Category Archives: blogging

10 Easy Tips for Becoming a Better Blogger

While curating The Treasury of Small Blogs over the past three months, I’ve noticed a few simple ways small bloggers can improve their blogs. I thought it might be helpful to compile a quick list of easy things you can do right now to build a better blogging platform. I hope this encourages you to keep blogging! Blogging isn’t dead! BLOG ON, oh bloggers, BLOG ON.

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10 Easy Tips for Becoming a Better Blogger: Beginner’s Edition

1. Make an ABOUT page. When I click on your site and read something interesting, the first thing I want to know is: who IS this awesome person? At the very least, make it easy for your readers to find out your name, social media handles and email contact. Think of your ABOUT page as your online resumé. Provide links to your most-liked posts. Encourage readers to stay in touch by signing up to receive your posts via email.

2. Be CONSISTENT with your name. If your blog is called “Butterfly Kisses” it’s very confusing to first-time readers if your Twitter handle is @MommyLikesDonutsInTheMorning (I just chose these names randomly, my apologies if your blog is called “Butterfly Kisses”!). People have a hard time remembering first names let alone three or four different social media names. Keep it consistent.

3. High-quality profile pic. Your readers want to see you. Place a high-quality, good sized profile pic somewhere on the front page of your blog (header or sidebar is usually best). A good, high-quality pictures tells your readers you value yourself and your blog. A good picture helps readers feel like they’re making a personal connection with you. At least in the beginning, it’s also helpful if you use the same profile pic for Twitter, Instagram and your Facebook fan page. p.s. try to avoid iPhone selfies.

4. Own your space and stop apologizing for it! Please don’t undercut yourself by writing self-deprecating descriptions like: “I’m just a mom. I’m not REALLY a writer. I guess this is just my little space to share my unimportant thoughts.” UGH. Please, no. No whiney, self-bashing comments (which sound rather like false humility, anyway). This is YOUR awesome space! This is YOUR amazing BLOG! You have permission to do whatever you like with it. Show us how awesome you are! Let your content—not your self-deprecating comments—speak for your awesomeness.

5. Moderate comments. This is your lawn, strangers are not allowed to crap on it. If a comment makes you feel uncomfortable, just delete it. Your blog is YOUR space and you have permission to protect it. Additionally, you don’t owe anyone an explanation or apology for how you choose to moderate comments.

6. Publish your full feed, not excerpts. Be generous with your content. Publish the full feed via RSS. Don’t make your readers click through to “read more.” You want your content as accessible as possible. People have a bazillion options for reading content on the Internet. Make it easy for them to read yours. {Note: a full feed is different than excerpting posts. I excerpt my posts in order to keep my page clean and uncluttered).

7. Optimize your content for mobile readers. iPhones and Tablets have changed the way people read blogs. Readers will read your stuff while waiting for their coffee, in the carpool line, in restaurants, at the dry cleaners. Odds are they WON’T be sitting down at a computer to read your words so make sure your content is readable via mobile devices (this is another reason NOT to excerpt your content).

8. Make it easy for people to like and share your content. Every blog post should end with at least one or two share buttons. When people read something they like, they WANT to share. Make it easy for them to do that. I’m not a fan of overwhelming options. You don’t need to provide EVERY share button imaginable. Just a couple.

9. Don’t forget Instagram! People love sharing and connecting on Instagram. Use a picture from your blog post and type a few, tantalizing words as a caption for an Instagram picture. Finish the caption with the words “Link in Profile” so viewers will know to go to your profile page and click on your blog link if they want to read more. Or use Instagram as a supplement to your blog. Sometimes there are short book reviews that I want to share—without having to write a full post on my site. So, I use Instagram like a mini-blog. You may even get more comments on IG than on your site. :)

10. Be generous. Respond to comments and emails. Engage your readers on Twitter. Visit your readers’ blogs and leave comments. Answer questions. Cultivate an atmosphere of sharing and generosity.

Why it’s important to delete unkind blog comments and block abusive users

This past week I received a particularly nasty email which made me question whether blogging was worth it. It made me wonder whether I should continue writing at all. It made me wonder why I put my heart out in public. This led to a brief (but terrifying) bout of panic wherein I wondered if blogging was dead.

