Tag Archives: blog stuff

Jul
12
2012
I’m Backed Up

No, no. Not that kind of backed up. I have a few limits on what I’ll publish.

My constipation is of the blog post variety. I had hoped to focus more on writing after I completed the site redesign, but it’s been the opposite. Granted, I’ve been busy for the past two weeks (or should I say fortnight?), watching people wearing white whack the stuffing out of a little yellow ball over and over. But still. As I ruefully said to Dave, “I wonder if anyone else ever redesigned their blog and then never updated it again.”

Are you familiar with Meat Beat Manifesto? This song usually makes me feel very drugged, but now reminds me of Logy Express’ silence.

The jackass who put this on YouTube cut off the end, and I considered making my own video that plays the whole thing, but that is exactly the kind of unnecessary perfectionism that stops me from completing posts. So just imagine 25 seconds of very real and silent silence at the end of this song. 25 seconds is longer than you think.

But, as I started off by saying, I’m backed up and that’s part of the problem. My post ideas were so scattered that I took a few hours to consolidate them recently. I triangulated the ideas entered into my electronic to do list, several draft Word files, and shitloads of paper notes:

Whole pieces of paper

29

Scraps of paper

18

Post-it Notes

12

Back of receipts

4

Back of envelopes

3

TOTAL

66

Now I have one master list of 74 blog post ideas (but still no idea what to write next). It’s a smorgasbord of crap (not unlike my closet–stuffed with clothes I won’t wear). Typing of crap, here’s a critical FYI: if you’re looking for some totally craptastic (in a good way) blog reading, check out Speaker7′s ongoing summary of 50 Shades of Grey. It starts here and is the funniest set of blog posts I’ve ever read.

Here are some post ideas I’ve mentioned in the somewhat recent past as being in the pipeline: review the brownie fantasy bars I made for National Family PJ Night, develop my own signature cupcake recipe, write about organizing my basement, write about digitizing 150 years worth of family photos, write more about my study abroad experience, train Pandora to find new music, and follow-up on my 2012 goals (including my plan to run faster).

Does any of the above bite you on the ass? Or should I just write the post about Brazilians I’ve had rolling around in my head for weeks (strike that bit earlier about having limits)?

In other news, a memoir piece I wrote (an expansion my cringe-worthy first kiss post) got accepted by a literary review. This was extremely gratifying given how much time I spent working on my submission, including a fiction piece I ended up scrapping. It got too unwieldy for the 1,500 word limit and didn’t make much sense when I tried to cut it down. But writing the fiction sort of lit a fire under my ass (in a fun way) and I have half a mind to finish it and post it in stages here.

Lastly, I have a very important announcement! I finally drew a winner in the re-subscriber giveaway. I had joked about how long it took Dave to re-subscribe and also that he was ineligible for the giveaway. But of course, I forgot to remove him from the list before drawing a winner, and he frigging won. I’m not giving my husband a prize for subscribing to my blog.

When I drew another random number, the beautiful and talented Angie of Childhood Relived won the prize. As much as I’d like to reward her with ice cream, I don’t think shipping ice cream in a heat wave that melted the airport tarmac is such a good idea. So an Amazon gift card it is! Now the question is: will Angie want to tell me her address just to get an Amazon gift card? I can almost hear Angie weighing her options now (…gift card…having a potential crazy person know where I live…gift card…).

I’m grateful that so many of you stuck around through the move to self-hosting (a land where any day I’m likely to press a button and accidentally blow this thing to smithereens). If you’re ever in the D.C. area (or live here), let me know and I’ll hook you up with some homemade ice cream. And if you’re really lucky, the airport will let you leave.

Jun
25
2012
This Post is About Something

The point of this post is that I need to have a point to my posts.

I didn’t type that as an introduction, I typed that to try to stay on point.

Perhaps the problem is just A.D.D., but it’s not (usually) like I want to say random shit such as “I like eggs” in the middle of a post about something else. Although it is A.D.D. that made me stop writing to go search for a way to share how I meant “I like eggs” to sound (it’s at the 2:26 mark)

No, most of my veering is at least tangentially related to the original topic. I always thought I was a very analytic person, but apparently in my writing I’m a synthetic (wait, what?) person. I have a compulsion to cover topics from every angle. I spend hours drafting lengthy posts once a week or less when I could write two or even three shorter posts that people might actually read. Seriously, it usually takes me at least three hours to write a post and that is just counting ass in the desk chair time, not all the time I spend thinking or jotting little notes down here and there.

