Fragmented Writer

dark-cloud

‘Problems in your head’ by Zakhar Krylov

 

How do you write through gloomy days?

What do you do instead when you just can’t open a page?

I find it easier to write poetry when my soul and thoughts feel scattered.

I write the fragments down.

That way I get away with one-word lines and stanzas with pieces of thought.

What’s your strategy when you feel lost and the sadness is so deep, you are afraid to open the door to the words?

3 Powerful, Made-For-Writers Playlists You Should Hack

flow

Flow is a subjective state that people report when they are completely involved in something to the point of losing track of time and of being unaware of fatigue and of everything else but the activity itself.”-  Quote from Talented Teenagers: The Roots of Success and Failure 

I have a restless mind. I can’t  read anything for ten minutes without losing focus and switching to something else. And it’s worst online. I am convinced online reading is responsible for this distracting, unsettling habit I’ve cultivated.

I am not sure what causes it, except that it is worst when I am having a depressive episode, and that is understandable, considering the chemical imbalance that depression creates in the brain. (The last eight months I have been dealing with a most stressful experience that sapped much of my brain power, concentration and motivation.)

But I am a writer, and for writers, being controlled by a restless mind is one counterproductive habit that’s a major deal-breaker. Try adding writer’s block to that. On a bad day, I may not get anything done. Sometimes, as my readers here will notice, these ‘dusty days’ have extended for months.

The consequence? Everyday I don’t write delays my dream of getting my freelance writing business off the ground. My confidence plummets. I lose writing flow. My vocabulary becomes constricted. My blogs become ghost towns and I become frustrated with myself for not making the progress I should as a writer.

How I Plan to Get my Groove Back like . . .

But Stella got her groove back, and I’m dead-set on getting mine too. (Ok, ok, maybe the method may not be as erotic… nevertheless I am gonna find a way to recapture the flow I desperately need to get my writing groove back.)

So I am on a journey to find solutions to help myself beat this thing. I am open to ideas from the experts in this writing business.

Over the next six weeks, I will challenge myself to test a few of the free (I have no money, remember) tools and hacks other writers have recommended, plus those I hope to discover  for myself along the way.  I’ll share how each is helping a dusty writer find her inspiration and get her writing groove back.

Playlist #1- Music To Listen To While Writing Essays, Papers, Stories, Poetry, Songs

Today, I’m starting with music.

Why music?

Calming music has always been a good antidote for my stressed mind.

So just before I knocked out this post a short while ago, I headed to Google. I entered the long tail keywords “music to help writers focus while writing,” and landed on YouTube. YouTube account, Soundings of the Planet comes up first in the Result pages, and I choose the first song in the 7-track playlist. It’s entitled Music To Listen To While Writing – Essays, Papers, Stories, Poetry, Songs. There are 7 tracks. It’s 47:03 minutes long, and is a series of beautiful instrumentals by Dean Evenson (www.soundings.com).

The titles in Track Listing looks promising:
1) Pure Light Mind – Meditation Moods
2) Calming Insight of Ourselves – Meditation Moods
3) Touch of Grace – Sound Massage
4) Timeless Spirit – Sound Massage
5) Pondering the Lotus – Peaceful Pond
6) Welcome to my Pad – Peaceful Pond
7) Water Caress – Peaceful Pond

So does the 641,372 views it has attracted. I press ‘Play‘ to see whether this music will deliver on the claim in the playlist titles.

Easy Listening. Check.

As I write this sentence, I am now 27 seconds into the video and I am still on task. Can I finish this post by the time the video ends? Stay with me to find out.

The selection of songs are relaxing. That’s the first noticeable thing. Most of the sounds seem to be piano and violin. Between the stringed instruments, I can hear what sounds like croaking bullfrogs and twittering birds; nature’s music is cleverly integrated. The sound massage the composer intended is working.

From one song to the next, the music is quiet, melodic, never jarring. It’s definitely mood music, easy on the ear and calming to my nerves.

And so far, words are flowing, which is definitely another plus for this solution.

Of course, it helps if you like instrumental and classical music. If this is not your type of music, then this will probably bore you to tears. But it works for me because I’ve always loved classical and instrumental music.

