January 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
Whew, it’s been SO long since I’ve written a post here – but don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. About a month ago, I browsed through all of the posts here and I was a little impressed with the vast amount of knowledge shared here, and I can see the passion I had about blogging then.
It’s a passion I still have now, but I suppose it’s visible in different ways. At the time of my last post here, I’d gotten punched in the gut when I was told I couldn’t teach my Blogging for Beginners course at LSU anymore. I don’t think I realized just how much I loved teaching the class until I couldn’t anymore (such is life).
Shortly afterward, I moved to Texas and have been here ever since! Now, I teach Blogging for Beginners at the University of Texas at Austin. I was thinking about this blog as a new semester has begun, and I’ve found myself in a weird place with my personal blog, The Bitter Lemon.
For starters, the last five months of my life have been the most difficult – EVER. I don’t want to get into the details of why, but I have been having a very tough time. I have good days and bad days – and even on good days, things can turn to bad in the blink of an eye. Not many days pass where I don’t cry, feel stressed or anxious, or have much of a desire to get out of bed.
We all have our own ways of coping with the cards we were dealt. Me? Sometimes watching a good TV show or movie helps, maybe a few minutes with my kitty Blanche, or a phone call to my mom. But most of all, writing is what helps me cope. It’s one big reason I love to blog so much!
But in this particular situation, my blog is part of the problem. Unfortunately, my blog has provided a peephole into my life for people that wish to harm me. Because of that, I have lost a majority of my will to keep on blogging.
Am I going to quit? Heck no! Am I going to let them win? Well, I certainly don’t want to. But I also have to consider my sanity, and my health. What’s it worth?
I am a very driven person, and I have experienced great joy in writing my blog over the last 10 years and relating to thousands of my readers on various subjects. It’s a great way to know we’re not alone.
But what do you do when a small (very small) group of people that read your blog are doing so to manipulate you? To threaten you?
It would be easy if I were a robot – but after years of therapy, I can tell you I’m not a robot, and deep down, that’s not what I really want in life.
The truth is, blogging hasn’t always been easy. Sometimes there are things that I’ve written about that just aren’t easy to talk about, and I’m guessing they can be difficult to read, too. With readers who agree with me are also those who disagree – and that’s not always fun.
There have been times when I’ve questioned if I should write what I’m about to write, or if I should publish it, or if I should protect it with a password. But I have also always believed in being 100% honest and as transparent as possible.
After all, I don’t use ads on my blog, I don’t have to answer to anyone – I’m the Editor-in-Chief, the CEO, the founder, you name it. At the end of the day, I know I just need to be true to myself.
So, for the last few months… I’ve just kept it really lite on the blog. I talk about books and movies and TV shows and makeup… because I don’t want it to be bare, but I also know that if I dive into any of what I’m feeling; any of what’s really going on in my life, it could mean really big consequences for me.
And right now, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take.
Has there ever been something you wanted to put into the public but knew you couldn’t? What was it? How did you handle it?
I’d love to hear from you!
October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from the LSU Union, where I teach my class, Blogging for Beginners.
They told me that they created a new policy that restricted who could teach the classes. The new rule was that if you’re already employed by Louisiana State University (which I am), then you could no longer teach a Leisure Course. Effective immediately.
I was so stunned, I didn’t even know what to say, and all I heard was that it was something about benefits that made it a financial burden on them.
Since I am already a full time employee, I wasn’t receiving benefits through the course. I was really upset (I’d by lying if I didn’t tear up), because I have absolutely loved teaching Blogging for Beginners.
She said I could get around the new policy, by “team teaching” and putting the class in someone else’s name.
But, I’ve decided to venture on my own and am currently looking for new teaching opportunities, whether it be with the local community college, the library system, or just through seminars and private instruction.
If you know of any opportunities, please don’t hesitate to let me know! Feel free to send me an email at: Wittywriter7@gmail.com
Thank you for always supporting me.
September 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
In order to be a successful blogger, you don’t have to be well-versed in RSS feeds, but it might be interesting to know a little bit about them, right?
For starters, what is an RSS feed? RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, blogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
Some web users enjoy reading RSS feeds, because it allows them to get information from their favorite sites all in one place, instead of having to search the web, or visit several different sites. RSS feeds can also deliver the information in smaller pieces, such as just showing the first two sentences of a story, with an option to “read more,” so the user can go through the feed even faster.
Even if you don’t have a blog, you can read RSS feeds through various sites. If you want to find some to check out, simply Google “RSS feed reader” and some options will appear in a list.
If you have a blog, and you’re curious as to how your RSS feed appears to readers, you can change the settings (using Blogger or WordPress).
With Blogger, visit the Settings/Other tab, here, you can select how much of your content you want to syndicate. “Full” will put the entire content of each post in your site feed, while “Short” only includes an excerpt from the beginning of each post. Select “Until Jump Break” to show all post content before your jump break. The “None” option turns your site feed off entirely. For more advanced options, you can select “Custom.”
When you select “Custom,” you’ll see options for three different types of feeds. Each option has the same “Full,” “Short,” and “None” setting choices.
- Blog posts: This is the same as the original, “Allow Blog Feed” option.
- Comment feed: This will contain all comments made on all posts on your blog.
- Per-post comment feed: With this option, each individual post will have its own site feed, containing only its own comments.
For WordPress, go to Settings > Reading Settings. From there, look for the “Syndication Feeds” section, where you can choose how many blog entries you want to appear in a syndication (RSS) feed. You can also choose how much content goes in each feed by selecting “Full text” or “Summary.”