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Posts Tagged ‘my blogging journey’


Back in 2011 when I joined WordPress’ Post a Day Challenge, they have these several topics which you can use and explore. One such was, “What’s The Title Of Your Blog And Why You Chose It?” May I just quote one of my entries back then? This was nine years ago when most of you haven’t found my blog yet.

—o000o—

Long before I started blogging regularly, I was into keeping journals,  and that was way back in college. Those were the times that I was a little too emotional and  a little insecure so  writing my thoughts was easier than reading a book. I got through college life meeting new friends some of whom had the same idea of keeping one’s self sane – writing. I have the following introductory blog here at WordPress, the very first one I wrote when I began my journey here more than two years ago.

The first time I ever laid my hands on pen and paper, I thought of becoming a writer someday. I was a dreamer – a helpless one. I guess it’s always like that, when one is young, you gaze at the world with childlike wonder, as if you could take it at a mere scoop of the hand. The world was bright, shining with a star-like quality that easily dazzles the eye. I found out later that it was like an icing on a cake, beautiful to look at but you’ll never really know what is inside unless you take a bite…

It comes when one feels quite nostalgic about things, it comes when you think that you just had to stop living in the present (or is it mere existing?) And go back instead…go back to childhood dreams? Maybe! After all, the past still holds some kind of magic, ‘though it’s nothing more now than an obscured vision.

Really, if I have to hold my pen again, I wouldn’t think of writing about love, not anymore. those lofty ideals must somehow be replaced by ongoing reality. The dreamer must somehow face the truth that not all dreams come true. And the writer? I guess, I have to try again, there is still that in-depth feeling to be recognized, anyhow, in any way. And if I have to choose my subject, I’ll write about you instead.

And I remember writing this quote in one of my dilapidated journals, the cover of which is now almost off the pages. It is a quote from Louisa May Alcott.

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.

Life starts with  a beautiful dream. Life starts in somehow believing that one day you’ll get what you wished and prayed for. Life starts with something you believe you can do and dream about.  My entries here are  mostly about my journey as a cancer patient, a cancer survivor, a mother, a wife, a friend, and about the books I read, places I want to visit and have visited, people I want to meet someday and mostly about the daily grind of simple living. Dreams and Escapes is about having enough faith to go on, the will to live no matter how difficult life may seem sometimes and grateful appreciations of all the things one holds dear. It is about the belief that I could share a little of my journey through writing and writing is an escape for me. When things get a little too hard to bear, I put them  into perspective by sharing them here.

Dreams and Escapes, why not?

—o000o—

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I am bringing back some of my earlier posts when most of us haven’t met yet in this platform. I have made three previously. The early years of blogging.

When books are just the blessing that you need.

My daughter asked me again if I want to buy a Nook or a Kindle so we could save on space and I told her I am not yet ready  to give up turning the pages and smelling  a new book in my hands. Suffice to say, the magic of words come alive in every page and the good thing is it makes for a good feel seeing one’s book collection prettily lining up the walls.I arranged them by authors.  I was surprised to see those which I thought were gone but were just behind the arranged ones.  Nissa has utilized every space, so to speak. I even found the flower press kit that we bought together a long time ago.(https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/lost-in-books-once-more/)

And here’s one for the books.

There is something so special, so endearing and so poignant about a mother and child relationship. The wonder of having those tiny hands curl up in yours and those lopsided grins even when your baby is asleep.  The many firsts that you’ll witness in your baby’s young life – the first school day, when she goes home crying because she misses you, the first time she could write her name and proudly shows you how it’s done, the first heartaches of teenage crushes. I could go on and on but those times are well-remembered with joy and fondness. Nissa and I have a different kind of sharing now and it’s all about our new baby.

It’s another lovely weekend, my day is complete when my kids are around. And I remember what Sophia Loren once said,  “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” (https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/just-another-lovely-weekend)

When I felt the effect of the chemotherapy a couple of years after I’m done.