Evocative journeys for your writer’s mind

The sound massages evoke images. In the last 3 minutes of the track, I am transported by the sensory blend of oriental chimes and nature sounds to romantic places in my imaginings: a rugged, open, mountain vistas, birds making sleepy calls as a dusky sunset settles across the landscape as a lone rider on  horseback treks quietly across the desert home. I can see how a writer could get her groove back listening to this music for writing tracks.

The track ends and I have successfully completed a new blog post, breaking the long months-long writing fast  on this blog. Yeaaah. Music To Listen To While Writing – Essays, Papers, Stories, Poetry, Songs definitely gets my voteHere’s the link if you’d like to listen for yourself.

Playlist # 2: Music for Writing 1- The Phantom Music

Writers are listening to and liking this type of music for work, as you’ll see by the comments on the YouTube page. While you are there, check out Music for Writing 1 The Phantom Music, 1:49 minutes of curated music writers commenting on the page attest is successfully helping them. One writer wrote, “This helped me through major writers’ block I can’t tell you how many times. Thank you a million times over,”while another writer said, “Aiming to reach my 100,000 words in my novel. Six thousand left to go. Wish me luck!”

Playlist #3 – Music for Writing 11: Attack of the Music 

Other playlists on the page explore other genres and mix instrumentals with popular songs. Maybe Phantom’s epic theme music selections from the Lion King or Harry Potter movies or the strident tracks in Music for Writing 11: Attack of the Music will give you the writing gears you need to vanquish that 100,000-word novel, difficult speech, college paper, or 17-page creative writing project you have to complete in the next few hours.

Takeaway from Music Hack

So the result of Test 1 is conclusive. Music, not just any music, but instrumental music along the tone offered by this YouTube track does it for me. If like me, you suffer from Distracted writer syndrome (my coinage) as I’ve described, I’d recommend this music as a solution. If instrumental, easy listening is what you are after to quieten the noise in your brain, then try out this Youtube playlist.

Remember I’m hunting for solutions, so why not leave a comment sharing the writing focus hack that works for you while writing. Sharing will help other writers overcome this debilitating writing issue.

Pssst…. 

I’m Karen Taylor, a professional blogger, writer and online journalist based in Portmore, Jamaica. Thanks for stopping by. Need help with your next writing project? Reach me at gee4214@gmail.com. I’m on LinkedIn.

Blogging for a Better New Year

blog new year   blogging for a new year

Happy New Year Bloggers.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. I feel too guilty when I renege on them, so I will make it a prayer today.

Lord help me live my life and blog more fearlessly in 2015.

Now that is out of the way, I need your help to  evaluate my blog.

Did you ever suffer from confidence issues about your writing or your blog? How did you overcome or tackle these?

It’s said that the blogging life of new bloggers is very short and a great number of new blogs fail within the first three years. As comments trickle in and long gaps emerge between posts when I receive no notifications, I too have faced the spectre of my own demise. Lately I’ve been asking myself whether it’s worth continuing this blog. I have even begun to doubt my ability to write. I scrutinise the blog to see it with my readers’ eyes, but there will be always a blindspot that you can’t see past in your own work.

I have read the blogging pundits and taken WordPress classes and tried to apply the guidelines. In and out of WordPress forums, I have spent time supporting other bloggers in the community by reading and commenting, yet it is all too easy to feel alienated. I don’t feel a part of a writing community sometimes. My readership is not growing as I would like, and my comment boxes remain predominantly empty.

I also hear ‘guest post, guest post’ as the way to build readership, but I panic at the thought of writing on someone else’s blog.

I know there are several areas in which I need to improve. I am not certain if it’s my subject, my writing,  or whether the problem is that I need to focus and tweak my niche or target audience. I know I am not very consistent. I don’t follow a blogging schedule or all too often do not stick to my promises to write what I say I will write. I sometimes don’t take enough time to proofread and let the post sit for a day or two before publishing, so some errors escape. I let posts sit in drafts forever instead of cleaning or completing them so can be pressed.

I’d like to make an effort to find all the holes in my blog as I step into the new year. So if you can find some time, could you answer these questions for me?

