A Bit About Blogging

Young woman in wellies walk her dogWell, I am with a family member of mine who has been very ill…only they are sleepy tired after a treatment in hospital. I had planned to go for a walk in this beautiful area, but I haven’t brought the right clothes to face the abysmal weather. It was such a snap decision for “him” to drive me up to just north of the midlands and spend a little time with me before bundling me onto a train bound for Wales, I did not pack very well. Both me and the dog are itching to stretch our legs, but dubious about getting a good soaking.

bring.jpgI thought I would spend a little time completing training for work – but I quickly became bored with that. So WordPress has saved me from an afternoon of boredom while my beloved relative sleeps. I am going to have to brave the weather and nip to the shops to make some dinner for everyone later.

I think it was last night when I was trying to read all the posts from other bloggers that I had missed over the weekend (couldn’t read all of them, there were sooooooooooo many!) that I noticed Dr Tanya, the creator of Salted Caramel, had an interesting list of questions in one of her posts. Well, I found them interesting anyway. You can check them out in her post below:

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/why-do-you-blog/

Do you blog to promote your business?

business.jpgThe answer to that question is no.

However, now that we are on the subject, although I also work through employers, I am registered as self-employed. Which I wouldn’t describe as having a business as such. I have experience in painting/decorating, office work, proof-reading, accounts, event-organizing, basic gardening, cooking, laundry and ironing, all aspects of house-keeping, animal care (not child care – kids are scary)…and other kinds of work.

Or is your blog a launching pad for your social life?

The answer to that is definitely no.

blackwood gossipsI have an anonymous blog. Very few of my friends know anything about it, and as for all the people I socialise with, I would be ribbed mercilessly if they saw my blog! Not going to happen!

There is a social aspect to blogging, and it is very pleasant. We are all human (except the robots of course) and it is the people side of blogging that makes it compelling – anyway, that’s what I find.

Does it exist only to complement your Instagram account?

I no longer do Instagram. I used to have an account. I have no interest in ever returning to Instagram. There are only about fifteen photographs on there anyway…flowers, scenic views, cakes I had baked.

Keep SmilingThe last photo I posted, not long before I was attacked, was a yellow rose in Queen Mary’s Garden in Regents Park. That strain of rose is called “Keep Smiling”.

I took that photo around a time when I was swallowed up with despair. But people who loved me were not letting me be negative. They kept on trying to cheer me up. “Keep smiling” were the words I kept on hearing. Since I was a little one I have been told I have a beautiful smile. People kept seeing a tearful me. They were not comfortable with it. They kept on telling me to smile. But I don’t think they realized that putting a brave face on, hiding my despair, was actually quite harmful.

I have been checking “his” Instagram account recently, only to make sure “he” has not posted any of the photos “he” has taken of me, or the two of us together. I have made my feelings very clear about that being an absolute no at the moment.

Is your blog making you real money (if so please let me into your secret)?

No, not a single penny.

readAnd neither am I interested in making money out of this. It’s a hobby, pure and simply. A useful one that helps me to unwind, to process thoughts and feelings and explore a much neglected creative aspect to my personality.

When I started the blog, I knew it was going to be an opportunity for me to write about some tough stuff – hence the name CRUSHED CARAMEL. I had not spoken out properly about what had crushed me. I needed some sort of outlet. This one has been extremely helpful to me.

annie worryingBut I always wanted to make sure there was a balance to my posts. Lots of light-hearted, fun posts and the occasional post about something I found challenging. Because that is life…lots of wonderful, occasional challenges. You don’t have to keep smiling all the time. It is ok to have a few tears and to speak up when you are experiencing hardship. If people don’t allow you that, there is something immature about their emotional health. But balance is something that is it takes some people a very long time to learn.

I enjoy it blogging. It is delightful to be in touch with so many other pleasant bloggers. All the reward is in that friendly interaction. I have learnt a lot from other bloggers about their experiences, how they dealt with their own challenges and I admire that they too are determined to keep balanced. Some of the most honest and courageous mental health bloggers have lots of very positive and fun posts, as well as the occasional really hard to read post.

Are you blogging because you are so adept at this craft that you want to teach it to others?

I have no such noble motives. I am still bumbling along, learning about blogging and formatting, and just trying to keep up with the pace. I wouldn’t deem to teach others, but I have passed on tiny nuggets of advice to others in some of those award posts. Basically my advice is ENJOY THE PARTY. DON’T STRESS ABOUT STATISTICS. BE NICE.

Or are you like me : blogging just due to the urge to write?

I have been writing letters and e-mails since I was a little one. I wouldn’t describe it as an urge, just a life-long habit. It is very natural for me to sit down and write about what I have been thinking, feeling or doing.