This is bad. It’s bad because it makes something I enjoy doing into a struggle. It’s bad because blogging “experts” say one of the keys to writing a good blog post is to keep it to a single point.

Since I need help deciding when I’ve entered the realm of “this should really be a separate post,” I’ve been disappointed with the specific guidance provided by blogging “experts,” which is not helpful.

They conflate topics with points. Like don’t write a post about your maple bacon cupcake recipe along with a review of the new Katy Perry movie (which Dave said he’d go see if it were in 3-D, by the way). No shit, those are two different topics? Although I could see Katy Perry wearing a bra with cups made of maple bacon cupcakes…maybe this could be one post.

Jesus, I just found out the Katy Perry cupcake bra is actually a thing. I knew she wore weird crap on her buzooms but I’m 38 years old, I haven’t seen an actual Katy Perry video. I thought I just invented the cupcake bra. Oh well.

I swear to all that is holy I didn’t know about this before writing the line about Katy Perry wearing a maple bacon cupcake bra.

Anyway, the Katy Perry maple bacon cupcake bra post is not my problem. My problem is isolating a single point within a topic area. I have no trouble selecting a single topic to write about, but my brain then wants to synthesize every possible point I could make about it. I am thorough, y’all.

Here’s a recent example:

I wanted to write a post about my backlog of post ideas. The idea was to solicit feedback from you to help me prioritize the list and see who was still with me (I hate the unintended but real consequence of losing subscribers with the move to self-hosting.).

This led to writing about wanting to figure out how to write posts that will resonate with people. This led to writing about the mystery of finding kindred spirits out there in the internet ether, when you are as weird as I am.

I wrote 1,300 words before realizing I hadn’t really made my original point and now had at least three posts going in one. I still haven’t finished writing any of them because I’ve exhausted myself.

Blogging isn’t going to last much longer as one of my hobbies unless I become more efficient. Solution #1: having a point!

I’ve decided to start every writing session by typing “the point of this post is….(insert point here).” If I don’t know what the point is, I will stop and figure it out. I will touch base with this topic sentence periodically to make sure I’m not writing a new post. Lather, rinse, repeat until I have a shiny new post without giving myself a migraine.

So how did I do on this post? I’m 1 hour and 40 minutes in and I’m about done. Even on a post focused on having a point, I still also wrote several nebulous strands that should be separate blog posts. I don’t think I can make my brain stop doing that, but I did manage to pretty quickly identify them as not on point and successfully table them. But I do seem to have given myself a migraine.

Do you have trouble staying on point? Do you have any tips for staying on point? How do you feel about eggs?

 read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Jun
6
2012
First Symptom of Rabbititis

Today is a banner day.

For one, I’m the featured writer at Studio30 Plus, a great online community of writers. You have to be a member to access their Community Blog (and my post), so tomorrow I will repost my Featured Blog here. But do consider joining, it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers/writers.

For another, as you may have gathered from the spots you are now seeing, this here blog has finally been redesigned. I hope you like the nod to the days of dot matrix printers (my penchant for nostalgia made me want to honor the first incarnation of Logy Express–a humor newspaper my friend and I created in high school…on my Apple IIe). This new design also serves as an important new Rabbititis diagnostic tool.

I am sure there are some kinks to be worked out, and I’m already aware of some. If you come across anything that’s not working (broken links, video embeds, etc…), please let me know via comments or email (logyexpress AT gmail.com).

I’m very pleased with the way the redesign turned out. It’s bright and colorful and whimsical and meets my need to honor the past while pushing forward into the future. Stephen at the Company of H rocked like no one has ever rocked before in doing the web development for me. He helped me select an appropriate theme and then customized it. His calm demeanor kept me from losing my mind too, which is always helpful. I still can’t believe how quickly he got all this done once we started working together.

The Logy Express logo was designed by Ryan Salinetti. I will post more soon on working with her on the graphic design, but if you need logo/graphic design assistance, run (don’t walk) to her website.

Jun
4
2012
Attention Kmart Shoppers (I Mean Email Subscribers)

Several times now, I have threatened to redesign this blog. This involves moving from my nice, cozy, not-at-all scary home here at WordPress.com to the confusing, mysterious, possibly haunted home that is self-hosting at WordPress.org. As the day to flip the switch has drawn closer, I’ve begun to worry this new arrangement will be “way more blog” than I need. I hope to grow into it, hoarding new posts and wonderful subscribers like I hoard memories and clothes that don’t fit me anymore in my real-life house. Wait, that didn’t sound right.

The good news is that the domain won’t change, so you’ll have no trouble finding me (Logy Express!). The bad news is that many of your subscriptions will go kaput (technical term). And I love my subscribers. You make me feel like I’m in a relationship in which flowers are still brought (don’t make me start singing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”).

