good morning, cyberspace!
Today marks a very important moment in Smudged Thoughts History, my friends. On this very day, by the time I hit that massive PUBLISH button glaring at me angrily, Smudged Thoughts will have officially hit 100 posts.
And I am screaming.
I can’t even believe this blog has stuck around this long, to be honest. For those of you who know me, you’re already well aware of the fact that I am a flighty little octopus. I like to do ALL OF THE THINGS! which means that I basically end up doing NONE OF THE THINGS! as I will have dropped whatever it was that I was squealing mercilessly about three days ago by the time I actually decide to follow through with it. So the fact that Smudged Thoughts didn’t just miraculously drop off the face of the planet three months into publication is a massive electrical shock to my instability.
This blog shouldn’t even be here, guys. It should have been swallowed up by the giant maw of Cyberspace and lost to the swirling vortex of projects gone wrong a loooong time ago.
And yet. . .here we are. I’m still blogging. I’m still posting. I’m currently working on updating my webpage so that it feels a tad bit more cartoony and adorable and Kenzie-esque. So — horror of all horrors — it looks as though I’m sticking around for a while.
Which is good. Because I don’t think bombing out right after hitting the 100 post milestone would help out my unstable track record very much.
But anyway. Seeing as though this is my 100th blog post, I have humbly decided that obviously I am a master at this whole blogging thing, and therefore have ALL OF THE ANSWERS when it comes to the art and craft that is owning a blog.
(obviously. it’s not like i’m still a newb at this at all. *nervous eye-twitching*)
100 posts* teaches you things, my friends. Sometimes it’s good things. Sometimes it’s not-so good things. Sometimes it’s spam comments. And since I am nothing if not a lovely, calm, completely helpful bean, I think it’s time that I impart all of my blogging wisdom upon your smol soul.
(because i am obviously a professional when it comes to blogging and am definitely not a smol little newb in any way, shape, or form lol)
*let us completely ignore the glaring fact that I’ve only written 99 posts hahahahahahaha everything is under control here
12 Things I Learned In 100 Blog Posts!
i was initially going to do 100 things i’ve learned in 100 blog posts but lol NO
NUMBER ONE. . .Mystical Gnomes Do Not Come To Write Your Weekly Blog Posts Whilst You Sleep
This is pretty much the single most annoying thing about blogging. Obviously, I did not sign up for this whole “creative endeavor” thing-a-ma-jig when creating a blog. I mean, EW. Why would I want to constantly have to come up with creative posts every week? That’s disgusting.
So all that I ask is that the mystical gnomes come once a week and write a funny, creative, ingenious blog post that I can easily upload and reap the benefits and recognition from. I DON’T THINK IT’S THAT MUCH TO ASK FOR, OKAY?
But also if they could create the post graphics and add the GIF’s and answer the comments that would be severely helpful, too, thanks.
NUMBER TWO. . .Pictures Aren’t Necessary, But They Sure Are Pretty
I love it when bloggers put pictures on their blogs, okay? It gives me all of the happiness. Having a slew of colorful, snappy pictures sprouting up within the bland, monotone text can take your blog from ‘meh’ to ‘WHOA’ in a matter of seconds.
BUT. (and this is a big but) HAVING A TON OF PICTURES ON YOUR WRITING BLOG IS NOT COMPLETELY NECESSARY.
I know, right? This was a huge revelation to me, too. I mean, pictures and graphics are gorgeous and obviously perfection and definitely make an awesome blog stand out from
this other blogs, but they’re not necessary. You can still upload a post with just text in it, and chances are it will still get read.
And I mean, the fact that there are rarely any pictures here on Smudged Thoughts is because I am experimenting with the creative delights of using my words as imagery. It is my complete, 100% preferential choice to paint my pictures across your eyelids, rather than bombard your retinas with the physical beauty of aesthetic-ness, and it has absolutely positively nothing to do with Number Three on this list in any way whatsoever.
NUMBER THREE. . .Taking Pictures Is a Pain
Okay, fine, I shall confess — I HATE TAKING PICTURES, OKAY? I am not a photographer. I am a writer. Cameras make me queasy, and trying to figure out what kind of books and notebooks and random staplers I should throw together to make a picture look even slightly aesthetic makes me so angry I could probably morph into The Incredible Hulk.
BUT I AM TRYING TO CHANGE THIS. I love colors. I love pictures. I want to make this blog pretty, even if it means I have to carve my left eyeball out of its socket with a plastic spoon.
NUMBER FOUR. . .Backlogging Posts Is Probably A Good Idea
I say “probably” because I have literally never done this and “probably” never will, lol.