Woman hands typing on laptop keyboard on abstract blurred bokeh of city night light background. Focus in the foreground.When I started blogging, a friend helped me post a poem and some short stories (real life experiences of mine) that he thought were funny. But since then I have found I have enjoyed writing and sharing all sorts of other “stuff”. I am pleased I have made a few attempts at fiction too, and some bad poetry.

I am blogging because I am enjoying it. I am enjoying the party. I don’t let it stress me out. And so far 99.9% of bloggers are really nice, so I have continued. If it changes…if a nasty atmosphere developed, or if I wasn’t enjoying the party anymore, I would probably just vanish.

What are your reasons why you put the proverbial blood sweat tears into your blog posts?

carefulI don’t think I do as such. It is natural for me to write personal accounts on the whole. Some of my posts did take enormous effort at the time. When I wrote about what happened with Jack, the events that literally CRUSHED CARAMEL, that was very hard. But that was because I had not yet managed to tell anyone else how I felt about that situation. It was exhausting. But I am so glad I did it! Those posts need editing, they are full of spelling mistakes and terrible grammar, but I feel exhausted at the idea of reading them again.

Sometimes bloggers ask fascinating questions on deep subjects. You may have seen some of the thought provoking questions from Fandango in FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTIONS or from Melanie in SHARE-YOUR-WORLD. I take those questions seriously and the result is often a very long waffley post where I contemplate the question at hand. I like to feel I have “done it justice” so to speak. They do take a lot of effort at times, but I enjoy the chance to contemplate, it’s not a burden.

_______________

amazedI hope you can see from my answers to Dr Tanya’s questions that I am blogging simply because I enjoy it. It has not been a burden, neither do I intend to let it become so. I have no great ambitions for my blog.

I don’t know if I will always be able to find time to write and read as much as I have been able to so far. Life is full of twists and turns, circumstances change. But whatever happens, I will say so far blogging has been an absolute pleasure! I had no idea when I started the CRUSHED CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE) blog that it would be so much fun.

So thanks a million for making it so much fun! The idea is that Caramel is a sweet addition to the blogging world. So I do hope you enjoy her being around 🙂

 

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I Think I Am Falling In Love

Now I have not asked her permission, so I am not going to do the whole re-blog thing. I just wanted to mention that I am falling in love with the poetry I read from a blogger I recently started to follow. This is was the poem I read in my WP Reader this morning:

https://whiteravennet.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/everything-poetry/

Riya Has Nominated Me For The Blogger Recognition Award

I came home from work one Friday evening to find that Riya Gupta, the creator of WORLD OF MY THOUGHTS, had nominated me for THE BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD, as you can see from her great post below:

https://worldofmythoughts2017.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/blogger-recognition-award/

BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD.jpg

Rules

  • Thank the blogger(s) for nominating you and give the link to their blog – THANK YOU RIYA!
  • Write a post on your site, displaying the award, and that describes why you started your blog
  • Write 2 pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
  • Nominate 15 more bloggers that are awesome

How my Blog Started:

From Small Beginnings Come Great Things

love letterThe idea was put into my head by Stuart from Croydon. He loved my letters. I have been writing very long letters and e-mails to friends for many years. So I am well into the habit of writing long waffling accounts of my gallivanting up and down the country on various projects, and including all the lurid details of what I ate for lunch and relating an array of emotions I had along the journey.

Stuart said: “YOU SHOULD START A BLOG”.  I thought that was like mum telling me to go and try out for some television singing competition and stand in front of Simon Cowell. In addition, I did not really know what a blog was. I had not seen them for myself.  I thought it was a glorified version of Instagram.  I had never used Facebook or Twitter or all the social media networks.

I also thought it a bit odd to write something strangers would read.  All my letters and e-mails have been to friends and family I know and love. So it was easy to know what to talk about, what they will be interested in, what they will find amusing or meaningful.  How on earth do you know what to write to complete strangers?

I was afraid that anything I wrote and published would be ignored or criticised.  I enjoyed writing, I didn’t particularly want to invite a dish load of negative feedback. So…to say the least I did not have very high expectations of blogging!

RiverAnother friend with whom I had shared a selection of short stories and my one poem encouraged me to publish these.  My friend was already publishing their work online and helped me to set up a WordPress site. According to WordPress we published my first post River on the 19th April 2018.  If you have not had chance to glance at River yet, please have an ickle look – it is a poem I wrote as a teenager and I am very fond of it. It is without doubt my favourite post.

