Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

It is interesting, that the best blogs that I have found so far on the topic of Aspergers, have all been written by a mother of someone with Aspergers. For some reason, they have much a clearer perspective about what is going on with us and the challenges we face and are much more eloquent when talking about them than most of us could do ourselves. Is it because our mothers love us more than we could ever love ourselves and they see our strengths and weaknesses much more clearly, while, we only focus on our temporary setbacks and can’t see the trees for the forest?
Or is there another factor at play? There is the fact, that they are, by definition much older. In addition, they have experienced their own childhood so they have something to compare ours too. They see what seems to be serious challenges because they are different from those in, their own childhood which often enough does not include Aspergers. Do not get me wrong, there are many mothers who have blogs which are well-written and also have Aspergers; but, the ones I follow the closest such as the brilliant blog written by Alice Hendley do not. Therefore, they know what it is like to go on dates and how most of the outside world thinks and are able to compare that to their children’s experiences with Aspergers.
The answer could be the result of a countless number of other factors such as to name a few one, most of the blogs by parents are by mothers and maybe women are simply better writers. I reject, this hypotheses out of hand but there could be truth to it. To name another reason, it could be that people with Aspergers don’t want to let our disability define us as much as it truly does. Therefore, I may choose to associate myself as a comedian with Aspergers. Being a parent of a child with Aspergers is much more of a choice if you are liberal and are on the left with your politics. Parents have choices such as abortion or adoption, therefore, they have more choice over their identity than someone simply born one way or another.

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How do you make sense of how successful your blog is? Anyway you do it, the best a person can be working on is misleading information.

Page views: Some people may judge how successful they have been based on the number of people who have clicked on their pages. However, the page views never tell a person how many people have actually read the article or whether they clicked away after three sentences. Did they read the whole article? A person could argue that it is better to have fewer people view it who actually really liked it then many page views of people indifferent to the article and the blog. Statistically, however, a person always wants to see a bigger number not a smaller number, not stopping to try and figure out the story behind what they are seeing. Also page views can go up or down based off of what tags a person uses, someone who is into fashion may come across an article I wrote expecting a more indepth look into fashion while I used fashion in a more widespread way but felt the need to include that tag. A person into fashion would most likely click away. While missing a few tags makes it harder for people who would actually be interested in the article miss it.

Most viewed articles: See what I had to say about tagging articles in the previous paragraph and how this to is misleading instead of a way of judging what kind of articles you should be writing about.

Likes: A person can click like on an article that they enjoyed. However, this statistic like all statistics is misleading. What do they like about it? Do they like the image that you included? do they like the small segment of the article that they read or did they read the whole thing?  Are they supportive friends or are they strangers who have no personal connection? A supportive friend is great but they are often more predisposed to being generous. However, it is equally important to trying to keep them happy. A stranger clicking “like” to an article makes one feel better that someone you don’t know is reading your article and enjoying it. A cynical person would suggest, however, that viewing many pages other people wrote and clicking “like” is a good way to get people to come back to your own page.

Number of people following: This statistic is also a heartwarming statistic that does not tell the full story. What about all the people who read a couple of your article but don’t click follow because they don’t want to be bombarded by email? Is it better to have a small number of loyal followers and have a really honest personal blog that many people may not relate to? or is it better to aim for a mainstream audience where the followers may not be as die-hard? In addition, just because you are following another person’s blog does not mean you read the whole thing, or that you even check it regularly.

Personal feelings: A person may feel that the article they just wrote is the best or that they are writing a really good, important blog. That they are really successful and that the people reading them will really enjoy their work. That they know what is important. However, personal feelings is the most subjective biased way of deciding anything and therefore, quite possibly the least accurate way.

Messages: Who doesn’t like some back and forth communication on one of their blogs. However, not every person who reads a blog will have anything to say about it or even if they do they may be exhausted from a long day of work therefore, may simply click “like” and who is to good to turn these people away. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t take anything away or that they didn’t gain some new insight that just means that they didn’t have anything they had anything to say or that they wanted to say at that moment in time.