Sometimes I wish I could stay in a nicer place where everything I see is white! It may be a blanket of white flowers or some fluffy cotton candy clouds that put a smile on my face….always. There are times when loneliness creeps in (can’t be helped) like a  steady rhythm that beats and works  its way into the innermost fiber of your being. There are times when being alone is most magnified  and you tend to see things like you’ve never seen  before. I am always grateful though that my little garden gives me a sense of peace and belonging, an uncomplaining companion that does not say, “you never have time”. Believe me, if I am well enough to stay in the sun for long, I will. Things are not the same now unlike three years ago. The effect of medications and chemotherapy has left me a little breathless at times, easy to get tired and always  lacks sleep. It zaps you of strength even if there is that adrenalin rush to do something else.  (https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/did-you-just-say-its-all-white/)

And more about blogging.

Every time I visit  a new site here (which is not often) since sometimes I visit WordPress just to post my own and check my stats for the day,  I often wonder how long this particular person has shared  his or her own journey with the world. I love reading early posts and think of how the blogger has evolved throughout the years. It’s kind of amazing how in the daily exercise  in writing , even such mundane topics like what you had for lunch or dinner, there is always something that somehow leaves a smile on your face or something  that would make you ask , “Why didn’t I blog about that?”  or Why didn’t I think of that?”  https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/how-blogging-makes-me-smile/

And watching the rain.

There is a certain kind of fascination watching raindrops though. It was just a week ago when I attempted to walk in the rain, savoring the sound it created on my small umbrella. Look where it got me, colds and sore throat.  And I had this dream of catching the rain on my cam  and see if I could create that perfect shot where I could clearly see the slant of  raindrops. Another crazy idea, I guess  but well, one could indulge a little and satisfy a curiosity long dreamed of.  (https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/the-rains-are-bubbles-from-the-sky/)

And the pain is clearly felt….sometimes!

When you are on the brink of despair and self-doubt, when you feel so much pain because of circumstances happening around you, a simple “hi” or “hello” would bring so much joy to your heart. But sometimes, even that is hard to find in this “dog eats dog world” of  ours. Some people are just indifferent.

I saw the sun’s face today, briefly, but it is enough reassurance that  the sun always shines after the rain.   (https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/ramblings-3/)

And the last for now…my 1,000th post.

Congratulations Arlene! 

You may laugh at this, congratulating myself in reaching my 1000th blog. Mind you, it was all a labor of love and a lot of hard work thinking of what to share and remembering the events in my life which are worth sharing.  Documenting one’s own frailties, insecurities, battles and happy thoughts takes a lot of  courage, more so if you are doing it publicly through a blog. One thing though that I don’t regret doing is sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I started this three years ago right after I found out I had colon cancer. Each of us has her own coping mechanism and mine was writing my thoughts and sharing it with the world. I’ve always said and I will say it again that if I could touch a single soul out there who’ll draw a little inspiration on what I went through, then that would be enough, it would make me happy.  To my surprise, a few online friends found some of my blogs helpful in their own journey, having experienced the same thing that I did.  Kindred spirits, if I must say.     (https://arlene1956.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/my-1000th-post-at-wordpress/)

 

 

 

 

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I am sure some of us regularly check our dashboards for those unwanted spam comments that appear every now and then, checking if we have missed acknowledging comments on our posts, sometimes looking at where our viewers are coming from or maybe checking our stats for the day.

I am particularly concerned about the storage space since I am using a free format for my blog. For bloggers like us who don’t want to convert our blogs to premium accounts, we are only allowed 3,072 megabytes in one single blog. I’ve used up 75% of it as of the moment. Back when I started blogging ten years ago, I didn’t know much about how photos would eat up a lot of space allowed specially when you are posting hi-resolution shots like I did before.  My free space rapidly filled up. Three or two years ago, I finally learned that I can reduce my photos to sizable ones in my library before adding them to my posts. I should have learned that long ago when I was still participating in the daily WordPress Photography Challenge in which you will interpret a word through your photographs.  That was when I joined a more difficult challenge of writing and posting everyday back in 2011.