And then I realized I was giving away my power by allowing one stupid-ass email to determine how I chose to live my life. This incident reminded me why I’ve made the decision to delete and block people who leave unkind comments on my site. I thought I’d share that decision-making process with you.

After I finished writing my book and saw it published and sent out into the world, I began experiencing a new kind of freedom: the freedom to honor myself and what I’d accomplished.

Not only had I overcome an abusive childhood, I had built a new life for myself. I had cried my tears, I had said my piece, I had honored my story. It was time for me to stop acting like I was just renting my life and really own it.

A strange thing began to happen: the more I owned my life and honored myself, the less willing I was to be treated dishonorably by others. The more I owned my story, the less willing I was to answer baiting questions, defend myself against accusations or explain myself to people who didn’t deserve my time.

The farther I removed myself from fundamentalism, the less I wanted to engage people who still acted like fundamentalists—Christian or otherwise. In fact, I found that it was a waste of my precious energy to engage anyone who treated me disrespectfully or used manipulative, shaming language in my comment box or via email.

As much as I wanted to help people, I began to realize that I couldn’t rescue or save everyone. Heck, I could barely save myself. Just like I’ve had to do the hard work of recovery, those who want freedom will have to do their work, too. The best way to help others is to continue taking care of myself. The best way to change the world for good is to move forward—regardless of whether others approve or come along with me.

Sometimes courage means moving forward alone.

For most of my life, I’ve doubted my voice. I’ve been so insecure at times that I wouldn’t make decisions without polling everyone around me and receiving permission.

As I’ve done the hard work of recovery, I’ve learned how to love myself. I’ve learned how to trust myself. I’ve learned how to honor myself and protect myself. Best of all, I’ve learned (and am learning!) how to APPROVE of myself!

One practical result of this has been that I delete and block any unkind comments or rude behavior on my website. I don’t need unkind voices in my comment box because those voices make it hard for me to hear my own voice. Mean voices only have power if I give them power. Honoring myself means not squandering my power on energy-vampires.

Honoring my own voice means spending more time and energy on positive voices. I’ve done enough moderating to know when someone is genuinely curious or just itching for a fight.

I’ve built this blog. I’ve created this space. Why should I dishonor what I’ve created by allowing others to crap on my lawn?

Furthermore, I’ve begun to realize that I owe it to my readers to create a safe place. If I allow others to beat me up in my own space, then YOU won’t feel safe here, either. It’s really important for women to see other women standing up for themselves and honoring their own lives. Because we live in a society that routinely pits women against each other, I find it doubly important for women to feel safe with other women. If we’re going to counteract this culture, we women need to create safe spaces for each other.

And that starts with me taking care of myself. So, if you write a mean email or leave an unkind comment on my blog, it will be summarily deleted. Without explanation. On the big posts, I won’t even see the mean words because I’ve hired a friend to moderate comments.

I finally value what I think of myself more than what others think of me.

And THAT, my friends? THAT feels like true freedom.

 

10 Reasons Why Blogging Is Better (for me) Than Facebook; aka “Blog’s Not Dead and Neither is my Blogging!”

Awwww, thanks friends for all your feedback on my “Is Blogging Dead?” post. I really appreciated it. Here’s what I learned from you:

