Just when I thought I was doing okay. Just when I was happier about my smart, new website and feeling a certain amount of warmth toward WordPress, along comes unsolicited advice about SEO.
searching the search engines
I know what it is. Now. I didn’t, oh, way back there in January when I began this blogging thing. Now I know what the letters stand for; I just haven’t got around to learning much about it yet. So, when comments arrive on my dashboard, I get that familiar sinking feeling telling me I’m still not doing this blogging lark properly. I have to get optimized. I have to learn about creepy-crawly spider things out there in the virtual web, just yearning to get their little pincers into my juicy, young website.
poor little spiderbot hard at work
In fact, this website is the only thing about me that’s juicy and fresh. Apart from my writing of course.
Here’s the proof. I’m actually going to place a link within this post, I might be green and cabbage-looking on a bad day, but I consider this new knowledge no less than a triumph.
I’m picking up on the subject matter of Holly Lisle’s tip of the week at http://hollylisle.com
Can you simply turn on ideas?
Today she’s answering a query about ideas and it got me thinking about my own ideas and where they come from. I have a page on here dedicated to Inspirations. Take a look while you’re here – drop me a line if you like.
So, can you turn on ideas like a tap? Or fawcett, depending on where you are. I can’t. I have no control over them. I could sit in a specially designated ideas room with an extra comfy ideas chair, drinking a specially brewed cup of ideas tea and nothing would happen. I know for a certainty that nothing would happen. I’d be wasting my time. You can’t force ideas. Well, I suppose some people can, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about what works best for me. Letting it happen is what works for me. Not trying to force it. Not beating myself up if it doesn’t happen.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Sometimes, it’s a visual motivation: a mountain, a lake, a celebration. Sometimes an idea comes from something I’ve heard someone say. I’ll be right there, in the middle of a conversation and . . . bang . . . I have a new title to work with or a situation ready-primed with emotional conflicts.
On a coffee break with friends, the subject of planning meals came up. It was one of those light bulb moments to use a cliché that are supposed to be forbidden. The idea stuck with me and another short story came into being. I wrote it in a matter of hours, sent it off and the editor liked it – except for the ending. A quick revision solved the problem.
A chance remark became this short story
See, I don’t understand the language. Did I mention that before? I thought I had to put the widget thingy in the widget area for the static front page option as my site doesn’t open with the blog page. So, I fiddled. I got hold of my trusty mouse and dragged the little bugger into the sidebar. Nowhere, in all the FAQs in the world did it point that out in simple terms people like me could understand. Yeah, yeah, I know there are WordPress for idiots books out there. But that involves READING and, as I already said, my eyes are shot, bloodshot. I can’t actually see what I’m writing here.
And now, tah-dah, we have the Celia’s tag cloud.
Tomorrow, I’ll have another go at linking to other sites -if I can see – if my head hasn’t imploded.
I said I was green at all this stuff. I told you I didn’t have a clue. So far, the learning curve has been vertical. My knees are grazed; my fingers keyboarded to the bone. Don’t even ask about my eyes. Alright then, okay, my eyes hurt. They’re so tired they feel as if they’re all dried out.
I can’t read any more Help forums ( should that be fora? forii?) See what’s happening. My brain’s giving out. Cache memory full and spilling its grey matter. I CAN’T HOLD ANY MORE INFORMATION. I only wanted to drag and drop and click once every so often. I didn’t want to have to read the equivalent of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
And now, my Tag Cloud isn’t showing itself. Maybe the Tramontane blew it out to sea. Maybe it’s raining all my nice tag words in a village in Provence. Look, everybody it’s showering WRITING in Nimes and SHORT STORIES in St Tropez. So here’s an image of a tag cloud, just so we all know what I’m talking about. If you see mine hanging over the coast somewhere, drop me a line.
somebody else’s tag cloud
But, there is an upside. All this thinking and reading about tag clouds has seeped into the subconscious mind and presented me with another idea for a short story. C’est la vie.
I don’t need to know how a car engine works, ergo, I don’t need to know how a computer works or, necessarily how to use Codex (see how I’m getting au fait with the language).
I’m content to click buttons and drag and drop and all that easy stuff. The more user friendly all this malarkey is, the more time I have to write, which is how I enjoy spending my time.
But, I have to say, I’m quite enjoying playing with WordPress so far.
No reason for the moody sunrise picture. It’s just here because I can. Easy-Peasy.
Still not satisfied with the appearance of this thing.
I’ve known I needed a website of my own for some time. Advice from other writers is always the same: get yourself a website. So, first I made the resolution and second, followed through! There’s still a lot to learn but, hey, this is not too bad for a grandma.