Yesterday, I finally reached my 2,700th post for this blog alone and I think that’s a lot of writing. That’s averaging 300 to 500 words per post.  Add that to my four other somewhat inactive blogs and you’ll get the figure.  There was a time I when I felt the day was not complete when I can’t blog. There was also a few months when WordPress introduced commenting on each post writing such feedbacks like wonderful, amazing, beautiful etc. I miss those yearly reviews they did before on how your blog fared throughout the year. They even introduced words everyday that you can use to write about something related to it. Though I still visit my dashboard regularly, I no longer read WordPress events and news.

I am glad of my ever looming stats. It has greatly increased through the years. Right now, I have about 586,697 total. My followers haven’t reached 4,000 yet but I am nearing there. Most of them don’t engage anyway except for a few friends who regularly visit and make comments. Some follow through e-mails only and around 90 from Twitter. I seldom link my posts at Facebook except when the topic is about politics.

I am still enamored with blogging. It’s one activity that I enjoy doing though at times I seem to lose my muse.  It is a journey that I want to continue. Would love to explore and discover more blogs in the future.

What about you? How’s you blogging journey?

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Sometimes you just imagine, have I really written about all those subjects? Sometimes you just imagine, have I really shared all those stories about my life and my family? Sometimes you imagine, have I lasted this long in this blogging world?

Yes, I am on my tenth year today at WordPress. WordPress actually celebrates how long you have been here the moment you opened it even without an entry but a lone poem which somehow got lost through the years.  But I celebrate it when I began  writing my posts. What did I know of  customizing a site? What did I know of uploading photos here and adding four more blogs through the years? Although only Dreams and Escapes is active at the moment, still I am proud what this blog has become.  I used to upload several photos at Multiply, earned about a hundred friends who became close to me. I met some of them over the years. When it closed shop several years ago, I just maintained my WordPress blogs.

For those who are quite new here. I have five blogs all in all. A blog for my grandson Nate, a separate blog for  photography, another blog for my garden and a new one which would replace this site once my free limit is filled up. All have their links here on Dreams and Escapes. You can just check the site.

It’s my 10th year at WordPress, a decade of sharing life and all its angst and joys. I can’t believe I have garnered a total of 690,545 stats and shared a total of 3,261 posts in all my blogs.

I really don’t know how many followers I have because most  of them don’t actually interact nor click like to a post. I have loyal followers though who I also follow back.

Looking back, admiring the present and moving on to the future. I would like to thank those wonderful friends who I met here. You have enriched my life more than you know.

culled from the net

 

 

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One of our friendly neighbors gave me a jar of dried green tea leaves. Her daughter sent two barrels for her and her husband last year.

Just perfect in the cold afternoon. I put two sachets of coco sugar in this tea holder and it tasted so good.

Did you know that after blogging for nine years now, I’ve finally reached  my 2,500th post in this site? I could no longer remember the earlier posts I wrote unless I visit them again just to know how it was more than nine years ago. Maybe they are more emotional and a little more poignant and dramatic. I used to blog about my journey as a cancer patient and survivor. Back then, I had lots to share. It was how this blog started.

Six years ago, I became a proud grandma to Nate, our  bundle of joy. I started a separate blog on him and update it from time to time. At least in that site, I am able to post those high-resolution shots that Nissa usually takes on her camera. For a long time now, I wasn’t able to update my Colors blog because almost three years ago, my Canon camera broke. Occasionally though, I find time to write about my garden and the photos I used to take of those lovely  flowers and blooms.  I have used the “press this” feature in some of my garden entries, some of which were published here at Dreams and Escapes. Fearing that my free space would be utilized soon, I avoided posting so many hi-res photos to save on space which has about 26% more of my  allowed limit. I  made a new blog Dreams Never End last March 2015 in readiness for a new blogging experience. My posts there have photos in every entry. I hope you’ll find time to visit it too. The links to this blog are on this site. To think I have five blogs in all, hooray!

