Fellow Blogger Drama

(If you enjoy personal drama posts, you’ll like this one lol. I’m not going to name the person or blog, as I don’t think that is necessary or constructive, but the whole set of circumstances hurt my feelings and disappointed me and I wanted to vent.)

Ok, so I had this blogger friend. One that I thought of as a close friend and great source of mutual support. Something rare to find in the blogging community. She also blogs about many of the issues I blog about (mental illness, etc.) We encouraged each other consistently and even supported each other outside of WordPress by reading and reviewing each other’s books. I really thought of her as a close blogging/online friend.

Then one day she posted about a medical procedure that I had been told by my psychiatrist was dangerous and could have some serious side effects. I mentioned what I had been advised about the procedure by my doctor in a comment on the post, although I did explain that I certainly was no expert on the subject and wasn’t entirely sure if my doctor gave me completely accurate information and that I would have to investigate the subject further.

Because of me even questioning the safety of the procedure, it seemed like she just cut off all communication with me. I waited a while thinking maybe I hadn’t worded things right and had hurt her feelings or something and wanted to give her time to cool off. However, even though I tried to keep supporting her because I wanted to salvage our friendship, she refused to respond. Eventually I decided to email her and apologize if I had misspoken, hurt her feelings, or offended her as I definitely did NOT have any intention of doing so.

She emailed me back (I do appreciate that, because had she not, I never would have gotten any closure on the whole issue), and told me that since I had “promoted stigmatizing misinformation” that she pretty much blocked me automatically across the board.

So, am I the asshole for thinking this was an overreaction and being very hurt by the blatant rejection of someone I had considered a close blogger friend? How would you feel?

Have you used a blog optimization service?

I was curious whether any of my fellow WordPress bloggers have ever used a blog optimization service?

As my blog has grown, it has gotten to the point where I am constantly being contacted by companies and people offering these kinds of services, promising they can improve your blog traffic and help you to rank higher in Google searches. I haven’t hired any of them, but I’ve wondered at times if it would be worth it.

They are rather expensive, and many seem to want a monthly recurring fee to keep your blog “optimized”, which I kind of balk at. This month for the first time, I will actually meet the $100 WordPress ads minimum threshold and get a payout, so I definitely don’t make a lot of money off this blog. Occasionally I have done paid posts and links, but very rarely because I am picky about that kind of stuff and will only host things I believe in or that are directly related to my blog themes.

If anyone has used a blog optimization service, I would love to hear about your experience, and if there are any specific services you would recommend or warn away from!

The Most Successful Blogs on WordPress

Have you ever noticed that some of the biggest blogs on WordPress focus mostly on telling other bloggers how to “make it as a blogger” and “grow your blog quickly”? I noticed this a while ago myself. It makes sense, people are most likely to read a blog that posts information they find useful and practical, and since many WP readers are also bloggers who dream of huge followings and internet stardom, it makes sense that the blogs that promise that or try to help you achieve that would be most popular.

It is human nature to want what helps us to succeed. At times I have been tempted to follow the example of these large blogs and focus on commercialization, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not interested in focusing on follower numbers, views, and marketing strategies. I understand those things and think I could easily follow the “formula” to try to make it happen, but my passion just isn’t there.

What makes me feel alive is sharing my art, my poetry, my experiences and lessons learned from this whole crazy experience called life. I like to share my pain, my joy, my sadness, my hopes, my dreams, and my heart. I like to read other blogs that focus mostly on the same types of things. It may mean I never become a superstar, and neither will my WP friends, but I enjoy our communication and heart-to-heart connection so much more than large numbers ♥

Donations, SSDI Backpay & More

First off, I wanted to share that I got another monetary donation to my blog! Thank you so much! It looks like the donation came from China, which is really cool, I didn’t even know I had regular readers in China!

Also, I finally got my SSDI payment for last month…and even more exciting, I got all my backpay!!! We plan to use the backpay to do some repairs around the house and on the car, replace some electronics and appliances that are breaking down, and hopefully build a porch onto our house! I love spending time outside, but being directly in the sun for very long makes me physically ill (vampire genes?), so having a porch with a roof will really help.

I also got a new phone with a much better camera, so I am hoping to be able to make more YouTube videos and maybe do some YouTube livestreaming. We’ll see though. I already have a lot on my plate, but I do have over 3,000 followers on YouTube and would like to communicate with them more. Here’s a cute pic from when I was playing around with the new phone last night:

66423685_2398021466903263_3548749851107786752_n

Anime Bunny Girl ACEO Drawing

I was inspired by this Instagram photo by the Instagram account lucifer.mob, to create my own abstract version of the image, so I used my art markers to do this ACEO drawing:

DSC08696

It is definitely much different than the inspiring image, but I still think I caught the spirit of it well and I like my version! As of right now, this artist trading card is still available for sale on my Ebay store if you are interested!

Birthday Party Anxiety

balloons-1786430_960_720

Today is my husband’s birthday. At his work (he teaches special education), they are holding a special party for him this afternoon and his coworkers reached out to invite me. I am going to go, but I must admit I am nervous. I’ve never actually met his coworkers since they are fairly new, so that is a little intimidating to me (having to meet them all at one time).

For some reason, I am super nervous about having to go to the office to check in as a guest…I know I am 35 years old and it is kind of ridiculous to be nervous about something so simple, but I am what I am. I am also worried about the drive, because it is about a 40 minute drive and that is way out of my comfort zone as far as driving goes.

I must admit when I first heard about the party, my first instinct was to say I couldn’t make it. Anxiety is a powerful force. But in the end, my love for my husband won out and I want to be there for him more than I want to be comfortable or free from anxiety. I guess love is an even more powerful force…

TV Blackout Poetry: American Horror Story

american-horror-story

Last night while I was watching the 4th season of American Horror Story (Freak Show), I had the idea to write a poem using a similar technique to the “blackout poetry” idea, but instead of using print, I would take a few random phrases or words from the tv show I was watching and put them together to make a poem. It was pretty fun and I do like what I came up with:

American Horror Story
By: Maranda Russell

Laundry detergent commercials
offer their brand of oddity
to the outside world.
Should you hear
sirens call,
remember,
nice don’t pay the bills!

So what do you guys think of my idea? Do you like the resulting poem? It is odd, but I like it.

Instagram – People Who Try Too Hard to Be Sexy and Cool

267088212006201

When I joined Instagram a little while back, I originally started out trying to follow back everyone who followed me. My thinking was simple, if you are kind enough to support me, I want to support you. I still follow back many of my followers, but there are a couple kinds of profiles I have stopped following – those who ONLY post photos of themselves trying to look “cool” or “sexy”.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying to take an occasional photo of yourself in a funny “aren’t I so cool” pose, or showing off your sexy side…but when EVERY SINGLE PHOTO on your account is you in shiny sunglasses trying to look macho or “hot”, closeups of your thighs and butt, or your face pinched into pouty expressions, that just shouts fakeness to me.

I want to follow people who are real. I love following artists, other creative types, people who are passionate about their hobbies, inspiring people who are honest about their personal struggles, or people who share fun pics of their family, pets, and everyday activities. Am I the only one that has an aversion to the overly narcissistic, seemingly self-obsessed multitudes on social media?