NUMBER FIVE. . .The Number Of Followers You Have Does NOT Equate To The Number of Comments You Will Receive
In all my days of blogging, this is by far the strangest and — dare I say it — creepiest thing I have yet to witness.
I have 173 followers here on Smudged Thoughts. This is a good — albeit slightly terrifying — number, and I would be lying if I said I wished there were more. I am perfectly content with my happy little 173 stalkers, because A) it is an odd number, and odd numbers please me greatly, and B) i think i would physically die if there were ever 200 of you because #pressure
However, that being said, I think 160 of you accidentally got yourselves caught up in the swirling vortex of infinite insanity and have yet to return. Out of 173 followers, I usually get about six-to-eight-ish commenter
-er-er-ers per post, give or take a few depending on the subject and who’s on hiatus and all that jazz.
And before you go slamming down your pitchforks and saying, “KENZIE! How dare you be such an ungrateful little octopus! You have a glorious amount of feedback on your posts!” let me just clarify myself here:
I am NOT wishing I had more feedback on my posts. I absolutely love each and every one of the comments that I receive each week, and I am perfectly content with the number of comments I get! I can actually reply to each and every one of you
(after about three weeks because i am a blogging failure but psshh technicalities), and we can actually hold tangible conversations and have inside jokes and become besties and I am just so completely grateful for each and every one of you, okay? Y’all are the best.
BUT WHERE ON EARTH HAVE ALL THE OTHERS GONE??? My stats say that my posts are still getting viewed. I’m getting a very randomized amount of likes each week. And yet. . .???? Who even are these people? What are they doing? Are they just creepily reading my posts and then leaving without even saying hi? Is Smudged Thoughts being invaded by robots?
AM I BEING STALKED BY CRAZY AXE-MURDERERS BECAUSE if you are a crazy axe-murderer you should totally leave a comment below and tell me the best kind of pitchfork polish because Rupert needs a spruce, thanks.
NUMBER SIX. . .Spam Comments Are Equal Parts Hilarious and Horrifying
Something I’ve learned in 100 posts is to NEVER — never ever ever ever — check your spam comments folder unless you truly want to question your will to live.
I’m not sure if this is the typical norm for blogs, but I’ve gotten quite a few wackadoodle spam comments in the nearly two years that I’ve been blogging. A couple that I can remember right off the bat are. . .
- a bizarre, short story-esque string of comments about a creepy little boy asking his family about whether God truly exists (???????)
- someone telling me I didn’t use enough pictures on my blog (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA but no really. this actually happened. i almost thought that maybe this comment WASN’T spam, but then i just got freaked out by the fact that it was in my spam folder, so i deleted it and wiped my photoless conscious clean [sorry if your comment wasn’t spam, random person. i definitely agree with you on the photos])
- advertisements. just. . .advertisements
- someone commenting “What ?” on EVERY. SINGLE. COMMENT. on not just one post, but multiple posts (and if you need some tangible proof of this, allow me to just —
my reaction to this rather bizarre string of spam was, of course “What ?”
Aand whaatt iis uup wiithh aalll thhese spammiingg robboots sendding meessaggess thaat lookk aas thhouggh thhey’vve beenn tyypped ouut ussing a keyyboard wiith peaanuut buutterr smashhedd bettween thhe keeyss?
NUMBER SEVEN. . .Blogging Helps You Make Friends
All right, peeps, sit on down, grab some popcorn, and get ready, because Kenzie’s about to tell you a story.
Are you ready? Great.
Once Upon A Time, there was a smol, young girl named Kenzie. Now, just like any normal, sane individual, Kenzie had friends. She had her forever best friends (her little family, duh), and her normal, I-am-an-alien-and-therefore-should-probably-interact-with-humans-outside-of-my-family-circle-because-then-I-will-look-less-suspicious friends. But neither her best friends nor her unsuspecting human friends were writers. Sure, a few of the human friends wrote, but they weren’t “writers”.* And while smol Kenzie knew that not everyone could be hopelessly obsessed with the art of spinning tales and scribbling words, deep down in her psychotic soul, she secretly wished for a writerly friend. Just one. One person to do word wars with and to help squeal over fictional characters and to spit upon the word “moist” because it is the most disgusting word in the English dictionary.
But after many years of being the only writer in her tiny, inconsequential corner of the world, Kenzie finally realized that perhaps she was the last writer known to man. Perhaps she was the chosen one, gifted with the love of prose so that she might bring the written word back from beyond the grave.
But then. . .one fine, August day. . .something changed.
The Kenzie made a blog.
And HOLY GUACAMOLE WAS HER LIFE FLIPPED UPSIDE DOWN.
