Tag Archives: advice

The Evolution of a Blogger: Survey

Note: If you have been linked to this page, that is your personal invitation to copy and paste the unanswered survey found at the foot of this article. Join the fun!

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it. Caboose Alphabet

“My son was fascinated with trains. I wanted him to be fascinated with learning how to read. In an effort to combine the two, I created train flashcards with letters of the alphabet on them.”

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? I was a little nervous, I think, but mostly I was excited. I knew this was something that I would enjoy tremendously. 

What was your greatest fear? That nobody would care. That my blog would sit undiscovered for years and do nothing but take up server space.

How did you feel after posting for the first time? Anxious to see how it would fare. I really wanted to help people – to be a resource. I was hoping people would stumble on my blog and use it to their advantage.

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Danielle Shipley. I wanted to be just like her when I “grew up” as a blogger! All of her posts were interesting, she had good interaction from followers, and she was very fun to talk to!

Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them. Yep. Mark Mathia. Problem is, I can’t find his blog anymore.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link! Aside from those mentioned above, Katharine Trauger probably encouraged me the most!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? I remember that I was conversing with a writing friend. I had discovered her because we both wrote for the same magazine at the time. Actually, I think it was her blog that made me realize that blogging was something I would enjoy. 

What was the advice? I was trying to think of a title for my blog. I knew I wanted to write about homeschooling, but I also knew that I didn’t want to have to stick to that topic exclusively. She told me to name my blog after myself. Then I could write about anything I wanted. So I chose the URL address based on my name, but the blog title reflects the idea that I used to be homeschooled and am currently homeschooling. 

Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice. Lea Ann Garfias

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while? Engage people in meaningful conversations, whether you are posting on their blog or they are posting on yours. Be real.

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? Homeschool parents. 

What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? I wanted to offer advice, ideas, and resources for homeschoolers, and have a place to share my own homeschooling successes and failures. 

Did you have a different name picked out for your blog that you ditched? Oh, wow. I can’t remember any one specifically. I think I had about 20 silly-sounding ones, and maybe 3 good ones. I know it wasn’t very many. As soon as I thought of FULL CIRCLE HOMESCHOOLING though, I knew that was the one.

Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals. Incidental Teaching. I wrote this post during my first month. Six years later, and it’s still a pretty good representation of my teaching preferences.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link. Nowadays, I’m not really reading homeschool-related posts. I guess I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I have a plan, lol. I’m trying to declutter my brain, so we’ve really simplified our homeschooling process. I’m mostly reading about writing or religion. A writing blog I really like is A Writer’s Path. I discovered this blog when I stumbled upon the Writer’s Toolbox. For the longest time, I had the toolbox saved to my favorites bar!

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section. Probably this one: Answers for Atheists: Where Did Evil Come From?

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas. Dedicated to the Game. This person was very respectful and engaging. He commented on the post mentioned above.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Yes! Torah! I never imagined I would be learning about it, much less writing about it.

Link to a good example. I Am One of Them, and So Are You.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written. Hobbies for the Blind?

Link to the most random post you liked this week. This one!! Balancing the Frump.

What blogs/tags do you follow that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here. I follow the “steampunk” tag. I love looking at the pictures, and I admire all of the creativity involved! Unfortunately, there’s not a lot going on steampunk-wise on WordPress. A better place to find it is Pinterest.

A fun WordPress tag I follow is Wreck-This-Journal.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them. Most of my other supporters don’t have blogs! But they are: Vicki, Carl, Kimmy, Mike, Sherri, and Chrystal. Thank you for bringing so much to my blog!

Empty Survey Below (with introduction)

THE EVOLUTION OF A BLOGGER

If you have been blogging for a while, you have probably noticed a change in yourself. Since the day you launched your blog, you have morphed as a person, possibly even as a writer.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it possible that the very act of blogging is, in part, responsible for the changes in your thought patterns, your attitudes toward opposing viewpoints, or the quality and style of your writing?

If so, I have put together this little questionnaire to enable you to showcase how you have evolved as a blogger, and to encourage you to link to a few of the blogs that are responsible for your personal growth.

The purpose of this survey is to give credit where credit is due.

What was the very first blog post you ever made? Include an excerpt in your response, and link to it.

Were you nervous to join the blogosphere? What was your greatest fear? How did you feel after posting for the first time?

At the outset, which blog inspired you the most in terms of activity? Do you remember wanting to have another blogger’s success someday? Maybe they had a ton of followers already, a great design, a unique idea, or a community of regular commenters. Link to them.

Who reached out to you and really made you feel accepted in the early months of your new blogging life? Who supported you and made you feel at home in this element? Link!

Do you remember any specific advice you read or received that immediately and permanently changed the way you blogged? What was the advice? Link to the wonderful person who gave the advice.

What’s your number one tip, now that you’ve been blogging for a while?

When you built your blog, who was your target audience? What kind of content were you mainly concerned with? Did you have a different blogger name picked out for yourself that you ditched? Link to one of your old posts that is a good example of your initial goals.

Who else do you read regularly that targets your original audience? Do you have a favorite post from their blog? Link.

What’s the most controversial post you’ve ever written? Link to it. If you have no idea, surf through your received comments and link to a post that received a good argument in the comment section.

