cover and promptly forgot about the story.  Years later, my sister told me she read my “novel” and she said it was good.  My sister is the writer in our family, so I took that as a compliment!  I also fancied myself a poet (yes, I didn’t know whether I wanted to write poetry, prose or opinions!) and wrote stream-of-consciousness poems in a brown wire-bound Hello Kitty notebook which I bought from a bookstore called Alemar’s (don’t ask me why I remember those details, I just do!).  I’d love to read those poems again.  I’m sure they’ll be cringe-worthy but it’ll probably be a good laugh!

I am thankful that blogging has become a platform available to everyman.  Because it has helped me indulge in my creative efforts.  Not that I have actually written another story, short or otherwise, since my last foray into novel-writing.  I’m just thankful I can write and send my thoughts out there.  I may not earn my living from my thoughts but there is a certain satisfaction in being able to write down what you’re thinking and sending it out into the cosmos.

I would love to earn my living just talking about what I think about things.  I would love to be able to express my opinions and make a living out of that.  Ha!  Does anyone want someone with verbal diarrhea?  I know we all have to be very PC these days, and admittedly, I can be extremely un-PC, but I would love to just be able to talk about anything and everything under the sun!  Or write about it!  And, of course, get paid for it.

waiting to writeI’m putting it out there.  I’m sending it out in the universe.  Because I want to do something other than sit at a desk and work as an executive assistant.

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