A Simply Questionable Post: Answering Four Questions, Acknowledging One Reality

THE ANSWERING FOUR QUESTIONS PART

We’re on staycation again this week, busy morphing a guest bedroom into a reading/yoga room. More on that later. In the meantime here is something I found when I read THIS POST by Martha at Seaside Simplicity. Because of her I know about the Tuesday 4 questions and this week the 4 questions are about blogging.

1.  Tell us about your blog.  When did you start blogging?

I started my first blog in 2004. My intentions were good, but our computer was unreliable and our internet connection was dodgy, resulting in an arbitrary posting schedule. Still, I stuck with it.
 
2.  What prompted you to begin blogging?

Pure curiosity to see if I could do it.
 
3.  What was your first blog about and why did you choose that subject/title?

My first blog was called sweetlyPAZZO. I don’t remember much of what I wrote about but the title came from my point of view. I was much sweeter back then and I thought that ‘pazzo’ [which means crazy in Italian] was a cool word so I used it in the title of the blog.
 
4.  How has your blog changed over time, and has it done for you what you hoped it would do in the first place?

Like many longtime bloggers I’ve had a few different blogs. For me this has made sense because I’ve wanted to try different approaches to blogging, different points of view, different platforms. Over the years blogging has helped keep my brain clicking by satisfiying my curiosity, so it has done what I hoped it’d do for me in the first place.

THE ACKNOWLEDGING ONE REALITY PART

I sometimes say that irony is my closest friend. In this case I’m referring to how difficult it has been for me, an accomplished blogger, to write this cute little post. It has been anything but fun; in fact it’s been hell.

There has been nothing simple about it.

The WordPress Block Editor has thwarted me at every turn, often blocking me from editing my words in a block so that I had to rewrite what I’d written again… and again… and again. Also there are some links in this post, but the system has inexplicably taken away the blue color from the links so you, kids, cannot see them anymore.

I guess you’re just supposed to know they’re there.

Whilst I’d like to say I’m filled with righteous indignation and the fervor that comes from knowing that there’s something wrong going on and you’re going to stop it, I’m too tired to do so. WordPress is slowly stealing the fun from personal blogging. I don’t know why, but I know this to be true.

The One About My Change In Attitude & A Relaxed Spring Blogging Schedule

Plans change.

Wednesday’s post was the last one I had in my blogging files. Yep, for once I’ve absolutely nothing planned or researched or started. That is a rare turn of events for me, a wordy girl.

Then I woke up Thursday morning to find my WP editing page was different. Again. Of course.

Today I can’t help but feel that the events earlier this week were a sign nudging me to change my attitude about how often I post to this blog. Not a dramatic change mind you.

More like a sign encouraging me to SIMPLIFY, my word of the year.

So here’s the dealio.

For this spring, maybe summer too, I’m going to write and publish one post every two weeks, showing up here on Tuesdays [probably]. Nothing remains quite the same.

The posts will be my favorite kind of blog post, the ones filled with flapdoodle and twaddle. If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane, right?

Then with my free time I’m going to read what you, my prolific bloggy friends, write on your blogs. Not everything you write of course, but many things.

This relaxed approach to blogging will give me the latitude to stay in touch & share the comment love you all deserve– while politely stepping away from blog land every so often.

You understand. ❤️

Words Do Not Fail Me: A Study Of Wordiness In My Blog Posts & Your Comments, Forsooth

I got curious.

I got to a’wondering about two things about this blog’s word counts. I realize that what follows is a somewhat meta post, but it’s winter and I have time to think about word counts.

My two questions are:

  1. How many words have I written in the 962 posts I’ve published here; and
  2. How many words are in the average comment here.

• Answering the first question was easy.

WordPress provides information on word count by post and by year. Looking at the chart featured at the bottom of this post you can see that I’ve written & published a total of 962 posts with a total word count of 282,612 words.

This averages overall to 294 words per post, although last year I got wordier averaging 360 words per post.

A digression… according to this article, A Word Count Guide for 18 Book Genres, Including Novels and Non-Fiction, 80,000 words is the ideal length for a novel. “If you’re working on a novel-length book, aim for 50,000 words at the very least — but it’s better to aim for 90,000. Editorial trimming is inevitable.”

Ergo, keeping the above rule of thumb in mind while applying it to my blog word count [282,612 divided by 90,000] you can see that in essence

I’VE WRITTEN THREE BOOKS.

• Answering the second question took more effort and required a few assumptions.

