Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blogger, Word Press, Pencils, and Paper

Thanks to Syd, Marja, and LuckyMud for their comments on yesterday's blog. If you read Dr. Healy's article, you might be interested in the follow-up articles. Also, you should read LuckyMud's comments on this blog. She's very articulate and thoughtful. I wish I could figure out how to let the comments show on the main page of my blog. Under Settings, on the Comments page, I've checked "no" for the pop-up window but it doesn't seem to matter. I've searched for this in the blogger help areas but as far as I can tell, they seem to suggest that it can't be done. If I'm missing something, please let me know.

What I'd like to be able to do is to encourage "conversation," to allow for more of a "back and forth" relationship between readers. One of the reasons I started a second blog on Word Press was to try and see if that platform has any advantages. While I seem to have gotten more "hits" on Word Press more quickly, it's more difficult to figure out how to do things. Yesterday, I went out and bought a few books on blogging, but I'm just beginning to read them.

Perhaps my problem with all this is that I'm truly old-fashioned at heart. When I'm writing a book, I write on a pad of paper and use pencils. I physically enjoy the act of writing. I like hearing the sound of a pencil on paper. When I'm a bit flush, I buy more expensive pads. My very favorites can be found at Levenger. I also love their pens and ink. Actually, in the best of all world's, I would buy everything they sell. My sister-in-law introduced me to them and has bought me some wonderful items for gifts.

In terms of pencils, my every day ones that I buy at Office Depot or Staples are Sanford Eagle Number 2. But I've also bought some great specialty pencils. My most recent purchase is Translation Pencils, which are made out of Japanese newsprint and they come in a tubular package that's also made from newsprint. For a review, you can see them at one of my new favorite online sites, Pencil Revolution.

My favorite notebook is from Moleskin. It's 3" x 5" and comes three to a pack for $9.95 (in American money). I often buy them at Barnes and Noble but there's this very neat blog, Moleskinerie, which you might like.

I must admit that so far I've learned nothing from my blogging books. What I read yesterday was that blog posts are supposed to be short and to the point. If you write about a topic, you're supposed to stick with it. The example, oddly enough, was folk music (something I love). But the author wrote, "If you write about Celtic music, then stick to that. Don't go off on tangents." Also, she said that you should be judicious with graphics because it takes longer for the blog to load.

Clearly, I don't listen. Otherwise, why would I start writing about yesterday's blog, move on to a discussion about Blogger and Word Press, end with moleskin notebooks, and include three graphics? I wonder if this inability to do what I'm told is a bipolar personality trait or just me?


Anonymous said...

I think it must be a bipolar trait (just kidding). I'm bipolar and don't follow orders either. But I consider it a strength.


luckymud said...

Thanks for your compliments!

I like writing with pencil and paper, too. It's more organic. Plus, handwriting can reflect so much more than just words - you can tell, years later, if you were bubbly, angry, or transcribing racing thoughts, just from the "tone" of the pencil marks.

As for the blogging, I think it's just more natural to write a train of thoughts as opposed to a composed article on a specific topic with a beginning, middle, and end. It depends who you're writing for, too - if you're in the stages of gathering an audience, it may be good to be somewhat predictable... but that takes some of the fun out of blogging, doesn't it?

Write on!

marja said...

I don't like pencils. My favorite writing tools are Papermate flexgrip ultrafine black pens. I buy them by the box. When I'm working on something I prefer to sit in bed and do my initial work in pen. It's only when the page is amess with corrections that I move to the computer. My journal is a black hardcover item with lined paper. I need to write in pen there as well. But I like big 8x10 or larger books - none of this 3x5 stuff.

As far as blogging is concerned, everyone develops his/her own style. If your writing is interesting to read, that's what's most important. I don't have any trouble with yours.

bizwhiz said...

Just a point where you mentioned about encouraging conversation. Wonder if you would like to consider having a chatbox in your site. Your articles are a great read. Cheers!