Hello silence

There is nothing more luxurious than the sound of silence. Everyone is asleep except for me and Lola. I’m fighting the urge to bang around in the kitchen because then I have to clean. (I’m really into making cookies right now. Who doesn’t like cookies?)

Speaking of silence, I’ve made the decision to start reducing the digital noise in my life. I’ve started with deleting my Facebook app, which means I’m only checking it every few days or so. And you know what? I don’t miss it. It’s very similar to when we cut cable – most of the anger and rage of the every day world has disappeared. No longer am I stumbling across headlines screaming atrocities, written by one party or the other and only loosely based in facts. No longer am I seeing the world portrayed as a hateful place.

I’d blame all this on the election, but truthfully it’s only the straw that’s breaking the camel’s back. Rather than socializing, I’ve found many of my connections are surrounding themselves with like-minded people and supporting their views with memes, or articles that are based on bias and written months or years ago. That’s just not what I need. And from what I can see, it only creates more of a divide.

Honestly, I’d delete most of my social profiles if it wasn’t for my freelance work. But when the gleeful rage hit it’s fever pitch last Wednesday I shut down my computer and went outside. I spent an afternoon in the park with my friend and our babies and you know what? It was much, much more peaceful and interesting than any social media interaction I could have had.

Inspiration and motivation #SMCSFBlog

It seems that I’m not the only one who is lacking inspiration about blogging lately.  As I’ve alluded before, I tend to run until I burn myself out.  Then I open my laptop and stare at a blank WordPress post, and then put the computer away. What I’ve been doing instead is picking up books and reading like it’s going out of style, playing games on my phone or watching basketball.  Sometimes it’s some combination of all three, with quick breaks to check my social media sites.

And then it occurred to me.  It’s not that I’ve lost the inspiration to write, it’s that I’ve lost the motivation to focus on a single topic for a given period of time.  I task-switch throughout the day and it’s carrying over in to my non-work life.  I also have toned down on my exercise, and the impact it has on my creativity is evident.

So how to stop it?  I’ve turned my phone upside down so I can’t see the screen, and I am only surfing on one tab at a time.  Or at least I’m trying.  And I am trying to walk away from the computer a bit more, so I am not splitting my brain between different actions.  Let’s see if it works

Move over Noshember, it’s BlogOff time! #SMCSFblog

Why do I do this to myself?  Twice a year, the Social Media Club South Florida issues a 30-day blogging marathon, and I always raise my hand to participate.  But I know it’s going to be challenging this month.  I’ve got a lot going on, I’ve been stressed as all get-out, and mentally exhausted.  But I do love a good challenge, and I suspect forcing myself to think and write creatively will force me out of the above-mentioned ruts that I’ve been in.

So, let the blogging begin!

30 Day Blogging Challenge: A Recap

Today is the last day for the 30 day blog challenge, and it has been a challenge.  I love writing and sharing stories, and for the past two years I have participated in this challenge.  For those who don’t write, or don’t write frequently, producing content for 30 straight day seems like a breeze.

It’s not.  Especially when you work full-time and participate in extra-curricular activities like I do.  I tried to create a content calendar, but then when it came to the days, it was challenging to be inspired by my plan.  In the past two weeks I have been running at breakneck speed, so by the time I get home I am mentally exhausted.

What I have learned is that I want to write more, but not every day.  I also plan to focus my posts a little more.  In the past several weeks, and in the upcoming few months, El Hombre and I are focusing on making our condo more collected.  This means we are DIYing, upcycling and actually using stuff we have in storage.  As things come together I’ll be sharing our stories and pictures.

I also want to get outside and practicing photography more, so those stories may come up as well.

Anyways, thanks for sticking with me and if you ever have suggestions on topics, please feel free to share in the comments!

It’s a blogathon

Hello from Boston! I’m writing this from a rooftop terrace with views of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. Life is tough, right?

I apologize now for any silly autocorrects that occur – blogging from my phone sometimes gets tricky.

So I mentioned I wouldn’t be posting until I’m back in Miami, but this concept of a 30 day blog challenge popped up again and I couldn’t resist.

The last time I was proud to say I was one of the last blogs standing. It’s a real challenge to write every day, especially if you have a full-time job and/or a family.

There is no topic that we all have to stick to – and posts can be as long or as short as we choose.

So let the blogging begin!

Welcome to 2013 Flickr!

Full discloser, this might get geeky.

So in case you haven’t heard, Flickr has gone through a major (and much-needed) facelift.  Earlier today I got an email regarding changes to accounts and of course I had to check it out.  From a super visual vertical, scrolling slideshow to lifting the obnoxious restrictions on free accounts, it seems like Flickr has decided to get back in the game.  And that’s a good thing because there is so much competition.

I remember when I first signed on with Flickr, I thought the limits on photo uploads, and the amount of photos you could display was a horrible user experience, so I quickly abandoned it.  And unless I am looking at sharing photo sets on blogs, I have had no real use for it.  When I got my camera, I vowed to use the site more.  At this stage I already had a Pro account so I might as well have, right? But let’s be real, I mainly surfed Flickr for pictures.

I am really digging the new site.  It’s much more visual – and shouldn’t it be? The site exists to share photos. It also makes sharing easier, and now free accounts get a terabyte of space.  That’s awesome!

Of course I am not at all surprised that this comes on the announcement that Yahoo! just bought out Tumblr.  In all likelihood they want to drive more cross traffic between the two sites (as you can post to Tumblr from a toolbar, just like Pinterest) and play up a little friendly competition at the same time.

So good play Yahoo! Let’s hope this all works out, but I like the direction in which you’re going.

 

Day 30 of the 30 day blogging challenge

Wow. 30 days of straight blogging, done. Like that.  There were definitely some days that I struggled with content. There were others that I drove home with ideas exploding like crazy (unfortunately Siri couldn’t keep up.)

I have learned and relearned some things during this time.  The biggest realization I had is that coming up with content on a daily basis is definitely challenging. Some people post multiple times a day and that’s admirable. They also probably don’t have full-time day jobs, or blogging is their full-time job.

I also learned what picks up most. Those are things about travel, or sharing links for blogs that I like.  Social media topics – not so much.  I am not surprised by either of these things. Travel is aspirational and people like to read about other people’s stories and tips. Everyone wants to feel like they discover the “Off the beaten path” stuff.  Social media is much more niche, and typically considered work-related.

I made a comment a few posts ago that my entries on weekends don’t get as many hits. What I’ve discovered is that’s not necessarily true.  The hits come a few days later.

Going forward I have the following plans:

– I definitely want to keep this blog up to date with content, multiple times a week. I will try to keep the daily posts going for as long as I can.

– I need to invest time into my sidebar links, and build up a blogroll.

– I want to eventually move to my own domain.

– I definitely want to work on sharing more images and video in my posts. I think I will need to eventually switch to a new theme though.

– Finally I want to better integrate my social platforms.

 

What are your thoughts on this blogging challenge? Have you participated in this one or similar? Do you have suggestions on content?