Paltry advice for newbie bloggers.

Although I’ve been blogging for a while I don’t seem to have got the point, yet.

To date this hasn’t really been a blog; it’s more a collection of musings and bits and pieces I’ve come across. It’s higgledy-piggledy in the extreme, and though that’s not a bad thing for a personal – slip it under the mattress – journal, it’s pointless as far as a public blog goes. People want surety from a blog: that what is said will amuse, or instruct,  or have gravitas, or, at the very least, have a point. Congenerous (belonging to the same genus – as all of us do) doesn’t yet have a point. Why? Because it’s too higgledy-piggledy: like my mind, apparently.

So, rule number one should be: have a point. Don’t be seduced by everything that’s shiny – unless of course that is your point. Confused? Yep. me too.

Rule number two: Categories are not tags! This is something I’ve been aware of for a while, now, but to begin with I really wasn’t sure. I have far, far too many categories and at this stage it’s going to be a royal pain to remove them. But remove them I must. Use as many tags as you like, but the fewer categories the better. At present I have thirty, and a bunch of sub categories. I should have used tags but I didn’t know I should have used tags – daft. It’s no wonder I’m so confused!

Rule three should really be rule one, and is obvious: don’t plagiarize: EVER! You wouldn’t like it if your writing appeared under someone else’s name in their blog, would you? No, you jolly well wouldn’t. Quoting attributed snippets within quotation marks is fine, but never claim it’s yours.

Rule four: take photos of every interesting thing you see as you never know when one will inspire an idea for a blog. Most of us have phones with cameras and you can get great free software for tweaking your snaps (I use Paint.net and Gimp).

I’m sure – as eggs are eggs – that there are a lot more rules of thumb to bear in mind, though at present I can’t think of any. Finally, you really should read Lynne Truss’ book on punctuation: ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves.’

eats_shoots_leaves_Truss

It’s available in all good bookshops and on Amazon and Kindle, though I think it’s best to get the paperback as mine came with a punctuation repair kit. 🙂

Oh, and Croit says hello. He’s a very happy chappy as his cousin is in, and on the cover of, the book.

Happy blogging!

A startling conclusion

I was on my way back from the shops last week when I stumbled across a box on the pavement outside a closed charity shop. It said: ‘Free – Help Yourself.’ I had to wait my turn as a woman with a shopping trolley had her head in there. Still, she left a few trinkets of which my panda was one. I say ‘my panda’, but he’s really a very self aware, shy, stoic beast. We have yet to become firm friends. Let me introduce you to Croit.

Croit, my panda.

Now, it might seem daft to you to have a panda as a talisman, and I’m sure most would rather have a 24 carat gold thingummyjig. But each to his own, eh?  I too am lost at the bottom of a writerly cardboard box, and I’ve come to the conclusion that having Croit as a talisman is a good thing – at least, it can’t hurt.  That he’s a panda is neither here nor there, though I won’t tell Croit that.

Remarkably, on the very same day I found Croit in the charity shop ‘free’ box I made the determination that I wouldn’t write a jot unless I was going to submit it for publication. Of course, this blog doesn’t count. This blog is my mind’s way of venting stuff. Some occasional good stuff, I hope, but stuff nonetheless. Stories, short or otherwise, are now for submission. That said, seeing as I’ve already got more than thirty shorts under my belt some of those will be appearing here. Pleiades is one.

My other new determinations are:

  1. Do the washing up in a timely manner.
  2. Hoover them dust bunnies outta my crib.
  3. Write two shorts for submission by 30th.
  4. Take Holy Lisle‘s ‘How To Think Sideways – Ultra‘ course.
  5. Release another album.

As I write it’s numbers three and four that are most on my mind, which is a good thing as I have the attention span of a… oh! Look! Shiny thing!

There comes a time when one needs a bit of help to clarify thought, and hone in on what’s important. The course: How To Think Sideways (HTTS), might just be the key that sets my aberrant writer’s brain back on the tracks… so to speak. Sheesh. Of course Croit’s going to help, though he hasn’t actually agreed yet.

Wish me luck! I know Croit does… don’t you mate? Hmm?

P.S. anthropomorphism rocks!