1.  What do you like about my blog? What was your favourite post?

2. What do you think I should improve or change to win over new or win back my readers?

2. If you were running my blog, how would you make it pop?

3. What makes you connect with a blog?

4. What more can I do to connect with my readers?

5. I’ve tried all the marketing tactics for getting more comments on my posts. Still it doesn’t generate the feedback I expect. What tips that work for you could you share with me?

6. Does it really have to take years as the blogging pundits say to build a blog from scratch?

Thank  you for your constructive feedback. Happy Blogging in 2015!

Thank You, Sorry, Who Cares? 72 do

I want to extend special thanks to those who took the time to follow and read my blog this year. I enjoyed your visit. It feels good to know you were interested in what I had to say when I did say anything.

I am also sorry that my blogging pattern has fallen off recently. Life gets in the way and I often struggle with whether I should blog about my issues.

‘Who cares’ is the voice I battle with.

‘Why dump your bad days on your readers? Everyone has their own troubles, you don’t need to spew more onto them.’

That voice most often wins.

It’s a voice I’ll have to battle as the new year approaches. I either have to stay on the blogging horse or get off altogether. But I’d like to continue blogging, put my voice out there, even if it’s one of dissent or depression, or conversations with myself. It’s my rose gardens. It’s my thorns. It’s what I said I’d blog about, even when its a streak of thorns that seems to be all I can stumble through.

And maybe not everyone will ‘stay away’ if I share my personal failures. Maybe there are other people who can identify with my caged bird stories. Maybe I don’t need to listen to that discouraging voice that keeps asking, Who cares? Or maybe I should just ignore the Notifications and the site stats that I check way too often and just write what’s on my over-analytical, not so lucid brain. Feel the immobilising fear and write about it cause that’s what I feel and experience at this point.

Forget what my About page says and it’s promises and that I’m not sticking to the big picture and the goals and just write. Admit that I am a lazy, distracted blogger who reads too much about what other ‘successful’ bloggers say defines my success. Admit that I probably am never gonna make it big or have the same site stats that some bloggers have. Maybe I should just stop all the marketing and just write and who will come, come. Maybe I should stop thinking and just let my thoughts flow as they are doing now, not really going anywhere, just saying, y’know.

Put my good, my bad, my sense and my nonsense until my change comes… a  new vibe, the ‘what’ I’m aiming to become.

Whole, lucid, prolific.

Maybe I should just ‘say’ and forget the rest. Who will come, will come. Or maybe I should change my focus to reflect the dynamic patterns of my life. Probably that’s what I should do. Not try to be a magazine, just be a blog. Be the little train car and not the whole train. At least for now, until my change comes.

For now and today, all I have are fragments and a hoarse discordant song.

You can listen in  or not. Tomorrow gifts a new day.

When I MAY HAVE A NEW SONG, a more perfect one.

Thanks for keeping me company in my rose garden this year.

I was truly blessed to be read by the universe. When I am asked again, Who cares?

I’ll stick my chin up and proudly say

My 72 followers and 1,300 visitors who just viewed and stopped to chat or just silently cheered from the side-lines.

Thank you, yes you.

Have a fantastic 2015!

(UPDATED) The 10 Best Things (I Admire) about America and Americans

rgt screen shot

Screenshot of my Stats Summaries page showing top country views for all time

 

(This content was originally published December 2014. Content Updated on July 4, 2016)

This post was originally published two years ago. I’m updating it today to dedicate it to Americans for two reasons: It’s America’s Independence Day and I want to celebrate the fine citizens of that country and pay homage to their history and independence achievement. Based on my blog stats, my American readers are also the top readers of all time of this blog since I started Rosegardens and Thorns six years ago.

I know there are some uncomplimentary things that can be said about every country, but that is not what my post is about. In every thing, in every country, we have good and bad. There is no utopia in this world.

Sometimes we need to hear a good news side of the stories. There’s enough evil in the world. The Best of . . .  seeks to cast your attention to that goodness. My post will reflect an overall impression of the goodness of the country and its people; it doesn’t mean everyone in a country is that way. I’m going for patterns, not individuals. With me? Great. So here are my 10 Best Things I admire about America and Americans.

