Thursday Doors (and 3 Blogging Tips)

Hello Readers, 

For Thursday Doors this week, linked to Norm 2.0, I have an extra-wide garage door. 

This large, tattered door – with dark chocolate-brown paint – caught my eye because of the banana tree.  It is not the typical tree we see here in Richmond, VA. 

I then noticed the garage also had a whale weathervane, which is also not that typical being so far inland.

The weathervane brought a smile – such a nice touch of the sea. 

 

I then grabbed a photo of the chipped paint to join in with Narami’s texture (week 38 here)

side note – if you want to help anyone in Puerto Rico – go here:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/can-help-hurricane-victims-puerto-rico/

 

I began to think about the person who owned this garage and how pieces of their essence were highlighted here. 

Even though the door needs a serious paint job, the door itself seems to be in good condition – also the banana tree seems cared for – and if you look at the small border arranged below the tree, we feel some more personality with the rocks and corner posts. The choice of the whale weathervane brings that touch of the sea – and the two “no parking” signs (one old and one newer one) give us some info about an ongoing matter for this person’s garage location. 

 

This few minutes of thinking about this door (and the essence of its owner) reminded me that I have been wanting to share some lessons I learned about blogging – because the first lesson I learned is that our blogs really need to reflect our essence.

This might sound obvious, but the blogging journey changes as our life changes – and I had to learn that it was okay for my blog (pace and style) to change and grow with me. 

As the years have gone by here, my blog has evolved and my interests have changed a bit. Some things have stayed the same, but a few times I had to do some thinking about “should I start a new blog for that interest” or “should I just keep this blog and allow it to evolve.”

I tried the former and have now settled on the latter.

I think that the most successful way to blog is to do what works for you. 

Does that sound obvious? Too simple? Not detailed enough?

Let me explain.  

Chopped example:

Many years ago we used to watch the show called Chopped (here). It is a TV show where four chefs competed making food and the winner usually received 10,000 dollars (sometimes more). The editors of the show give a little background about the chefs and some of the chefs have really fun backgrounds. Anyhow, on one episode, there was a chew who was noted as being “gluten-free” – and when she made her meals – one of the judges said she was shocked that she had used white flour and they were hoping she would have brought more of her gluten-free ideas out. (Something like that.)

The chef lady mumbled some words and said she was cooking what she thought they would like. 

That little snippet had me thinking about our approach. I think the editors of that show wanted to give viewers some gluten-free exposure (it was an emerging topic back then – and actually still is….) and it almost seemed like this chef lost her way as she failed to put her essence into the meals she prepared. Now okay, on one side of that – this is what an excellent chef can do – make a meal for the person that has nothing to do with their subjective preferences – but in the case of the show – this chef’s “gluten-free” was mentioned in the opening and was part of her identity. And then when the judges were disappointed – well it showed that possibly this chef “sold out” or forgot to put her essence into her meals. 

Similarly, I think people can forget to keep their blog filled with their essence. 

And so let’s forget about stats and not learn more SEO (well, unless you have ads – then you can keep more track of that stuff… ha!)

Bloggers – let’s do what we do because we are the only one that can do it….

Okay – so now my top three blogging tips:

First, I think blogging modes should be assessed regularly.

Blog modes should be EXPECTED to change and so just like other areas of life – we need to check in, stand back, and assess. We need to ask – How is it working for me right now? and What might need tweaking….? Because if blogging does not align with current needs and updated life goals, then we could end up sucked into a vortex of momentum that robs us from properly aligning activities. I am sure many of you know what I mean.  The social side of blogging is vibrant. There are pros and cons to this vibrancy and for me, blog breaks (fasts) have helped me reassess and stay more in tune.

Second, focus on originality and doing what only you can do – but also remember that we get ideas from each other. Creativity needs fuel and sometimes that fuel comes from reading blog posts and soaking up ideas. Other times we need to tune out the noise and find a quieted voice – or we might need to water a cotyledon of a new phase. We need to learn from others and find inspiration – while remembering to also work at finding a unique (and healthy) groove.

Third, need to stay genuine and draw boundaries. Let’s celebrate exactly what we have so that we can enjoy our blogging days more. Let’s not compare comment sections –  likes – or follows.

Let’s write (or post) what we want and at a posting pace that meets our needs.

The originality expressed in a side street garage door

reminded me that our blogs need to stay original too –

so they express our unique hue!