  1. People like reading blogs precisely BECAUSE a blog ISN’T Facebook.
  2. Blogs provide anonymity for commenters who want to weigh in on topics while protecting their privacy.
  3. A blog is a better medium for good writing—and since good writing is what I value MOST, it makes more sense for me to stay right here. (Thankfully, YOU appreciate good writing, too!).
  4. Facebook and social media are better mediums for off-the-cuff commentary. Render unto Facebook what is Facebook’s and render unto Blog what is Blog’s, amen?
  5. A blog gives me sole ownership of my content and honors my hard work in producing high-quality material. YOU DON’T OWN ME, FACEBOOK!
  6. A thousand likes on Facebook doesn’t necessarily indicate quality content; ie. just because Kim Kardashian’s butt goes viral doesn’t mean she produced art. SO THERE.
  7. A loyal, thoughtful readership is FAR more valuable to me than being “popular on Facebook.” (Why? See #6 above). Over the years, my blog readers have challenged my thinking, helped me process new ideas, offered support and provided helpful suggestions.
  8. Blog comments are generally more thoughtful. If someone is taking the time to login to Disqus and compose a reply it’s because they genuinely care about what I’ve written and they want to thoughtfully engage other commenters.
  9. Facebook comments don’t necessarily indicate loyalty—the new algorithms on Facebook attract random trolls who have never read my writing and yet feel free to crap all over my FB page just because they don’t like ONE of my opinions.
  10. And most importantly, I feel safer on my blog than I do on Facebook. So, I’m gonna stay right here and keep on writin’ no matter WHAT the rumors say about Blogs Dying and Whatnot! SO THERE. Ah-men and Ah-meen.

Is blogging dead?

I’ve heard rumors that blogging is dying. Some of my favorite bloggers are shuttering their blogs. Others are taking long breaks. The other day my 13 year old son announced that YouTube and podcasts and Instagram are where The Internet Is Happening Now.

That got me thinking: why am I still blogging? And is blogging dead?

I started my blog 8 years ago this month and back then, people read blogs the old fashioned way—on their computers. Not on their tablets. Or smart phones. Comment boxes pulled in 50-100+ comments easily.

In 2007, there was money in blogging. Or so I heard. That never really happened for me. I was content just to have basic operating expenses covered. I wasn’t interested in becoming an Official Mommy Blog. I never saw blogging as a business. My brain just doesn’t think that way.

I blogged for the connections, the conversation, the fleshing out of ideas, the sense of community. I wanted to practice my writing. And I’d always wanted to write a book. I hoped that by writing great content I’d attract an agent and someday write a book. And yes, I landed an agent and a book deal. Goal accomplished.

Turns out, my timing was fortuitous. I started my blog during The Golden Age of Blogging: 2006-2012.

In 2006, Twitter was just a baby, Tumblr wasn’t even born and Instagram wouldn’t show up for another 4 years. Facebook was still mostly used by teenagers and college kids. The point is, it was easier to build my online platform and garner thousands of subscribers through blogging because I wasn’t competing with other social media outlets.

But here we are in 2014 and things have changed. Blogging isn’t what it used to be.

First of all, conversations have moved to Facebook. I fought this for awhile. But it was a losing battle. Why would readers register their email and login to Disqus when they could easily like, reply and share stuff on FB?

I now realize that if I want to start a conversation, I need to go where the people are. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve run a mini-experiment: I’ve posted regular length blogs posts on FB. The feedback has been at least triple what I’ve been getting here on my blog. And the reach of my posts has been quadruple the reach I get here. That was eyeopening like WHOA.

As recently as two years ago, blogging was still the most efficient and immediate way to start conversations and gain new readers. These days, a traditional blog post takes 24 hrs. to get the kind of traction Facebook gives me in one hour. I mean, even Instagram gives me more likes and comments these days than my blog does!

I’ve made another mistake, too. And it’s a big one. I didn’t build an email list. I thought that was old-school. I thought RSS readers were more important. But now, my RSS feed is so wonky and broken, it doesn’t even send out my posts reliably. If I’d built my list from people who have commented on my blog over the years, I’d have more than 30,000 email addresses by now.

I actually want to cry about that mistake. It was a huge missed opportunity. And guess what? Years ago, my husband advised me to build an email list. He’s in marketing and knows email lists are like gold. But I didn’t listen because I was a BLOGGER, brave new world, blah-blah-blergh.

If I had an email list, then maybe the demise of blogging wouldn’t be so discouraging.

I dunno, maybe I’m just feeling all irrelevant and disillusioned and glum. Here’s one comfort: even if blogging dies, I did make something of my writing: I wrote a book. And I want to keep writing books. But how will I convince a publisher I still have a valuable online platform if blogging is dying?

Well, maybe I should do what I should have done 8 years ago: build an email list.

