a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Reassessing...

my blog and it's purpose here.  I have shamelessly hammered you with endless photos of birds and filled my posts with senseless uses of junk.  The purpose in that was...I don't know.  My comments on other blogs have become lackadaisical to say the least.  I apologize.

When almost eight-five pound Bonnie lumbered toward the meter reader today, I was horrified (at her exuberance) and I think the meter reader was too!   I yelled, "She's okay!"  I ran toward them as he was aiming his pepper spray.

Bonnie was only greeting our visitor with the enthusiasm she greets each new thing or person...with curiosity, friendliness and an mind open to a new adventure.

Thankfully, the man heard me, knew dogs and read the signs that Bonnie, although a "Big Bad Pit Bull" was not dangerous at all.  During our conversation I learned our house had been marked "Bad Dog-Use Spray".  Bonnie delightfully danced around our young meter reader with the joy and abandonment of a child in a toy store.

Anyway, happy ending...except when the next new meter reader comes.  Because of one man in the past who feared dogs, we are forever branded as "Bad Dog-Use Spray".  It wasn't even because of Bonnie.  My other dogs do their job and bark to announce visitors.  They greet them.  They don't jump up.  They don't growl.  They don't bite.  They just check out the visitors.  And this has left us forever labeled.

I said all that, I think, to say this.  The quality of my posts are suffering for some unknown reason. Volume does not a blog make.  I want you to be entertained by what I write.  I want you to ENJOY the visit.  I can't expect that of every post because every person is different but at least once a week I would like to write a post that touches YOU or makes you think from a different angle or even just makes you smile.  That is why I write.  I've lost sight of that by imposing quantity requirements I've pulled from my butt thin air.

My followers have thinned. Comments have decreased.  Jumping through hoops to entertain is not something I've ever been good at doing. Creating on demand is fun but I feel I have lost quality and part of myself in doing that.

As a rabid reader of Insecure Writer's Support Group and with their great encouragement I can finally admit I Am A Writer.  Sometimes I'm a good writer, other times, not so much.

I intend to work on that and might not be here every day.  My three thousandth posting I just celebrated will grow smaller as I thin.

In doing this I hope to mirror Bonnie's enthusiasm by greeting the day with curiosity, friendliness and an open mind ready for a new adventure.

41 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Be careful, I've noticed that "blogs with a purpose" can grow dull. Say and do what moves you; share what you WANT to share; when you don't feel like talking - don't. That's what keeps it real. OF COURSE, I don't know beans from apple butter, but that's never stopped me from having an opinion! lol

Harry Flashman said...

comments always drop off during the winter months, in my experience. I haven't found your writing to be boring or unentertaining in any way. If I had, I wouldn't come by here. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs on the net and I only read one continuously if I like it.

I have noticed , in my own blogging, that I have ups and downs. Sometimes I can't think of anything I want to write about. Generally, my posts are more for my personal records than they are for anything else. My Grandmother published her memoirs, my mother did the same. My blog will be my version of that.

Remember, you're writing for you. The people who come here want to come here. I like your comments. You lead a peaceful life, and that's nice to read about. It's calming.

Lynne said...

I find myself doing the EVALUATING as well . . .and I am no way near 1000 . . .
No idea if I "blog correctly" or not . . .
I do know, I can't possibly "keep up" with any regularity, rule, etiquette.
Looking back, I find some daily, and then I find weekly and even longer.
As in most things, staying true to myself, works best.
And that BEST may not be another's BEST . . .
You know that I follow along with you like a "sistah!"
Please don't throw in the towel . . .

The Furry Gnome said...

Good luck, whatever direction you choose to go.