 

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Have a nice day and let me know if you have any tips on blogging….

also – have to share a comic – it is not related to the doors – but hey – it’s my blog…. and I will post a cat comic if I want to… lol 

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59 thoughts on “Thursday Doors (and 3 Blogging Tips)

  1. I really like texture of the door picture. It is an abstract form. It has good proportion of symmetry (the two pieces of wood on the left and right). To not giving out too strong symmetry, the bottom part which is completely different kind of texture completely breaks that will.

    About blogging, I am not sure where I stand on this but for me I still trying to keep the original goal I set out the first time (in the “About” page). I do like your suggestion not to worry much about likes or comments.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much YC – and after your comment I was able to see more. I think I was caught up in the peeling brown paint – resisting the urge to use a scraper and get a repaint going – kidding – and while I did notice the lighter piece of wood inserted- I see exactly what you mean with the symmetry
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks you for that! because that was what we were thinking – the classic rooster is usually what we see. Although I have seen some doggie ones recently too – but not sure I have ever seen the whale….

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      1. maybe a sailor – or a whale enthusiast – like my friend Casey, from 1991 – I worked with her a brief time and Andy, she had more than 100 whale items – she was so fun

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  2. Great find on that door.
    I have been thinking a lot about our Tuesdays of Texture friend in Puerto Rico. I sure hope she and her family are okay.
    As for the blogging tips I’d add: Do what you enjoy doing. If it’s something that you enjoy and look forward to then that energy will shine through and even if it’s not your go-to skill, you’ll eventually get good at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. not sure why this comment went to spam – but I found it – and I hope Narami is okay too – ugh.
      and your tip is actually layered with a few nice nuggets –

      “If it’s something that you enjoy and look forward to then that energy will shine through”

      exactly – and so if it feels obligatory it might be time to reassess – eh?

      “even if it’s not your go-to skill, you’ll eventually get good at it”
      and yes – things take time – skills are honed – and so many times people limit what they can learn cos they have not learned it yet (well – you said it better – ha!0

      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the door with all its stories.
    I like it when people see a photo I have done and ask can they steal my idea, mainly in photo challenges. This gives me a buzz to think that what I have created resounds with them. I often do my thing in challenges then have look at what other photographers submit and think I could have/should done that. It’s the learn from others and evolve within your own sphere. I don’t know if I am unique though.
    I love the cat >O<

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    1. you raise a good point about the unique thing – because when we soak up all this stuff as we move along – we are borrowing and sharing – right? and then making it our own – and so it can be unique in some ways but then “there is nothing new under the sun” so even novel ideas were likely here or there back in time – just different circumstances.
      (and I cut a section to save for another time- but I have some thoughts on people who have had their ideas ripped off….)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. omg – that was exactly a point someone had made.
        and side note – some justice is being done for the little guy – (well if we start to look at some sharing as copying and infringement)
        as in this case with Conan O’Brien (May 2017- here)

        “On Friday, a federal judge ruled that while jokes based on current events are only entitled to “thin” copyright protection, Conan O’Brien must nevertheless face allegations of lifting three jokes for the monologue of his TBS late-night show. As a result, O’Brien and Time Warner appear headed to something that almost never occurs in the humor business — a trial that would test whether Conan writers took material about Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Brady and the Washington Monument from a freelancer’s social media feed and blog.
        The plaintiff in the case is Robert “Alex” Kaseberg…”

        and so there is sharing – and being flattered to have been copied or imitated – and then there is….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful old weathered door – great weathervane and some very important advice. I prefer to let the blog evolve rather than try and capture what only might be a passing interest. Thanks Yvette.

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  5. What bladder ed-off paint may lead to …great textural images:)
    About your tips, I ‘m not sure Yvette. I may not go by prerequisites? I figure, to start a blog means I have/liken to say “something” – that would be part of my identity. What I like to reach, depends to a certain degree where I’ll end up – is it for business, popularity, common ground …
    and I’m not sure I have formed a real opinion about what my blogging should be …
    clear as mud?:)

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    1. oh thanks for sharing – 🙂

      and I was thinking about you a few times this last month of being back in blogland – and you know why? because you do not judge me when I write blog posts – seriously – sometimes Christian women get so judgmental and they mean well – but some folks think we need to mention God at every junction.
      But you have this smooth side.
      you have this grace that is natural – if that makes sense

      I have been meaning to mention that-

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    1. and thanks for the comment cos I think i used the wrong word – I just wrote this rather quickly – and “worry” wa snot the right word… hm (thx again)

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  6. The door is a marvelous specimen in stature and texture. Love it!

    Like you, I enjoy the times we inspire one another. I like being a person of influence for others and them for me. I like resonance and I crave the versatility others provide. New thoughts and perspectives.