Or do a podcast. Or make YouTube videos. Sigh. Can an old blogger learn new tricks?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go share this post on Facebook.

UPDATED TO ADD: you can find my Author Facebook Page HERE. :)

A Treasury of Writing from Small Bloggers

Last night on Twitter I spontaneously asked bloggers to send me a link to their favorite piece of writing. I thought maybe like five people would respond. I was flooded with replies.

As of this morning, people are still replying to me–eager to share their favorite writing. I am overwhelmed in all the right ways.

Tears pour down my cheeks as I read of lost brothers, the beauty of living a life of “measurable solitude,” of unabashedly “being fat,” of new definitions for Godly womanhood, of being discouraged by how Christians use the phrase “speaking the truth in love” and wanting to BE something kinder.

I’m amazed by how many “undiscovered” writers there are–bravely putting their feelings and thoughts into words and sending them out into the great void–many times without receiving a comment, a tweet, an FB share or word of encouragement in return.

Your bravery, friends. Your beauty. Your daring. It touched me so deeply. It convicted me.

I realized how “stuck” I’d become in my own little online niche–always reading the same blogs, the same Twitter feeds. I was reminded how important it is to read widely, read outside my comfort zone.

There was one common refrain among those who shared with me. It went something like this: “I’m not a great writer, but here’s a piece I kinda like…” Or: “Nobody reads my stuff, but here’s a piece I’d really like more people to see…”

That broke my heart. I, too, remember feeling invisible. I remember wondering why I kept blogging and writing when nobody was reading. I remember checking my stats and seeing 38 pageviews. I was like: WOW! THIRTY EIGHT! And then I remembered that probably 20 of them were me checking my own site, lol.

But the same fire that was in me back then is still in me today and so I kept writing. I wrote because I loved writing, because I dared to hope someday someone would read my words and say: “YES! Me too! I’ve felt that way.” I blogged because I longed for connection.

We so NEED encouragement on this writing journey, don’t we? Writing is such a solitary endeavor and with it, the deep-seated fear that no-one will like what we wrote, no-one will understand us. I’m here today to tell you: what you’re doing is valuable. It’s meaningful. KEEP GOING.

Today, I’d like to encourage that connection by sharing a few of the most outstanding excerpts from the posts I read last night.

And I hope you’ll continue the encouragement by clicking over to their site and leaving an encouraging comment. Tell them what it was about their writing that you loved. Share your own story with them. If you’re a writer or blogger, you know how much it means when someone takes the time to tell you they appreciate your words.

I don’t have a problem referring to myself as “fat” and “ugly” because those are simply descriptors. They hold no moral weight. They are not indicative of my value as a person…Acknowledging the reality of my appearance has not been depressing; it has been freeing. I don’t have to pretend that I’m pretty..Joi @ Confessions of a Fat, Ugly Geek

Sometimes I feel suffocated. The guilt is the absolute worst. It sucks that I have to do extra stuff for him. But it sucks worse when I don’t want to do those things, because that makes me feel like a horrible person…I have to do all those little extra things that come with having a quadriplegic husband and taking him to the beach, and making sure he doesn’t get too hot, and making sure there is parking, and not being able to go down to the water to lay out because the planked walkways only go so far in that particular spot. –Dana @ Love Like This Life

You decide to write about your day. Then you remember that your days are spent in measurable solitude. Alone, but surrounded by people. You worry that people will pity you. That people will think how you must be sad soul. How lonely you must be. You write it anyway.  –Melody Cook @ Melody’s Musings

It often feels like I’m standing in front of an eternal card catalogue, where I’ve so carefully filed every experience and insight about God, the life of faith, the church. I’m standing there, pulling out one card at a time, and I’m flummoxed. Is this true? Why do I think or believe this? Is this mine? Or did I inherit it from my parents, my church, my fear?  Not everything is wrong, not every foundation I’ve built my life upon is sand. Thank you, God. –Sarah Torna Roberts

