Bagging Interest with an Interesting Non-Blah Blog Post Heading

I love alliteration.  Sometimes it really works; sometimes it simply sucks.  The point?  A blog post title or heading has to be as attention-grabbing as the post itself.

Confession?  I always write the heading first.  Why?  Because it sets the mood and establishes my thought process.  What direction am I taking?  What do I want to cover?  How will those heading words be incorporated into the post so there’s cohesion?

I generally aim to be [somewhat] snappy, humorous, or witty.  My blogging objective is two-fold.  The first is to share what I’ve learned so far.  The second is to pull in readers (and potential followers): to bag their interest and insure they gain something beneficial from the advice.

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As previously mentioned, A Writer’s Grab-Bag is still in the development stage—and I readily admit it will take time to transform it to “just right”—but I’m happy to take passengers on this exciting, educational journey.

I digress [a wee bit].  As a blogger, you have a focus/theme and purpose: to accommodate (gratify) readers with your area of expertise.  Digression is fine now and again (I’m pretty good at it, as you know), but posts should spotlight your focus/theme.

Now, while your posts will undoubtedly contain loads of fascinating and constructive information, the fact is that they may never be read if the headings are unremarkable or mediocre.  Think: catchy and captivating.  Lure those readers like fishermen (er, persons) would use hair jigs to attract bass.

If writing a heading is daunting, get a feel for what others in your realm are doing.  In addition to locating examples, you can find templates (they seem to exist for just about everything these days).

Let’s take a quick look at some simple examples.  “Editing Basics” might be okay for readers searching for juzzzzzt that.  But “The Art of Editing = Big Bucks” might be more enticing.  Here’s a standard (yawner): “Q&A”.  How about “Your Questions Answered NOW!” or “Your Questions Answered by the Best in the Biz”.

This heading, “Bag Interest with an Interesting Non-Blah Blog Post Heading”, is long and wordy.  Is it appealing?  Maybe yes, but probably no.  It does, however, capture the point of this post.  . . . Yeah, I love alliteration.  <LOL>

If you’re truly stuck, you may want to make someone else’s heading your own by playing with it, but not plagiarizing.  Google for inspiration.  If you have the yearning to learn, you have the assurance to succeed.

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The Catharsis of Writing

cathartic =psychotherapeutic = emotional = healthful = releasing artistic creation

We all need to purge now and again—be it cleaning out closets, flushing out bottled emotions, or clearing negativities.  It can be done mentally, emotionally, and physically—through writing and posting, as examples.  Purging is a good thing; it eliminates excess and the unneeded.

I’m borrowing from James J. Cudney IV’s This is my Truth Now blog**.  The 365 Day Challenge involves daily posts dedicated to specific words.  (Hope you don’t mind, Jay.)

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The idea came about courtesy of my Wattpad weekly installment “novel” Odd Woman Out.  Left in a storage box for two decades, I yanked it out during a let’s-get-rid-of-crap spring-cleaning blitz.  Back then, I’d believed it was my pièce de résistance.  <LOL>  But as I started to read it, I saw some merit in it and thus, the weekly Wattpad installments came into being.

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Where does “cathartic” come in?  The events/scenes are more non-fiction than fiction.  A lot of things really did happen—to myself or individuals close to me.  The emotions and feelings, thoughts and reflections of Alex (the main character) have provoked chuckles and cringes, and “whoaaaaaa” and “ohhhhhh” moments.

“Whoa” because it prompts the [wincing] question: did I [he/she] really do that?  “Oh” because it triggers the [energizing] revelation: wow, I actually once thought that way?

The proofing/editing process is a bit unique this round: I’m only reviewing maybe six pages at a time, breaking long chapters into several small ones.  Every reading/edit is eye- and soul-opening.  So yes, writing/posting can indeed prove very cathartic.

You don’t have to make it public if it’s too intense or personal and you’re not comfortable sharing.  (Maybe that’s why Odd Woman Out remained in a box for years?)  But you know, sharing does enable you to purge—which, I humbly admit, is very freeing (and exhilarating).

Catharsis: letting go.

. . . Damn it feels really good.

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 ** This is My Truth Now reveals“365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.  I will post a characteristic about myself and reflect on it in a blog post for the next 365 days: a full year of discovery into directing the course of my future.”   Visit Jay’s blog at:  https://thisismytruthnow.com

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2 Ps in a Pod: Perseverance & Patience

It was a toss-up whether to write about e-book covers or Odd Woman Out, the weekly-installment novel on Wattpad.

Odd Woman Out won.  Not because I’m attempting to shamelessly promote myself (something I actually suck at, big time), but simply because I’m in the mood to share.

For those unfamiliar with OWO, as I like to call it, it’s a “sorta” cross between mainstream fiction and chick-lit.

Alexia Raidho (Alex, as she prefers) searches for self and soul as she travels along a literal and cerebral journey.
Through diary entries and fiction writing, Alex reflects upon exploits, accomplishments and failures, and speculates whether she might be an “odd woman out”.  It certainly seems she doesn’t fit into the norm, whatever that norm may be.
Relationships, even those of a volatile and abusive nature, have impelled her down paths that may otherwise never have been taken.  All—gratefully, she’ll concede—have expanded her vision, talent, and maturity.

I began writing OWO a good 25 years ago—yeah, I know, some of you weren’t born then or were still tooting about on a tricycle.  <LOL>  Pretty much completed, into a drawer it went for several years and out it came late 2015.  How’s that for perseverance?

