Saturday, October 31, 2009

In which I seek a Blogging Buddy (a personal ad).

Cover of "ProBlogger: Secrets for Bloggin...Cover via AmazonDarren Rowse at Problogger did his 31 Days to Build a  Better Blog program a while back.  I'm not doing so well at the 31 days part, but looking at it as 31 steps has been immensely helpful.

Day 15's task is to find a Blog Buddy -- a fellow blogger with about the same level of success as you who will share resources, trade guest posts, give feedback, link each other back and forth, and so on.  Ideally, this partnership would elevate the talent -- and readership -- of both bloggers.

So, my personal ad:
Small- to mid-size blogger seeks same for Blogging Buddy.   Review, writing, and day-in-the-life blogs preferred, (as that's what I do), as well as personals finance, green, happiness, and dog blogs (Which I enjoy reading, but don't really write about as much), but not mandatory, although I prefer your topic be something of which I have at least a vague understanding.  
Buddy should read my blog(s) regularly and allow me to do the same, and comment regularly and expect me to do the same.   Links should be exchanged, particularly when we write things relevant to each other.
I'm willing to guest post for you with sufficient notice, and I would likely be calling on you for the same.  Proper credit and links would be given, of course, and I'd expect the same in return.
Blunt feedback is welcome, although kindly-phrased feedback is even better.   I want someone who will kick me in the pants when I slack off, so while I'm willing to do the same for you, if you're not serious about this, don't bother.
In return, I'm willing to provide the types of feedback requested (although not fine-tooth-comb proofreading or copy-editing -- that's very time-intensive and I charge for that!).  Your blog will end up on my blogrolls on the sidebars fo my blogs (and I'd hope for the same).
Any takers?  Preference would be given to people I know IRL, but it's not a strong preference, and there's no rule saying I -- or you -- can't have more than one Buddy!
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

In which I need help with NaNoWriMo

working environmentImage by Swiv via Flickr
Cross-posted from Writers Write

OK, National Novel Writer's Month starts one month from today, and once again I'm going to participate.  This year, I'm actually hoping to finish, even.

But, as usual, I can't decide what to write about.  I'm hoping you can help.  I was going to describe the ideas I had, but in my experience, the more I talk about my writing projects, the less likely I am to finish them.  So, without any actual information, please help me decide:

The poll closes on October 31, so I can jump right in November 1.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

In which selfishness is selfless?

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.Image via Wikipedia
OK, this is a concept I really struggle with.  I mean, I get the first part, but I have quite a bit of trouble grasping the second:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy.
One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
(Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project)

I can't quote pinpoint why, but it seems that going out opf my way to make myself and only myself happy is the very definition of selfish.  Seems like it's better to just make other people happy, and if whatever you're doing (whether it's volunteering at a shelter or going with a friend to his/her favorite restaurant) happens to make you happy, too, awesome -- keep doing that and everyone wins

Being selfish without considering the happiness of others seems like a surefire way to make others unhappy -- you take advantage of them, or neglect them, and then they're angry and resentful and don't love you anymore. 

Whoa.  Baggage much?

Now maybe this post from Happy Days at the New York Times is on to something:

You can see this as an internal battle between two individuals residing in the same body: one who wants to be thin, sober and chaste, the other who wants to eat, drink and fornicate. It’s the long-term self who is probably reading this now; this is the self that chooses to go to the therapist and read self-help books, working to thwart the short-term self when it comes to life in the presence of temptation.

We shouldn’t underestimate the short-term self, though. It is not necessarily evil and not necessarily stupid. Sometimes the long-term self should stay out of its way.

This doesn’t mean that we should be indulging in [short-term pleasures]—perhaps there are better things to do today than go to a horror movie. But it does suggest that we should hesitate before dismissing such desires as selfish or irrelevant. Perhaps the good life doesn’t require constant warfare. Perhaps people are better off if their multiple selves establish a truce, respecting one another’s different strengths, and working together to satisfy shared goals.

So, what do you think? Assuming it's true that making yourself happy makes others happy -- and while I don't understand it, I'll work with the premise -- how do you, personally, find a way to make yourself and just yourself happy without making others unhappy in the process?

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

In which I need a duck

I think I might need a duck.

You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?

Well, I've told you about Havi before, right?  Well, she has a duck.  Selma. Selma helps run the business.  A silent partner, if you like.

Selma is, by all accounts, awesome in many ways.  One of the ways in which she is awesome is that she sort of serves as Havi's gatekeeper.

People who recgonize Selma as awesome are the type of people Havi wants to attract to her blog and her services.  People who think the duck is stupid, childish, creepy, whatever can go elsewhere.

Now, I don't need a literal duck.

But we all have people we get along with better than others, people who can help us and whom we can help.

And Selma, for Havi, is  -- as I interpret it, anyway -- a sort of Shibboleth, a way of identifying who those people are.

Now, we all know there aren't that many people even reading this, so the fact that you're even here probably means you pass.

But I'm open to suggestions for my version of a Duck.

Maybe I should write a personal ad about it...


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Saturday, October 3, 2009

In which I write a second personal ad

It's time for another personal ad.  Once again, I want to give credit to Havi at The Fluent SelfPlease note: I am not looking for a date, here!

Me: A young adult who missed the horizon-broadening experiences of study-abroad.
You: Broader horizons.

Are you an adventure that will get me off this coast?  Do you scoff at tourist traps because -- let's face it -- they don't really convey current culture?  Can you immerse me in experiences to the point where I'm never quite the same?

I'm especially looking for you if you can account for a brand-new husband.  Invite him along, or alleviate my guilt for leaving him behind, and you get an express pass to the short list.

Expense is acceptable, but I'm willing to spend more if you can be somehow monetized.  Courses and retreats are welcome to apply!

In return, I'm committed to milking the experience for all it has to offer.  No halfway about it, here.  I ask that you keep me reasonably safe, but coddlers need not apply: risk is part of life, and I need some living!

The right situation can find me by way of serendipity or word-of-mouth. Don't just knock, Opportunity: ring the bell!

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