Link to a blogger or two who commented on your blog and respectfully disagreed with your ideas.

Have you found yourself writing about anything that was not part of the original intention behind your blog? Link to a good example.

Link to the most random thing you’ve ever written?

Link to the most random post you liked this week.

What blogs do you read that have nothing to do with anything you’ve ever posted? Link to one or two of them here.

Last but not least, who do you consider your friends in the blogosphere? If you have no idea, look to see who has commented the most times on your posts and link to them.

Advertisements

Post from the Past: The Worst Advice

When I find myself thrown into a conversation with someone who is really struggling, my first goal is to say nothing that can harm them. The worst advice I could give them would be to encourage them to act in a way that will only make their situation worse. Oftentimes, though, this is the advice they expect to hear. It is the advice that our culture would naturally give. For instance, if your best friend is struggling in her marriage, she may expect you to “support” her by advising her to “put him in his place.” She may want you to validate the choices that she has been making because her husband deserves to be treated like a child. He is, after all, making her miserable and turning her into a sour person. When, really, the correct advice would be the opposite. Your best friend can’t expect to be able to change her husband. The only person she can change is herself. The more she tries to force her husband to change, the worse her situation will become.

God doesn’t put people into situations in which there are no right choices. There is always a right choice, even if that choice goes against our worldly reasoning. He doesn’t put wives into situations in which they cannot serve Him fully because their husbands won’t behave properly. Another person cannot come between her and God’s will for her life. Only she can do that. Instead of waiting for her husband to come ‘round, or instead of constantly nagging her husband and telling him what horrible decisions he makes or how badly he treats her, she should focus her energy on making each right choice in her life as she comes to it. What is the godly thing to do in this moment? She should do it. Five minutes later…what is the godly choice now? She should choose it. Advise her to treat her husband with the respect that his office demands, serving God and others in the meantime.

If she truly submits to the will of her husband, and can treat him respectfully in love and without sarcasm, he will probably come ‘round eventually. If not, well, people have suffered worse for the cause of Christ. This life is merely temporary anyway, and every situation will come to an end eventually. I heard a pastor quote yesterday, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s been tried, and it doesn’t work. Wives cannot force their husbands to change. They can merely do what is good and right on a consistent basis, and hope that their husbands “may without the word be won by the conversation [lifestyle] of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1

Learning to Listen

When a friend or an acquaintance is going through a trial, probably the best thing you can do for them is to just show up and listen. Try not to give too much advice, unless the Lord specifically lays something on your heart. This is sometimes difficult to gauge because most of us are in love with the sound of our own voices. 🙂 I have found that the more time I spend in prayer, the more often God will give me exactly the right words at exactly the right moment. (On the other hand, I always mess things up if I try to figure out what I’m going to say ahead of time – I think because I try to force the conversation in a certain direction, rather than actually listening).

By learning to listen, you are giving your friends the much needed opportunity to work things out on their own. Either God will answer your prayers, and their troubles will dissolve, or He is allowing them to grow by seeing them through the crisis. If that turns out to be the case, they may need to talk things through and discover just what they are learning or how they are changing as a result of their current situation. We often merely need to chat for a while, asking questions, answering some of our own questions, and just basically meander through our own thoughts and feelings to reach a conclusion. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a “chat” with my sister, father, or husband in which they only said a couple of words; I did the rest of the talking, but by the time I ran out of things to say, I had pretty much figured out what I needed to do or learn. Anyway, your friends probably already know the answer, but they haven’t arrived at it consciously.

The Worst Advice

When I find myself thrown into a conversation with someone who is really struggling, my first goal is to say nothing that can harm them. The worst advice I could give them would be to encourage them to act in a way that will only make their situation worse. Oftentimes, though, this is the advice they expect to hear. It is the advice that our culture would naturally give. For instance, if your best friend is struggling in her marriage, she may expect you to “support” her by advising her to “put him in his place.” She may want you to validate the choices that she has been making because her husband deserves to be treated like a child. He is, after all, making her miserable and turning her into a sour person. When, really, the correct advice would be the opposite. Your best friend can’t expect to be able to change her husband. The only person she can change is herself. The more she tries to force her husband to change, the worse her situation will become.

God doesn’t put people into situations in which there are no right choices. There is always a right choice, even if that choice goes against our worldly reasoning. He doesn’t put wives into situations in which they cannot serve Him fully because their husbands won’t behave properly. Another person cannot come between her and God’s will for her life. Only she can do that. Instead of waiting for her husband to come ‘round, or instead of constantly nagging her husband and telling him what horrible decisions he makes or how badly he treats her, she should focus her energy on making each right choice in her life as she comes to it. What is the godly thing to do in this moment? She should do it. Five minutes later…what is the godly choice now? She should choose it. Advise her to treat her husband with the respect that his office demands, serving God and others in the meantime.

If she truly submits to the will of her husband, and can treat him respectfully in love and without sarcasm, he will probably come ‘round eventually. If not, well, people have suffered worse for the cause of Christ. This life is merely temporary anyway, and every situation will come to an end eventually. I heard a pastor quote yesterday, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s been tried, and it doesn’t work. Wives cannot force their husbands to change. They can merely do what is good and right on a consistent basis, and hope that their husbands “may without the word be won by the conversation [lifestyle] of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1