Big Changes In My Approach to Blogging

Wow. Have I been busy. Not only in that other world where you HAVE to do “things” physically; but in my head on how I blog from now on.

I knew I was becoming addicted. I became so tired. Fell asleep many times while typing. I didn’t want to go to bed as I might miss something. I answered every comment immediately. If someone wrote me a long email I would answer in kind. If my post was LIKED I returned the favour. I was also a Stataholic.Β  Stats meant everything, as did the little orange notifier light.

I hoped that all my posts are original except for the Dancing Dog which I couldn’t resist posting.

So over a few weeks I had to do something. So I put my Rambo headband on, locked and loaded, I marched into my head and boy did I have a battle (not with you Marsha or Katie !!) but with my approach to blogging.

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Locked and Loaded
Locked and Loaded

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The battle was fierce but I came out victorious, for over the last few days my blogging has been so much freer and easier.Β 

What did I do ?

I had to reduce my emails in my Inbox as every morning as I was hit with 140+. Too much. So I went into my Reader/Blogs I Follow/Edit. Some monkey from WP Staff has made it extremely difficult to do mass changes. I was following 300+. So I had a mass-delete. Clicking the X on every blog that I had not heard from, made a comment or LIKE. I am now down to just over 90 regulars and friends. (If I have unfollowed you unjustly, please let me know).Β  I am now receiving 30+ emails, mostly unrelated comments. Wow. What a relief!!

I have given up stats. Normally by this time of day I have had over 50 hits. I have had 8 today. I don’t care. I have also given up answering long emails in kind. I write what is right for me.

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So is it a ME, ME, ME attitude? Yes. In this case YES. And I am a happy chappy !!

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Have you made blogging changes which have enhanced your life?

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120 Comments on “Big Changes In My Approach to Blogging

  1. My stats/inbox/etc are nothing like yours (never have been, sadly), so I might be sort of in the opposite position to you, still trying to garner more, more, more!

    The change I’ve made is I’ve finally capitulated to the advice to have a sort of blog schedule. I don’t enslave myself to it, but I’m finding I’m writing more consistently and have more ideas now that I have assigned specific topics to specific days of the week.

    I still want more comments, though . . . Two of the people in my top five commenters haven’t actually READ my blog in about six months. That’s kind of demoralising . . .

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    • Hi dear Jenn. You may have noticed a long space of time between me answering your PS and now. I went shopping this morning. Before I left I opened the wall unit in my bedroom and took out my scarf. It took two seconds. 3 & 1/2 hours later I was just about to answer this comment and there was a heck of a commotion coming from my bedroom. Sonic, my black cat, had dived into the unit when I took out my scarf. So I needed time to calm him down and had lunch as well. Poor boy. I normally do check any cupboard I open for cats, but not this morning. Now to answer your comment, Jenn.
      Oh, Jenn, you make me feel so sad 😦 I would love to come over and cover you with LIKES and comments. I may be one of those who has not commented on your blog for a while. I had pretty much stopped commenting for one reason. The little check-box ” Notify me of follow-up comments via email.” for I found that if I checked that box in a blog which has loads of comments coming in, my emails would rocket. I checked it for the reply, which I usually got, but then I received 50 emails of “oh. I love this”, “smiley”, “wonderful”, “smiley”…….*banging head on keyboard*. I promise, with my hand on my LIKE button, that I will come over and give you what you desire. πŸ™‚ Big Hug, Ralph xox

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      • Haha! It’s not all up to you, Ralph! But thanks. And yes, I never check that little box anymore. Which is probably why I don’t get more traffic over at my blog, because people respond to the comments I left on non-wordpress blogs and I never know about it . . . It’s a toss-up, really, isn’t it? It’s just that if you do that on a really popular blog, you get SO MUCH MAIL that is totally irrelevant to your life. You know?

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      • I know Jenn, I know it’s not just me, but I do feel for you. I have noticed recently, and I shouldn’t really say this, but I want to be open and truthful, what I have noticed is that some wiser bloggers may press LIKE pretty much immediately and return 50 comments down the line to make their point. No one will comment now. Oh dear!! But I think that in my case I try to fill my comments with a bit of meat instead of just “here’s another award” so I hope my friends comment, and check the box to read what I have to say with interest, or fun. Not much fun today 😦 but informative. Cluck. Big hug. Ralph xox

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  2. As you’ve found out, blogging first and foremost should be a pleasure for you to do, not a chore. I’m glad you made changes rather than giving up altogether. Blog on!

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    • Thank you so much Mother for your advice. I have been a naughty boy and I promise not to do it again πŸ˜‰ (fingers crossed). Love Ralph xox

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  3. WordPress can get you crazy, can’t it? ❓ I promised myself to improve my blog, so actually I’m more busy with it than I was. But I’m happy ’bout that so far. And I can’t get as crazy as you, cause life just doesn’t let me. Or better said, my little son doesn’t let me πŸ˜‰ Better!