The language we have access to really determines the thoughts and feelings we’re allowed to have, and while CCM was its own unique kind of solace to me in hard times, it also limited my emotional range and somewhat hid me from the fact that pretty much all of my feelings were normal (not necessarily “good” or “healthy” way but “hey, many people feel like this, no you’re not a monster” way). –Kirby @ The Coffee Spoon

In such an atmosphere of freedom and grace,I find that I’m not such a drinker these days. And there you have God’s approach in a nutshell – change never comes from Him belittling you or making you feel like a failure, it comes from a place of complete love and acceptance. -–Emma @ Faith Monkey

This is not a story of how things get better real quick, or how time heals everything, or how there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel because you realize that isn’t always true when you’re a year past trauma and you’re still clinging to your pillow and kleenex like they are your life line. –Rebekah Richardson @ With His Hands

I am a woman and I want to be treated as a human being who has valuable thoughts and opinions. I want to be treated this way not just by other women, but also by men. –Maggie @ Sparks From the Soul

Renewal is a PROCESS, not a one-time event! This approach to our spiritual, emotional, and personal lives would reap far more benefit than a “resolution.” If we embrace the PROCESS, than any day is a day in which we can decide to start or continue renewal. If we don’t expect a one-time event, then we can be patient with ourselves and with our God… –Clark @ Mirrors

Married people have babies. These things happen. And then we are married almost three years and I CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER. The plan is to start trying. Sooner than later.And then lymphoma. --Andrea @ Honesty With Andrea

Thank you for sharing your hearts & writing with me. I’m beyond honored. Keep going. KEEP WRITING.

In defense of the pretty, staged, lifestyle Mommy blogs because I like them now, ok?

These days it’s cool to be uncool, hip to be nerdy and good to be bad. These days, a mess isn’t messy it’s….authentic. For the most part I like this trend because I like brutal honesty. But I’ve also experienced a massive reversal of opinion regarding super-pretty-stagey-Mommy-blogs. I used to secretly despise these lifestyle Mommy bloggers. Well, maybe it wasn’t such a secret, oh look! I blogged about it . Now? These lifestyle people kinda save my life.

Because My Brian needs pretty things.

If you live inside My Brian (INSIDE JOKE! read yesterday’s post!), you need pretty things to keep you sane. I say this as someone who has been to rehab and needed pretty pictures from lifestyle magazines to give her hope that Beauty Existed. I needed to believe there WAS such a thing as tidy kitchens with frilly curtains on the windows and ripe, homegrown vegetables artfully arranged on pretty vintage plates.

It didn’t matter if it was fake. It didn’t matter if it was staged. It was the IDEA of beauty that kept me from wanting to hurt myself. Just the IDEA that maybe, someday, I’d be sane enough to want to plant my own vegetable garden like the one I saw in Sunset magazine helped me survive another day inside My Brian.

Sometimes you hang onto those ideas and even if it’s fake, even if you KNOW it was STAGED by like twenty designers, you just don’t care. You look at that picture in Pottery Barn magazine or on your favorite lifestyle blog and it saves your life a little bit. At least for the next twenty minutes. Or maybe the whole day. Which is really saying something when you’ve been trained to believe that the world has been ending since 1988.

My point is, can we give the lifestyle bloggers a break? They are doing awesome work in this world and so what if their vintage-only-upcycled kitchen never REALLY looks like that except when they stage it that way for a blog post. Good for them. Good for them for being so EARNEST about seeking beauty.

I’m pretty sure the world doesn’t need more cynicism. Or mess. Or ugliness.

But more pretty pictures? Yes, please.

When depression hits me like a black tidal wave, where do I go? To the pretty pictures. To the extra-optimistic-pretty-lifestyle blogs. To Pinterest.

I don’t go to the REAL, AUTHENTIC, PAINFUL stories and pictures. Which is to say, I don’t read people who write like me, har-har. And I certainly don’t listen to the news.

I watch crochet videos on YouTube.

I follow the Instagram accounts of women who make hippie-jewelry and take pictures of flowers and give out balloons to random people just to be nice. I like to know those people exist. I like to see their daily outfits. I like to see their bowls of artfully arranged quinoa.