The Best Things about America and Americans

1. Big hearts.  America is big, but so is its people’s heart. They didn’t acquire the label, ‘land of dreams’ by default. Americans are known to be kind and are generous to a fault. They are quick to share their wealth with their fellow man and are givers of second chances. America today is a huge melting pot of cultures because they have opened their shores and borders to those seeking refuge from persecution, enslavement and poverty in their homelands. Americans will readily break bread and give a person who is hungry. It’s not to say they are stupid, for just as how they quickly open their pockets, hearts and home to those in need; an injured America can pay forward swift and painful karma to those who abuse their generosity and loyalties.

2. You are Accountable. Although not a Bible-beating society today, Americans still govern their society against certain morals, values and standards and expect those who govern them to abide by these principles. For example, Americans decry lying and fraud, actions which many countries gloss over as a way of life. Children are taught early that lying and cheating have severe consequences. Americans will call you out for lying and cheating. If you are a public official, rest-assured Americans will not stop until you are impeached for your fraud.

3. Anti-corruption. In the same vein, America has built a business culture that prizes ethics and transparency. Corruption is not regarded, expected or tolerated of public figures and businesses. If the whistle blows and they’re caught with pants down, pants droppers will do what they know they ought to: resign. I know a few countries who could take a page from the Americans.

4. Happiness Custodians. The toughest of them are romantics and dreamers who will get teary-eyed and sniffly over a hurt dog, the underdog, unlikely heroes and Cinderella stories. It’s this ‘Don’t worry, be happy’ quality that makes them try to save the world. I believe Americans deem themselves happiness custodians. Which other country has rebranded customer service people as “happiness engineers” (Click to hear Pharrell Williams ‘Happy”)?

Because  happiness is their truth, they have built dream castles like Hollywood and Disney land to give the world ‘escape’ through fantasy. Through television and cable, the world, including those of us in Third World countries can live our aspirations vicariously through the people behind the silver screens and take comfort that we are never alone in our human experiences. Through their movie and music industries and the moving picture, we on the other side of the screen can escape from our own harsh worlds to laugh, cry, empathise, fall in love with or despise our alter egos in heroes and stars for a brief moment before real world intervenes. But often, that break is enough to enervate and inspire us to  keep on moving and surviving our own real life dramas.

5. Literacy a Prized commodity. They acknowledge and push literacy and education as the pillows of societal advancement. Books and reading are prized commodities and heirlooms in the homes of most American families. Their Publishing industry is the most thriving in the world. Authors are celebrities in that country; you can actually make a living from writing in America where a book in the hand is worth more than a gold nugget. There are no cobwebs in public or home libraries because book worms are always lurking there. The American reading habit is one I most covet for my home country.

6. Can’t take their rights. Americans know and take their rights seriously and will fight against any breach or threat to those rights. Misfits and animals have rights in that country and Americans expect the world to follow suit. Once you are an American citizen you can claim and enjoy the same rights. I admire how American consumers from all social backgrounds clan up to boycott any unreasonable increases in prices. The consumer is respected in that country, and it is so because they value their hard-earned money, their right to eat healthy, to choose, to vote and be taken seriously, and they demand and exercise these rights to keep their capitalists and leaders in check.

7. Kids rule the Kingdom. They value and regard children as vulnerable and must be protected by the state. I love the public outrage at those who seek to hurt children. They do not hide them. Justice is swift for pedophiles and abusers; even parents have to watch themselves as they could be hauled before a court for neglect or abuse if they spank their kids, something Americans have come under criticism for from those who believe that parents are the kings, not kids and who take it for granted that kids should be seen and not heard. Wise move or foolish move, love them or hate them for their ‘kids rule’ philosophies, it’s still heart-warming that children’s rights are still largely protected in America.

8. Free Press. Without a free press, there really is no freedom. I love the gusto and the bravado with which the American press tackles issues. They dig and dig deep. They are like little moles and mosquitoes. They will come up with something and anything that is in the woodwork. They build careers and will break them the next minute as those who have been granted stewardship of public trust and admiration find out as soon as they begin to behave like demigods. In essence, the press in America are doing what the people trust them to do: keep public stewards and celebrities accountable and minding their p’s and q’s in the interest of the public. I believe the American press has kept Americans free.

