Sigh… yeah, I been a baaad blogger. Because, duh… I haven’t been posting. Yes, oh blog-o-shphere, after all that work to create this site and fill it with what I hope is decent content, I lost steam. I let me self get caught up in — life. I had to take a hard look at what I want to do with my blog and a hard look at who I am as a writer and a web denizen citizen.
Because I let all the distractions…. distract me, I haven’t touched my WIP in a week and I haven’t posted here in a month..egads! And I’m sure there are lots of other bloggers who have suffered from the same great enthusiasm for the shiny new toy and then all the maintenance issues show up and it would be so much easier to just do something else.
But, as I have said many, many times before — I am a very lucky girl. I took the time to get in touch with Jenny Hansen, the blog maven over at More Cowbell blog. If you haven’t met Jenny, you are in for a treat. She is kind, generous, intelligent… and talks finds hidden humor in her spam folder and other places. But I told her that I was having a hard time really figuring out what to do with my blog. And she shared a couple of great strategies. One thing she told me, she thinks of a great blog is the on-line equivalent of a great party. You stop by, there are interesting tidbits, you meet some new people, life is good. I thought, heck, what’s not to love about that? I love throwing parties, I love showing people a good time, making sure they are taken care of and that they fell their time attending the party was worth it. That was my big worry about my blog, I don’t want to waste people’s time, and thought I had to write really in-depth, deep, meaningful work. But a digital party? Let’s bust out the sparkly lights and the margaritas.
Then I had the fabulous opportunity to meet Social Media Jedi, Kristen Lamb when I attended Thrillerfest in New York City.
In between sessions, parties, radio interviews, more parties, brain storming sessions, and a few more parties — I finally had the chance to talk to Kristen about my blog. I originally took Kristen’s blogging class way back in October of last year, but we never got around to talking about my log line. I shared with her some of what I was interested in (the 100 word exercise) and she immediately came up with: Social Alchemy.
How perfect is that! It’s a great definition because I adore people I love meeting folks from all walks of life, I’ve been so lucky to have been able to meet so many great writers through the WANA class, and then to have the chance to meet them in person was such a delight. We truly are not alone, and we are creating bonds of friendship that grow richer with each blog post, comment, and “like.”
As for the Alchemy part, I have always been a seeker on the path to a deeper understanding of self-awareness. And there are a vast way to explore that which go far back in time — the Tarot, the I Ching, Astrology, Alchemy — these tools help us learn what we are about on a deeper psychological and spiritual level. That we are more than just the mundane, that we have the capacity to understand more than just the surface parts of life. To that end, I’ve posted this entry on August 8, the day Mercury goes Direct. Read one of my favorite astrologers, Ralfee Finn to find out what that means.
Now if that is not reason enough to throw a party, I don’t know what is. So that’s my job, to be your Social Alchemist, to bring you the best and brightest from where I sit in the blog-o-sphere and to be humble and grateful that you all have decided to show up. On Mondays I’ll share with you those things that give me inspiration, those things in life that fill me with gratitude, because that always makes Mondays feel less burdensome. Wednesdays I’ll be bringing the best tips and ideas for all my fellow writer peeps, and Fridays will just be fun. I have a lot of creative pals out there who dredge up all sorts of things, so look out, Fridays at Social Alchemy will be a chance to take a break and smile. It will include the Mash-Ups-of-Love, my take on what’s worth reading and checking out, web-wise.
I’m so looking forward to a fresh start and bringing all of you along for the ride. I’ve changed my banner photo, because hey, let’s not limit ourselves to black and white, let’s live it in color! What do you think? Have you any tales of blog abandonment? What’s the toughest part about blogging? And what are your favorite blog blues remedies? I love hearing a from you, and please feel free to comment and share your thoughts.
i can’t wait, Rachel.parties are good.
Hi Louise, thanks so much for stopping by. I’m still figuring out how to give out the digital party favors, but don’t worry, I’ll get there.
Welcome back, you crazy woman.
It’s not easy, is it?
Louise Behiel does awesome psychology posts. Ginger does writersbutt etc.
The key for me was to find something that tickled my funny bone or inspired me and something I loved doing. I rarely tackle a serious subject on my blog, I do that on the blogs of others who ask me to participate for a specific purpose because they’ve gotten to know me a little. I rarely talk about my books either other than in passing, but others ask me onto their blogs to talk about my books. So I think I’m keeping the faith with Kristen’s outlook and ideas.
So for me, it’s been talking about bringing up kids. I’ve three so you can imagine the endless stories. Or talking about relationships and the world of dating or body issues. I get loads of emails on relationships. Who died and made me the ‘go to’ expert? Could it be because I write romance and have connected with readers? I suspect that has something to do with it.
Blogs are all about voice. One the best comments I ever received was that she could ‘hear’ my voice and it matched my books. Did a happy dance over that one.
Also it takes time, Rachel, so worry not, you’ve been a very busy girl, so you could share your experiences of the ‘fests’ for those of us who live across the pond or couldn’t make it. Parties are good! We can all use a party.
