I wasn’t going to post anything today but I thought it would be the perfect time to explain what this segment is really about for those who don’t already know.
Although inspired by Iyanla Vanzant (learn more HERE) this is deeper than her quote. But before talking about what this is about, let’s talk about what this is not about.
This is not about being happy-go-lucky 24/7. That’s not what this is about. It is not about not stressing because stress is a part of life. It’s natural. This is not about not being at war because sometimes you must be. Trying to give people hugs in the time of war is just as dangerous as chopping someone’s head off at a time where all they really need is love.
Now, what is this about? What is ‘No Whining Wednesday’ really about?
This segment is all about control. Every single person has both good and evil inside themselves, and if you think that you don’t then you are just naive.
The evil inside of us however, must be contained. The evil that would rather blow up and pop off to someone, the evil that would rather curse you out, the evil that wants to repay evil for evil, the evil that takes it upon his or herself to exact vengeance, the evil that is without compassion, mercy, and love, we all know this evil and it must be controlled. This evil must be contained. Otherwise, these demons will corrupt your life.
We all have feelings and these feelings get hurt. That’s life. But we have a responsibility to stay committed to being the people we are. The good people we are because everyone has good inside them. For some it’s buried deeper than others but the light is there.
What I am saying is that we have to learn to control those negative emotions even when we feel that it is warranted. I know because I was that uncontrolled person. Cursing like a sailor, fighting and popping off. I was her. So I’m not telling you something I heard or looked up from some motivational speech because motivation is temporary. Inspiration and motivation is fleeting. It’s like the wind. It comes and then it goes and then it is back again. It is great to be inspired but inspiration does not last. Not without discipline. I can only speak for myself when I say that discipline is the most important thing. Discipline and self-control.
Sometimes you are not going to feel like being kind but if you can force yourself to think about the feelings of others before your own then you can will yourself to be kind. Sometimes people will hurt you and you won’t feel like doing nothing. Doing nothing feels weak, fragile, vulnerable, and exposed. But you will also soon realize that this is the strongest person. Sometimes you won’t feel like smiling and nobody’s asking you to do so all the time. I know I don’t. But, if we can forcefully drag ourselves to do it, we’ll be better for it.
No Whining Wednesday is not about being happy 24/7, otherwise there will be a No Whining Sunday through Saturday. What No Whining Wednesday is about is controlling yourself.
I dare you to forcefully drag yourself to do what is right today for no other reason except that it is right.
“That’s one of my principles. It’s another discipline that I encourage myself to employ – to, as much as possible, say the courteous thing, and then be it.”
– Maya Angelou
REMEMBER: I still need your help. Help me reach 100 Supporters before July 15th. I am at 82%. WE can do this! Supporting is free and easy. CLICK HERE.
Grab your copy of The House on Candlewick Lane, by Amy Reade for 99cents! I had the honor of reading and reviewing this book myself and I don’t promote anything I don’t like! *Comments disabled here. Please refer to the original post*
My latest release, The House on Candlewick Lane, is on sale for 99¢ and I’m trying to spread the word far and wide. If you’ve read the book, thank you very much. If you’ve read the book and left a review, you are awesome.
And if you haven’t read the book, this is your chance!!
Here’s a quick summary of the novel:
It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped—and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets—including some she’d rather not face.
Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up…
Note: This can apply to any new blogger but since I use WordPress, I am specifying WordPress bloggers.
New bloggers have approached me for my secret to blogging. I don’t have one. There is no secret to blogging. At least not one that I know of.
Let me start by saying that I never consider the information I give advice. What happens is that the information, (proving helpful to bloggers) is referred to as advice simply because of those who find it useful and valuable and for this I am thankful. As for me, I am just sharing what has worked or is working, my experiences and recommendations but nothing is set in stone.
That said, there’s no step A and step B to how to build up a blog. I receive decent traffic and new subscribers are coming in daily but understand that this has taken me three years to build. I started out with no likes or comments just like you. I started with little to no traffic just like you. I am no one special.
Recently, many of you have emailed me asking questions based on my blog posts. I find this humbling and I hope this post is helpful to you.