    I’m glad you made all these changes since it was starting to be just too much for you. Hopefully now you can enjoy it better. And also life outside! πŸ™‚

    But what I’m mostly glad about is that I haven’t been deleted! Yeayyyh! πŸ˜€

    The “Talk to me!! Give me a tough time” that I’m seeing as I’m writing this comment, puts a smile on my face. It’s so Ralph!:)

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    • CRAZY!! You can say that again dear Julita. On second thoughts……don’t. You HAVE improved your blog immensely and I just loved your latest Valentine’s post. Just beautiful. I AM enjoying blogging more with the pressure gone and your blog will never be unfollowed by me. Love Ralph xox

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      • Yes Julita, I admit it. I loved your Valentine’s post. She and I are off on a date or an orange. Who knows where it may lead. She is thinking of eloping from your blog and nestling into mine πŸ˜‰ xox

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  4. I loved your new blog… lovely dogs and cats too πŸ™‚ It is same for me too, every morning at first I am busy with my e-mail box, then bloggers’ post and then comments… Time is never enough… But I love to hear, to share, to read, etc. Thank you dear Ralph, have a nice day, love, nia

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    • Hello my favourite Nia. Time is never enough especially when enjoying oneself with the laptop and the real world. I really need to visit all my favourite blogs and check if I didn’t go too mad in unfollowing anyone. I have a feeling I may have done that with you, but I will make sure that you are still followed by me. Take care and hugs. Ralph xox

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  5. I feel like writing a similar post. I got rid of a lot of blogs I never heard from the people recently and kept the ones that I communicate most with. There are so many great writers out there, but I only have so much time to read.

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    • Hi Maryanne. I totally agree with everything you say. That is the main problem with me as well…….TIME. I will surely visit sometime. Big hug. Ralph xox

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  6. I think I should do the same. My inbox every morning is even scarier than yours. It would be very difficult to decide which of my ‘friends’ to delete though. 😯

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    • I was in the same predicament as you Sylvia. Who to delete? I just bit the bullet and decided on those I would keep that commented, LIKED regularly and a few blogs that I loved because of content that interested me. The rest got the BIG X. Because I am freer I find that I am able now to comment on more blogs. I enjoy commenting as most of us do and I will try to comment more. Hugs Ralph xox

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  7. I did this recently (or sort of) I went through all the blogs I follow and deleted the folks who had not posted in the past month, just to get rid of the dead weight.

    That’s not going to fix your in box problem, of course, but you don’t need to email subscribe everyone, either. You can just “Follow” a blog and it will show up in your Reader, as opposed to your Inbox.

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    • I had done what you suggested and I was finding that I didn’t even have time to peruse my Reader. I think I have got it right now. The 96 Blogs I Follow are all set to “New Post” ON, “comment” OFF, so when any New Post comes up as an email and I can read it in my Inbox and decide whether the Post is worth a visit. If a blogger posts (hourly πŸ˜‰ ) or daily I may collect a few Posts before visiting. Have a blogiferous day. Love Ralph xox

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  8. Nope, this is one area in which I do not have OCD!! Oh look, a thing to be grateful for! When I write, mostly it’s a manner of expression of me. Sometimes I wish to have people see me, or a concept. Sometimes I wish to paint what I think and what I feel with words, images, and sound. I’m not good with comments on it, as someone’s observance and notation upon any of it, is theirs and theirs alone. I use the blogs that I choose to follow like a library or magazine rack. I probably wouldn’t tolerate an obligation to do this or that anywhere, but especially online. However real it is, it’s all fake. The chair under my rear and the cup in my hand, and the earth doing its earth thing outside is what is real. I click off notifications by email for everything. If I get a migraine from the scrolling in the reader of follows, I keep a private page of links, like bookmarks–keeping real life and my computer uncluttered.

    I can sometimes feel down. I think that I work very hard to walk alongside others and to share who they are. But, where are they that do the same for me? I think that being on the outside looking in though, comes from other things and may or may not be real. One never knows, so I just laugh at me and find something more ‘real’ to attend. You probably didn’t really want an answer, but I gave you one anyway.

    Love E.

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    • Hi my friend Elisa. This is really the first comment that you have made that I can say that I can respect you for it. You have your way of blogging set out which you feel comfortable with. The only point I have to bring up is when you say that blogging is “fake”. I strongly disagree with that. If I was not blogging you would not have got your new computer the way that you did. I would never have known the predicaments other bloggers were in whom I also helped. I agree, most blogs are fake and full of trash or copied material, but there are many others that are worth reading, full of content and interest. So I am all for blogging as a communication device amongst many others. Have a great day. πŸ™‚ Ralph xox

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  9. Dearest Ralph,
    In spite of the fact that I love to (play) fight with you, you are my blogging hero – along with several others, some of whom are in your comment box already. I am doing the exact same thing you are, for the same reasons. I am letting my last post sit for about a week, then I will post once or twice a week. I will never give your blog up, though – until you do, and I can’t reach Bluefish Way, International. And I hope that’s never!!!! My stats are down to zip, and while, I can’t say, that’s awesome, I am OK with it. I figure I will let my last post sit a little longer to break the addiction. Sugar addiction takes me about 5 days to get out of my system. So blogging – maybe one more day. I am still getting a few comments (which I answer, of course), and LIKES, and they are from dear blogging friends I have made over the past 8 months. Meanwhile I am very busy on the outside world, but at least I have had time to update my to do list, and get SOME of it done!!! Love you much and forever, (What – no fight??? Marsha Lee has really flipped out!!!) πŸ™‚ xoxo πŸ™‚