9. Free Speech. Americans are vocal and opinionated. Just as the press is free, so is speech. The two go hand in hand as the press gives voice to this free speech and we see and hear it in the myriad of tv and radio talk shows all over the country. Is there a thing as too much free speech? Americans haven’t heard of it.

10. Free Internet. From their living room, the ordinary Joe/Jane can communicate with the globe through the internet which, thank God, has remained free to date (knock on wood). America has made the globe smaller because of the gift of the Internet. It’s this reason that has enabled me to write this post and know that when I hit ‘Publish’ I become an author, enabled with the authority and the power vested in me by my readers to influence and inspire, educate and adjudicate on subjects of my choice. That I can stay in my country and be read by people from parts of the globe I’ve never even visited is simply amazing and humbling. The invention of the Internet has opened up communication platforms which have torn down socialist and communist walls and given franchise to opportunities to peoples and generations that never dreamed it could happen, and I thank inventive Americans for their role in that.

I also thank Wordress for the free platform that is enabling and realising the dreams of indie writers who would otherwise be still writing in parchment diaries stifled by a social order once determined and dominated by the publishing bourgeoisie.

To pay my respects to all my Americans readers and show some more country love, here’s to The Star-Spangled Banner. (Video)

One last word for my American readers, before you go, would you kindly click on the link below? Remember to click the back arrow to come right back. Just wanna say….

Thanks for being my friend Pikachu. (Credit: multitudeofgifs.tumblr.com)

Content Thieves giving you Writer’s ache? Ways to Chase Those Crazy Baldheads outta Town

As some of you know by now, not very long ago I discovered that all my posts were being pirated by this parasitic website, news.sysmaya.net. Since then two bloggers have contacted me with a similar discovery — they are being pirated.

While trying to find advice on how to tackle this extremely disabling problem (I’m now less inclined to write here), I have come across other writers complaining about the piracy of their e-books.

It is with some measure of relief that I have found that there are a few things that an affected writer/blogger can do to seek some kind of justice. Kissmetrics writer Kristi Hines explores these solutions in a detailed and eye-opening article which you’ll get a chance to read later in this post.

Here is a synopsis of some of her recommended approaches:

1. Create a Google Alert for your posts. Google Alerts will do searches across the Web and inform you each time it finds  your content duplicated on the Web. Quick Tip: To narrow and refine your searches, put quotation marks around the name of your website or your name. For example: “How to Catch Content Thieves.”

2. Copyscape is a search engine that can also help you search for your pirated content. Copy and paste your URL in the search slot and the site will return finds of websites using the exact language.

3. Check your site’s Webmaster Tools to see which sites are linking to your content. You can then check out whether these links are legitimate or not.

4. Find the culprit using a site called Whois Look Up.

5. Exert your rights under United States law with a DMCA Take Down Notice. You can visit the DMCA site and pay for one of two options it offers to get your stolen content taken down. According to the site, the DMCA can also execute these actions on your behalf in whichever country the content scraper resides.

6. Embed an RSS footer plug-in into your posts. (I’m not certain if this will work for WordPress.com users)

Read more here: Content Scrapers – How to Find Out Who is Stealing Your Content & What to Do About It.

Ebook Piracy and Reblogging

Are you a victim of ebook piracy? This guest post by Kathryn Goldman, an intellectual property attorney sheds some light on some recourses you can take.

Blogger/Author Molly Greene also had a bit to say about people who reblog whole posts without the writer’s permission. Read 5 Ways Re-Posting Other Bloggers’ Content Rips Them Off.

Based on feedback from other bloggers who have had similar experiences, chasing down content scrapers and pirates can become a tedious pursuit, one many have decided is not worth the time and expense.

Those who have achieved successful take-downs advise that a good dose of persistence, along with some legal muscle is the way to get results.

They say knowledge is power. Now I know what my options are, I will be able to detect more content thieves (though I pray God they stay away from my site), and in the words of Bob Marley can  ‘chase those crazy baldheads out of town’.