If you are wanting to be a successful blogger, writer, business person or anything in life, then you must put yourself in a position to be successful. We know that success is a definition that can mean different things to different people but in context, I assume we all want:
Increased Blog Traffic, Increased Views, Increased Subscribers
Basically, we all want someone to read our work and to care. That is where being in position comes in.
My husband loves gardening. He’s a green thumb. You may assume I am because I’m a woman and you would be wrong. In fact, I am not very “girly” in that sense. I don’t care for pink, I don’t wish to spend three hours shopping and I’m not into gardening. At least not like that. Moshe (hubby) on the other hand, loves to plant. I love it that he does too because we have fresh tomatoes and herbs that I love cooking with. Anyway, he set up a garden on our enclosed back porch. I’m telling you, the man can grow anything (he can even start from a plastic cup). Because of how our back porch is made, he sets pots out to catch the rain water. Rain water as we’ve come to understand, makes plants grow as if they are on steroids. It could be because rain water is clean. That is, water free from chemical additives, such as chlorine or salt. We’ve been getting lots of rain. Here’s our tomato plant:
It’s almost too big for the small space. This would not have happened if we had not put the buckets in position to catch the fresh water (which is when it grew like crazy).
Being in position is all about being prepared for whatever comes. Having the cup on the table when the water comes, your hands open and stretched out when the football arrives. It’s about being ready to receive what it is that you want.
If you’re not ready to receive then you will not have what it takes to hold onto what you do get or to expand into something greater. Positioning ourselves for success is a challenge because it requires discipline and time. You can be in position for a long time before you see results.
Examples of Positioning
If you are getting traffic to your blog but there’s no follow button, then people will not subscribe to your blog. You cannot receive new subscribers because you are not prepared to receive them. In this instance, it has nothing to do with your writing abilities. It is not about posting as much as you can or speaking as intelligently as you can. This is why blogging is not just writing. Writing is one thing but all of these other elements is blogging. In this instance, you are not increasing your numbers because you are not in a position to increase them. You do not have the one thing that can guarantee followers: a follow button.
When you go into your WP dashboard and add tags to your post, these are not to make it look pretty but they actually serve a purpose. Tags act as keywords that help increase traffic and engagement to your blog. By ignoring adding tags and categories to your post, you are leaving traffic on the table (or if your blog is monetized, money but since my blog is not monetized, I will leave that for someone else to discuss). Having a tagging system is another reason why blogging is not just writing. Writing is writing but to blog successfully there are other things that must be done. These “other things” are things like tags and categories.
If your tagging sucks like mine did in the beginning then you can be losing out on views but don’t go overboard. Personally, twenty and thirty tags to a post are not necessary.
A better system is to remember that tags are like keywords that readers would potentially search for. Think about fifteen that you want to use on your post, with a category acting as a tag so fourteen tags, one category. Of these 15 some of them should be tags that are overly used. Words like Blog, Blogger, WordPress, Writing, and Poetry. These tags are used a lot and can be helpful in people finding your blog.
I will tell you now, I am no SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert at all but I do not believe you have to be. I have read that Tags don’t impact the SEO (meaning its more so keywords used within the post itself), but based on my own search experience I can tell you that it does help improve SEO when you have multiple articles with relevant content linked by the same tag. For example:
Say you just wrote an amazing piece on “The Best Cheeseburgers Ever.” When someone opens Google and types “Recipes for Ground Beef”, (as I often do that’s why I am using this as an example lol) in this example recipes and ground beef are tags you may have included in your post about “The Best Cheeseburgers Ever”. Searching using these words, I just may find your article if you post a lot about recipes which leads me to your blog and, if I like what I see, I will follow your blog (if there’s a way for me to do so).
Another example is if I’m a reader who wants to scroll through your blog. If you have a search bar, you just made this easy for me. Using the search bar on your blog, I can type in words and the post containing those words will come up. I can easily access that post, read it and possibly share it with others. Just by adding a search bar, you’ve just gotten yourself in position for more views.
A real life example: I wrote a blog post two years ago on voting. Because this past Presidential Election was so different, that post got thousands of Facebook shares and counting. It took two years but the post was in position for the traffic it received (although I couldn’t foresee it). This is why I said it can take a long time to see results but being ready is always worth it.
Mostly, categories and tags allow visitors to easily browse related posts with the primary purpose of augmenting the user experience.