    I seldom change anything on my blog. Same theme and pages since the beginning, same all-over-the-place topics. I’m persnickety and I pay for it, so I have no intention of changing it. I hope my blog isn’t one you’d like to see updated or changed. I tend to stay away from raw, fresh topics. In fact, I’ll rant in concordance but not about, or most often, just post something life-affirming instead. I figure there are plenty enough places with an opinion on current events.
    Just a neurotic keeping track of her neuroses, trying to help others do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well your blog is perfect (IMO) and actually came to mind when I was reminding folks to “do what they do” – cos you model that – it is all joey and
      the Chopped analogy was kind of trying to say that if someone came to your blog and saw all of your “wordplay” and psych nuggets woven into a recent conversation you had – well is they tried to copy that (and maybe be like you) they would lose their hue – so instead they should let the inspiration say “I like how she does such and such” and now how I can I find my bantering fun or playful side….
      like the judges wanted the chef to show them some potentially amazing gluten free dishes – but the chef caved in – etc.
      and so to reply:
      don’t change a dran thing on your blog.,
      the change part (and thanks for your thoughtful reply)
      was totally referring to “me” – because my blog was mostly photos, art and lit – and the last couple years I started other blogs for different topics – but “learned” that my blog could evolve and change – and if I want tp start writing more ff – or making health and food posts – well the “blog” venue is actually the most ideal place for such variability – so that was all personal.
      but glad you found your consistent groove and I dod sense contentment when i visit joeyfullystated

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Perfect? Wow, thank you so much!
        I agree, there’s an evolution. I think sometimes people can sorta find their niches through blogging, by blogging. That sometimes leads to new blogs. My favorite blogs are the ones where you never know what you’re going to get because the author is versatile like that. I know there’s a lot of hype about brand and sticking to your brand, but for many of us who dabble here and there, that would be farce. I prefer authenticity. Such as I find here. Little of this, little of that, some photos, some trains of thought, a diversion 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. exactly what I was getting at – the part about fining niches by doing – and I also like the versatile author blogs- and also like some of those consistent ones – where folks have a very predictable posting style – and I think I was chatting about this with Miss G too – but I am still surprised at the sheer brilliance that comes from some bloggers – the melting pot contributors are a gift.
        and funny how I thought you were a professional screen writer for the first few months I followed your blog – (and maybe that is still in store later)

        ((and thanks for the description of “my” blog output – feels spot on ))

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  7. The banana plant does look cared for and makes one feel that the garage owners must be nice people 😀 I have never seen a whale weathervane – not that I recollect seeing one other than in pictures! As usual I am amazed and entertained by the way you took us from point A to point 10 sort of like Pied Piper and I went willingly happily with a broad smile on my face. 😀
    I will soon be completely 2 years of blogging and honestly blogging has been a huge learning experience for me. When I ventured into blogging I had one story that I absolutely had to tell and that was it. I had no other plans or ideas. It was just as well that I named by blog Stories and more for I had this vague desire to write short stories but had never written one or even had the faintest spark of an idea. And photos, I had a bunch of them so what? Everyone had them. One went to places, one clicked pics and then forgot about them.

    But then as I began to visit other blogs, and came across the photo challenges (particularly Cee’s) and then Rochelle’s flash fiction they opened doors, showed me things that I would otherwise never had. Like you said, visiting blogs is inspiring and educative. And equally importantly meet some wonderful people on the way – cheers to you my dear friend 🙂

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    1. two years blogging huh? well how cool the name fits in like that – some foreshadowing at play for sure.
      thanks for sharing a bit of your journey ((learning experience)) and how the nice variety of challenges found you and brought a new approach to your blogging path – and it amazes me at how much you write – and still get to the various challenges – but perhaps you have a gift with writing output – hm –

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      1. I personally think it is all those years of being the listener and never the talker – there’s so much bottled up and a blog is the perfect place to just let it all out 😀

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      2. yes- that makes sense.
        and all those years of being a good listener can make someone super smart – cos they soak up so much – and so keep doing what you do.
        and for me – I have become a much better listener in the last five to 10 years.
        The secret is to ask really good questions – but it seems like you have this down

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      3. Actually I didnt really ask questions – either I have the kind of face which encourages people to talk or I have had the opportunity to be in close contact with big talkers. Psstt I am guilty of zoning off quite often 😉 😀

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      4. oh wow – that was exactly what I was going to say at the end of my last comment- the part about zoning out is a huge discussion topic – and I was going to say that I know a few people who will loquaciously go on and on and I have learned how to interject the next question to at least keep them from leaving on a tangent that has no value –
        not sure if that made sense –
        but when I was writing you back I also thought of Masten’s “20 minute rant” poem – do you recall it?