I like to know that somewhere, some awesome human being is organizing her blog’s editorial calendar six months in advance. With pretty pictures and giveaways. THESE PEOPLE INSPIRE ME.

I don’t CARE if this lifestyle blogger has a whole bevy of paid staff and virtual assistants who do her laundry and reply to her emails while she blogs about her Paleo-Attachment-Hobby-Farming-Vintage-Upcycling-Fashion Life and picks out a pretty, coordinating outfit.

Because the lifestyle blogger is giving me an incredible gift: she believes in BEAUTY. And she puts effort into it. Props to that, man. PROPS TO THAT.

Even if the pretty lifestyle blogger had to fake it ’til she made it, that gives me hope, too. I can fake it ’til I make it, too. 

Look. My Brian? It’s no joke. There are days when I wake up and pain from my past has decided to show up and beat me down. My Brian is yelling at me so loud that all I want to do is scream. But I breathe in and I breathe out and then I pin a few pretty pictures on Pinterest.

My PTSD brain needs to know that beauty EXISTS SOMEWHERE in this world and if that means looking at staged pics of some Mommy Blogger’s living room, well, thank God for her.

Thank you fake, pretty lifestyle blogs. Thank you for healing my Brian.

All blogged out

You guys, I feel all blogged out. All Twittered out. All IG’d out. I wrote the book I wanted to write. I poured my heart and body and soul into it. I’m proud of what I did and then? I had to promote it (btw, my book signing last weekend went AWESOME!). Note to hopeful authors: if writing a book doesn’t kill you, promoting it DEFINITELY will. Or maybe not. Maybe that’s just me and my ENFP-ness projecting on you.

POINT IS, I’m running on empty.

Maybe this is what burnout feels like? Again?

This morning I saw a video that brought such tears of joy to my eyes. It’s such a beautiful thing–this spontaneous, amazing, exquisite, unplanned explosion of pure art…of a pure REAL-LIFE moment.

I feel like I’m missing some of these REAL LIFE moments. I’ve been blogging for nearly 8 years. I’ve accomplished everything I set out to accomplish–and more. I’ve made various “top blogger” lists, have thousands of subscribers, lots of page views, have been on TV shows, landed a book deal, published a book….and now? I’m exhausted.

I’m having a mid-blog crisis.

It feels like the goal post has moved. I got where I wanted to be and Whatever I’m Supposed To Feel Now is still out of my reach.

It’s like when I lost all that weight, fit into my size 2 dress and was all: “I don’t feel any happier now than when I was thirty pounds heavier.”

I guess I just don’t know what I’m supposed to say anymore. Aren’t y’all sick of me yet? Because I’m sick of MYSELF! <—–see that? I even hate that I use all-caps all the time. Ugh. It’s so…Internet-y.

I’m so SICK of Internet-ese: THIS. I can’t even. ALL the Feelings. This is EVERYTHING.

I feel like social media is destroying my writing ability.

In fact, last year when I was trying to finish my book I had to seriously take a break from Twitter because I had STARTED THINKING IN 144 CHARACTERS.

This scares me. I’m worried I’m killing brain cells.

I’m sick of Twitter and how it becomes vicious in 2.5 seconds. Social media was gonna be this thing that brought everyone together. But the world is more polarized than ever and anyone who tells you Internet fights don’t affect you in real life is lying.

Fighting on the Internet exhausts me in real life.

Maybe other people have thicker skin? Or maybe I no longer tolerate high levels of drama in my life?

I’m sick of having to squish my feelings into 140 characters. I’m sick of only seeing my friends ONLINE. I have this friend whom I’ve been trying to converse with IN REAL LIFE for almost a year and the only time we can connect is if I disagree with her on the Internet.

Is that really even a “friend”? Friends don’t talk on the phone anymore, I guess?–not to mention see each other in real life anymore?

This makes me so sad!

I’m sorry, world, but I just don’t have a viral post in me every week. Or month. Or year. Everyone talks about their posts going viral as if it’s this great thing but they totally forget to mention how exhausting it is, too. It’s exhausting getting hate mail–even if the positive mail outnumbers the hate mail. It’s exhausting having to moderate and delete nasty comments–even if the positive comments outnumber the negative ones. It’s exhausting having to block people on Twitter who just want to pick at you–even if the encouragers outnumber the trolls.