As you can see, content (your writing) is just part of how this works. It wasn’t just your writing alone that led me to your blog but a combination of things.
What I want you to see here is that because you were ready for me, I was capable of following your blog with no problem. You were in a position to receive me.
This same thing can be said of about pages and even the WordPress theme you choose. If your text is hard to read (too bright, too small, too fancy) people won’t want to read what you have to say. Why? Because you have not prepared them.
It is said that we have attention spans of goldfish. One vibration, text, or email alert and our internet addictions lead us elsewhere. In nothing short of seconds someone can forget all about you. For this reason, blogging is more than pushing the publishing button, you also have to be ready to receive the traffic you seek.
If you are a new blogger struggling to receive the kind of traffic you want or are having difficulty navigating the blog in general, I want to help you get into position. Ifyou would like me to take a look at your blog and offer feedback, I have set up a separate mailing list specifically for blogging.
In the meantime, I have added the links to some of my most helpful blog articles on blogging for those of you new to this blog. I have determined their value based on the feedback they have received so that I know these links are helpful to you. This goes back a couple years so excuse any information that is outdated. I have not gone through them to edit.
Don’t forget to Thunderclap! I am twenty people away (at the time of this writing) from my goal. It’s free and SUPER easy to participate- click THIS LINK and then click “support with Facebook” or “support with Twitter” or “support with Tumblr” or all three if you are feeling obliged. Thanks so much in advance!
After writing about keeping people engaged with our blogs last week, I started thinking about those people we DON’T want to engage with – spammers. In the first part of this series I’ll talk about why people might spam comment on a blog and why we shouldn’t allow them to. I’ll move on to discuss how to identify a spam comment, and then how to deal with them.
What is a spam comment on a blog?
A spam comment is a comment that isn’t relevant to the blog post it’s commenting on and is placed simply to encourage people to click through to the website the spammer is promoting. At its “best”, this is used to promote a website, usually by a third party, but at worst, it could link to a dodgy site that could contain malware or viruses.
Wondering how many revisions you should make before submitting to the professionals? Technically, as many as you want but I found this article most helpful. I love how they break it down into steps so it’s not overly complicated. I also like the idea of self-editing / revising twice then submitting the third draft to betas, and then revising once more after that. I also love the rules for Betas. Check out the post at the link below!
(BTW, it’s not a good idea to publish a 1st draft. A first draft is after you’ve finished writing the story for the first time and it has not been revised or self-edited before being submitted to an editor.)
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, Black American Literature, and Poetry. The author of eight books (most notably, The Stella Trilogy), Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two is due for release December of this year. Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.
Q & A
What do you do and Why do you do it?
Thank you, Lisa, for having me. I am an Independent Author of Black American Literature, a Poet, Book…
Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Meredith Gibrahar. She’s our first Aspiring Author! Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What would your favorite writing / reading room look like:
My perfect writing/reading room would be a clean table with just a computer and a comfortable reading chair.
What is the most annoying habit that you have?
The most annoying habit I have is to say, “I’m sorry!” I am on disability for a mental illness.
What do you hate about writing advice? What do you love?
What I hate about writing advice is that it’s not specific enough. What I love about writing advice is learning more and more each day.
I feel you. Can you give us an example of what would be specific writing advice for you?
How do you develop a character in fiction? How do you set up a scene in your book?
What do you think you’ve mastered?
I think I’ve mastered the skill of painting with pastel and watercolor paints.
Ooh. Nice. Do you have any siblings Meredith?
I have two brothers.
Cool. What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream was to be a secretary so that I could use a typewriter.
My dad had a typewriter! We broke it of course lol. In your own words, what is Humility?
Humility is to be honest about your achievements.
I love it. In your own words, what is Love?
Love is something to be shared between two people.
What is the most amazing adventure you’d like to go on?
The most amazing adventure would be to go on a safari to take photographs.
Thank you Meredith for spending this time with us!
I am a new Canadian author. Just starting out and trying to get some interest in two new books. I have experienced much in life and think that I have a rich past and a rich imagination that will create two thrilling and suspenseful books.
More about Meredith:
Meredith was born in 1958 in Ontario Canada. She wrote a play in public school and have written one scientific article and a thesis. She writes poetry and fiction and is working on a non fiction book called The Dominant. She is a single parent.