Sandra said...

so glad Bonnie did not get sprayed, poor sweetie, it might have turned her into a mail man hater.
you are not losing people because of the quality of your blog, you are losing them because the majority of bloggers have moved on from blogging and doing FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. i now have 20 bloggers on my FB page that no longer blog. they only do FB. they use to all comment on my blog. since i don't like FB i see them once in a great while. only 2 of the 20 sometime come to my blog. but i did pick up 6 new ones. there is nothing wrong with your blog.. blogging is not what it was... FB is easy to don on cell phones and tablet.
also spending time on my blog format is a waste of time because cell phone people can't see anything but the post. i do it for ME though..
we are OUT OF STYLE now...that is my story and i know it is true because i wrote it

Linda Kay said...

Gail, I also enjoy the variety of posts. But I've found I can think of more meaningful things if I post only a few times a week, and comment the same way. Then I have more time to write in other venues, including yet another book. I'll be watching for you. Have a fabulous weekend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've always enjoyed your posts and photos.
You are a writer. And you should continue writing, both here and on your own.
As for losing followers, a recent Google change eliminated followers without a Google account. I lost sixty this week because of it. So don't let a loss of followers sway you.

Linda Wildenstein said...

Hey, wait a minute. Is this the lady who marches to her own drummer and is loved for it? You post what makes you happy not what you think would make someone else happy. That tends to be "our" problem. Live your life for you, nobody else. I don't always comment everyday but it makes me feel secure knowing that you're out there being Gail. And I love me some Gail. xoxo Oma Linda

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

I've always enjoyed visiting here, Gail, no matter what you share. I don't always comment because I don't always know what to say. And to be honest, light reading or fun posts are sometimes quite welcome. There are only so many 'deep' and 'meaningful' blog posts that I can handle each day. So share anything you want; I will visit.

Inger said...

I read the comments by Harry and Sandra above because I know them both and I agree with them. It was a good thing that when Sandra and I communicated about blogging (I have been going through the same thing as you are here) she mentioned the migration of bloggers from blogging to other social media. I think 20 plus followers have left my blog. In the past, this would have hurt. Now, I find it does not matter. What matters are my blogger friends who have stood by me during this past awful year, who wrote me letters, sent me cards, presents, even made fabulous drawings of Samson and Faith for me and Errol. Those are the things that matter to me now, those are the people I want to connect with when I post something on my blog.

Finally, I'm so glad Bonnie didn't get sprayed. She is so sweet looking.

Mama Zen said...

I agree that lots of bloggers have left for other social media (I can't imagine why). I always enjoy my visits here. Write anything you want, Gail!

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

I am glad Bonnie ios okay. I love your posts and admire your ways of writing and connecting. It isn't about how many followers you have. It is about the quality and sincerity of what is shared. Follow your heart. The following you have will be genuine, as you are.

Susan said...

I read all of your posts but am guilty of not commenting. Mostly because I have been going through the same bout of 'blah' as seems to be going around. Never force yourself - just be yourself. I enjoy your writing very much. And don't worry about the drop in followers. Apparently, Google is trying to "help" us (bloggers) by winnowing out anyone who doesn't have a Google account. Fie. I have a pittie mix named Lovey who is every inch her name. Still, the propane guy always yells, "is that PIT BULL locked up?!" You can't fix stupid.

Henny Penny said...

Poor sweet Bonnie. I am so sorry that happened. Oh Gail. I sat down here at the computer for a minute knowing that I didn't have time to read anything, then I looked at your blog, started reading, and could not get up. You can write!! Your posts are always interesting...a little over my head sometimes but then it doesn't take much to go over my head. My posts are more like the "Dick and Jane" books...See spot run! Please don't go anywhere. I love that picture of Bonnie. I see sweetness, not meanness.

Sketching with Dogs said...

If anyone had gone to spray my dogs with pepper they had better be a lot more worried about what I was going to do than the dogs, LOL.
I always enjoy your blog, it is varied in content and interesting. I like seeing the birds and animals we don't have here and of course your beautiful sculptures, poems and snippets are always a treat.
When I read back on my blog, the earlier posts are always more entertaining than I feel they are now.
Actually, the mystery of the disappearing followers has been solved. Someone said that what google is doing is, since the start of January, if someone isn't following through Google Friends Connect, they will just delete them from your followers list - nice! Many people have experienced this recently.
Lynne x

Susan Anderson said...