Rosegardens and Thorns Blogging Challenge Event: Sunday Satires: Oh My Gaffes!

gaffe  ɡaf/  noun
  1. an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder.
    “in my first few months at work I made some real gaffes”
    synonyms: blunder, mistake, error, slip; More

Have you ever been out getting some shopping or other business done, something causes you to look down and that’s when you realise that you’re wearing a different pair of shoes on each foot? (Happened to me last evening. Thank God they were both black, and it was night :).

Or maybe you’re scrolling through your  Facebook or Twitter feed one day and found one of your friends had committed one the biggest gaffes ever?

Ever had a memory just pop in your mind, and you find yourself squirming with embarrassment? Then suddenly you can’t hold back the giggles or the guffaws?

You know you’ve had one of those moments, right? We’ve all had them. It’s part of being human.

Your Invite

Well, here’s an invitation to all bloggers to share your human gaffes and giggles by participating in my event: Sunday Satires: Oh My Gaffes!

Blogging and Posting Instructions

The rules and conditions for participating in this Challenge are simple:

1. Share a post about your own gaffes. Post an anecdote of a personal social gaffe that caused you embarrassment. The episode may be that whimsical moment that caught you off guard (like I described earlier), and caused you to enjoy a secret giggle, chuckle, grin, or guffaw to yourself or be one of those OMG wish-that-the-earth-would-swallow-me-on-the-spot type of gaffe where the memory still makes you squirm 10 years post-incident.

2. Not limited to you. You may write about other people’s gaffes and bloopers as well. Mass media and social media has several examples of public figures committing gaffes almost daily. Start looking out for these.This article in the The New York Post should give a fair idea of what to write about. Social and political gaffes are welcome.

3. A moral. End all posts with a moral, principle or a universal lesson showing readers what the incident has taught the blogger and can teach the reader. It may also include a reflective note-to-self.

4. Tone. The tone can range from whimsical to rueful to the satirical, but never mean-spirited. The object is to amuse, deride folly, ridicule vice, or just provide a light, pick-me-upper moment.

5. Post Length. May vary according to form, but keep verbal posts short and spiffy.

6. Event Duration. The challenge opens Sunday, November 9 and ends November 30, 2014.

7. How to Participate. Each week, link your published posts to my blog by Saturday midnight. By noon Sunday, I will publish a Weekly Roundup of responses. Participating bloggers and other readers are also expected to leave Likes,  Comments and Share posts they like on the blogger’s as well as host’s weekly Roundup posts.

8. Last Hurrah/Rewards. At the end of the year, I’ll check the number of Likes each blogger has received for his posts and ask readers to submit final nominations during the week leading up to and ending on Friday, November 28. Bloggers can still submit posts up to November 23, which is the final date for the Challenge. From these popularity indicators/votes, I will then choose 20 nominees and assemble a Top 20 All Favourites List (not necessarily by that name). The List will be published on November 30.

All 20 nominees will receive a Rosegardens Humour/Satire Best Blogger Award. All the others will receive a Badge of Participation to registered candidates once the challenge starts.

Publicity: The List will be heavily publicized across personal and accessible social and mass media networks and within the WordPress community as much as possible.

7. Signing Up. Use the Comments box on this page to indicate your interest in signing up.

Post Forms, Elements and Format:

Posts can take several forms: anecdote, fable, cartoon/comic series, sketch, video, photograph of the gaffe (definitely a plus if you can capture it) or satirical poetry like limericks.

My Big Gaffe:  Clearly share the blunder in a pithy way to evoke a reaction (amusement, shock, reflection) in your audience.

The Moral of this story/incident/experience (choose one): Use a pithy maxim to summarise the ironies and/or lesson (s) the gaffe reveals or teaches.Which universal principles or working guidelines were ignored?

Note to Self: a personal reflection or self-reminder you will pay attention to in future to avoid future blunders.Your aha moment, even. This part is optional or can be embedded with the Moral/Lesson section.

So start posting. After all, who doesn’t love a silly satire on a Sunday? And a couple of giggles will certainly keep the Monday blues at bay.

Blogging 201: Three goals for my Blog

Today’s assignment: consider what you want to accomplish with your blog. Write down three concrete goals you want to achieve. 

