One of the purposes of these intermissions it to stop and reflect on the blogging process…
By doing so, it gives me a chance to stop and assess if I am happy with the direction I am moving in. Or whether I have moved off direction, which is an easy thing to happen when writing. In a way, it’s similar to journaling.
The month of April feels like a different experience for me regarding my blog and overall website. It has been a large focus of my life and I have been putting all my spare time into writing content or exploring other technical aspects of the website. The last few weeks, I have still been keeping up with the writing of blog posts but have been releasing them at around 1 or 2 a week, as opposed to daily when I first started. My posts are still pretty much based on whatever I feel like writing. Recently, I have done posts based on some Japanese proverbs and I re-formatted some old work I did years ago on catharsis and purging into blog posts.
As a side project, I have re-formatted an old eBook that I wrote a few years ago and added it to my website as a free PDF. It has also been made available as a Kindle book (available for free to Kindle-unlimited subscribers). This is a ‘how to’ guide for Setting up a Complementary Therapy Business on a Budget. I have also been working on another short eBook, again based on another aspect of running a complementary therapy business. So far, this eBook is around 15,000 words. I plan to release it in the next couple of weeks, after I have finished the editing and proofreading stage.
So far, for all this work these last couple of weeks, I have made enough money to buy an Americano from my local coffee shop. So it’s all pretty good.
I’m happy, because effectively, this is what one popular blogger referred to as a ‘love dollar’. A love dollar is money you earned by creating a passive income source, doing something you love. In the past, I have made much more money from other lines of work for the same amount of labour. A typical minimum wage job would earn far more and more consistently so, but these small pounds and dollars I have made, do taste pretty good (as I drink my Americano), even though it requires a lot of time and effort to write and publish this content.
Other online activities
I have been spending more time online than I have ever done in my life before. Apart from reactivating an old twitter account and posting a little, I have been playing around with Quora and answering a few questions. Although Quora is a great website with lots of mature content, there is one particular health topic, (on which I have an alternative opinion about), where I feel they show a lot of bias on how it is answered and discussed. I think this goes against the principle of open-minded sharing of information and has made me stop and consider my involvement there.
Learning from other websites
I have spent a lot of time looking at other people’s websites. If I get a random ‘like‘ on one of my posts, I pretty much will mosey on up to that person’s site and have a good read. I like being able to get in the heads and lives of other bloggers and website creators simply by reading their content. There really are a lot of interesting lives and experiences out there being reflected in cyberspace. It’s interesting, because even with a similar template or platform, one person’s websites can be so very different to another.
I suppose it is the same with how penguins all look the same to us, but to a penguin they are not all the same. There must be lots of differences in features, tone of voice, build, smell and so on, which they notice close up.
I feel that my website style and tone is unique to me and that I don’t feel I am copying anyone else’s style. I definitely am modelling aspects from the websites of other people I admire, by looking at what they have done and trying to recreate it myself. However, even when I do this, I feel I have produced it in my own style and it is unique to me.
Rest and Reflection
There are times, when it gets tiring to do all this, so I take time off to refresh by taking my son to the local park. Walking in the fresh air really helps clear the mind and is good for me. This website is in many ways a completely new endeavour for me and I really appreciate the skills and bits of knowledge I am learning by doing this.
As with anything creative, I have learnt things about myself and my own attitudes. I am a little aware of a critical or chastising tone in some of my writing (especially on Quora) and this is something I would like to drop. On reflection, I see that this probably reflects an inner aspect of my personality.
Building up content
Up to now, my focus has been on building up my content. I wanted to give my website a ‘starter’ by getting a number of post and pages published. My website is just one among millions of others and it is very new. I hope over time, that I can attract more traffic. What probably doesn’t help is that many of my posts are not on any one specific topic, but are on various themes. I realise that if I narrowed my niche, I would attract people who were looking for a specific type of information and this is something I have considered doing.
However, the creative side in me, doesn’t really want to be hemmed in too much. For example, a couple of draft posts I have written are based on observations of things from Japan – vending machines and theme cafes, which has little to do with health or acupuncture. If I post these articles, it continues to make my blog broad in its themes again, but at least it is more interesting for me.
Based on this, I can imagine that any reader coming to my site will find it hard to get a feel for what my site is about, which can put them off returning. Nonetheless, for me, this is an explorative type of writing. I am experimenting and just going with whatever I feel like. This process is enjoyable and I am able to build up content by following this path.
I used a picture of a cherry blossom bud from Japan for this post. It’s the first picture I’ve used, that I took myself. I think it reflects the feeling I have for this particular post. An opening spring bud represents the start of growth and the potential of new life for the year ahead. This I hope, is symbolic of the growth and development of my new website.
Either that, or perhaps I just wanted to make use of this picture.
So far I am happy with the process of blogging. Each month is slightly different to the previous in terms of content and focus. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and see what comes.
Just to add. This post marks the 60,000 word landmark. In a space of 2 and a half months, I have managed to publish 60,000 words. And there’s some more to come that’s unpublished. 60,000 is the standard length for a full sized novel and is quite a lot of work. And it’s all out there on this blog for free if anyone finds it interesting or wants to pass some time.
I think that what helps is there is a kind of energetic flow, that I am able to enter when working on this website content and writing. In some ways, it flows quite naturally, almost as though I am not writing it – it is writing through me. And what it is, has given me something to think about.