I need to stop complaining now because the Internet and my blog has given me SO MUCH and I truly am grateful. This blog—YOU, my readers–have encouraged me over so many years! I have to tell myself that the Silent Readers are the truly supportive ones. Sometimes I over-focus on the negative people and allow those voices to fill me with self-doubt.

The ones who have been reading me for years and witnessed my ups and downs–and keep reading–THANK YOU.

I’m just worn out and this makes me grumpy.

I’m worn out from feeding the endlessly hungry Internet beast.

I need more real life moments. I need a Summer Break, ya know? I need to re-focus on my recovery. Because if my recovery doesn’t come first, everything else suffers.

Mama needs a blog-battical.

So, I’m taking a stack of books, my notebook and favorite pen and heading out to the pool. I’ll be reading and writing and dreaming for awhile.

I’ll be back when I’m feeling more mEE-ish. (Which, you know, could be tomorrow.)

Until then, READ MY BOOK. And email me. I would love to hear from you! xo. EE.

 

EE’s Best Posts of 2013

Most Raw, Vulnerable Posts of 2013:

1. I Wear My Heart on my Sleeve

2. Not all wire hangers are misogynists, apparently

3. Loneliness & tuna casseroles

4. When living hurts too much

5. When I look in the mirror I see a fat girl

Most Read Posts of All Time:

1. Why We Left Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa

2. A Handy Guide for Dealing with Manipulative People

3. Virginity: New & Improved!

4. Good Christian girls don’t talk about sex; we just obsess about it

5. How Many Children Must Die Before Mike & Debi Pearl are Held Accountable?

6. How to talk to someone living inside an abusive church or cult

7. The New Misogyny: bro-dude pastors, sexist Christian comedians and abuse apologetics disguised as female empowerment

Most Helpful Recovery Posts of 2013:

1. How to recover from a damaging church experience

2. How to recognize unhealthy personal boundaries in yourself and others

3. Cults & Codependency

4. Don’t Engage the (Religious) Crazy

5. When God is your abuser

 

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Most Loved ENFP Posts:

1. How an ENFP goes grocery shopping

2. How an ENFP celebrates the holidays

3. Fitness Tips for ENFPs

4. Real-life conversations between an ENFP (me) and an ISTJ (my husband)

5. Lazy, flighty, slobby, commitment-phobe! (Understanding your ENFPs “dark side”)

Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Because my 7th grade son said so.

photoMy 7th grade son sat me down and had a serious talk with me about my YouTube channel.

“You don’t even have channel art? Or a PROFILE PIC???? MOM!”

So, I let him crop and upload and do a bunch of stuff that my old brain couldn’t figure out. And now? He says YOU, my dear readers, really MUST subscribe AND watch at least 2 videos tonight. So. You know, SUBSCRIBE HERE!!! The Management (aka, James) thanks you. ;-)

New Blog Reveal!

Do you like my new blog design? I’m super happy about it. Simple. Clean. Fresh. Many thanks to Micah Murray who was willing to work for me despite my heretical opinions, my offensive appearances on Fox News and my being Catholic. Also, I like dogs and he likes cats. Clearly, he should not associate with the likes of moi. Oh, wait. I’m making that part up. I actually have no idea whether he is a pet-lover or not. Because. When I ask someone to re-design my blog I don’t CARE about their opinions on pet-ownership, beer vs. wine, infant baptism vs. “age of accountability,” Democrats v. Republicans, YOLOSwag v. SwagYOLO or whether cookie butter is better than biscoff. [Note: Cookie Butter is WAY better. But I digress].

The point is, I just want GOOD work. And I liked what Micah did with his blog. So there.

Micah did a great job for me and, after being rejected by another designer who refused to work for me because she Disagreed With My Opinions, I’m especially grateful for friends like Micah–and YOU, dear reader–who stick with me through my admittedly lame, blundering, often-fraught, sometimes whimsical, messy process. This is my process, yo. Welcome to the beautiful mess.