I'm glad you wrote this post because of the comments it triggered which allowed me to find out why I lost 20 followers today! It did seem a little odd that I could lose that many at once, and I wondered if it was because my posts have been rather religious lately. I decided that I didn't care, because I had to write what I was feeling or my blog wouldn't be meaningful for me. Still, I'm glad to know that it was really because they didn't have google accounts!

I love all your writings, large and small, heavy and lightweight. You attract people to this blog because of the interesting life you leave and the way you have of expressing it. Don't change a thing, unless you just prefer to write less frequently. The blog is to suit you, so you should do what feels right.

Having said that, I say once more. Your blog is loved by many, just as it is. And yes, there are far fewer bloggers out there these days. FB has taken over, but we diehard bloggers are probably the ones who simply need to write for the joy of it.

Hugs.
=)

Delores said...

You should be writing out of sheer joy and wanting to share that joy with others...if you make into work, trying to please your audience, you will no longer enjoy blogging and will likely stop Personally, I like your creative use of 'junk'. I may not always have something to say but I always appreciate it.

A Quiet Corner said...

This shouldn't be work, Gail so do what you have to do for YOU. We'll be on the receiving end!...:)JP

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad your meter reader was slow on the draw. When I read meters, I got bitten the most (13 times) because I always gave the dog the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that reader can remove that warning.
I too have been losing followers lately. Many bloggers are reporting the losses. Think it is a glitch, not a lack of interest.
It's your blog and you can blog when you want to. It shouldn't be a job. I have dropped off to once a week and that works great for me. When you do, we will be here.

Lowcarb team member said...

I always enjoy my visits to your blog Gail. I may not visit every day, or indeed every time you post BUT I always look forward to my visit.

There are no hard and fast rules for blogging. It is your blog, you should write / post about what you want to write about, when you want to. I am sure your followers will be there and read when they are ready and have time to.

Whatever you decide, it's your decision but I will follow with interest.

All the best Jan

1st Man said...

Firstly, glad puppy is ok!! Bad meter reader! ;-)

Secondly, if you have seen drop off in followers, do NOT think it is because of your posts. Google is going through and updating followers and if someone is not following via google or google-, they get removed. Our blog followers have dropped by about 50 in the last few weeks. All google bloggers are complaining about it. But they are gone, and they aren't coming back. Ugh. A lot of bloggers though were worried that it was indicative of their content....

lastly,your content is always interesting. I love pictures, I love reading and hearing about others lives, even the most mundane stuff, might be mundane to you, but fascinating to others....keep it up!!

Farm Girl said...

I know all of this happens to me all of the time. I totally understand. I know with the upheaval going on in my own life, some of it you know but some other things going on I don't share. I just haven't had the energy to be on the computer. I apolgise, because I love your posts and I love you and I love your honesty and I love how you are always there with a listening ear.
Just keep being you, and writing what moves you. I like that.

I am so glad poor Bonnie didn't get sprayed. How sad. We had a new puppy once. I saw the meter reader pick her up and throw her as hard as he could on her back. From that time forward, she hated all meter readers. I think they do more harm doing that than good. I can see their point but I never can understand it. Hang in there Gail.

Michelle said...

Write about what you enjoy! Readers will come. Blogger is now making your followers have a Google account to follow your blog. Thus, non-Google people have started dropping from everyone's blogs recently.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Just do what ever you want. I do. I write for me and as a journal...for my grands. I might be commenting less on the poetry cause I am so not into that. You saved Bonnie! That pepper spray is awful stuff:(

LindaG said...

Well, I like your junk recycle posts. And I like your bird posts and all your other real life posts. I apologize for not commenting on all your poetry writing and such' but I've never been one for poetry.