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    • Hi my dear Marsha. I think that we are both exhausted with the fights and blogging experience. It’s now a time for both of us to regroup and prepare for battle at a later date. I am so pleased that you are also taking stock of your situation and doing something about it as I was getting a little worried that you were taking on and doing too much. I prepared this post yesterday afternoon and didn’t publish it until midday today, for if I publish in my evening, you guys/gals in the US swamp me with comments, a pile of which to answer while I am falling asleep at the keyboard. So that’s another thing I have learned to Publish in the morning your own time. That gives the whole day to answer comments etc. Take it easy Marsha (& Ralph). Love and hugs. Ralph xox

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      • Maybe, MFR, just maybe we might consider not even fighting, and just being the very good friends I know we are – in spite of the fighting and silliness. I’ll just try to be a little less feisty!!! You have learned a lot of valuable lessons, and have taught them to me as well. Yes, I am exhausted, and most of it was not blogging, but I have the most control over blogging.

        I just handed over the reins to the position of secretary of one of the 5 organizations to which I donate time. It is hard to say no sometimes, but I handed over the notebooks today, and it felt great. I still have to mail out minutes, but then I’m done.

        I’m glad you are keeping things manageable for you. Just as long as you don’t delete me from your list!!! Then I guess I would have to complain bitterly!!! And the fight would be on – or deleted, I guess!!! YIKES! The mere thought of being deleted makes me shiver right to my cold, frosty fingertips.

        Lots of love to you Ralph, and to all your wonderful, faithful, friendly followers who help make your blog such a fun one to read. Marsha Lee, a forever follower xox

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      • Deal !! No more fighting, just good friends. I am so pleased that you are paring back your voluntary work and arranging your time management so that you have more time to talk to me πŸ˜‰ I will only delete you if you keep writing comments as long as War and Peace πŸ˜‰ I like to read what you say especially as you are so honest and open.
        I better go as I have 12 lovely commenters to answer. They, like you, have put themselves out to write so it’s only courteous and respectful to answer them. xox

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    • Hi dear Sheri. Yes, we are still connected and you were not deleted. I made sure of that, as you are one of my specials. A big hug from the happy chappy. Ralph xox

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  10. I still like to get email alerts to new posts by bloggers I follow, but I created a separate folder, so they all automatically get sent there instead of my main email inbox. Helps separate the emails from the blog posts. I also cut down to posting just once a week. Frees up my days for other writing.

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    • Hi Carrie. I do love your approach in dealing with emails. I use a different method, the colour code boxes in the Outlook Inbox. Clear for blogging, blue for normal emails, red for legal (as I am buying my apartment at the moment) and so on. I have many files, legal, facebook, items bought on the internet, and so on. I am quite happy with that as I can see everything as it comes into my Inbox and can colour code immediately and come back to it later as I trawl through the rest of the emails. Love Ralph xox

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      • Ooh, I like that idea! The question is whether I could ever figure out how to do it. I was pretty proud of myself in figuring out the separate folder. πŸ˜‰

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      • In your Outlook Inbox where all your new emails come in, beside each email is a clear box and a clear flag. Right click on the clear box and up comes all the different coloured catagories. Choose your colour and left click. You can rename them and add more. I hope that helps.

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  11. Dear Ralph,
    I don’t know you as it is apparent that most everyone does that has commented. However, when I began my blog I could readily see that many people were about seeing how many hits and likes they could get and 300 plus subscribes. In my little ole pea sized brain I thought that was insane. Blogging should be about building something that people actually read for the content not because it is “I scratch your like and subscibe if you scratch my like etc,” I have written to some of my best and most faithful commenters that I don’t care about stats and how many subscribers I can get. I had around 60 subcribers and deleted to less that 50 I think. I have seldom gone looking for someone to subscribe to. Most people have found me. And I don’t return the favor unless I really like what they have to say.Those that only pressed the like button sometimes and never commented in a relevent manner got the ax. To me it is quality not quanity Some people you get an immediate connection with and I treasure those individuals.

    The photographers I let slide. They have so many people looking at their photos they could not possibly answer. I kept those that I really, really like but I don’t expect them to come along and like me.

    I have also turned down awards, I think awards are stupid. I think they can be mean you are part of a clique and I hate cliques.Do awards mean you have a super duper blog? Not really. Do awards mean you are popular? Maybe. Do awards make money for you. Not that I know of. Maybe but I do not care. I have seen awards pasted all over blogs that have no meaning or message.They are just blah. I have seen blogs that have so many awards plastered on the home page that you can not see the forest for the trees.

    So if you have realized who your real friends are in bloggerville then you have come come up from the “bull pen to the pitchng mound. Now stick to your guns and don’t go back on what you have written, This is long winded and I have a problem with brevithy. Do not feel you most address this long saga. I just needed a venue to vent.

