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How blogging and social media are enriching my life

I began blogging almost by accident. I had a writing project in mind. A-M was encouraging me to get on with it. She had already shown me that blogging was a way of sharing writing. Rather than bombard her with emails, I decided to start my own blog. That was in 2012 – the year we really were empty-nesters.

After about 8 months of blogging on Sue’s considered trifles, where I mainly wrote to a formula and found that my regular readers did not appreciate more experimental posts I began Sue’s Trifles. This was a place to practise writing. I explored the web for challenges. It was late March 2013 and I discovered that the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge was about to begin. I signed up with little idea about how to proceed.

I wrote my posts as I went along. By the last week of April I was ahead of the deadlines. I had fun! I am still following and interacting with some of the bloggers I encountered online through that challenge.

I was persuaded to join Facebook to be able to see the photos another member of the family was posting. It was not something I’d have done otherwise. I had been following public Facebook posts from a particular band tour, so I had some idea about how Facebook worked.

I soon realised I could use it to promote my blogs, but I haven’t really done that well.

More recently (in 2015) I joined the Association of Christian Writers and discovered their activities on Facebook. I also belong to a poetry writing group. It is these groups, which I enjoy most on Facebook.

I knew less about Twitter at the time I joined. Having signed up for Blog Action Day 2013 I was under the impression that a lot of interaction would take place on Twitter. It was a problem to know who to follow at first as I knew hardly anybody involved.

However I got started and wrote a few posts about my early experiences on Twitter.

I prefer Twitter to Facebook. I find it a useful source of information, entertaining and providing some beautiful photography in a quickly accessed format.

I have made new friends on Twitter and Facebook.  My twitter friends are a less homogeneous group.

The interesting part of this story is the way in which my blogging and social media activities began to escape from the computer screen into real life. The first blogger I met was Fletch the Perchcrow. I have visited him and his assistants at Wordsworth House and Garden several times over the blogging years (and earlier). Fletch and I were both short-listed in the first UK Blog awards in 2014. As he couldn’t attend the award ceremony, I went as his representative as well as for my first two blogs. It gave me something interesting to talk about to the other bloggers in London. Hardly any of them knew about Cockermouth, where William and Dorothy Wordsworth lived as children.  (Cockermouth is over 300 miles from London by road.)

At the awards ceremony I also met a handful of bloggers I had met through Twitter chats. One of them made sure I picked up a goody bag!

In October 2015 I attended a writer’s day in London and met some people I had been in contact with online. In June 2016 I went on a writers’ weekend and met even more (and some for the second time). I attended another meeting in London in October 2016. The speakers at these events were all inspirational. I hope something from them has rubbed off on my writing!

Among my other interests I regularly blog about books I have read. If I am able to connect with publishers, authors or organisations with a strong link to any of the books, I do so. When I was given a book by an acquaintance, who had contributed a poem to it, I was pleasantly surprised. (I may well have bought the book, because of its local interest.) My activities online led to an invitation to the book launch, where there happened to be live music from a friend of A-M and interesting conversations with like-minded people.

For Christmas 2016 A-M gave me a book, which has led to another adventure. It was Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane, which I reviewed on Sue’s Trifles. As  members of the National Trust hubby and I had received news about an exhibition at Wordsworth House arising from the work of Robert Macfarlane and his parents, who are talented photographers. I mentioned the exhibition in my blog post and tweeted about it. An invitation arrived through the ether to an evening event at Wordsworth House with Robert Macfarlane and his parents and others including those involved with the exhibition. It was a very enjoyable evening.

I have skipped over the fact that I was recommended via a Tweet from someone, who contributed a word to the Landmarks’ glossary, to read another book by Robert Macfarlane and others. This book is Holloway. It is an exquisite little book. I had to request it from the library. A-M has a copy and had been inspired by it to write a lovely song. She has recorded a demo, which Robert Macfarlane has listened to and enjoyed. So have hubby and I.

So the boundaries between online activity and so-called real-life are becoming blurred. The positive aspect of this is that connections are made. Writers encourage one another. There are conversations between writers, artists, photographers, song-writers and others, who use the internet for business purposes. It is all about networking and making connection. A published writer has promised to buy my first poetry book, when I eventually find a way of getting it into print. (I am still an amateur or hobby writer.)

My third blog resulted from a day trip and has led to many more visits to interesting places.

This post is appearing on Easter Day. I wish all my readers the blessings of Easter. May peace and joy be yours.

 

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My blogging goals for 2017

In this third week of 2017 I am setting out (as much for my own benefit as for anyone else’s) my goals for 2017.

I have mentioned before that I have a regular slot on the More than Writers’ blog. I post there on the 31st of the longest months.

Sue’s considered trifles blog is still awaiting a decision about its future. I may reblog some of the earlier book reviews here on Sue’s Trifles. I am not promising to post here every week. However I do intend to take part in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge again this year. I have an idea about what I might do, but it will have to wait for the Theme Reveal!

On Sue’s words and pictures I hope to continue with the Daily Post photo challenges, although I have missed one over the New Year holiday. I may not claim to be a post a week blogger there either, although it would be fairly easy to achieve that goal.

Here I am planning to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. I shall continue to review any books I have read and enjoyed. Whether I find time for craft projects remains to be seen. I finished the knitting project I began in the summer on the run-up to Christmas. Now I just need to find a recipient for it…

If Twitter counts as blogging (I have heard it described as micro-blogging) I shall continue to promote my own and others’ blogs. Some of my photos only appear there. Follow me @suesconsideredt if you like.

By cutting down on my blogging frequency, I hope to free up some time for other writing-related activities. I also hope that the viewing figures for each post might increase as a result of being the latest post for a longer time. (Perhaps that is not how it works, but I do seem to put in a lot of effort for little effect.)

End of year blogging round-up

I have decided to write a single post to summarise all my blogging activity for the year, which is coming to a close.

My original blog, which shares its name with my username, has not seen much new material during the year. As in 2015 I was mainly posting links to archive posts. However in October I (almost accidentally) signed up for the Blogging U poetry course from WordPress. As a result there are some posts with new material. What will become of Sue’s considered trifles in 2017 is yet to be decided. The most popular post is an old one: Good, better best. One of my new poems was the most visited of this years’ posts.

Sue’s Trifles is my second blog. If you are ever short of something to read, there is plenty to explore here. This year books I have read have dominated the subject matter. I still find other topics to write about, particularly when something happens, which I find entertaining. My plan to post once a week was almost successful. I took part in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge, writing and illustrating an alphabet poem. This was the busiest time for visitors and comments. My most viewed post was an old one: How to adapt a child’s sweater by enlarging the neck opening. Of this year’s posts What I read in May 2016 was the most popular, probably as I linked to emily p.freeman.

Sue’s words and pictures is my newest blog. I have enjoyed getting out and about taking photos to post on it. The photo challenge posts are more popular than the posts I think up for myself! I have definitely achieved the post a week goal here. Most weeks I have posted twice. This blog also was involved in the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge. I chose plants as my theme. A walk from Scargill House was the most popular post.

This year has also seen my participation as a regular blogger on the More than Writers blog. I have been assigned the 31st of months with 31 days. This gives me the chance to write for a different readership. I am fortunate in the date as anyone looking at the monthly archives finds my posts first – at least in August, October and future months with 31 days.

If you are a blogger how did your year go?

I am linking to Your blog’s Year in Review.