Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interesting Habits & Phenomena Of Blogging


I've been blogging for some time now and - since I have writer's block the size of Mount Rushmore - I thought I'd share some insights about the experience so far:

• I've noticed a rise in the quality of my story-telling from when I first started. Unfortunately, the grammatical and punctuation errors remain. Note to self: take breaks, let your wife be your editor, and stop using so many damn commas! They breed like rabbits!

• I find it interesting to see which W2J stories or blog posts are the most popular. I often say aloud "Why did people like that story?" Was it because I included a video? Was my story-telling better in one story or another? Was it the topic choice? Perhaps I should entice you with a free box of steaks if you read the posts I LIKE the most...Hmmm? One day I'm going to write a ludicrous title like "How Cystic Fibrosis Treatments and Watching Chimpanzees on YouTube Increases The Dexterity of Your Toes" and then in the body write "GOTCHA!!!" Just to see how many people I fool.

As a matter of fact....



• I find myself checking my Blogger account for comments quite often the first few days after I write a new post and I'll admit I get a little bummed when I don't have any. It's not like I cower in the corner, sobbing and screaming "PLEASE VALIDATE MY HUMOROUS OR HEARTBREAKING ANECDOTES!", but your comments do give me the warm fuzzies. I appreciate them and I thank you for taking the time to write them.

• I wonder if people click on the links I add to my stories? Sometimes I click on those links just to make sure it's headed to the right place. The last thing I'd want you to do is end up at "Wally's Freaky Kangaroo Observatory" website instead of "CFWally's" blog post about CF. I know from experience. Not about the kangaroos, but about the random links...nevermind.

• When I write a blog post/ story, sometimes I try too hard to be funny and totally miss the mark. Other times, people laugh at parts that I never intend to be funny. You are all a bunch of weirdos. Just kidding...you are all very nice weirdos.

• I recently confirmed a suspicion: Some of my closest friends and family rarely read my blog.
I've always suspected this to be true. I think some can't handle the CF parts, some are just too busy, and some have heard the stories a million times. Perhaps the most common answer is "Why read it when we lived it with you?" Good point, my friends. I understand completely and I'm not mad at all. On the other hand, people from all phases of my life have found my blog and complemented me on my honesty and my writing style. You should see some of the touching letters and emails I've received. You know who you are and I am saying thank you. Love you all regardless if you read this or not.

• I worry too much about offending people when I write my stories. If people don't like what I write, then they should stop reading it. I'm not going to start writing malicious and slanderous things, but if I find something amusing I'm going to post it from now on.

• As an avid blog reader, I don't enjoy when I see people trying to make their blogs seem bigger and better than they are. Don't do those things. It makes you look petty and small. Come by your readers by the content of your character and the creativity of your posts, not false pretenses.

• If you like something someone else writes, link to their blog and give them some credit rather than reposting what they said on your site. They should extend the same courtesy to you. That way you''ll share readers which is a great and fair thing. At the very least, you should ask permission to post someone else's work.

• I'm having writer's block right now, which usually means I'm preoccupied with other issues. When I have writer's block, I get a little nervous. I need suggestions for stories. Please comment on this post if you have any ideas.

Finally....

• I have 4 main goals for this blog:

1. To write my story in my own words and publish a book about my life with "unpublished stories". Ooooooooooh. Aaaaaaaah.

2. To make people happy. That's more of a life goal.

3. To promote CF Awareness. When I started blogging this was not a goal of mine. W2J just kinda grew into a "CF blog". I had no idea about the power of the CF blogging world, but I've happily added this goal to the list. Thank you for reading my stuff, CF Community.

4. To continue to book speaking gigs that help people struggling to find their place in the world. I've done a handful of these gigs and I've heard nothing but positive reviews. I hope they are telling the truth because my hope is that if one person hears my story - the story of an average guy who does the best he can with what he's given every single day - and believes in themselves and their future because of it, then I will leave this earth a happy man.

Thanks for everything, Joshland Readers. I'll keep writing as long as I can. I hope you'll keep coming back.

Peaceful and Thoughtful Blogging Things,

Josh

Peaceful thoughts go out to anyone and everyone affected by the devastation in Japan. Here are several ways you can help out:

Japan earthquake and tsunami: How to help

10 comments:

  1. Joshy I am amazed, at how much this particular family, just "gets" what you are saying, most of the time. Look there go those darn commas multiplying again! Anyways, maybe a look into what you see as the differences between growing up with CF in the era that you did compared to what our children ae going through. I am sure there are some pretty significant changes. Just a thought! Love ya, don't quit blogging! The Ruples

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  2. As your mother, who walked most the paths with you and Angie in your childhood [are those my footprints in the sand?] I love every story you have posted. Any family or friend who doesn't give up the few minutes it takes is missing learning so much about who you have become, but mostly missing learning about themselves. Their perspective on the same event did not come from the pain and sickness you experienced at such a young age. Many will never have the capacity to ever really "get" it, but reading your blog would help them grow internally, which all of us need to do. Too bad for them if they miss out on the true meaning of life, which is what is in between the lines in every story. Perhaps that's why God gave you a gift for sharing your stories. But He also gave everyone the gift of free will. So they will not be reading this comment any more than your stories. Their loss.