    Thanks Ralph. I hope that you are feeling better. Mysoline in a smaller dosage yet?

    Regards,
    Yvonne

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    • Hi Yvonne. How can I answer such a blogger with her head screwed on from Day One. All I can say is you are amazing with your approach to your blog and content.I am so pleased to have met you. Mysoline is okay now, thanks. Now all you have to do is to learn how your Dashboard works. That gives me an idea. Do you think I should start a page on basic Dashboard work? I’ll think about it. Maybe something like Ask Dashboard Ralph or something similar, as a lot of bloggers are starting to ask me “how do I do this” questions. Love Ralph xox

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      • Thanks for the reply, dear Ralph. I must tell you that you are quite a smart man.I think that one can get sucked into the blogger thing really easy and it can consume you. It is odd but maybe not but I look for my favorite bloggers posts and their comments to me. I can count that number on 10 fingers. I just wish that I had found your blog months ago but oh well, Here we are.

        Yes I do think that the dashboard thing would be excellent. One blogger friend from Wales fixed my blog for me. I did not ask her- she wanted to help me. I sort of underrstand all that a dashboard can do. It is the extra stuff like testing a theme, etc. that got me into trouble. Somehow my blog took offense to me “eye-balling another theme.” I trifled on my chunk theme and chunk took revenge by not going back to looking and liking me as it had before. Then Chunk was like an albatross around my neck and it went from bad to worse.

        I am joking but essentailly that is what happened.I did not know how to go about looking for a theme and then have it go back to whince it came from.

        So after you do the dash board maybe you can give some really concrete directions on how to find a theme without screwing up the one that you currently have.

        Regards,
        Yvonne Xx

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      • When you try out another theme it should just be a preview ( a peek at what it looks like) unless you SAVE the new theme. Different themes have other widgets and maybe some go missing, but normally the basic widgets are in all themes. I got some extra widgets with my Tapestry theme, ie Music and a Header sidebar (where I have the fish at the top). Previewing should not affect your original theme. If you are worried, move all your widgets into the big box at the bottom LHS which will save them while you try out different themes. When you are finished drag them back and reposition them. xox πŸ˜€

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    • Hello my dear Ute. Thank you so much for commenting tonight. Well, I hope I have done the right thing. Time will tell and I am sure there will be tweaking all the time. A really big hug from a happy chappy. Ralph xox

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  12. Hey! you stole my blogging idea … lol …. just kidding friend … You know how my blogging norms have zigged and then zagged the last few months. I used to blog exclusively for friends/family … then I transitioned to the public stage … then I shrunk away from it – (for a few days? or was it weeks?) – then I re-invented a new name – which I loved blogging anonymously btw, it gave me much more freedom to speak out – but it also left a void when I stopped interacting with the family/friends who I had originally set out to connect with on my blogging path! So – like you – I pause at times and say … why am I blogging (?) who do i want to read (?) who would I be honored to have read me (?) … and so on. Sometimes visiting blogs is nothing more than a publicity stunt to gain more connections/readers – and I guess that’s ok – at times I’ve felt USED that way – lol – but still, it’s ok – that’s life. People come, people go … the same goes for bloggers – it’s a much more personal and deeper reaching medium than say … tweeting or facebooking IMO. I love all your blogs – you are gifted to make people feel noticed/special/entertained/heard – your comments are never rushed – they are always full of your character and charm – that’s why WE LOVE YOU RALPH!!!! Your biggest fan… Tina !!

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    • Tina, Tina, Tina, I am so very, very pleased that you have come out of that blogging tornado which whisked you here there and everywhere. I followed you from blog to blog to blog and I really do feel that you have landed in a tranquil place where you can settle and gain back all your lost friends and give us some great posts of your family life in Canada. I am really looking forward to seeing what you can give us. Big hug. Ralph xox

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  13. I did the same thing a couple of months ago… it seems to be a stage all bloggers go through… I wish I was as clever as all you people who did nifty things with your in-boxes, etc etc….Keep writing Ralph, when you feel like it… we’ll all be here agog for your next blog! love Veronica

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    • So you are two months ahead of me Voluptua. What happens next? I have passed through the symbolic stage of red eyes, empty cups on the desk, cigarette dangling from the corner of the mouth unlit for weeks, wearing dressing gown and slippers for days, no sleep, housework a glazed look away, πŸ˜‰ I wonder what happens two months on?
      As far as “nifty things”, everyone should be able to do it. It’s all a matter of doing the right things at the right time in the right place in the right order. I am going to write a strong letter in WP support forum to try and get some monkey in WP staff to write a sensible aid to the dashboard so that everyone at any level can follow a simple procedure, step by step, to be able to do anything that the dashboard has to offer. Even by you Virginia. Big hug. Ralph xox

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  14. I am so proud of you Ralph I could just burst! You’re doing what you needed to do! That is you’re doing it for you, first! Important rule number one in life – take care of you, so that you can then be there for others (as you can)! Ralph, you are one of the few people online that I would love to meet and I am honestly hopeful that this will happen one day. Leaving with a smile on my face, Penny πŸ™‚ xx