A mix of all the measures: Some people may argue that you can only get a complete picture by taking into account all the other statistics and indicators in order to truly tell how successful you are, however, if the statistics are all lies or  misleading at best how do you honestly think that by looking at them you will get a clearer picture? That is like trying to figure out a really tough puzzle by looking at senseless riddles.

Financial success: If anyone achieves financial success, gets tickets to shows or gets any real recognition for their work on a blog in the outside world that would be rare and second, yes that would be a real indicator of a successful blog. However, just because your blog never nets you that perfect job does not mean that it is not good or worth reading and writing.

It simply means that success is fleeting and hard to nail down. Write your blog if you enjoy it don’t worry about succeess, and the second you stop enjoying it simply stop writing it.

  So I was talking to another writer the other day and she was telling me that I have to have a regular schedule for posts, whether that’s daily, weekly etc. The hardest part about any performance piece or any time of writing is being consistent. Especially on demand. There are few things tougher than writing your best work when you have a deadline looming like a giant wave ready to drown you. First it seems far off, so you feel that you can put it off, there is nothing to worry about. You’ll have plenty of time to think of great ideas. But it keeps getting closer and closer and you still have not thought of that award winner. That idea that will knock everyone’s socks off. Until you feel ready to drown, meanwhile, you are trying to save yourself by scribbling down an idea as fast as you can. You know its not your best work but anything to buy you a little breathing room so that you are not swallowed up. Just as that wave is about to hit you, you hit publish. You have saved yourself for another day. It may have not been your best work but you hope maybe you can fool a few folks into liking it. You sigh a sigh of relief and then you clear your eyes and gaze out and there is another baby wave far off in the distance.

     Don’t get me wrong writing blogs is easy. Anyone can do it. Just like anything is easy, the hard part is doing something well. But the only way to really get good at something is by doing it often enough. To write often you need to learn how to come up with ideas and once you have wrote a few blogs you feel lost about what you are going to write about next. While the whole time the wave is getting larger. After a while, you begin to reject the first few ideas that come into your head because its not simply good enough to just write about anything. No, the quality of the idea is just as important as the quantity and after every blog it becomes harder to think of another quality idea because you begin to have covered more and more territory. The convenient and save places to stand where you will be save from the waves  are no longer visible,  and frankly when you look around its difficult to see where the next one is going to come from.  You begin to get scared, it’s not simply enough to be protected from the waves but you have to make progress towards the far shore. Make more allies in this fight and get them to stick with you  after all what’s the point of making it to the other side if you are all alone? How can you compete against your earlier success when things were easier and there was less at stake. At the time you didn’t know how easy it was or even if you were making the right dicisons, but now things seem so much harder. How are you going to predict what will work again? While you keep wishing victories would  simply come to you like some kind of conjurer’s trick.  Something that goes poof out of thin air that you just need to simply  reach out and grab and not waste blood and tears on. 

  The pressure from on the oncoming waves, the exhaustion and fear coming from fighting the fight is enough for a person to want to quit and get out of the ocean. Let someone else deal with the waves.  Just as you are beginning to stand up and walk to the shore, you think “what the heck” I’ll give it one more try. At this moment you realize that you are addicted, no matter how difficult staying one step ahead is you figure what the heck is there anything else I would rather be doing? And you realize-no- I guess not. There is nothing like having people admire you for being a great writer (no matter how false this rings to your ears) and no one so far has called me out on my terrible entries and failures that have fallen short so there is nothing to do but keep going.

Earlier in the beginning of this blog I said there are few things harder than writing well, consistently. One of those things is attracting an audience and another is talking to women. It would be easier for me to write a million award winning blogs, than it would be to ask a girl out for coffee and get a yes.

PS. Canada’s women’s soccer team was robbed by the referees who wanted to keep the status quo and keep the underdog down tisk tisk.

Shout out to Tyler Penner.