I remember that when I first published a few posts, there were virtually no views or likes or comments. I remember how discouraging it can be when you begin. But gradually I came into contact with more and more bloggers who were very lovely and very encouraging. I think it is because of the wonderful support from other bloggers that I am still enjoying blogging sixteen months after I began.

bloggging6They have encouraged me to experiment with my writing. I am genuinely enjoying it! My blog is mainly personal, and I have to admit it has been extremely helpful to me. I have had a few challenges in recent years. I have done really well at getting back into a normal life, but it is very helpful to have had this outlet just to express some of what I have kept locked within into words. It helps to put things into perspective and brings a huge amount of relief. I am very grateful to the bloggers who have been so supportive of those personal posts.

Free Advice – Which You Are Free To Heed Or Ignore At Your Peril

Expect nothing…appreciate everything

When you are a new blogger, you need to be patient. Do not expect thousands of strangers to find you and decide you are the best thing since sliced bread! Enjoy creating posts. Make sure you read posts published by other bloggers. You can learn a lot from them. In addition you will find that blogging is best when you interact with other bloggers. Always show appreciation for the support you are receiving.

  • Be patient.
  • Enjoy writing and creating posts.
  • Read the posts from other successful bloggers and think about what makes their posts appealing and attractive. Learn from them.
  • Be a positive, encouraging, breath of fresh air.
  • Be persistent. Try to publish a little something on a regular basis.
  • Get involved with commenting on other bloggers sites, and participating in challenges. We all like to know there is friendly human being behind the blog-site. Be safe and security conscious, but do share a bit of your personality.
  • Be patient – your statistics might be rather discouraging for a long time. So enjoy your writing and the interaction with other bloggers while you wait for more readers.

When you are new to blogging, the blogging world can be a bit like turning up at a party where everyone else seems to know each other and you don’t know them. So be polite, be personable, be appealing. There are bound to be other bloggers who will warm to you when you make an effort to interact. Back that up with creating your own great posts, so that when they check out your posts they want to keep coming back.

Enjoy the party!

If you are ever struggling – it’s ok to ask a blogger for help and advice. Other bloggers are human. It’s endearing when a new blogger is a little lost and asks for advice.

Sometimes when you see that other bloggers have big numbers and are prolific in their publishing it can all seem a bit intimidating, and you may feel your blog is a bit inadequate. Do not compare. Never be shy of reaching out to other bloggers who seem like friendly types and asking for tips and support.

And hey…relax. If you are going to a party where there is a venue full of strangers…do you rush around shaking everyone’s hand, introducing yourself, trying to hold everyone’s attention, demanding they start a friendship with you, and generally leaving everyone bewildered? Just chillax…you will find that by being yourself, being natural, leaving balanced appreciative comments (not scary stalker type comments) on posts you genuinely enjoyed, you will build contacts. You will soon find yourself part of a very friendly supportive blogging community.

Lagging Behind

way behind.pngI am afraid that I might be upsetting a few of the bloggers who have kindly supported my posts. Perhaps I am coming across as neglectful or indifferent about other wonderful bloggers. So this post is to ask anyone who thinks I am overlooking them and not being courteous as a blogger to drop me a message to tell me. (lol – I may live to regret it! I am not asking for those messages where you demand that I follow your blog!!!) I am feeling as if I have totally fallen behind with all aspects of blogging due to my trip to Australia. Now, that is not something I worry about too much, because frankly, blogging is supposed to be fun. I am not going to beat myself up too much.

blogging3But I can see a considerable number of likes and follows from bloggers I do not recognise at all. So I wanted to say right now that I am a not a great blogger at all, I admit. I like to work on posts, some in response to prompts and some just about putting my own thoughts into words, but I am not in this for numbers or statistics. I don’t have any ambitions whatsoever regarding my blogging or writing in general.

However, I don’t want to appear rude or ungrateful for the support I have received and all of the lovely interaction with other bloggers which has made it so enjoyable. I have been following some bloggers for a long time, mainly because I like them, sometimes I like them more than I like the content of their posts in truth. I also follow a huge number of foodie bloggers because I love seeking out new recipes and I follow travel bloggers because of their beautiful photos and their accounts of places I would love to see for myself one day.

Caramel and GoldfinchIf you are new to Crushed Caramel, I am publishing a mix of posts about my life, family, friends, the man I love (Goldfinch) and the occasional works of fiction or even bad poetry. I try to keep things positive, light-hearted and family friendly.