Hi Christine, thank you so much for your support and your great advice. I have written up a few of the conference experiences, along with helping to organize one, so that would be an easy topic to cover. Thank you so much. I was worried that I just didn’t want to add to the noise, that when people came to my blog, they would go away with some little insight, or something that made them smile. You made me smile today, sweetie. Have a gorgeous day.
WOW, Rachel!! Thanks for the shout out and the kind words. Glad we’re gonna party over here at Social Alchemy…I WANT A PINK TIARA. I’m just sayin… Also, could you photoshop me onto the blonde end of that pic from ThrillerFest? Please, pretty please… 🙂
OK, enough requests from me. (Although, me and everyone else would love to see posts on your newsroom life. How cool must your CNN stories be?) What can we do for YOU, besides pimp your posts out? Surely there must be something we can do to help a WANA Sistah out!
Oh Jenny, I wish to heck you could have joined us at Tfest, it was a blast and a half. Next year! As for the pink tiara, let me rummage through my collection (yes, I have a COLLECTION of tiaras… I even tried making one for my wedding, you’ll be hearing about that soon) I’ll post pix of the pink one for you. As for the CNN stories… there are many! I will have to dive into the old musty shelf and dig up some bloopers for you. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for continuing to be my bloggy inspiration!
You’re too kind. And I bow to you…Not only do you own a pink tiara, you KNOW WHERE IT IS!
Welcome back Rachel. While you were – let’s say, away – I believe I mentioned you in one of my blog posts. So you see, people were thinking about you and wondering where you’d gotten yourself off to.
Looking forward to the fun stuff ahead.
Onward and upward little soldier! (I have no idea where that came from but just go with it.)
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Hi Jansen, well if that doesn’t totally prove what a doofus I am, I’m sorry I missed your mention, but thanks so much for thinking of me and for coming and joining in on the Social Alchemy fun.
Welcome back, Rachel! *throws confetti*
Hi Myn!!! Thanks for the confetti…. throwing you kisses!
Welcome back, Rachel! I feel you. Although I have loosely kept up with mine (sort of) through the summer, I feel I still need to narrow in on my focus and find the passion behind it. So glad you got your kick start! Yay!!! I’m wearing my party hat and blowing the whistle.
Debra, I think you have a great series going with “Immortal mondays”I always learn something new and interesting. I’m a big mythology fan from way back (get it??? way back… sorry, that was lame.) Good luck and thanks again for stopping by.
Hi, Rachel! I’ve been a bad blogger too…
So glad you’re back! Love the new banner 🙂
Welcome back, Rachel! I really love the new tagline and your blogging theme days sound really good. They offer leeway but still give direction.
Welcome back, Rachel. “Social Alchemy” is an excellent tag line, and I look forward to mixing and mingling here.
Usually, just as I feel life, blogging and everything else is hopeless, someone makes a comment that makes my day and everything’s good again.
On the day’s when that doesn”t happen there is always wine 🙂
Hi Nigel! Oh, how I have missed hearing from my favorite Limey bloke. I’m so glad it is all good agian, and I’m so glad you stopped by the party. You are AWESOME. See you ’round the web.
Hi Rachel! This is the first time I’ve been on your site. I found you via mywana. And I’m SO glad. I really enjoyed this post. I’ve followed you and am looking forward to more from you. =)
Hi ElliAnn, thank you so much for stopping by. If it weren’t for WANA, I would still be scribbling away in the dark, wondering if there were any other kindred souls “out there” in the world, but now we can all party away at MyWANA and on the WANAtribe. Good luck with your work and I’m looking forward to hearing from you again soon.
Hi EA! Something is wrong with my reader! I haven’t been getting your posts! Glurg! I’m unsubscribing and resubscribing! What the deuce! So glad you tag me for Tall Tale Tuesdays!
Welcome back to blogging 🙂 I can’t wait to see and join in the online parties you’re going to throw. (P.S. I love link collections. I always find something new and great.)
Hi Marcy, I realize too that I have all kinds of friends from all sorts of areas in my life — CNN, the Hawaii theater community, my local writers group — so I’ll be adding them to the roster. Should make for a very interesting party. See you on the WANA side.
I’m so bitter! I could have come to ThrillerFest! I live in NY State for goodness sakes! Kristen called to see if I could meet y’all out for a drink, and I laughed because i live 6 hours away. But still. If I had know there were WANAs in the state, I would have booked plane tickets. I’m so glad that you had a great time, and that you are in charge. So nice to meet you! 😉
Next year, Renee! The WANA Tribe is going to take Thrillerfest by storm. We had far too much fun. Looking forward to following you at Teachers and Twits.
Awesome blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you recommend starting with a free platform
like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
Any suggestions? Many thanks!
Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment. I must say I learned everything about blogging from Kristen Lamb. She teaches classes on blogging for writers at wanatinl.com. She has an online writers conference coming up, here is a link. http://wanaintl.com/wanacon-feb2014/