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    • Hi my dear friend Penny. The Bluefish Way cleaners are going on strike if you blow up in here. I had forgotten that the primary purpose of my blog was for my own enjoyment. Thank you for reminding me. I do want to be here for others but, as you say, I must get myself right, comfortable and a happy chappy. I’m getting there. I had a higher level of emails this morning, but that is to be expected with 12 comments written while I was asleep. I prioritised. I went through them all, colour coded the proper emails and either deleted or left the posts & comments sitting in the Inbox. Initially I answered all the proper emails between real life chores. ie One email then one chore. Comments are being answered now also between real world tasks and pleasures. Then when this post quietens down I will go out visiting other blogs. I cannot multi-task, so I think I have it right now.
      I would also like to meet you to dear Penny. It would be nice to meet everyone in fact. Big smile from me as well. Ralph xox

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      • Thank you Ralph. Sounding good, I have been doing a few things similar, but still with more work to do (re: organizing) in the meantime, keep taking care of you and having fun and I’ll work on having the same! hugs and hugs, Penny xx

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  15. I’m going through the same thing myself, it’s hard to keep up, and it keeps me away from my novel which is sort of what prompted me to start blogging in the first place. However, I love it, and I do occasionally make efforts to make it easier on myself. All the efforts inevitably fail, so I come up with new ideas lol. So good luck on this! I’m not sure if you unfollowed me or not, is there a way to tell? lol Anyway, I have no right to tell you if you unfollowed me unjustly, that’s your choice πŸ˜‰

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    • Hi Sage. There are a lot of bloggers who are hampered from writing a novel by blogging. Some are changing the way they blog, others put the blog on the back burner, and the rest seem to do a bit of everything. I had a chapter written in my old XP computer and when I upgraded to my new laptop with Windows 7 a few discs with photos and the novel would not transfer data. So I lost it and the will to live πŸ˜‰ My novel is now blowing in the wind scaring birds away.
      Oooops! Sorry!! I did unfollow you and I have restored the situation and I have you on “New Posts” only. Take care. Ralph πŸ˜€

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      • Sorry about your novel, that really sucks, I can’t even imagine and don’t want to. And thanks for following again, but I do understand if you need to eliminate me since I post a lot lol Take care, my friend. πŸ™‚ Sage

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      • Not to worry Sage. I’m not, as I have too much going on in the real world to make time for writing. There will be a day when I am settled, twiddling my thumbs, and that will be the time for me to start again writing. I shall only unfollow on extreme over posting from you. Promise. πŸ˜€

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  16. You gotta’ do whacha’ gotta’ do to keep your sanity or what’s left of it – LOL
    Just like in real life – it’s not always possible to “see” everyone every day. But – just the same – we know who our peeps are πŸ˜‰

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    • Precisely, dear RoSy !! Sanity. Probably a lost cause with me as you may have noticed recently πŸ˜‰ I had to Google “peeps” as I have to do with a lot of abbreviations and terms used by especially the Americans and I assume in my not so sane state that “peeps” means friends. If that’s the case then a big hug to my peep. Ralph xox

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  17. That is a heroic act Ralph!. I would call it managing fun. Even fun things need to be managed or fun things can also get out of hand. I am glad with your victory.

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    • Thank you so much dear YC. I don’t feel that heroic.Just free. πŸ˜€
      Managing fun? Then I must join a Play Skool πŸ˜‰ Love Ralph xox

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  18. Good deal, Ralph! I understand your pain and frustration! There’s just too many to follow, right? Sometimes, I just need to turn off the computer. I decided to not put too much on myself and post just a few times a week. And, read as I can. We’re only human. I like your idea of revisiting your list of blogs you follow. That makes sense to do that from time to time. Happy blogging, Ralph! I only want to do so long as it’s fun.

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    • Hi Amy. Yes, even 96 may be too much for me to follow, but it seems to be working out okay so far. It has been such a lovely sunny day here in the Andalucia mountains of Spain that I have spent most of the day with my laptop asleep. I shall be posting about once a week and that will enough for me. My other two blogs I haven’t really touched and I want to get some poetry written. I have a really long one in mind which I would like to take a whole day to write, and some!!! It’s always fun with you Amy. Love Ralph xox πŸ˜€

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      • You too, Ralph. Always, always fun fun!! I understand your dilemma completely. There’s not enough time in the day is all. Right? I’ve actually been sensing a lot of burnout from people! Interesting. I guess it’s important to try to maintain balance. Good luck with poetry writing. I can’t wait to read it. Amy xoxo

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      • Yes. Fun Amy !! I really think that I have now got a system that is working for me. Priorities. I am answering or writing normal emails first. When that’s done and dusted, Comments. And finally visits with comments and replies. It is working. I have reduced my Inbox to 85 from well over 200 legally by visits and deleting comments that have nothing to do with me. The numbers are going down slowly but surely and I am enjoying it. I am not rushing and I pick and choose what sites to visit. And when I want to stop, I stop and watch TV or go for a walk. I want to get Bluefish Way sorted then I am free to become a poet again. I’m getting there. Big hug to you my dear friend. πŸ˜€ Ralph xox