Maintaining a blog is sometimes hard but when one is inspired to write, your thoughts flow freely. Sharing has become such a joy and meeting other bloggers from all walks of life  is such a big, big bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s almost the end of the year and I think it is the best time to assess how this particular blog performed. I don’t much mind my other four blogs since I am not that active on those sites.

The last time I blogged about my stats, followers and blog posts was August 01, 2018, almost five months to the day.  I miss the yearly reports of WordPress on how one particular blogged performed for the year.  For the last two years, it hasn’t been there. I do hope they’ll bring it back.

Last August 1, I registered a total of about 537,574 views and this morning when I last looked,  this blog has about 558,297 views, an increase of 20,723 in more than four months. I am happy that they still visit my blog even if sometimes, I am not really inspired to write.  It also registered 206 more followers since August  with a total now of 3,566 though I must admit, there are only a few who regularly visit and make comments. That’s okay though. Around 90 of those are my followers at Twitter which are added to the numbers and around 35 friends who follow the site via e-mail. The latter don’t have WordPress accounts but they read my posts  through e-mail.

I’ve been here at  WordPress for more than nine years now and there were apps before that are no longer active.  WordPress used to comment how many blogs you have written for the day and how  good it was in their eyes. Oh yes, I used to get those words like fantastic, fabulous, beautiful, uplifting etc. They didn’t have those “likes” though and “re-blog” and “press this” were also non-existent yet.

This is my 2,477th post for this blog alone but if I were to add my  four other blogs, it  would probably be  close to 3,000.  Looking back, sometimes, I could not imagine writing all those posts. I could not even remember some of them now.  Maybe some posts are just repeats of the previous ones but with a little twist here and there.  But most are current events that happen in my life. Learned lessons and inspired moments that give life meaning.

For all of you who visit this blog and read my posts, a big THANK YOU.  Hoping for more blogging years  meeting more bloggers in the process.

 

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I used to blog about blogs and the life of a blogger, for  sometime now though, I haven’t written a single post.

Been blogging  for  about nine years now. I must admit, it is a long journey. A journey of faith, hope, inspiration, finding friendship, sharing and visiting places  I’ve never been. It is nice to see those places that you just read in books. It’s nice to see those wonderful photos shared by online friends from other parts of the world.  Who would have thought  that blogging has gone this far?

When I started here, there were no like buttons yet but comments were open. WordPress used to have that yearly review of our blogs but for some reasons it was gone two years ago. What a pity, I loved it.  Then there was a time when they would add some inspiring words once you have  written another post like awesome, great, inspiring and the like. I miss that too.

I still use the old platform when writing a post and since  I am on a free theme, I now reduce the size of the photos I upload before posting.  I  used to participate in the photo challenges of the site where they give you a word and you have to supply your own interpretations in photos. Those posts ate up lots of my free space that is why I am  quite conscious now to post photos.

I reached another milestone, I guess. Finally I crossed the line on having around 550, 000 stats on my blog. This is for Dreams and Escapes alone. My other four blogs are not regularly updated.  At the moment,   I have a total of  550,057. It is great to know that people from all walks of life still visit and read my posts and some leave comments  on them.  I thank all of you for following my blog.

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If I were to summarize all the blog posts I’ve written over the years, it amounts to 2,715 all in all. That’s  about five blog sites , of which the four are almost inactive.

Dreams and Escapes  – 2,204 posts  (this one not included)

Gardens and Empty Spaces –  108 posts

Our Precious Bundle  Of Joy  – 145 posts

Colors – 171 posts

Dreams  Never End –  87 posts.

Dreams and Escapes is my main blog of course.  It’s where I started my blog at WordPress. Back then, I didn’t even know how to customize, and personalize a site. I l;earned through the years and writing became an obsession. It comes easy once you started.  As I have said before, it picked up last 2011 when I joined the Post A Day writing challenge.  I am quite afraid to do it now although I dream of it still.

