How to start and manage a blog (In the Real World)

computer cat

Image via Wilson Afonso via Flickr Creative Commons.

Day 1: Begin with the realization that you don’t spend enough time sitting on your behind, staring at a computer monitor. Then, conclude that the best way to remedy this problem is to say to yourself: “I think I’ll start a blog.”

Day 3: Figure out what the heck goes into creating a blog and spend a ridiculous amount of time deciding on the perfect shade of pink for your background.

Day 4: Become uncharacteristically indecisive and continue to tweak the background color and header image until you have them just right.

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Maybe this one… No. Not enough color.

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Now it has too much color.

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Maybe this one? No. It doesn’t seem right either. Perhaps I should take a few more photos…

Day 21: Now that the blog’s appearance is finally right, you begin to think about your blog content. Hmmmm….. what the heck are your going to write about?

Day 23: Realize there are all these blog memes out there and you want to participate in all of them. Then, being the realistic person you are, you whittle it down to Teaser Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday, and then two other posts a week. You can post four times a week. It will be easy. You even promise yourself that you will keep to your blog schedule, with the hope of having your blog posts typed and ready to go ahead of schedule.

Day 25: Become super psyched about your new blog and its awesomeness. Prepare six blog posts in advance, just to give yourself a little content to fall back on, should you ever fall behind. The exercise seems a little silly, because you won’t fall behind. You’re dedicated and it will be easy.

Day 30: Click the publish button on your first post, knowing that it’s unlikely anyone will read it. But there’s a little hope, just a little, that someone will stumble upon it and see it for the masterpiece that it is.

Day 31: Feel your heart flutter the next morning when you receive notification that you have a new follower. Yes, you have a follower… and it’s not your mom.

excited kid

How you’ll look when you get your first follower. (Image courtesy Tim Parkinson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Visit their blog to see if you want to follow them, surely you will because you must have common interests. Your heart flutter will now become crushing disappointment. They have no interest in you or your blog. They want to sell you something.

unhappy kid

How you’ll look when you realize that person isn’t really interested in your blog, or they are a robot. (Image courtesy Peter Dedina via Flickr Creative Commons)

Day 33: Publish your second post and wait for the likes and comments to roll in. Keep your eye on that magical notification button on the top of your screen. You wait for it to turn orange, but it doesn’t. Maybe it’s like the saying about watched water not boiling. You decide to step away and check back later.

Day 33, five minutes later: Certain that you’ve given it enough time you check for the orange button. You’re likely disappointed, but you still hold your head high and continue your blogging quest.

Day 70: Prepare for Monday’s blog post. It’s Tuesday, but hopefully no one will notice. You’re short on time, so you scroll through your pre-prepared blog posts. Sigh when you discover you’ve already used them all. Yes, in six weeks you’ve gone through all six of them. Quickly throw something together and hope your followers still like you. Strangely, this becomes one of your most popular posts.

Day 120: You’ve now been blogging for a few months and have found some great blogging friends (Hi everyone!). Your number of followers continues to go up and you finally understand what the blogging community is about.

Day 140: Allow your hope to slowly fade away. Blogging takes way more commitment than you ever anticipated. But you will persevere. Just maybe with one less post a week. No one will notice, right?

Day 160: You’ve now gone a whole week without posting. You feel guilty, but assure yourself that it won’t happen again.

Day 174: It’s happened again. Tell yourself that it’s okay; everyone gets busy now and then. You’ll do better in the future.

Day 178: Spend a couple hours catching up on your reader. Begin to wonder if those people who post 2, 3, 4, or 28 times a day are really human. You begin to wonder if they are aliens, or a type of superhero you’ve never heard of. Or perhaps they are human, but they’ve become immune to the most virulent time wasters of the Internet. Or they don’t spend hours researching the difference between lay and lie, only to forget the next day, so they just avoid use of the words for all eternity. Anyone? Anyone?

aliens

The very prolific alien blog writers (Image courtesy Interdimensional Guardians via Flickr Creative Commons)

Day 192: Hit the publish button on your 59th post. Not only was it posted on the day it was due, it was actually written in advance. Yep, you’re back on track… for now. You consider writing a few back-up posts, in case you become swamped again in the future… Nah. You won’t fall behind again, you’re sure of it…

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The Results Show: Am I a kale hating, rifle shooting, former turtle owner?

