A Collection of Thanksgiving Posts

I have discovered this morning that I do not have a new post in me. I’m still struggling with life in the in-between. I still have a little under three weeks before I can finally put the job behind me. The relief has not set in yet. The stress of what the job an bring is still there. It all makes it hard to wrote about anything else. Since this is Thanksgiving week, I decided to look back on all of my Thanksgiving posts from the past. Maybe I will write a new on this year.

First my pledge drive. Click here to support my writing or buy me a coffee

Thanksgiving – A collection of random thoughts about the holiday.

Christmas’s War on Thanksgiving – Where I write about how I used to be one of the people who hated Christmas stuff being out before Thanksgiving but now I’m good with Christmas now.

One of Those Sappy Thankful Posts – The year I actually wrote a post of thanks after I had a bad week and needed to remember the good things.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – In which I write about how in normal times this is my favorite time of the year. It sucks that I won’t get the happy, kinder holiday world this year.

Let’s Talk Turkey – Turkey is a mediocre meat and not the best part of the meal. I don’t understand why people want to have it again at Christmas.

My Quiet Thanksgiving – We never travel for Thanksgiving, so this year won’t be different from others. This post did remind me that I thought my daughter would be in Italy this year so it was possible we were going to have an even quieter year.

I’m not sure I will have much more to say about it this year. I might do one of those “what I’m thankful for posts” on Thursday. It will probably be good to reflect on the good.

What Now?

Yesterday was a big day. I announced on my blog and Facebook the news that I resigned from my job. I still have a month before I am actually free, but the end is nigh. The blog post gave me my second highest views ever on the blog. The highest is still the day a Twitter celebrity retweeted my post about Michael Vick. So now I face the question What Now?

Obviously, the question applies to real life, but it also applies to this space. What do I write about when my life is spent at home writing? How do I use the extra writing time to make my blog posts better? How do I find the discipline to sit in a room and work on writing projects when it will be so easy to let things distract me? How do I decide when it’s time for me to merge from the distraction of writing to look forward another real job? How to I keep myself from getting depressed about my lack of success? How do I stop myself from second guessing my decision to leave my job when things get hard? How do I coexist with my wife who is working from home full time when she needs quiet for work and I can’t work in silence?

I’ve always used the excuse that my blog isn’t great because I don’t spend time on it. I vomit words into a post in the morning before I go to work. I don’t edit anything. I hit publish and I’m done. Now that I have the time to actually work on it, plan posts, edit, etc. how do I cope with the fact that it probably won’t change anything about the number of readers I get?

As I deal with the what now in life I’m also dealing with the what now for the Common Tater.

Do You Have an Online Plan?

A second person I knew online only from FriendFeed died recently. It made me think of this and the fact that I still haven’t told anyone my passwords in case anything happened to me.

I recently found out that someone I only knew online passed away.  We followed each other on Twitter, but did not communicate much there. We had both been active users of Friendfeed before Facebook bought and killed it. I didn’t really know him, but we he was one of the people on Friendfeed I could count on interacting with my posts. If not for a post on yet another social media site, I might have never known about his death. It’s possible that others I have known online have passed and I missed the news for various reasons.

This made me think – how would people know if something happened to me(I’m pretending here that random people online would care). Facebook friends would be easy. That is a more personal place for me and the majority of the people there are real life friends and family. I’m sure someone in my family would post something and tag me and then people who didn’t already know would know. I’m not really active anywhere else online except for posting here. I do wonder, though, if I should have something in place for the blog. Maybe I should give someone my password so they could post any news that I would be unable to post myself. I would hate to think that my blog would go quiet and no one would ever know why. Hopefully, this will not be something I need to worry about for years, but the death of my online connection put it in my mind.

So, my question for you – do you have someone who is tasked to post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc if something were to happen to you? If you blog, do you have a plan in place for someone to post if something were to happen to you? Do you prefer not to think about such things?

A History of Election Posts

Instead of a new election post, I’ve put together a list of past posts regarding elections. The last one goes all the way back to the first time Obama was elected. So, if you want to read old Tater thoughts on elections, here you go. I’m so ready to be done with political ads this year. Here’s hoping this is not a long, drawn out process and we get an answer soon. And while voting – click here to vote buying Tater a coffee

In Defense of Independent Candidates

A History of Dumb Posts on Election Day

Another Message to America

We Are the Problem

A Message to America

Election Thoughts

Some Things I’ve Discovered About My Blog

I have run out of interesting pictures to post for Wordless Wednesday so I will instead bore you with some random things I’ve discovered in blogging and my stats.

  1. I never intended to write so much about myself, but the more personal posts are the ones that people actually read. When I post about news or what I’m reading and watching I have my lowest views.
  2. I get more views when I post in the morning. I generally post in the morning around 8am east coast America time. When I do that, I get the majority of my views for the day within the hour. Many of those are from India. When I post in the afternoon or evening it is much lighter and most of my views are from the US.
  3. Views are nice, but comments are more of an indication that people are reading. Even likes are suspect as some people who like my post don’t seem to actually click on the link before liking it.
  4. I need to be better about commenting on other blogs and replying to comments on my blog. If I want to actually grow my blog I need to be a bigger part of the blogging community.
  5. I’m never going to be one of those bloggers with thousands of readers unless I spend more time on it. I can’t spend more time on it while I have a job. I should quit my job.
  6. I will never make money blogging. I make less than a dollar a month on ads. I can post my link to my Kofi page as much as I want and only a couple of real life friends will ever click, Random strangers on the internet are not going to buy me a coffee because they like my blog post. Feel free to click above and prove me wrong.
  7. The only things that will change from these realization – I may write in the evening when I have more time, but I will schedule the post to publish the next morning and I will be more likely to keep it more personal as I move forward.