Still. If you are not happy, you should take a break. You have friends to bend an ear or borrow a shoulder if you need to.

*hugs* ^_^

Glad the meter reader was young. Maybe he will get them to change their label.

24 Paws of Love said...

I too love your junk and bird post and just about everything else you do on this blog. I'm a huge fan of do what you feel and think is right for yourself. Whatever that may be for you, I hope you find it. :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Gail
Thank you so much for your recent comment, which I have replied to here
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=2600659484694637338&postID=6362310939429678404&page=1&token=1454063571067

All the best Jan

Kristyna Anderson said...

As a mail carrier I have met nice Pitbulls and nasty Lhasas. We have a warning card for customers who have dogs that are potentially "bad". You have to remember it takes into consideration the fear of the person approaching. I was mauled by a German Shepherd as a kid and needless to say I do not care for GS. When one is confronted with a lot of dogs day after day after day all it takes is a couple bad experiences. This is a good opportunity though for you to advocate for your dog. But you have to remember everyone is different. I have a relief carrier that refuses to leave packages at homes with loose dogs. It is a pain in the butt for me to have to redeliver but it is his right to feel safe.

I have dog sprayed dogs who chase my car. I have lost tires to dogs biting my tires while I service a box. A dog who chases vehicles ends up being a dead dog. The day to day experiences of anyone who works for the public goes way beyond just one person or one dog.

Anyway, I just found your blog. I once in awhile just go blog hopping to find interesting reads.

gld said...

Gail I support you in whatever you decide to do. It is a good outlet for your writing skills which I enjoy very much. Just do what feels right for you.

Lynn Hasty said...

I enjoy your posts. I really do! I think as bloggers we all have ups and downs from the stats, the aim to please, the day-to-day life that does not go away even when we want to blog, and the list goes on! Keep writing from the heart and all will be okay. If you are happy your blog is happy. I think that is what I am trying to say!
Xoxo
Lynn

Susan Kane said...

Very profound and insightful, Gail. Re-examining and asking yourself questions will always make one sit up straighter and think more.

Whatever you post, I will enjoy.

Kristyna Anderson said...

Thanks for your reply! I was hoping I didn't sound like a know it all or something. I have one dog marked as a "bad" dog but Capone isn't bad, he's just big, loud and in his younger days probably was a little scarier. But meanwhile that card made me very alert the first few times I went into that yard until I realized he was just all show :). But seeing your beautiful dog reminds me the first time I pulled into a yard with a pitbull. I went to gather the package and turned and here in my window was this brindle pitbull just wanting to see who I was. Took me back but she is a lovely dog. But she also has people who took the time to make her so.

As soon as I "earn" more bandwidth I'll return to look at your blog. It looks interesting and honest.

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing Gail, I think we all understand your thoughts. I hope things settle down and you find a happy, balanced way to move forward with your blog.

My blog does not have a theme or real purpose. I try to keep things light, happy and fun and share things I would enjoy reading about. I like variety in the blogs I follow, a little of this, a little of that, pretty pictures, crafts.....recipes, anything that inspires me or makes me happy. Entries that inspire me to do or try the things I am reading about!!

Josie Two Shoes said...

I have loved your posts, Gail, all of them that I have had time to come and see. I don't make it by everyday, and when I'm tired at night I read, but don't always find the energy to comment, which is sad. I wish that Blogger had a "like" button like Word press has! I struggle with wanting to write daily/feeling forced too. I decided to let myself relax and post when/as the spirit moves me. A bird picture or a repurposed item from your farm DO make me smile, because it also shows me you, along with the words you share. You ARE a writer, and you are good at it. Write what comes to mind, and share when you feel led to do so. Don't put limitations or demands on yourself, life is too short to box up creativity like that! Your words have touched me many times, and I look forward to the new things you share! XOXO

Saucy Kodz said...