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  19. Oh I am so proud of you my dear one!!! I need to do exactly what you have done as I am overwhelmed. I finally quit writing for most of the prompts and just write for me now and I comment on a few but it takes time away from my writing which is what I wanted to do about six months in to the blogosphere. I am glad I am still one of yours as I feel very honored to e your blogging friend. God Bless my friend and so proud of you! πŸ™‚

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    • Hi my dear friend Len. *blushing* Shucks !! I did restore the follow as you got the BIG X as well. Oh. I can’t stop reading your comment without going red (or it’s the scalding hot bath water πŸ˜‰ ).
      Our friend L (who I now call “Dolphin” as she comes up for air {sends me an email} then disappears down in the depths for ages {and I don’t hear from her}) our friend L seems to be okay, her last email was short and sweet.
      Big hug my friend. Ralph xox

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      • I am so glad you heard from Dolphin, appro name that. I had been wondering what had happened. Ralph I am so glad you are my blogging friend and someday God willing I will complete my bucket list and visit someday, the country and you! God Bless my dear friend:)

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      • You would be very welcome …… and don’t forget to bring your bucket πŸ˜‰ xox

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  20. This is quite a conversation! I don’t get many comments on my blog, so I have no excuse for not replying to the comments I do get. Maybe I’d get more comments if I started a conversation like this one.

    My new approach to blogging is to blog more. I’ve barely posted in the past four months and have just started again after a trip to Africa, which was amazing and inspiring. Thanks, Ralph, for stopping by my blog.

    Like

    • Hi Catherine. I had noticed that you had gone quiet for a long time. Your lovely post of the humming birds feeding from her hand is imprinted in my memory. When I see your avatar I think of them.
      I am looking forward to more posts from you of Africa where you fight a croc, dig up diamonds and hack your way though the Congo jungle πŸ˜‰
      Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      Like

      • Thanks, Ralph. Comments and visits are always appreciated on my blog. I didn’t fight any crocs, but we did have a guide who wore crocs. (I did see one crocodile..) The only hacking I did was fighting a cough!

        Like

  21. I am right there with you Ralph, doing much the same as you have done. I found that I was not liking the blogging process much when each morning I had sooo many emails in my in-box. Kudos to you ! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • I am so pleased (in one way) that I am not alone with this problem dear LuAnn. I am coming up to 200 emails in my Inbox and now I don’t care. As I said in a previous comment I will have quiet days in the future when I can go visiting my friends’ blogs. I am so pleased that you (and all the others) put yourself out to come and comment as I know your blogging time is so precious. Thank you. πŸ˜€
      May your satellite dish always point true (and is not eaten by a giraffe πŸ˜‰ ) Love to you both. Ralph xox πŸ˜†

      Like

      • My blogging time is precious. You just happen to be one of those on my list of favorites. Take care you dear man. πŸ™‚

        Like

  22. Well Done! I have been through some similar issues not long ago … amount of correspondence I was receiving, especially via email, made me feel ‘obligated’ to write back … and so on and so forth. I could not sleep for worrying that I missed someone … I do have tendencies to care about people a lot, it is a part of my personality I am quite proud of. However, what eventually happened is that, in some cases, it almost resembled running ‘internet counseling service’ … after some months I became sick with exhaustion and unable to function in my daily life … so I started to scale down. And slow down. I have gone so far that, on professional advice, I had to limit (by putting bar on it) my internet use … and it works; I am re-learning how life was before the Lantern. I still love and always will the Lantern … however, it is only the part of my life, not my whole life!

    Good on you and keep up the good work. I wrote about addiction to blogging some two months or so into it and yet took me some months after that post to realize how far I have gone! Stats are just there to keep us ‘hooked’ on blogging, which is OK as long as we hold the reins on stats not the other way around.

    Take Care,
    Daniela

    Like

    • Hello my dear friend Daniela. As I read your comment it was almost as if I wrote it as we faced the same problems and are now coming out of them. I also love Bluefish Way as you do The Lantern and as you it is becoming part of my life not an ogre to defeat every day.
      Although we don’t meet in comments very often I still class you as a great friend. Big hug. Ralph xox

      Like

      • Big hug to you too … and I always class you as a great friend!
        All the Best!
        Daniela

        Like

  23. Hi Ralph!
    Well, you certainly seem to have read my mind. I have been avoiding even lifting the lid on my computer for several days now, for a very real fear of getting sucked back into trying to reply to everything (everyone) in some fashion. I also wasn’t liking the feeling that I was basically living for blogging – everything somehow was getting filtered through my mind as “will this go into a blog post?” – or, “will this go on FB?” (and causing me undue stress when I did not post). I have realized that none of that matters, and it gets in the way of just simply enjoying the company of the people in my life, and it certainly interferes with my being able to maintain contact, let alone relationships with the people who matter most to me online. While I do enjoy blogging, and I do enjoy perusing the blogs of other people, the time really has come for me to limit it, just as it has come for you.
    Certainly I am most grateful for having met you through blogging – the necessary cutbacks definitely won’t include you…they should make it less likely I am going to neglect replying to you…and less likely that it will take a book of an e-mail to catch up anymore πŸ™‚
    Love and Hugs to you, Ralph!
    ~Lyann