I posted my three goals on the Blogging 201 forum earlier, but I hadn’t read the task prompt at all. So I have been advised to revisit and make my goals more specific and concrete. So here is the revised version of my three goals.

I have been out of a job since August (by choice) because I needed some rest. However, my money has now run out and I need to find a job within the next eight weeks so I can become financially independent again. I plan to get my own apartment, maybe in a rural parish once I start earning.

All of this is my way of dealing with the debilitating depression that is too often making me lethargic and not wanting to write. I want to also put my marital struggles behind me so I can rebalance and find a clean, peaceful space to write from.

If you’re wondering what is the connection between my personal problems and my blogging, the answer is this: unless I find my happy place again, my blogs are going to suffer, and I do not want to take another writing hiatus. If I can fix these conditions, then my goals for my blog will stand a better chance of coming to fruition.

That said, here is the list, with a little detail on how I may achieve them and my projected start or effect dates.

Goal 1: Publish meaningful, engaging posts on each blog at least twice a week during November, December and January.

Goal 2: Increase page views, follower engagement and follows by at least 20 percent each month using one of the marketing tools learnt in 201.

Projected start date: Dec 1, 2014

I hope to leverage all three of my blogs so that they can grow with equal force and impact. I could do this by rebranding and marketing each blog in ways I started learning in Blogging 101 and hope to learn more about in this course. I can envision using tools such as building an email list and using a newsletter to attract new followers, both bloggers and non-bloggers alike; seeking guest post opportunities; using social media more effectively, for example, starting a YouTube channel for my education blog. Again, I hope to learn how to use these media by the end of Blogging 201 and through self- education.
Goal 3: to establish myself as an expert or thought leader in the field of NVQ English and work communication student assessments.

Projected launch date: end of November 2014

3. I’m aiming to increase my authority and explore opportunities to monetize my platforms. How will I do this? Here are some ideas that I have floating in my head:.

  •  curate and prepare a list of links to the most interesting of my blog posts and other online web resources of interest and share them with selected local tv and radio hosts who address similar subjects in their programmes, with the aim of becoming their go-to expert on the topic. I’ve already pinpointed two talk show hosts and will pitch them soon.
  • write and submit a radio programme proposal on topics I cover in my ministry blog to a selected radio station. (end of November)
  • write and pitch more researched articles and offer newspaper or magazine editors the use of these posts in exchange for byline and blog address mention. (start pitching December 2015)
  • promote free training seminars to brush up my speaking skills and publicize myself as a speaker. (no later than March 2015)
  • take additional courses in blog monetizing, webinar marketing and e-book publishing, and execute the first of these (hopefully by June 2015)

My greatest fear

My greatest fear in achieving these is fear itself. But I hope that the work I intend to do on me in the next couple of months will make me stronger and fearless to conquer these insecurities and malaise and drive me forward to gaining these goals.

A little cheer from my fellow bloggers along the way will definitely also help marvelously in pushing me forward to achieving this vision.

Note to ole Pirate site, news.sysmaya.net: Bug Off

Dear http://news.sysmaya.net/autor/taylorkaren.wordpress.com/

Today is my Call Out Parasites and Pirates Day. You have been selected because you have entered or followed my blog and taken my blog posts. I am not happy with you.

I notice that you are aggregating my posts on your site. You have no authorisation to do so. Because of your actions, I have been discouraged from writing. Your actions are illegitimate and I hope I’ll see this on my ‘autor’ page so that your readers know you are a pirate.

I was on a roll and you have spoiled my writing fun and curtailed my desire to write. For the rest of the week, I will be sending you posts you are worthy of. Prepare for an avalanche. Your readers are going to love it. Do me a favour and bug off!

And while you are pulling my writing and all links to this site and taking my name off your page, would you learn to spell ‘autor’ and ‘transporte’? It’s ‘author’ with an ‘h’ and ‘transport’ without an ‘e’.

And how comes you have no contact details? You are a scurrilous insect that needs to pay for your content and leave bloggers just trying to get a foot in the door to write to their hearts’ content.

Have a nice day, you modern day pirate. You have spoiled mine for many days now.

Just free up I and I tings. Don’t get I and I really mad. I’m Jamaican!! Watch me and yuh.