Well…it has been a while since I have published any award posts. There are at least four award posts patiently waiting in my drafts folder until I have the time to work on them. So on Saturdays, I am going to alternate CARAMEL’S CORNER posts with AWARD POSTS.
This first post is all thanks to Kristian, the creator of Tales from the mind of Kristian, who has nominated me for THE IDEAL INSPIRATION BLOGGER AWARD, as you can see from Kristian’s post below:
- Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
- Answer their questions.
- Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
- List the rules and display the “Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award” logo.
- Provide a link to the Award creator, as Rising Star creator of idealinspiration.blog
Do you find you are more creative at certain times of the day?
I used to be a morning person. For years I was in the habit of waking up at five o’clock specifically so I could fit an hour of study in, before I showered and left home at half past six to get to work. But since I received my head injuries, mornings are difficult and it takes me a long time and a lot of caffeine to become alert.
Maybe I used to…but these past few months I am often writing a little post after a long day at work. I have been coming home, having a bite to eat, showering and then I will start reading the posts from other bloggers. If I have the energy I will write a post. The other time I write is Sundays. On Sundays, I do my housework. In between cleaning each section of my little nest, I will sit down with a cuppa and write a post and schedule it to be published.
What particularly inspires you?
Love of all varieties. When I think of all the special people who have made their mark on me because they taught me about love…I want to write. I want to write from the heart about how they touched me and shaped who I am today.
In one way or another the vast majority of my posts are inspired by love. I find the greatest pleasure in writing about my family, my beloved Jack and my gorgeous Goldfinch, my dear friends, the beautiful planet we live on…and so much more that I look at through a love shaped lense.
What do you find challenges you the most?
Are we talking about blogging…or life? Because if we are talking about life – I will say having to endure this greedy political-economic system that is suddenly discovering it’s lust for more and more is threatened. After enduring decades of seeing it pollute our air, soil, rivers and oceans, and now, although riddled with corruption, it is trying to backtrack and remove the evidence that is is founded on cruelty and abuse and press forward with an air of righteousness!
We might be safer with challenges about blogging! I don’t find blogging challenging really. If I did, I would not be here on WordPress. Long ago I accepted that I was only willing to allot a limited period of time to writing and reading on WordPress. I didn’t want it to encroach on my real life.
Sometimes you come across bloggers who seem to be sitting at their computers all day long every day, but I would never want to let a hobby get out of hand. So I decided that if I did have some time when I wrote a flurry of posts, I saved them in my drafts folder or scheduled them for future publishing. Sometimes I may have had a couple of weeks break from writing at all, but you would never know because I always have posts scheduled weeks in advance.
Then if I see a writing prompt or something happens during my day and it inspires me, I may end up writing a short post and publishing it at the time of writing.
I suppose one thing that I sometimes find challenging is when someone seems to misinterpret my posts, or overreacts to them. That does not happen a lot thank goodness. I feel that on the whole my posts are light hearted and joyful, but I am not someone who pretends that the sun is always shining (although I wish it would). I feel comfortable with occasionally writing about some of my own real life challenges. But sometimes if I publish a post about what has been a challenge for me, I receive comments from people who seem really anxious and determined to get me to see the bright side.
I want to be able to occasionally write…”I am tired”…or “I am hurting” and not to have people dropping comments telling me that “everything happens for a reason” or that I should ring the Samaritans.
As far as I am concerned, it is alright to admit that some days, the clouds block out the sunshine. I am human. I am someone who has a wonderful life, but occasionally has had to endure the pains that affect the entire human family at some point.
So, while I try to make sure that the overall effect of my writing is positive, wholesome, lighthearted and joyful…I do want to be allowed to write about what happens when you wake up with the memory of a strange man with a vice-like grip around your neck. That’s one of the reasons why I started writing to begin with. It was an avenue to let out what was bottled up in my heart. I try not to burden my loved with the trauma that still trips me up at times. Instead, I occasionally express my burden through this anonymous blog and I find it extremely cathartic to do so.
I would not want readers to judge me on one post and think I am a hopeless wreck. When the truth is…in the five years since I was attacked, I have done amazing things. I have organised a host of events for charities, provided training to thousands of volunteers, conducted scores of one-to-one counselling sessions with people who have been through various forms of abuse, completed twelve professional courses, found stunning accommodation that cost peanuts in three beauty spots around London (don’t ask me how I do it…it’s all word of mouth), published four novels and a poetry book, written over 1700 WordPress posts, and made peace with someone who was the spark that led to years of grief and despair. Not only have we made peace…we fell in love.
In other words…I am a superhero (hee hee! sounds so wrong saying that!!!) but hey…some days, I cry!!! I cry because pain gushed up like lava from a volcano. Most of the time the volcano within lies dormant. But at certain times of year or sometimes because of a random trigger, there is an eruption that scalds me…and it is alright to write about it. I don’t want anyone to read and think I have never tried to address the causes of that pain. We have come a long long way!
Challenges are a part of life. If I smiled and pretended life was all roses and violin music…well that would not be true!
What has surprised you the most about blogging?
It’s just far more enjoyable than I ever imagined, which is the only reason I am still here just over two years after I started out. The biggest surprise was the joy of coming into contact with many lovely bloggers. I wasn’t expecting that at all! The interaction with other bloggers was the main motivation to keep writing and producing posts.