It’s funny-weird to see how you’ve developed as a writer over time.  I know I have, majorly.  This is good.  I’ve [finally] found my voice.  Yeah, there’s still room for improvement, and if there are another 25 years to come, then I imagine I’ll have developed even more.

The point of this post?  Persevere, my friends.  Do what you love.  Take your time and never rush (patience is a virtue, on so many levels).  Grow as a person; develop as an artist [whatever your medium].

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When Life Gets in the Way

. . . of your writing/blogging dreams and desires, you can:

  • weep
  • have a meltdown or two (I’m particularly skilled at these)
  • curse and swear (too melodramatic, but for a few seconds, delightfully effectual)
  • blame it on bad energy or luck (and curse it to death).

Or you can:

  • suck it up, take a few dee-eeeeeep breaths, and work at what’s doable.

Life’s been challenging lately.  The stress level has been Shanghai-Tower high.  This isn’t good, so I’m gonna nip it in the bud—now.

Okay, so there’s no mailing list yet.  The truth is, currently there simply aren’t enough cycles (silly company jargon for “time”) to do all that’s required with one, like monitoring, analyzing and responding.  As you know, like many of you, there’s a full-time job and Mom to care for.  But that mailing list will [eventually] happen.

Okay, so the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency mystery isn’t completed.  It’s getting there, slowly but surely.  I’m taking those baby steps mentioned in past . . . and those are better than none at all.

Okay, so at the moment there are no ads.  Investment $ aside (I ain’t Trump rich), there’s the measuring/assessing that goes with them.  Then, if you attract followers, you’ve got to take action.  Action = time = not doable [yet].  But one day, ye-es, they will run—fast and furious like a gazelle pursued by lions.  [That’s good ol’ Rey’s melodramatic contribution.]

Okay, so followers are minimal at this time (thanks to the aforementioned).  Right now, it’s difficult to offer more than two weekly blog posts on A Writer’s Grab-Bag and the one on Typepad (and a weekly Wattpad installment for “Odd Woman Out”).  The awesome thing: they are being done.

If you’re in a similar situation, don’t despair.  It’s all good.  It may not seem like it (just ask colleagues about my huff-and-puff moments), but it will transpire.  I truly believe there are no coincidences, just as I avidly believe in—and trust—the Good Lord.  It’s all about faith and conviction.

Believe in yourself.  If you have to deviate from the course you’ve set, don’t beat yourself up (like I too often have, coz let me tell ya, it hurts!).  When Life gets in the way, just say, “Bring it on.  I can handle anything.  I’ll get through this . . . and I’ll grow as a result.”

Approach Life’s trials and tasks like a matador: challenge with passes, stand firm, demonstrate conviction and face your “opponent”, present the muleta . . . .

You’ve got it in you.  You know you do.  It’ll happen, my friends, it’ll happen.

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Choo-Choo-Choosing

Like an old locomotive, I’m chugging along, choo-choo-choosing the direction(s) of this blog.

In truth, I have a pretty decent picture, kinda like a photo of an awesome vista . . . with a thumb or finger obscuring one small segment.  The only thing stopping me from cropping that eclipsing piece: time.

For now, here’s to chug-chug-chugging along, sharing the journey and communicating knowledge gained.

The first commitment, fellow bloggers/writers is to be consistent and post twice a week (to start).  Expect something Wednesdays and Saturdays or Sundays.

I’m gonna be like The Little Engine that Could.  Not only do “I think I can, I think I can”, I know I will, I know I will!

Choo-choo-choosing to keep the faith and stay focused, and chug-chug-chugging on this fantastic blogging journey: it’s all (amazingly) good.

Woo-Hoo-ooooooo WordPress!

Slowly but surely this blog is coming along—a little due to personal detective work (excavating through mountains of info!), a lot due to professional assistance from the wonderful folks at WordPress.

These Happiness Engineers (and, yes, they provide much happiness because they solve a myriad of issues) are helpful and committed.

Kristen S has been amazing.  Proficient and efficient, she responds to all my emails (and there are many) with utmost patience.

There’s a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I’m sure—with the assistance of my happy Happiness Engineer—I’ll become the successful blogger I dream of being.

Happy: that’s one contagious word, very much like Pharrel Williams’ song.  Hmm.  I think I’ll just clap along.

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The Official 1st Grab-Bag Post

In past, I was loathe to admit my age–couldn’t stand the thought of getting older.  Now, I accept what’s inevitable; it is what it is.  (Sure, I could stand to be free of the wrinkles and sagging skin, but that’ll be taken care of one day, LOL.)  The point is: I’ve been writing a good 25 years . . . a quarter of a century .  Who’d have ever imagined it would take that long to get published?

But you know?  Some writers may be published within a year of starting their first book, others take time (years) to hone their craft.  I truly believe there are no coincidences and that things happen when the moment is right.  Everything in its time.

Looking back at early writing, I saw good ideas and not-so-good authoring.

Looking back at me, I saw good intentions and not-so-good judgment.

I may not (yet) possess the networking and technical skills to have a dynamic and popular blog, but I do (now) have one . . . so I’m taking baby steps and toddling forward.  I hope you’ll take my hand and totter with me.

Here’s to an awesome future for all aspiring and established writers.  May we develop in our crafts, find joy in our hearts, and keep benevolence in our souls.