    Like

    • Hi dear Lyann. May I tell the story of the starfish which has brought us together as I think it is apt in what I and many others are going through.
      A man was standing in the middle of thousands of starfish that were washed up on the beach and were dying. The man bent down, picked up a starfish and gently threw it back into the ocean. ” What are you doing that for, it doesn’t make any difference” said another man. And the first man turned to him and replied, “Well it does to THAT one !”
      In blogging terms I felt like one of those starfish dying on the Beach of Pressure, but a helping hand, myself and others, picked me up and threw me back into the WordPress Ocean and now it’s up to me to choose which direction to take.
      Your direction is cutting back: mine is trimming, doing one thing at a time and not worry but enjoy the experience.
      You are a great friend Lyann. So a big hug from me. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      Like

      • One thing at a time – I have yet to learn how to do that! (Although, skating is great training for that, and for returning my family to that “ocean” I am ever so grateful for your helping hand).
        Enjoying the experience – I am getting better at that! It’s wonderful how the Starfish Story works for so many different experiences, isn’t it? πŸ™‚
        You are a wonderful and dear friend, Ralph…so, a big hug back to you from me πŸ˜€
        ~Lyann

        Like

  24. I have been to busy to even check out blogs I really enjoy as much as would like lately. I have over 1000 emails waiting for me to click through. I will be taking a short work trip this weekend, so maybe I will have some boring moments to fill with email deletes. Maybe even a post? 8)
    Let us raise our glasses to balance friend!

    Like

    • Hi dear Katie. That’s great that your real life is more important than blogging. With a 1000, now 1001 emails I can see an edit/select all/delete coming on. I have done that once in my Inbox and it felt great. Cheers!! To balance dear friend πŸ˜€ xox

      Like

  25. Good for you!

    I’ll admit I like when the notification icon turns orange, and I do check my stats, too, but I’ve also un-followed blogs as well.

    I’m reminded of your blog post “Are You Following Me?” in which you stated why you follow certain blogs, as well as your post “Comments. Area 51?”, in which you discussed the secrets and mysteries behind the ‘Like’ button and comment box. I appreciate both, but they are especially nice when accompanied by a sense of genuineness and not merely a method of soliciting followers. You’re growing up, Ralph! πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • Hi dearest Rene. It’s been quite a lovely journey of replies to reach you. My final one in this batch of comments. I really do appreciate the attention you have taken in reading my posts and all the comments you have made over the few months that I have been blogging. As I am growing up could I have a woman friend please???? Big hug.Ralph xox

      Like

      • And I really do appreciate the attention you have taken in reading my posts and the likes and comments you have made since we met in this blogosphere. If it were in my power to do so, I would grant your wish. Alas, I am a mere mortal. Big hugs back, Rene

        Like

  26. Wonderful, Ralph! My time is limited, too and I used to view stats, but soon discovered the craziness that ensues with that as my focus. Although my email stays backed up, I’ve been content to rein in phone calls and personal cards by snail mail (the lost contact, LOL). With the start of my publishing business, I find I’m discussing blogs and websites with authors, as they’re expected to have a ‘platform’. But I do as you’ve discovered, keeping the focus on the goal to enjoy and enhance life. You do that so well, many thanks for your fun and fab posts. Keep it up sir, your faithful await.
    namaste

    Like

    • Thank you so much dear Roxie for taking time out to comment as I know that your time is limited now with your blogging expertise. I wish you all success with your new publishing venture and I hope you can have fun while working hard on a business which is dear to you. Love and a big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      Like

  27. I used to have a crush on Stallone when I was much younger! I read that he’s addicted to plastic surgery now? Oh. And I’ve also given up on Stats.

    Like

    • Hi Rynna. I don’t think that I ever had a crush on one particular woman. I had a crush on them all !!! Nothing’s changed then πŸ˜‰ Though, on second thoughts I can’t stand looking at women with breasts blown up resembling soccer balls in a bra. Love Ralph xox

      Like

  28. Blogging is dynamic–always changing–a theme, a widget, a subtitle…My latest project is deleting all of my old comments–I am sick of seeing my face everywhere.