There really are some lovely lovely people in our WordPress community, some of them have faced huge challenges and they use it as inspiration to write poems, fictional stories or real life accounts…and I find it very special that they share themselves with us.
On a personal level – it has been very helpful to me to write about subjects I found difficult to talk about with my family and friends.
I am massively surprised that with the inspiration and encouragement from other WordPress bloggers, I ventured into fiction. Within a year of attempting flash fiction stories…I had published fictional novels I wrote which all started as short stories on WordPress. That has been a big surprise result.
If you were to give a new blogger some advice, what would it be?
First of all I have a question…WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Some of my friends started a blog, hoping it would be a money making venture, or a quick route to world fame. Most of them gave up on their blogs long ago. But there is a lot you can get out of blogging…there is also a lot you can give to the WordPress community.
New bloggers – don’t look at numbers and statistics. It will likely demoralise you!
From the tiniest of seeds, the mightiest of trees grow. If you plant a seed, you have to wait patiently to see growth. But with regular and consistent efforts to water and nurture that seed, you will begin to see gradual growth.
But at the end of the day, enjoy your own writing and producing posts, and enjoy searching for blog’s whose content you enjoy. The seed within you is that desire to write. Enjoy it. If you are too worried about results, attracting followers and likes, you may quickly lose your joy. Blogging is not a contest.
I used to say that blogging is a bit like a party…and I meant it. But I will temper that at this stage. In the past most of the posts I read in WP Reader were creative, fun, lighthearted, or deliberately dramatic and well crafted.
When you arrive at a party and find a room full of strangers it can be a little intimidating, especially if they seem to know each other and are laughing and dancing and having a great time. So if you are a new blogger, don’t be too intense. Don’t rush round leaving spammy comments on other blogs. Just interact naturally. Start with simple, friendly, polite comments…”I really enjoyed your post because…” In response to a genuine comment, most bloggers will have the courtesy to take a peek at your own posts without feeling you are being pushy.
I started to notice a change over the past few months. I see more and more posts in my WP Reader that I decide to ignore, because they are confrontational, aggressive and seem to be designed to offend anyone who does not share the writer’s opinion. Politics, controversial and inflammatory issues are sometimes discussed by bloggers without any attempt at diplomacy. Those bloggers have freedom of speech, but you have the freedom to choose what you read. If you come across something you don’t like, my advice is, move along. Remember these are strangers expressing these opinions. If you start arguing with strangers…I cannot imagine your WordPress journey will be particularly joyful. But if you find arguments and controversy inspiring – well they are out there on WordPress – you can find plenty of that if you are looking for debates.
This is a platform bigger than any city in the world. Imagine if all of the millions of bloggers were all together in one location. Imagine if you knew who was really behind the blogs you are reading. Don’t be naive. Don’t give out personal details that others could exploit or use to harm you. Never be lax about your own security. Never forget, never forget, that a blogger who says they are one thing, could be quite the opposite. If anyone starts telling you they have fallen in love with you or asks you for personal details, or for money – sound the alarm bells! Ask advice from others. Do not be gullible.
The majority of blogs I follow are travel, foodie, health related or creative writing/poetry blogs. I find them inspiring and they create a very enjoyable blogging experience for me. I have stopped following blogs that were confrontational or offensive.
Just as I would be very selective in the forms of entertainment I would be willing to watch, so I am selective when it comes to the kind of content I wish to read on WordPress. If a blogger was regularly publishing content that seemed divisive, discriminatory and hateful…I would just click that unfollow button and find blogs that add more joy and inspiration to my WordPress experience.
So I ask again…WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? If you are looking for bloggers who are refreshing and inspiring and who add some joy to your life…I can assure you they are out there. If you like controversy and debates about all sorts of divisive subjects…there is plenty of that too. So you choose. But as this is an international platform where you will find a wide variety of opinions and sentiments, for the most part I would be extremely diplomatic in your response to any unsavoury comments a stranger leaves on your posts. Hopefully, you will share my own experience and find that it is mostly nice bloggers who choose to leave comments.
I hope that you find WordPress bloggers who inspire you! Getting to know WordPress bloggers may take you time…so stay safe, stay wise, stay polite and diplomatic…and as you find your feet…I am sure you will have more and more fun and interesting chats with other WordPress bloggers (just don’t let lapse when it comes to being security conscious! Trust me…I know what I am talking about!)
My Questions For My Nominees
- ARE YOU HOPEFUL OR DOUBTFUL ABOUT THE FUTURE?
- WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED TO STAY ALIVE?
- HAVE YOU EVER HAD TO ENDURE A DIFFICULT CHALLENGE FOR A LONG TIME – OW DID YOU KEEP GOING?
- WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY IN LIFE?
- WHAT PROVIDES THE MOST JOY IN YOUR LIFE?
Erin – Aspie Girl Unfiltered
boydwilsonpat – Benelog – The Good Word
claudiamitchellx – CLAUDIA MITCHELL
selflesssistersonline – Selfless Sisters
Rehnumah Insan – The Travelette
KylieCeline| Kylie’s Corner & More – Kylie’s Corner & More
Debomita – debomitasenguptasblog
Simone Pinto – Funky Poet