As I wanted to separate my posts which are  most about plants  and blooms in my garden, I started a newer one  called Gardens and Empty Spaces I was inspired by several blogs  I discovered here about gardens.  Our Precious Bundle Of Joy came about when Nate was born five years ago.  I was too enthusiastic before  in updating this one until Nate was a year old. Nowadays, I write posts about him at my main blog. Overall, there are about twenty or more re-posted blogs on these two sites.   (that happens when I am quite lazy to do another post on the same subject…haha 🙂 )

Colors came to fruition  when I noticed that most of my high-resolutions shots were slowly eating up my allowed free space.  This is where I post my macro shots, mostly about flowers and blooms,  some places we’ve been to, food and such.  I love the Duo-tone theme of Colors.  I seldom post there for the simple reason that I no longer have a good camera to take photos. I  mostly use my tab and cellphone when I take  a shot. Each photo has a short write-up.

As I am nearing the end of my allowed free space here, I started a new blog. It has a different title and most entries  do not exceed five hundred words but  they are always accompanied by photos.  I have more than a thousand photos at Photobucket, so many albums in one site but they are all marked  “private”.  Dreams Never End is still a work in progress just like the rest of my blogs.

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I was inspired by a friend’s post about following blogs and blog followers. You can find his post here.

We could not hide the fact that when we gain more followers, we are happy.  Either it means they truly love our blog posts and they would like to participate through comments and likes or they are those who are new in the blogging world and ask us to follow their blogs as well. Sometimes I return the gestures back when I read the content of their blogs and I like it.  There are bloggers who follow you just to promote their site with nary a like nor a comment on your posts. I wonder if they really read what you write. There are those who have deleted their accounts and would still follow you.There are those who just love to  link their sites to  yours but when you try to visit the sites, you would be surprised,  most if not all posts are ping backs. Sometimes I am in a quandary whether to approve those comments or not.

We could always control all those comments  by manually approving them, We could always choose who to follow. I don’t always follow those who follow me. I only follow more than a hundred blogs that I regularly read. Last night though, I learned that you could also remove followers that you are not comfortable with.  I started the process of visiting some blogs and  removed those I can’t even see when I clicked the links.  Never mind if I’ll have fewer followers in the process.  This is a work in progress and it may take sometime to check all those 2,800 plus followers that I have.

A few months ago, I learned how to block  some people who visited my site.  There were one or two that  I decided to block.  I must admit that  I am learning so much in this blogging world.  Sharing a bit of your life in cyber space takes courage but the happiness that you get through blogging, unleashing those lovely thoughts, putting into words those  ideas and feelings, giving vent to something you have encountered and do not necessarily agree to.

Blogging still.

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I am excited.

Who would not be?

Finally, this is another milestone in blogging. And I thought  it would take me until December to rich these numbers.  500,006.  Truly amazing.

When  I started blogging, I ‘d be lucky if I have 50 visits to my blog posts in a day.  I don’t mind how many followers I have, not all of them read my blog anyway.  No offense meant but some are just promoting their own blog. Just yesterday, there was  someone who posted her comments in five of my blog posts but there was really nothing there except her website. Not even a hi or hello.  I really got annoyed,  allowed one of her comments then I politely commented back.  If she is promoting her blog which is practically new she should have a least left a nice comment in one of those  posts. I have to put them all in my trash file then deleted them.  The last time I checked, she deleted  her comment which I approved just to answer her.  That was the first time I encountered  spam comments approved by  WordPress. Maybe it’s because she has a legit site at WordPress. The last time I checked, Akismet has protected me from 54,456 spam comments  and  I have deleted them all.

Half a million views but not that many visitors. Maybe when they visit my blog, they read earlier blog posts that I wrote over the years.   For me, having many views means that someone out there is reading what you write and it’s kind  of inspiring in the process.

Thank you so much my blogger friends for the support. Thank you WordPress for the nice numbers.

 

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