        “I have just
        wandered back
        into our conversation
        and find
        that you
        are still
        rattling on
        about something
        or other

        I think I must
        have been gone
        at least
        twenty minutes
        and you
        never missed me

        now this might say
        something
        about my acting ability
        or it might say
        something about
        your sensitivity

        one thing
        troubles me tho
        when it
        is my turn
        to rattle on
        for twenty minutes
        which I
        have been known to do
        have you
        been missing too?”

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      5. Lol! LOVE the poem Y – so true and apt! I promise that I wouldnt shouldnt zone off but then… 😀 And now I have this poem to keep me company too – wonderful! Thanks so much 🙂

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      6. well we have a few strategies for conversating – like onf of them is we have a “thumb down” time – where we have the freedom to say “Im not going to be really listening right now – can we talk about this at such and such….
        oh – and we have some relatives that actually used to use a talking prop- where someone holds the prop and they have the floor to talk – then pass it on – and we hear stories about how irritated the “Main” talker became while waiting for the prop to come there way….

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      7. Hhah I can just imagine the look on the Main talker’s face. I am never able to talk when I can clearly see that the ‘listener’ is busy preparing his own talk 😀 Perhaps that’s why I prefer to write – I can’t see anybody’s expression or I am free to imagine an excited and interested expression! But I have always loved telling stories with voice impressions acting and all the works 😉

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  8. The cat comic is hilarious 🙂
    Your choice of extra-wide garage door is cool. You’re always detailed, and in this post I was continuously surprised/impressed. I was only looking at this extra-wide door, but you so effortlessly took me to the banana tree, whale weathervane, and the chipped paint texture; then, the most intriguing two “no parkings.”
    Agree with the blogging tips. Like we say in fashion that we must become what we wear we must write what we know (who we are). There has to be a compulsion – a call from the within – to write a blog post. Post it.

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    1. Hi M – I did not mean to use this door as a catalyst for my blog thoughts – and in hindsight I am not sure my thoughts came out as I had hoped. But that is okay – part of the blogging journey – or life journey – not every time at bat will get a hit or a tick or a bunt – ha!
      and you and i have had a few convos about blogging – haven’t we???
      and I LOVE the fashion analogy – which coincidentally is another area I have had to monitor. With certain clothing choices – I have to free myself up to go for bland if I want to wear gray or navy “a lot” – I just got rid of a bag of clothes that were items that I really liked – but was not (as you would say) who I was – and nothing that cost too much – but it was freeing to let it go

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  9. The cat cartoon really made me smile. I like the whimsy of the banana plant and the whale, too.

    I did an entire post not long ago about blogging, for new bloggers (but it could apply to any blogger.) My blog has gone from mostly writing to lots of photography and then to a bit more of a combination. I used to keep checking stats, comments, etc. Now I just enjoy doing what I do and hope that people like it. I think about changing the blog theme periodically, but I’m afraid it will be a hassle, so I just keep on with what I’m doing. I enjoy it. If I didn’t, I’d quit.
    🙂

    janet

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    1. thanks for adding some thoughts.
      and Janet – I actually recall a long time ago when you posted about “commenting” tips and suggestions for folks – do you remember that? It was really good – and well – I will check out your latest post in a little bit – looking forward to it.

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  10. I have an awful lot less time than I used to have and I really miss being able to visit, comment and reply to comments as much as before. I’ve just had to accept that it’s the way it is for now and get on with it!

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    1. thanks for chiming in – and in my opinion, the good news is that maybe less time is needed now – because you have already established your base and made connections – ya know? well I am sure you miss reading and visiting – but maybe it is like mature relationships that have been developed – we can check in once a year and capture essence. Like when i saw your gravatar come up I smiled and felt that bond – ya know?
      I think I learned something with a blogger names Sadie – met her thru the Doobsters former blog – and well – Sadie eventually only came around infrequently – but when she did it was like seeing an old friend – and I realized some of that “quantity” lesson stuff –
      anyhow – thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment and Ill be over to visit soon – xxoo

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  11. Why do we blog? To rant, to inform, to entertain? This is the question all myself if I start to doubt my blogging life. The answers will guide each blogger in their unique journey. Having said that, there is also a wonderful community that is created and evolves along with the blogs at wordpress. That is also important to nurture.

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    1. Hi – I really like how you worded that

      To rant, to inform, to entertain…
      and maybe can add
      to explore, create, share, and encourage….

      and agree with you on nurturing the friendship/community

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