Maybe I will find a good picture for next Wednesday.

A Quick Update

Just a quickie today to say three things:

I have decided to use NaNoWriMo to try to start a memoir about my time in jail. We will see how that goes. Maybe that is a good enough alternate plan to convince my wife I should quit my job. I’m sure it will be a bestseller and I will be famous and will need all my time to do interviews and such.

I have also changed my Support the Common Tater link. Instead of it linking to our PayPal account that has my wife’s name on it. I have signed up for Ko-Fi. So, click here if you would like to buy me a coffee or something.

Finally, today was one of those strange blip days where I had a weird amount of traffic and I can’t tell where it came from. I will take it.

Happy Thursday!

Monday Again

Here I am again. Monday morning with an overwhelming sense of melancholy about having to leave the house.

Another Monday morning with no blog post ideas.

I saw on Twitter a discussion of how far in advance people schedule blog posts. There are people out there who have weeks worth of blog posts done and scheduled. I rarely have a blog post scheduled. If I do, it is usually the Wordless Wednesday post where all I am doing is picking pictures to share. I typically get my laptop or iPad and then write what comes to mind. I vomit out my words and hit publish. I’m sure no one is surprised by this.

Scheduled posts would help my Mondays. It’s hard to get in the mood to do much at all before work on Monday morning.

Sigh.

Answering Random Questions Stolen From Someone Else

I took these questions from Waking Up On The Wrong Side of 50. You should go check out their blog. I rarely have an idea for a Saturday blog, so I copied the questions and answered them. Thrilling, huh?

Also, I wrote this on my iPad so I assume there are typos.

  1. What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic? I learned that I’m not quite ready to become a hermit. I still need to see people outside my family. I learned I really need to change careers. I learned I miss the simple things in life like going out and having coffee somewhere while reading a book.
  2. What is your favorite place to vacation? My favorite place to go is to visit my family in Kentucky. I love the summer days in my brother’s pool and hanging out with my siblings and their families. I also love NYC and can’t wait to go back.
  3. What is your favorite season? This is a hard one. I used to love summer when the kids were little and summer was a break from school, sports and dance. Now I think maybe fall. The weather is cooler and we have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner.
  4. Why did you start blogging and is it the same reason you continue? I answered this question here so I won’t say much more in this post. I worked alone and needed a way to feel connected and now it is a way to get my thoughts out and feel good that other people actually read them.
  5. Do you come from a large family? Two parents, two sisters, one brother. Two half sisters and a half brother who I rarely see. Tons of cousins,
  6. What was your best (maybe not favorite) subject in high school? Probably English. It was also my favorite.
  7. Which would you rather read, fiction or non fiction? I almost exclusively read fiction. I add a non-fiction here and there, but I would much rather read fiction.

Feel free to answer some in the comments or steal it like I did.

It’s Hard to Be a Blogger When You’re Boring

I have been thinking about this post this morning. I wrote a few years ago about how hard it is to be a blogger when you are boring. It’s even harder now when you are not only boring, but you also don’t even do the few things you used to do. My kids are both gone now. I have work and then nothing. Hours of home time, most of it alone while my wife is working. Nothing to look forward to. No attending Ravens games this fall. No conferences. Who knows what Christmas will look like. It is hard to be a blogger when you are even more boring than before. It’s even harder to be a blogger when you are boring and depressed.

I recently posted that I have trouble coming up with blogging ideas and asked for ideas. I was having trouble with a topic for my post this morning and thought I might use one of the ideas my friend Sara Leigh suggested. I started thinking about the things I would do when I retire(or quit my job now). I had ideas of what those things would be and I still might do that post soon, but I will warn you that it was pretty boring. I might become the world’s most boring retiree. It fits, though, since I am a very boring person.

Being a boring person makes it hard to not be a boring blogger. I read other blogs and a lot of them can find an anecdote from an ordinary day and make it in to an interesting post. Jenny Lawson is the best at this. I’m not trying to be Jenny Lawson, but it would be nice to be able to take more from every day life and make it an interesting post. This is hard for me as the following is my typical day and why they wouldn’t make a good post:

Wake up, read the paper, watch the news, write a boring blog post – I’m already in the process of boring you with a post about writing boring blog posts.

Go to work – I try not to talk about work online for a variety of reasons. Coworkers read this blog. I don’t people to think this blog is in any way associated with my place of work. It isn’t. This blog is representative of the common tater from Tater World Headquarters.

Come home, eat dinner, read/watch TV – Boring, boring, boring. I do get a Friday post out of what I watch and read, so I guess that counts as something I do that generates a blog post.

Weekends I do yard work, laundry, cleaning, attend church. Nothing that generally gives me a good story for the blog.

I used to do more commentary on current events and things I see on the Today Show. Maybe I can do more of that moving forward.

Maybe I can try to do more interesting things. Maybe I can use my upcoming time alone to craft better posts that would make the mundane seem interesting.

Blogging is hard for a common tater.