Tales From My Couch: Rainy Day Musings on Pop Culture and Blogging

Well, it’s raining today – of course.  So my eagerly anticipated departure back out on to the lake has been delayed a bit.  Not that like papyrus I will dissolve and disappear into the ether at the slightest touch of rain, but because the commute via bass boat with an 80 pound rescue pooch and a weeks worth of fresh, clean, dry laundry in the rain is more hassle than it is worth.  So I find myself in the middle of my week off plopped at home, enjoying some herbal tea and catching up on my reading, having decided to head out this evening instead.

Having done not much (aside from some light tidying) the past several hours besides read through the outpouring of others minds in this little place called wordpress, my own brain is tiring from going here, there and everywhere, trying to see things through others viewpoints, finding myself encapsulated in the emotional roller coaster that are others experiences, learning things I heretofore did not know I never knew about, and reflecting others lessons and experiences back unto myself.  So time for a break and a little outpouring of my own random thoughts.

I have How To Tame Your Dragon playing in the background.  I know it is a children’s movie, but it is a pleasant, colourful, imaginative and wholesome one.  I see and hear such atrocities on a regular basis that I simply cannot stand to come home to subject myself to more – even of the fictional variety.  As my career working in court further progresses, so in turn does my appreciation of base humor (a la Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn), and my love of things happy, wholesome and fun (a la Disney and musicals).  Criminal Minds, CSI, Law and Order and even newspapers are a thing of the past for this broke girl, and the more explicit our pop culture becomes, and the more desensitized our population becomes to all of the needless violence, gore, sexual violence and gratuitous sex the more I shun it and seek out even more benign forms of entertainment.  I’m not a total prude (far from it actually), and if a comedy calls for a humorous shot of a rear end or a pair of breasts, then so be it.  If a love scene is necessary to the plot and emotional growth of the characters, then I appreciate it as much as anyone.  If the plotline is intelligent and calls for the barest amount of violence necessary to move the plot forward while the main focus is on the characters and plotline, it is understandable (because who doesn’t love Sherlock?).  But if this shock culture we live in is a phase, can it please be over already?

If I’ve confused you and lost my point, or if you disagree with me on what I’ve written, please then take the time to explain to me what value movies like Saw add to society, why prime time television requires nudity and sex to advance a 30 minute (minus commercials) plot line, and why things we used to affix R and PG 13/14 ratings to 30 years ago are now being marketed to children.  I’m going to shrug it off now, and start thinking on it for a more detailed future post.

I came across my lovely blogger friend Maria‘s site and her latest post about hitting 300 followers!  First off, I want to say that it is not ‘complete lunacy’ that she has 300 and counting followers – she is amazing!  Intelligent, insightful, friendly, caring and interactive, opinionated and a highly skilled writer she is deserving of each and every single follow she gets.  And then I thought for half a brief moment, I wonder what my reader count is at?  I checked.  Quite a few less than hers.  I got a very brief chuckle out of it, as I didn’t have to even ponder why such a difference when we started around the same time.  If you’re looking to tell me why the difference, there is no need.  I can already tell you many things I know that am doing or not doing that can make a difference in reader numbers.