Seemingly overnight, Kenzie discovered that there were actual, physical writer beans floating out within the Great and Terrible Cyberspace that — le GASP — were just like her.
(but not EXACTLY like her because that would be lame and very unoriginal ahem) There were writers out there who loved God and fairytales and fantasy and science-fiction. Writers who didn’t spend five minutes talking about books at the local book/writers club and then fill the next hour talking about drugs and other unmentionable topics. (*is emotionally scarred*) Writers who wanted to write good and clean and twisted stories without all the added junk that is considered normal nowadays. Writers who were just as obsessed with NaNoWriMo and notebooks and staplers and were as completely mental as she was.
Because Kenzie had accidentally tumbled down the Great Cliff Of Insanity into the blogosphere, she was able to
face-plant step into a world she never even knew existed — a world of writers and bloggers and storytellers and artists and — above all else — one of the coolest rings of writerly friends she has ever met. (and also probably the craziest but lol that is beside the point[#y’allarefreaks])
*THERE IS A DIFFERENCE HERE AND YOU KNOW IT**
**the difference being seeing writing as a fun pastime VS. being so beyond obsessed with it that your head has literally turned into a micro USB drive
NUMBER EIGHT. . .You Should Probably Read Other People’s Blogs, Too, Maybe?
Okay, now, I will be the first person to admit that I am absolutely horrendous at keeping up with other people’s blogs. You know it. I know it. The blog patrol dragon knows it. I am a limp noodle when it comes to keeping up with all the blogs I’m following. And that is literally the dumbest thing in the entire world, because I absolutely adore reading blogs, but there you have it. me = limp noodle
However. Amid all my crazy book-writing shenanigans and trying to read ALL OF THE THINGS whilst also actually trying to have a life that does not consist of me sitting in front of a computer all day, I try really really hard to keep up with all of the blogs I follow.
And also you should, too, maybe.
And here are three reasons why. . .
A) it’s fun????
B) you’re able to support your friends in their writerly endeavors by reading and commenting on their blogs and squealing with them over their adorably smol characters (a.k.a YOU MAKE FRIENDS I MEAN WHO DOESN’T WANT THIS [*every introvert of ever shudders dramatically*])
C) you know how much time and effort you put into your blog posts? yeah. other bloggers put in the exact same amount for theirs, too. (if not more, because they actually have pictures. aha.) They’re just as in love with their blog as you are yours. They want engagement on their posts. They want to get notified when people smash that like button. THEY NOTICE WHEN YOU NOTICE THEIR BLOG, just like when you notice someone else noticing your blog.
*brain deteriorates after writing that sentence*
NUMBER NINE. . .Having A Blog Helps You Write More
You know what else I’ve learned from having a blog, my friends? Accountability.
Ah, yes. Having a blog — a writing blog in particular, mind you — keeps you accountable when it comes to all of your writing endeavors. No longer are you held to your goals by just your spoken word, but by your written word, as well.
You announce to the blogosphere that you’re writing a book in the month of April? PEEPS ARE GONNA ASK HOW THAT’S GOING
AND HATE YOU IF YOU DON’T ACTUALLY DO IT
You announce a short story you’re planning on writing in August? PEEPS ARE GONNA WONDER WHERE THAT’S AT
AND HATE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER WHEN THERE’S STILL NO SIGN OF THE SHORT STORY. aha. . .
But seriously, though. Ever since I’ve started this blog, I have written so much more than I have ever written in my entire life. It’s crazy. It’s like I’ve finally learned how to stay committed to a writing project or something.
Or, of course, it could be the fact that a blog is basically like having a fiery gauntlet of death hanging above your head, threatening to strike you down if you don’t accomplish your goals, but whatever. Let’s just go with the whole learning commitment thing.
NUMBER TEN. . .Blogging Takes Time — Meaning It Cuts Into Your Book-Writing Time
Question: Do you know how many words I’ve logged on Smudged Thoughts over the past 99 posts?
Answer: 164,160 words.
ONE HUNDRED, SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY WORDS.
That is literally the equivalent of two normal sized books, OR half of one Kenzie-sized book. I COULD HAVE WRITTEN A SEQUEL TO EVERLOST BY NOW, GUYS.
But you know what? I’m actually not that mad about this. I’ve written 164,160 words, and even though those words weren’t logged towards an actual book, those are still words that I’ve written. Those are words that have helped me grow as a writer. Those are words that have helped me improve my craft. And yes, the fact that I could have written a second book by now is obviously a dreadful, awful shame, but blogging is just too fun to stop, so. . .???
