Free Advice — How do you avoid the big ruts and little potholes?

Free Advice is a periodic feature in which I answer anonymous letters sent to Today I entertain a question that comes from somewhere throughout BloggyVille.

My foot, my gas pedal.

My foot, my gas pedal.

Dear Mark,

You put the pedal to the metal when it comes to social media.

What keeps it fresh for you?

Especially, what keeps blogging a great (mostly) adventure?

Weary and Leery

Dear W&L,

Thank you for noticing that I daily, as the old saying goes, keep my blogger’s nose to the proverbial grindstone. Does the schnoz look a little flat in my Free Advice logo photograph, perhaps?

I have indeed published at least once every day here on since Oct. 27, 2013. The significance of that day, you ask? It was my fifth wedding anniversary to my dear wife Karen. I awoke to the sight of the sun rising over the Falls from our high tower hotel room on the Ontario side of the Wonder of the World.

And I quickly posted the glorious shots here as my beloved slept. I looked at the sun over the Falls out the window. I looked at my wife. I looked at my blog on my iPad. I thought about my life.

Karen had urged me to start this blog after I’d been laid off from the newsroom of the big daily in Syracuse, where I’d worked for just short of 30 years. That came at the end of January. My first blog post came at the end of February. I’d learned about life online at WordPress little by little, so different than covering music for the big daily for 21 years, as I searched for full-time work and picked up freelance gigs.

I had a certain enthusiasm for writing about my life here in BloggyVille, I thought high above the Wonder of the World and next to the wonder of my existence. So I decided to go for it and write about something cool every dang day.

I have. (The WordPress monkeys said I missed a day on my year-end report for 2014, but Bill of Evil Squirrel’s Nest explained to me how their time-stamping messes up on the days that switch between Standard and Savings time if you happened to have scheduled a post to come on at midnight. And that’s what I’d done on one such day, and their records took the streak away from me when the time shifted back. It’ll toggle back and forth, Bill explains.) And I will.

Knowing I’m going to write and post my pictures helps me keep my eyes open and iPhone camera ready on my walks with Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle, my golf rounds with friends and daughter, my bowling league nights, my gardening with my dear wife Karen.

Karen is accustomed to me lagging behind as we walk shopping or heading to the movies or a concert. My wonderful daughter Elisabeth and her great boyfriend George Three and Karen’s son Daryl all expect me to pull that iPhone out anytime, any where, when we are all together. Our talks have become wide-ranging, and I think they’re as curious about things as I am because of it.

Yes, I stay out of the big ruts and the small potholes, W&L, by staying curious and open to experience what’s happening in this life we share.

After that, reporting about it here is merely the final part of the adventure. I enjoy writing. I have my whole life. That part’s fun, the storytelling. I’m getting better at taking pictures, and and completed WordPress’ Photo 101 Workshop in March. That part’s getting to be more fun.

Now about Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn …

I make a component of my morning routine because I want to alert the followers and friends I’ve gained on those three accounts to my daily posts here. Yes, my social media life revolves around You’re not surprised, are you? At each of those places I write a short but hopefully interesting headline and description of what I’ve covered here, include the link, and publish it. I change it for each, tailoring the photo for Twitter and language for all three.

And I have conversations with my friends here in the comment section after all is said and done. Then I go to my email notifications to see who’s written what so I can see their blogs, read and comment.

Who can be bored? Tired, OK.

Free AdviceFree Advice is a periodic feature. Send questions to Anonymity is assured.

My qualifications: 57 years of open eyes and ears but no stalking charges. One dear wife Karen, one terrific daughter Elisabeth and her wonderful boyfriend George, one sensational stepson Daryl, one pet Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle and various other family members of scattered location and adjectives. Four decades of writing in public about people, places and things.

Satisfaction is the goal, but is by no means guaranteed.

40 thoughts on “Free Advice — How do you avoid the big ruts and little potholes?

  1. I must admit, Dear Mark, that recently I got a cellphone (after years without), and I am digging the camera on it despite my resistance to those darn things putting my photography studio out of business. I can definitely see where my blogging subjects will be easier because of this convenience. πŸ™‚


    • Rachel, my dear, we Smart Phoners could never put you professional studio photographers out of business. But isn’t it neato-swifto for blogging, pronto? FYI can’t find that VHS tape yet. Love to see you here. ❀


  2. Thanks to you little brother, I have several followers I would have never met. You are one in a million Mark, and Karen is one lucky lady. I do hope you let her know that every morning, noon, night, and 50 times in between. Sometimes I think I say too much on my blog, but then what is too much to one person is just enough to another — I suppose. This was very good advice. Now I’ll put my thinking cap on and try to come up with a question that will boggle your brain. Wish me luck.


