BLOGGING, TECHNOLOGY, and BALANCE

Seems like an odd combination of words for a title, huh? Read on and you will understand.

True confession: I am technologically challenged.

I can do basics…very basics, that is. My husband even thinks I am a computer wiz. But I am stumped frequently by what many younger bloggers probably consider basics.

As an example, I have now invested at least sixteen hours (over a few days) in trying to individualize the look of my blog and my About Me page. And it’s still not what I want, but I compromised because I simply can’t keep spending this much time on it. I understand that there is a WordPress reference to help clarify the in’s and out’s. But even that left me baffled. I imagine, if I was willing to spend another sixteen hours studying what’s available to me, maybe the light would go on.

I made an erroneous assumption when I signed up for Blogging 101 that things like CSS and widgets and SEO would be part of the learning experience. No fault of WordPress – clearly my own misunderstanding. And I’ve learned huge amounts about the process of blogging and how to reach out and develop a following and keep the action going. I’m grateful for that.

But I still don’t have a clue what CSS is. I have figured out SEO. And I sort of know what widgets are, but not how to use them other than the first level.

I’m guessing all this would be a no-brainer if I was 40-50 years younger and had been raised on and by computers.

For the past two weeks, I’ve spent so much time on the blogging course, I’ve not touched the novel I wanted to have completed this spring. I was fortunate enough to have a brave and honest friend critique what I’ve already written of Gram & Me. The good news: her comments were very detailed and helpful for the goal of making Gram & Me worthy of agent consideration. The bad news: essentially an entire rewrite is necessary. So even if I didn’t have two more weeks in the blogging course and wasn’t plagued by my technology limitations, my timetable still is set back probably several months.

Groan.

One step in front of the other. But I have made a few decisions about how to proceed. First: If I get hung up by technology limits for future Blogging 101 assignments, unless it is a critical component, I will limit the hours I will invest on a daily basis. Second: I will use the weekend break from the course to create a detailed outline of the necessary rewriting of Gram & Me.

And last – and possibly most important to quality of life – I will commit at least four hours daily to doing things with my husband and dog, and to fitting in my much neglected workouts. (Ugh, the scale is a painful reminder to just how neglectful I’ve been about those). As a retiree, I can’t say I don’t have the time. It’s all about how I choose to use the luxury of time.

Balance is critical in everyone’s life. Every time I start to let this or that project or obligation take over my daily life, eventually I get cranky. Okay, bitchy. And dissatisfied with life in general. When it’s really all under my control (in most cases). We need to commit ourselves to balance in our lives and goals. It’s not an option. It’s vital to our physical and mental health – and quite likely also to the health of those closest to us.

 

 

 

 

 

About Dawn Lajeunesse

I, like so many others, am a novelist struggling for recognition. In Her Mother's Shoes was published in June 2013 - available through Amazon, B&N and iPad, e-book (only $2.99!) as well as paperback. Autumn Colors was my first. My third novel, Star Catching, was released in November, 2016 and has been very well-received! My writings are mostly women's fiction, most also suitable for YA. My website is www.dawnlajeunesse.com. Come visit me there!
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3 Responses to BLOGGING, TECHNOLOGY, and BALANCE

  1. dsmcknight says:

    When I took the blogging 101 class, the work on my novel came to a screeching halt – the same with 201. Never realized how time intensive blogging classes could be 😊
    This is just a thought – and certainly not meant to undermine your friend or the confidence you’ve placed in your friend – BUT before you go making sweeping changes to Gram & Me, maybe consider having a totally impartial person critique your story. Family and friends aren’t always the most reliable when it comes to our writing. They mean well but are sometimes overly critical or they think everything we write is literary gold 😉 – at least that was the advice given to me by a writing instructor.
    Anyway – good luck with finding and keeping that balance.

    Like

    • Thanks for your input. I have had the first fifty pages of the novel critiqued professionally, and there was substantial agreement. Both said my writing was strong but the story didn’t have enough front loaded tension to keep most readers reading. I can use much of what I have. But I need to move stuff that doesn’t happen until Chapter twelve to earlier in the novel. But of course you can’t do that in a smooth way without blowing it apart, reordering, and putting it back together.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re doing just great. I kind of understand the widget’s function but some widgets from that list…are just…beyond my comprehension. I don’t know CSS, SEO or RSS…I only improved what I knew. And as you said, reading the WordPress instructions isn’t always enlightening…I thought I didn’t get it because English is not my first language, but apparently technology isn’t either 🙂

    Like

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