NUMBER ELEVEN. . .Your Posts Don’t Have To Be (INSERT SPECIFIC THING) To Be GOOD.
Something I have fallen victim to within the past few months is the lie that each of my posts have to be at least 3,000 words, or else I am a complete and utter disgrace to the blogging community and should hereby be banned from the whole of Cyberspace.
And this, my friends, is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.
There is literally no set limit to how many words your blog post has to be. A 500 word post can be — and is — just as awesome as a 3,000 word post. A 100 word post is just as awesome as a 3,000 word post! There is absolutely nothing in the Blogging Rule Book 101 that says your posts have to reach a set word limit or cover a certain theme or be written a certain way to be GOOD. If there is one thing I have learned about blogging over the past
99 100 posts, it is that there is no right way to blog. None. Absolutely positively 0 right ways.
In fact — since I’m being so brutally honest and transparent here — I’d even go so far as to say that all of us bloggers are basically just making everything up as we go along. (or at least i am, and i am obviously every single blogger on the planet.)
I don’t know what tags to slap onto each of my posts. I don’t even know what a tag does. I have literally no clue which category to file a list about random life-y things with just a smidgen of a writerly update into. Does it go into Reasons and Things, or Writer’s Life?
OH I KNOW. HOW ABOUT BOTH.
I don’t know what a color scheme or aesthetic even is, so I just toss some stuff together and hope it turns out okay. I’ve written 100 blog posts, and I’m still about as clueless as I was nearly two years ago.
And you know what? (big spoiler, here. . .) I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M EVEN SAYING HALF THE TIME. That’s right, folks. When I sit down to write a post, I just smash my fingers into the keys and see what comes out.
And guess what? THIS IS ALL OKAY. It’s perfectly okay to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s perfectly okay for your posts to consist of nothing but a bunch of watermelon pictures. IT’S PERFECTLY OKAY IF YOUR BLOG DOESN’T FIT INSIDE A PRE-MADE BOX.
Your blog is your blog, and no one else can tell you what to write or how to write it. So just be yourself, okay? Let your blog showcase who you are. Not who the rest of the world thinks you should be.
and finally. . .
NUMBER TWELVE. . .Hiatuses are OKAY
The twelfth — and final — thing I have learned about blogging in 100 posts is this — hiatuses are OKAY.
And yes, it is obviously normal to feel a little bit guilty about abandoning your smol blog for a month or two months or an entire millennia at a time, but it is perfectly okay and perfectly normal to take a break. Everyone needs them, and sometimes writing a blog post each week cuts just a little too much into the time you’d rather spend on other crafts or hobbies or maybe on your own actual book-writing endeavors. Like during the summer. When you want to be outside and play games with your family and read books and paint with watercolors and ride your tricycle.
And also I’m basically just saying this because I’m going on Hiatus for the entire month of June and abandoning you all for 30 days ahahahahahahahahahaha #sorrynotsorry
But never you fear, dear beans, for I shall definitely still be haunting the blogosphere while I’m away. I’ve got a ton of blogs I need to catch up on and about a million comments to respond to. But as of right now, this 100th post shall be my final post until July 3rd.
I guess you could say I’m leaving on a high note.
But also this is perfect, because now I’ll be back just in time for the start of Camp NaNoWriMo!!! And even though I told myself that I was not going to participate in the July session of Camp. . .I’m totally participating in the July session of Camp.
^^^ my brain when i say i’m not doing The NaNo ^^^
Just you try and stop me peasants.
TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!
All right, folks, that’s all I’ve got for today! I can’t believe that Smudged Thoughts already has 100 posts. It’s kind of surreal, to be honest. . . Next thing you know, this blog’s gonna start growing a grey beard or something.
But anyway, enough about me! Now it’s your turn to talk! What kinds of things have YOU learned about blogging during your time on the blogosphere? Do you enjoy taking pictures for your blog, or are you a more wait-until-the-morning-the-post-is-supposed-to-go-up kind of blogger? (like myself. aha.) Do you enjoy looking at spam comments, or do they freak you out and make you want to hide inside your turtle shell for about 3,000 days?
do you enjoy SPAM? Have you written over 160,000 words on your blog yet? And, of course, most importantly. . .ARE YOU GOING TO MISS ME ON HIATUS??? (you better miss me, peasants… [ mostly because I’m going to miss you guys. #iactuallyhaveasoulwowlookatthis])
Let us talk about ALL OF THE THINGS! down in the comments below! And make sure to leave a comment if you are a crazy axe-headed murderer! Let’s do a tally of how many weirdos actually read this blog!
As always, until next time. . .
*flings 100 cookies in the air and disappears*