    By the way, I love your multiple commas, and run-on sentences, and repeated thoughts. Mostly because you inherited those things from me! We are both oral storytellers, "sit around the campfire, tell captivating stories with humor and a moral to it, verbal, stand in front of a crowd, draw people in, amazing storytellers" whose oral speech is mostly punctuated by laughter and participation by the audience of one or many. Your intelligence and compassion, your exceptional "E-Q" {Emotional IQ} separates you from the typical person who might share via blog in this amazing tech universe.

    If you speak, and only a single person hears, they are words well-spoken.

    Keep writing, and publish a book or two! It will definitely make people happy, because you are a great person. It is a sidebar, if a few more become aware of living with CF or other tougher life issues, they will be better for it and how they may appreciate their own lives and serve others. Those who hire you as a speaker for any reason will never be disappointed, as you envelope an audience in a great big hug that at once brings you respect and them "warm fuzzies." You are doing great things, and are great at what you do, Josh.

    On the otherhand, I must say, it amazes me that your version of every story of growing up has all the details painted in a different light. That is, from my point of view, I remember things so differently, as the Mommy, than you as a little boy. I love learning about the things that made you happy, or sad, and why. I love that I can still learn from my own life history, and improve on the story of the future. I love being your Mom.

    Love, Mom xoxox

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  3. I too have recently been pondering the "habits and phenomena" of blogging. In fact, it seems to be a common theme right now among several of my online friends.

    Something I've been struggling with is my newly acquired need for validation. I've never been one who looked for much validation from others -- I'm generally comfortable and happy with myself, regardless of what others think -- but for the past several weeks I feel that need to be validated getting stronger and stronger (talking mostly about my blog here, not necessarily "real life").

    Like you said, it's not like I sit in a corner crying with my head in my hands when I don't get comments (I prefer to cry in the closet), but I do care about comments and my blog statistics more than ever before. And I don't like that.

    I've decided to stop checking my stats. I have the most popular posts listed on my sidebar, but I'm no longer checking any other stats. I've also decided to continue posting WHATEVER I want to post. I don't want to feel like I have to live up to other people's expectations. Expectations are dumb.

    Josh, I've told you this before - I love your blog! I'm a reader for life. You couldn't get rid of me if you tried. ;-)

    P.S. I'm guilty of overusing commas, too! I know better but my finger just gets itchy for that comma key.

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  4. Josh: I am drawn to your blog- something about the way you write and tell stories is just mesmerizing.

    I came across your blog this past November. You truly gave me peace at that moment. You have such great character (which is a testament to your mother as much as it is to you).

    Smiles

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  5. So this took some thought...what do I want Josh to write about. I love your story telling from the past. Especially, the Angie stories. Yet, what I want to hear more about is your hopes for the future, thoughts about the future and what you aspire for... I also love the posts where you describe what one of your days would be like if you didn't have CF.

    You know I adore your blog and you know that I am comment crazy. You never have to worry about me not appreciating what you write.

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  6. Fiona and I are "silent stalkers" of your blog and love reading your stories. She already smiles at her Uncle Joshy's posts! Love from Shakopee!

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  7. Well, I better leave you a comment or you'll be pissed. I like how you got your mom to give you a comment, which makes me think she reads your blog. Why isn't Moganko in your goals? Did I miss it?

    Can't wait for the French translation of your blog. Everything sounds awesome in French. I'm just being nutty tonight. It's all your fault for leaving that comment of yours on my blog. You started it.

    UC

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  8. I like comments too!

    I know what you mean about close family/friends not reading your blog. I beg Ethan to read my blog and his answer is always the same: Why, I already know everything about you?" But I have tried to use my blog as a way of talking about CF to everyone in my life. I'd like to use it as a way to communicate to family, but it is not working out that way. Instead it has become a way of sharing ideas and infomration about CF with other CFers. That is pretty good too!

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  9. I am a long time lurker and love your blog. Thanks for your honestly, humor, and passion. You are a wonderful blogger with a gift for writing... thanks!!!
    Liz
    CF wife

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Peaceful Things ~ Josh
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