I have been away in Australia recently (look out for Australia posts in the near future) and I have fallen behind in all aspects of blogging If you have liked or followed my posts in the last few weeks and you think I am being discourteous in not returning the support, please let me know, because I am finding it hard to keep up at the moment. Just say “Oy Caramel” and drop a link to one of your posts or something.

blogging5I certainly do not automatically follow everyone who likes or follows my posts. My WP Reader would be a nightmare if I did. And if I can see that you publish twenty posts everyday there is no way I am going to follow you. But I like bloggers who are nice people and I like to see posts that are happy, positive, interesting, fun, creative, thought-provoking, beautiful etc. So if you are one of those lovely types who wants to contribute to a friendly blogging community and who writes posts that make readers feel good about being alive, then oh definitely do drop me a link to your posts.

I Give Up!!!

too muchIt’s been a very busy week so far…and I am finding I have not had chance to concentrate on some of the posts in my drafts folder I wanted to finish off before my travels.

This post is just to explain that I have started a number of posts which are nominations from other lovely bloggers for awards and challenges. I love these posts, but as you all know, they do take a while. I want to do them justice as it were. So I have decided I just can’t do them before I go away to Australia.

They are going to have to sit safely in my drafts folder until I am back. Then I shall make sure I spend some quality time on them.

happyVery soon I will be heading far far away! 10,100 miles away! The opposite side of the planet! The land down under! Australia! You may already be fed up with hearing this over and over. Don’t worry, I will leave it there for now.

I have scheduled a post for every day before I travel…and then I am re-publishing most of my Goldfinch posts. So if you have seen them before, you can skip them, or if you are curious, they tell the story of the lovely year I had last year with Goldfinch.

Isn’t it exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I still can’t believe I am going! Six months after Goldfinch left England, I am on my way to Australia! Thank you thank you thank you for all of your wonderful comments and well-wishes. It is so heart-warming.

Put On Your Pinny For The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off

It is time to put on your pinny with

and special judge A Jeanne in the Kitchen

on Sunday 24th March 2019

THAT’S TODAY!!!!! (according to GMT)

put on your pinny.gif

The challenge for

GBBO1

is to make a sandwich sponge cake

  • Your cake must have at least two layers
  • Your sponge cakes can be any flavour and any colour
  • You can fill your sandwich cake with any filling you like
  • We would like you to decorate the top of your cake

Please send a photo of your cake so it can be featured in the The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off Round-Up

put on your pinny2It is time to put on your pinny and start baking! We can’t wait to see what you bake! We will be loading up your photos throughout the day. look out for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF POSTS and please support your fellow bloggers with lots of likes and by cheering them on in the comments section.

Whatever you do HAVE FUN!!! If you are not a natural baker yourself then we hope you have a family member, friend or work-mate with you to give you a helping hand.

disaster1.jpgOur special judge A Jeanne in the Kitchen would love to see your bakes. Even if they are ghastly – please send them in – we would still love to see them. Please have fun. It’s not so much a competition but a great day of fun for bloggers to get involved in. Baking disasters will only add to the fun! It’s all up to Jeanne to decide on our STAR BAKER!

Of course if you would like to create your own post about the making of your cake – please do so, and please mention The Great Blogger’s Bake-Off and invite your blogging buddies and followers to get involved. Please create a link or pingback to this post (not the other posts) so we can easily find your post. In your tags could you type THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF please.

PLEASE SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL ADDRESS:

crushedcaramel@gmail.com

If you could please make the subject of your e-mail BAKE-OFF it would be very helpful.

Look out for the cakes that our wonderful bloggers on

THE GRREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF CAKE PARADE

starting very soon!!

cake parade.jpg

 

 

 

So Now You Know The Challenge

So once you have baked…

…what do we need you to do next?

cake

The challenge for

GBBO3

is to make a sandwich sponge cake

  • Your cake must have at least two layers
  • Your sponge cakes can be any flavour and any colour
  • You can fill you sandwich cake with any filling you like
  • We would like you to decorate the top of your cake

coffee and nut cake

Please send a photo of your cake so it can be featured in the The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off Round-Up

crushedcaramel@gmail.com

disasterOur special judge A Jeanne in the Kitchen would love to see your bakes. Even if they are ghastly – please send them in – we would still really love to see them. Please have fun. It’s not so much a competition but a great day of fun for bloggers to get involved in. Baking disasters will only add to the fun! It’s all up to Jeanne to decide on our STAR BAKER!

Of course if you would like to create your own post about the making of your cake – please do so, and please mention The Great Blogger’s Bake-Off and invite your blogging buddies and followers to get involved.

question mark(If you have any questions at all – please feel free to post your questions in the comments of any of our posts and we will try to get back to you as quickly as possible.)

We will supply more details in posts leading up to The Great Bloggers’ Bake-Off including e-mail addresses where you can send your photos.