Because there’s no stinking way I’m going through all the comments on this blog to find the total comment word count, I made a few, shall we say, educated guesses.

Thus I decided that I’d only look at the comment word count on my 2021 blog posts AND that I’d only look at the comments made by the top recent commenters [according to WordPress] because I figure those people are a good representation of all commenters.

The top recent commenters are: Linda, LA, Dan, Nancy, Tara, and Kari. Go visit them and say “hi!”

To wit, there are 38 comments from these individuals with a total of 1616 words. This means that the average comment word count is 43 words.

Do what you will with this statistic; I was unable to find any articles written on the topic of comment word counts, so I don’t know how to interpret this number. Other than to say

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTS HERE.

Curiosity satisfied. The end.

Questions Of The Day

When you write do you keep track of your word count as you go along? Are you aiming for a specific number?

Did you know that the word *forsooth* is an archaic or humorous word meaning “indeed”?

Do you have any idea how I made the pretty text box featured near the top of this post? I hit some buttons and it happened, but I’ve no idea what I did.

~ ~ • ~ ~

Miscellaneous: The Good, The Weird, The Charming

[I’m using the Block Editor for this post attempting to learn its features. Today I am putting images in the middle of my copy. *fingers crossed*]

THE GOOD: our absentee ballots came in the mail last week and we immediately voted. At home. With no lines or cranky poll workers to harsh my mellow. It was wonderful and calm.

Then we put double the required postage on the envelopes holding our ballots, drove to the post office and mailed them– like the good, moral, and conscientious American citizens that we are.

HAVE YOU VOTED YET?

~ ~ • ~ ~

THE WEIRD: a well dressed woman without a mask on came to our front door and rang the doorbell. I didn’t know her from Adam Eve, so I shouted to her through the door sidelights to back up and I’d open the door. She would not do so instead continuing to ring the bell, then using the knocker, and finally pounding with her fist on our front door.

I yelled “NO” to her, at which point she used the phone function on her Apple watch to call to someone named Ellen. I could hear the conversation through the door. She accused Ellen of not answering her door; eventually Ellen convinced this wacko woman that she was at the wrong house. The woman looked in at me and laughed, offered no apology, then went on her way.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

~ ~ • ~ ~

THE CHARMING: out for a walk in our neighborhood I walked by a house where Little Sister, age 5, was playing by herself in the front yard. Her two older brothers, ages 7 & 9, were playing together in the driveway, loudly, competitively, locked in a battle for a ball.

Little Sister skipped over to see me as I walked by. I said “Hi! to which she replied, “I’m playing. I love me.” Then she skipped back up toward the house, about as happy and self-assured as a person could be.

NOW ISN’T THAT DELIGHTFUL?

~ ~ • ~ ~

Good Morning To Everyone Except WordPress, My Frenemy

Et tu, Brute? 🤓

Entirely against my wishes in one of the most difficult years of my life, WordPress, my now former friend, has stabbed me in the back by stealing my favorite classic editor. This is no way for a friend to act.

Here’s the dealio. One week after sending me the annual renewal bill for this personal blog, WordPress has dumped their new unwanted editing system on my account. They call it the block editor; I think of it as the blockhead system.

I don’t want this new editor, nor do I need this change. I’m already living in a daily state of confusion and angst without this added burden in my life. This begs the question: would a true friend make my life more difficult during a pandemic? Just so they could get their jollies at my expense?

I’d say ‘NO.’ However as of yesterday I’m being forced to learn a new way to write + edit my blog posts, showing me how little I mean to WordPress. Not that I’m surprised, mind you. I know I am, we all are, pawns in WordPress’s game.

BUT it does bring home the fact that social media companies, all of them, do not have our best interests at heart. They manipulate us into communicating in ways that primarily serve their purposes, not our own.

Will I continue to write a blog in a system that makes more work for me? Truthfully, I dunno. I don’t have to keep a blog, I do it for fun– and let me clue you in, learning a new editing system is the opposite of fun for me.

I’ve no doubt that I can learn how to use this blockhead editor, but I resent having to do so this year because, as we all have learned in 2020, life is too short and precious for stressful sh!t that detracts from living happy and healthy.

Not cool, WordPress. Not cool. 🤨

[At this point I’d like to add an image to this post but I don’t know how to do so. That sentence makes me sad… sadder, I suppose. Also, I have some posts written ahead but I don’t know how to publish them now that I’m in block editor hell.]