  • I do not post on anything resembling a schedule
  • I do not read and comment on enough bloggers sites (I try to get around to as many as I can while still prioritizing the ones I have established connections with, but I have real life priorities that preclude me from doing the work ‘required’ here)
  • I write long posts.  I love long posts.  I’m wordy and detailed and have way too much to say.  If you don’t like my style, and my content and just general amazingness (wink wink) is not enough for you to want to stick around to read further, then I am not your taste and that is fine with me.  I am not offended if you do not like me.  I am simply not your taste and style.  But there are millions of other blogs out there that likely are, and I encourage you to not hang around, focused on not liking mine and to spend your precious time seeking out the writers that are.
  • I have no real theme.  My thoughts and posts are all over the map, as is my posting style.  There is no consistency.  That is because I am not a consistent person.  I think about and am interested in many things, and I just go with what feels right for me in that moment.
  • I know nothing about SEO and do not plan on learning more.  I am not a self hosted, monetized blogger.  Site traffic means nothing to me; interactions with readers and other bloggers that appreciate who I am and what I have to say mean the world.  If I was to go the monetization route or focus on the numbers I would have to compromise who I am to be successful at it, and right now I am just enjoying being who and what I am – which is a bit of a scattered mess on a good day!
  • I don’t focus on pictures.  I barely know what a GIF is.  And when I do post photos, the credit is 100% all mine!  Again, I’m not monetized or worried about the numbers.  The photos I take mean more to me and I know I will never, ever have to pay for them or put myself at risk for fraud, plagiarism or copyright issues.  I also just prefer to dump the contents of my head out, and photos are usually an afterthought… something that I occasionally add to make a post more palatable, or because I think they might be fun to use.  Worse case scenario, I use them as filler when I have nothing much to say.
  • I do not have a regular special feature (ie, MCM Monday, This Month’s Top 10 List, etc.).  I have considered it, because I think it might be fun.  I may get around to it at some point.
  • I’m terrible at titling posts.  That plus a dearth of photos makes for some lacklustre curb appeal.  This is something I actually wouldn’t mind working on.
  • Speaking of curb appeal, I picked a theme that looked clean enough that it wouldn’t confuse my already cluttered brain.  I have not worked on it or sought to improve it in any way since I clicked the start your account button three(ish) months ago.
  • I’ve been doing this for only three months.  Persistence and patience is key.  Well, those are two things I have in spades, so maybe this isn’t something I am doing wrong insomuch as it is early on.
  • I don’t have a specific progressing story or goal leaving you in suspense, looking and wanting for follow up to keep you returning.  As far as what you may have to look forward to from me, it could very well be a lengthy dissertation on how most best before dates can be taken with a grain of salt, or it could be a picture of my dog sleeping on my side of the bed again.  While this is not an effective blogging strategy, unpredictability is what you get with me.
  • I am more clinical than emotional.  If you comment on my site I love the interaction, and value your time and thoughts.  But my reply back to you will not come across as warm and welcoming and empathic as others would.  The way I am wired prevents me from doing so, even though I want to and am finding with practice that I am getting better at it…. know that when I do, it is genuine.  But I will always seem even just a little cold or uptight.  I try to use humour and shared experiences and utilize my interest in others to balance this out.  It doesn’t always work that well.  And that might work for many, many people, except…
  • I am not an expert in anything, have nothing to proffer that has never been seen and done before, and do not have a narrow niche.  I am an expert in opinion (I prefer to think educated opinion, haha), and I have learned through forensic experts that in order for opinion to be considered, one must be first qualified as an expert.  So my self declaration must make it so.
  • I do not promote my blog, do not share on social media, have barely told anyone about it (because it is just another thing that I am interested in and do in my spare time, and because I only think to if I know that person would be interested), and do not engage the social media sharing/app widgets.  I know how to advertise myself, I choose not to.

And as you can see, I’m not really moving along to fixing these things I’m ‘doing wrong’.  Not out of disregard for you, my reader, but out of regard for myself.  When enough time passes and when and if I decide it’s time to pick a more narrow focus and to make my blog a more desirable one, then I will start to work on curbing the lesser attractive aspects of my personality and will grudgingly spend my money and more of my time doing so.  Until then, here I am!!

And then I went back to thinking about food.  I wonder if the leftover Chinese take out I just wolfed down will ruin my dinner.  I wonder what I should have for dinner.  Look at me, I’m still in my pyjamas.  I should probably get ready for something.  My tea is cold.

But back to more blogging randomness, I have some burning questions I need answered by you all!

I do admit to having a heck of a time trying to keep caught up on my ‘must reads’.  Some of you are superstars at it.  How do you go about keeping caught up?  Do you actively look up just the blogs you have a vested interested in?  Do you just do the newsfeed scroll and stop when titles or certain bloggie acquaintance’s sites roll around that command your interest, as I do?  Do you read each and every thing that everyone puts out?  Do you do the skim and like on just the front pages (as I hear so many do)?  Do you feel compelled to read a post you’re not interested in just because you have followed that person?