    • I wish you more than luck every day, my sis Angie. We are connected forever because we met here in BloggyVille. I have crusaded for you, thumped my chest for you, cheered for you. cried for you, kissed your tiny little picture when you returned. You are my family. Go ahead any boggle my brain, big sis.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You have really done more for me than anyone in my biological family ever did little brother. That’s why I adopted you as my brother, son, cousin and every other relative I could think of without it getting too hinky.


  3. “So I decided to go for it and write about something cool every dang day.” <- best blogging advice ever!

    Pedal to the metal is how I live my life, how I must live to keep up with my gang! Where I stalled at first with blogging was getting hung up on my lack of writing skill and desire to write. But I have always used writing to sort out my thoughts, solve problems, and build relationships, so that's how I blog. It's me, poor grammar and all.

    Lo and behold, posting daily is giving me momentum and energy to write more and with less stress. At first when I saw you posting daily I was *stunned*. Then I was impressed. Then I was inspired. Thank you for setting a fine example.

    Giving myself permission to write well enough and to post daily, I'm free to do what I enjoy best, connecting with great people. Contributing. Learning. Growing. I may grow tired, but as you mentioned, being curious about life keeps me going.

    Thank you, friend ❀


    • You have picked up your groove now, Angie McFly. The moment you decided it was OK to let your true personality come through every post, not just once in a while, that was the day your blog was really born in your own eyes. I could tell with mine!

      Keep up your great work with your fun and important posts and comments here and around BloggyVille, big and small, my dear friend. Thank you. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly, Mark. While it was never my intent to keep my true self from coming through on my blog, I can now see where I was self limiting and imposing unnecessary standards. Done! Moving on! Pedal to the metal πŸ˜€


  4. Pingback: Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul. ~ Augustine | Family Love Does More

  5. I admire your stamina in addition to your gift for writing, storytelling and manner in which you engage your readers. You are such a positive force here on WP, Mr. B. πŸ™‚

    I would like to add that I would appreciate some advice on how to avoid real and actual ruts and potholes on our roads this time of the year! Holy flat tires! I wish I knew someone “influential” in this town who could take care of this issue (wink, wink).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Darn, had I known you in October 2013, I could have met you and Karen then. I’m only about 20 minutes from the Falls. We used to go up there all the time with the kids, but haven’t gone across the border in several years. I intend to make up for that lapse soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ‘you were robbed!’ bad call by the wp umps, ruining your dally streak ) what a great inspirational post, mark. it tells the story so well, how this outlet can lead to all kinds of good and connections can be made most anywhere –

    Liked by 1 person

    • I consider myself good and streaked anyway, Beth. πŸ™‚ And without WP, I wouldn’t know you, so I cannot stay angry at the BloggyVille monkeys! Thanks for your kind words here, as always, my talented friend from Ann Arbor. You rock.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are one the most dedicated folks here on bloggityville Mark. I kind of had an idea why you write a blog, but did not know it was Karen’s idea! For some reason, that fact tugged a bit of a tear from my eye, she sure does care about you – you’re lucky to have each other. ❀
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, good for you! It’s difficult for me to come to a daily routine because sometimes things just don’t work as humor poetry but I try to do it at least 3 times a week. I keep away from FB. I just never know which one of my friends might read and become offended!!

    And you know Mark, what’s also good advice for those reading your blogs, is I notice you keep certain features, like sports and Monday movies. Knowing that you will have these regular features probably helps keep it going.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hey Mark! Great post. I have those exact same shoes that show in the first picture. They are very comfy and have great grip and are good even when there are puddles and running water (souls up to that rubber side are waterproof.) Because of the dialysis I sometimes get some swelling in my feet and the shoes with those elastic sides still fit great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love these shoes, Paul. I ordered them online from the Duluth Trading Company. Free plug on Free Advice. Coupons can be sent to … Ha! I’m glad you found some that are best for your needs!


  11. Thanks for the glimpse behind the curtain – and cool the way your describe that morning with “the sun rising over the Falls” – I am going to click that link right now –

    Liked by 1 person

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