If you subscribed via email or you “followed” the blog via WordPress.com, you will no longer get updates about new posts after the switch (quelle horreur!). If you subscribed via RSS, your subscription should be fine (unless you were an early subscriber and subscribed before I set up Feedburner, so you should check your subscription too).

When is the switch? Thanks for asking. It will be sometime this week, hopefully Wednesday. This happens to be the anniversary of D-Day, so I’m hoping that’s a good omen.

So now is the time on Sprockets when I ask you, my lovely subscribers, to visit Logy Express later this week and please re-subscribe.

While I’m sure reading my posts would be its own reward, I’m not above bribery. So any current subscribers who have re-subscribed via email (if you subscribe by RSS, let me know and I’ll take your word for it) by the end of June will have their names placed into a hat Research Randomizer and the winner will receive…something. My original idea was to ship the winner homemade ice cream in the flavor or three of their choice. But then I investigated dry ice shipping and laughed ruefully (I want to reward you guys, but I also want to retire early). So if the winner lives within driving distance, and wants ice cream, they can win ice cream.

Otherwise, I’m thinking baked good or a mix CD containing the songs I plan to use to train my Pandora station. OK…and a $20 Amazon gift card. You guys drive a hard bargain.

In the immortal words of Chris Harrison, host of the Bachelor, I hope you all will continue on this “journey” with me.

Peace out,

Tracy

Nov
11
2011
Logy’s First Anniversary

Would you have preferred a clock?


Becoming a Writer

I attended a blogging workshop before starting Logy Express. First thing, the instructor asked for a show of hands, “How many of you are writers?” She might as well have asked me to explain quantum mechanics, I was so stymied by this question.

I envy children, who answer these types of questions with an enthusiastic “Yes!” because they haven’t developed self-consciousness about talent yet. Most everyone immediately raised their hands while I considered my response options. If I raised my hand, did that indicate writing was my profession (it isn’t), or that I claimed to have writing talent? I decided I was not a “writer.” Which was good, because by the time I’d finished thinking about it, I had missed the opportunity to say yes.

The instructor looked perplexed, “OK, how many of you aren’t writers?”

I raised my hand along with one other guy. She sighed tiredly.

The guy planned to start a visual arts blog, so he would share pictures rather than text. Sharing text was apparently all the instructor had meant by “writing.”

Oops.

She clarified that I planned on typing words into a computer and then clicking “publish.” Voila! I was a writer (and a moron).

Year One of Logy Express

I had trouble articulating my goals when I started writing. The workshop instructor suggested we have goals and offered several examples:

  • Reach a million followers
  • Land a book deal
  • Get paid to write about cupcake tasting (OK, so I made that one up).

Since I’d only been informed I was a writer a few minutes earlier, the calibration of these goals seemed a touch off. I had a vague sense of wanting to find my voice and connect with people. Not necessarily a million people, but definitely more than my husband and my Mom.  

The internet is vast and it is challenging and time-consuming to carve out space in it, so much that I’ve asked myself several times this year if it’s worth the energy. I’d read tips like: “be patient,” “be yourself,” “don’t publish posts with typos.” So it was easy for me to get frustrated when I read posts elsewhere with mistakes and only fair to middlin’ (as my Dad would say) content that got  dozens of comments like: “Brilliant,” “You’re so funny,” “You should write a book!”

I would feel like I could write a post that’s the equivalent of juggling knives while defeating a fire-breathing dragon and discovering the cure for cancer, while simultaneously fellating Dave and riding a unicycle backwards and still only get a few hits. And at most one or two comments from people who would never visit again saying “Great post, stopped by from the unicycling fellatio group.”

Luckily writing a blog means reading blogs and I’ve found many bloggers who amuse and inspire me. I’ve gained more clarity about what I want and had the excitement of having a post featured by WordPress that resonated with some people. I am so grateful for everyone who has stopped by this year and offered their thoughts and experiences. I’m not always quick to respond to comments but I voraciously read and value each one (well, maybe not the token unicycling fellatio group comments).

I hope you all stick around for a while. I’ll keep the fridge stocked with cold beverages for you. I also plan on sprucing up the place very soon. I think Logy Express deserves to look prettier.

As one of my new favorite bloggers said about what I’m writing here: “I’m just getting going and I’d like to be going faster.”

If anyone has suggestions for things you would like me to write about, please let me know. And I would consider it a great anniversary present if you’d stop by on Facebook and Twitter as well as hanging out here.