I rather enjoy the ups and downs. I think I shall never have a blog with a purpose, rather I shall have a blog with curious wit and great photos, perhaps once in a while - a purpose. I enjoy the reality of your blog. I love your walks, your stream, your pooches and clan. You are You - this is what I enjoy. Cheers and have a lovely day.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I surely hope that none of your dogs get sprayed! Pits are so misunderstood.
I've been awol this month on my blog & commenting...just too many other things that needed my attention, but I understand your feelings. Sometimes I feel like giving up because I can't get out and take the photos I want to, or because I feel like I have nothing to say...and then I capture something so cute, or so fantastic (in my mind) and my purpose is renewed. You are a super poet...keep on writing!
Also, Don't let the numbers fool ya- google has started removing everyone who is not a GOOGLE follower. I've lost about twenty five, and I have seen some of the genealogy blogs I follow lose more...and also read posts about this. I don't understand what the deal is, but I know "friend connect" has been pushed towards the door and google would like to kick it on out. Don't leave...I would miss your posts!

StitchinByTheLake said...

Gail if you have lost followers do not take it personally. Google is doing what Google often does, changing things that don't need changing. I've lost about 50 followers because they don't have a Google account, instead preferring AoL, etc. As for the lack of comments, I am one of the guilty. I read a lot of blogs and, because of the numbers, if I comment on them all I have to cut down the number I follow so that my time is not eaten completely up by the computer. Just keep writing; it's what feeds your soul. Remember that we pray continuously but God doesn't answer continuously. He still hears. :) blessings, marlene

Truedessa said...

Hi Gail,

I think you should post what and when you feel like it. A blog should be fun. I only post when I feel inspired and I try to keep up with other blogs the best I can. I only have about 90 followers and half of them don't comment but, that is ok with me as I write for me as a creative outlet but, to be honest it is nice when people read and leave comments.

Take some time and listen to your heart.

Saucy Kodz said...

I couldn't open the C (chicken) and D post, which I thought might be D for Dinner? Anyway, that was my thought.

What Karen Sees said...

My thoughts echo some of the above comments. I have found that blogging to please others, or to garner as many 'friends' or 'comments' as possible, does not work for me. The deciding factor is whether you blog for your own enjoyment and purposes, or whether you do so as a means of earning money. If you blog to earn money, then there is a constant urgency to have interesting, current and fresh content that attracts the most followers. If that is the purpose for your blog, then there will always be stress to keep up the momentum. My purpose, for the most part, is pretty self centered. My hobby is photography and I use my blog to document what I'm interested in photographing at the time, places I've been, to share my images with those who enjoy photography, and as a way to see my own improvement, (hopefully), from year to year. At the end of each year I print my blog and this gives me a great photo journal. Yes, I have followed photographers thru the years and have other blogging friends as well, but by now they know that I don't post consistently and I'm pretty sporadic in commenting on their blogs, although I love keeping in touch and seeing what they are up to when I do check in, and I enjoy when friends comment and appreciate my photography. But I don't want the stress and pressure of making it a task I must do every day! I have blogged for many, many years in this way and it works for me, and so I'm never discouraged as commenters come and go, or when the next latest, greatest social media attraction becomes more popular than blogging. Just my two cents....hope you figure out what works for you!!

Karen S. said...

Oh shucks you still get way more comments than me! hehehe. But I treasure every one I get. I hope you know I really enjoy coming here, and sadly my blogging time especially with work being so darn labor intensive, my time to blog has been cut drastically. Then there's my winter-blues (bad attitude) or maybe sad attitude says it better, so when I feel totally in the sinking dumps, (call the dogs let's play some more) and I usually go silent. My mother-in-law always knew when things were up with me. It's good to have folks in our lives, and as I put my post together this morning, it dawned on me, I was feeling recharged. Just thinking about all of you out there who would possibly be reading this, and how once I read everyone's blogs as well, then I am healed again! Thank you for being here. Don't go away!

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