Image courtesy Julian Gong Min via Flickr

Image courtesy Julian Gong Min via Flickr

And now for the big reveal… Do I hate kale? Am a stealthy marksman? Did I once have a pet turtle named, George?

Get ready, here are my five fake facts:

1. I hate kale – I can’t say that it’s my favorite food in the world (homemade bread is, no I think it’s chips and guacamole, I don’t know… who really has a favorite?) but I do really like it.

4. My first concert was Madonna – I did want to see Madonna when I was younger, but she wouldn’t come to Denver, CO… My first concert was George Michael.

5. I had a pet turtle when I was eight – My cousin had a pet turtle. I had two parakeets: Sweetie and Flower and my cat: Slinky Salad Pebbles Flintstone.

8. I’ve intubated a patient – I am a registered nurse and I’ve taken advanced CPR. I’ve even intubated a mannequin. Luckily no humans have had to endure me inserting a tube down their windpipe–I may have cracked my mannequin’s tooth. Oops.

14. I dressed as a mermaid for Mardi Gras last year – I’ve never been a mermaid (still trying to figure out how you would walk around all day). Last year I was Cinderella and the year before I was Alice in Wonderland.

My take on Alice and the White Rabbit. I even made the hats!

My take on Alice and the White Rabbit. I even made the hats!

So, there you have it. All the other things were true.

Thanks to all who participated and ventured a guess: M.C. Dulac, Decidinglybob and Fruit and Family. I wish I could say the winner got something really cool… um, let me think, I have a cat that’s been really needy lately. Or, how about an old organic chem book. No, neither of those will do. Let’s say bragging rights. Yes, bragging rights it is. Oh, yeah. I think Natalie at Fruit and Family won. Congratulations!

Am I a kale hating, rifle shooting, former turtle owner?

Do I have a custom made hula hoop?  (photo courtesy of Flare via Flickr)

Do I have a custom made hula hoop?
(photo courtesy of Flare via Flickr)

The sneaky Natalie at Fruit and Family recently posted 25 facts about herself. Twenty of them were true and five of them were made up. She then asked her readers to guess which were the fake “facts” and I will say it was much harder than you would think! Was she really a runner up in Miss World Canada and a nunchuck expert?? I can’t wait to find out.

She also invited me to do the same on my blog, so here are my 25 facts. Can you pick out the five lies?? Leave your best guesses in the comment section below.

1. I hate kale

2. I’ve been married more than once

3. I never wear shorts

4. My first concert was Madonna

5. I had a pet turtle when I was eight

6. I’ve shot a rifle and I’m actually really good

7. In college, I minored in anatomy and neurobiology

8. I’ve intubated a patient

9. I was a cackling witch in a haunted house once

10. But haunted houses actually terrify me, so I don’t go in them anymore

11. Sometimes one of my cats gets sick on the rug, and I just walk by and pretend I don’t see it

12. There was a five year period where I didn’t read any books

13. I’m a Vampire Diaries junkie

14. I dressed as a mermaid for Mardi Gras last year

15. I have a custom made hula hoop

16. If my husband didn’t do laundry, I wouldn’t have clean clothes

17. I’ve had surgery four times

18. And I’m missing quite a few organs: one kidney, one ovary, an appendix and a thyroid

19. My writing has been published in the Denver newspaper

20. I was so afraid of the movie Paranormal Activity that I had trouble sleeping for a year after seeing it

21. I discovered bed bugs in a hotel once

22. I’ve never seen the northern lights

23. My first cat’s name was Slinky Salad Pebbles Flintstone

24. I’ve only played Blackjack once while in Vegas and I won

25. I like Katy Perry and Pink. You can make fun of me now…

I will post the answers in a week or so. And anyone out there can join in the fun. Just leave a link to your 25 facts in the comments and we can all guess whether you really swam with sharks or ate five pies in one sitting.