    Like

    • Hello my favourite dear Alice. I enjoy tweaking my sidebar but I am sticking to this theme now as it works for me. I haven’t really noticed my face/hat so that’s not a worry for me. Have fun. Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      Like

  29. Ralph, I am so glad that you are finding out what works for you! I have made some changes too. Because I like to follow up on most visitors to my blog I was going crazy trying to keep posting as much. So I am posting and visiting less and now I enjoy it more. Plus my family and my garden gets more of my attention…

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Like

    • Hi dear Wendy. I am really pleased that you have found a method that works for you. I like to follow up as well. I don’t go out searching as I just visit new posts only. Have a great week in the garden. Hugs. Ralph xox

      Like

  30. Ah, my gorgeous English (housed in Spain) friend….! πŸ˜‰
    Like you, my dear Ralph, my blogging story has changed a little over the past few weeks; other things have to get my attention too; like my partner, our dancing, my work, sleep, my family and friends… you know; all that extraneous stuff…! πŸ˜‰
    I had to ‘stop’ all emails proclaiming new posts because it was all way too consuming. Now I just use the reader, which seems to curb the time I spend on-line. However, my dearest Ralph, it only works if you use it (talking about the reader here, Ralph πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ ) and I haven’t used it this weekend past; I have been busy with dancing, birthdays and sleep. It feels like I’ll be ‘slowing-down’ too… However –
    I’ve come to understand that there are some very special people on WP, and you are one of them… Cue the music, Ralph… πŸ™‚
    I believe you have become so popular because you care… Yep; simple really, Ralph.. You are such a good bloke. I am so pleased to know you….
    Here’s to more great posts, and more great conversations… xoxoxo

    Like

    • Hello Happy Feet, my favourite Carolyn. You also have your own method which is now working for you. Fantastic !! I still have new posts in my Inbox as I can usually read them there, then go out on a LIKE/Comment blitz. So those that think I haven’t read their posts. I have!!
      You are really kind to say nice things about me. I am truly touched, and I am looking forward to what lies ahead in our talks together.
      Have a great week. Big hug. Ralph xox

      Like

  31. It all gets a bit much sometimes doesn’t it and I get soooo cranky when wordpress changes things on me. I can’t keep track of all the blogs that sometimes appear in my reader, sometimes my email. I swear someone from wordpress is playing funny buggers with me.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you because I think you mentioned to someone about my recent cat problem? Yvonne? She left me a lovely long message. So thanks!
    It was my turn tonight to be bitten 😦 Taking him to the vet tomorrow. Can’t handle thing psycho cat thing anymore. We have to get to the bottom of it!

    Like

    • Hi dear Desert Rose. I can understand you and a lot of others getting cranky with new WP changes, especially with images. I am gradually getting used to their new way of doing things. My main problem has been with FireFox upgrades. I could have throttled the monkey that ruined my browser. It’s back to normal but it took a lot of unnecessary work on my part to get it that way.
      You are so welcome about me bringing Yvonne over to your post. As I said to her in an email this morning:
      ” I believe that I am not only blogging for myself but I am also here to help people and if I can find a connection where one blogger can help another then I will put them in touch with each other. I am so glad that you commented on her blog.”
      I hope the vet finds out what’s going on with your cat. Good luck tomorrow. Big hug. Ralph xox

      Like

  32. I have to do that also. I started getting into blogging after the disaster in Connecticut and found it to be so supportive and balancing that I got sucked into every new post I came across. I woke up today and decided I too have to cut back the e-mail because I’m a little too compulsive about wanting to stay in touch, wanting to communicate back, wanting to be supportive, and getting side tracked with referrals to yet more new sites, lol. If you want to not receive comments from mine I certainly won’t be offended. Our communications has been wonderful and sweet and I’ll keep checking back in on you. I loved this post and you’ve been a gem to check in on. Glad you’re taking care of you and doing what you have to. Your friend Paulette

    Like

    • Hi dear Paulette. It’s nice to hear that you also are having a rethink about the way you approach your blogging experience. It’s such a hard decision to make, but it is your health, well being and fun factor which needs to be addressed. Reducing the stress and the almost work like office pressures. I think you are wise in cutting back. I feel a lot better for doing that. My Inbox now has 8 items in it, 3 are real emails. So I must be doing something right. And I am still a happy chappy.
      Oh. By the way. You are welcome to comment until the cows come home. Okay?
      Thank you so much for your lovely and supportive comment. It’s really nice of you. A big hug. Ralph xox

      Like

  33. It’s definitely important to keep an eye on how we blog and regularly evaluate where we are placing our time and energy πŸ™‚ Sounds like you’ve found a good balance which is great!

    Keep well and keep blogging πŸ™‚

    Rohan.

    Like

    • Hi Sherrah. True. And I am lucky to have quality commenters, you included πŸ˜€
      Stats are unimportant to me now. I never thought I would ever say that but that is also true as far as I am concerned. Take care. Ralph

      Like

  34. Excellent news!! Very good plot indeed. I am so glad you recognised this and executed the proper measures to decrease your blogging deluge, finding a manageable balance most indubitably. Your blog is a haven and zee posts must continue to sally forth, but it should not be a cause of stress for you dear Ralph. I cheep in delight for you matie, cheers, -smiling toad

    Like

    • I am so pleased that I took the measures my dear friend as I am now really enjoying my blogging experience. Take care AJ. Ralph xox πŸ˜€

      Like

    • Of course I unfollowed you my dear friend. There were cobwebs and dust gathering around your blog in my Blogs I Follow/Edit. Are you going to be active again, if so, I will stalk you ….. ummmm!! ……. follow you again πŸ˜€ Ralph xox

      Like

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