And as far as your own follows go, how do you determine who you follow and do not?  Do you follow absolutely everyone and then read your newsfeed like a magazine, as I do (only stopping for the highlights and must reads)?  Do you try to keep your follow numbers limited so you can read all blogs?  Do you clean up your follows regularly?  Is unfollowing a big faux pas?  Do you notice or care when someone unfollows you?  Those are topics I’ve looked up and read on certain pages, but usually only get that one person’s opinion, mirrored back by those of their followers.

Oh, my head is atwirl today.

P.S. My new fave addiction – aloe vera juice.  So refreshing, tasty and hydrating.  You have all GOT to try it!

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Author: thebrokegirlsguidetobetterliving

Welcome! I am "thebrokegirl", aka Mandy. And what makes me a broke girl? Being a single income household, living the best life I can alongside my big grumpy dog obviously, but also because I'm not perfect - I'm broke - I'm a work in progress, which is exactly how I want to stay! My passion for writing, research, trying new things and wanting to help and inspire others are what inspired me to start this blog. So what makes me an expert on better living? Nothing! I'm just a girl trying. And what is better living? It's mindfulness, small changes, simple acts, baby steps to help make your day, your health, your environment, your life just that little much better. I'm on a lifelong journey to level up my life, and invite you to share that journey alongside me!

31 thoughts on “Tales From My Couch: Rainy Day Musings on Pop Culture and Blogging”

  1. Oh, I’ve got so much to say. I just wanted to say thank you first of all, for the lovely things you said about me.
    I will get back you this.
    So much to say! 😙

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am trying to avoid too conscious-blogging behaviour. For me this is not a tool to make money or promote my book, it is only a pleasant free-time acitvity. Evidently I would like to feel that my ideas are read by others as well, as my blog is not a private one. However, I do not use any other social media tool, I am not a subscriber to any anyway. I post only 2 posts per week, as I do not want to burn out and give it up in lack of subjects.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, just so you know, I have been reading yours, so there is one for ya 😉 My objective was to learn to put myself out there and get over the fear of having people read anything I put out into the world. Then I realized that I should try to ‘fit in’ a little into the blogging world so that I could have people reading along, in order to accomplish the goal I originally set out for. Then I began to interact with a few other bloggers and now enjoy my interactions with them. Read all the advice on how to be a good blogger, got overwhelmed and realized it was more for people looking to drive more traffic than make connections and largely out of my comfort zone. Then just began doing whatever I felt like again and trying to keep up with the bloggers I have already made connections with. You may post only 2x per week (and that is a lot for some!) but your topics are interesting and your content is always thought provoking, which inspires me to come back regularly. I suppose I should comment more than I do lol.
      Thank you so much for reading and your time in commenting. It is appreciated! And I’m glad to see that I’m not the only ‘rule breaker’ out there 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You know, it’s a difficult one for me,this response to you. I’ve read your post twice and kept getting a little twinge of hurt in my heart. I’ve gone over about 5 different ways to respond and half seem like I’m way too sensitive and taking this blog too seriously and the other half sound like I’m a whiney, easily offended moron. So .
    I’m going to just blurt and hope for the best! I loved what you said about me- it was the loveliest thing anyone has said about me here on WP. I agreed with you wholeheartedly and freakishly EXACTLY (makes sense? ) about the TV show/violence /dark themes situation. I gave all that up over 2 years ago and now just want to watch funny or uplifting things ONLY.
    Then your list..I’m slightly ashamed to say, upset me. ..do you think I DO those things you speak about and that’s how I got followers? I know your answer is going to be no. I know that. I wrote a while post about that stuff! But I got a bit hurt,irrationally so, when I read it. I am by nature, over sensitive and so I know I misunderstood. But you know don’t you, that I just write what comes to me ,when it comes and I don’t promote or SEO optimise or use GIFS or all that nonsense? I also have real life priorities – no one helps/babysits/lends me an hour of their time with little monkey. It’s all me, all the time and hubby when he’s not working. I find windows of time here and there throughout the day and do my best.
    Even as I write I feel that I’m over thinking this and justifying myself to you, who has shown me nothing but warmth (yes warmth, you’re not cold at all ) and kindness and dare I say friendship, in a virtual way. So why?
    I took what you said as , indirectly aimed at me? Ok, this is silly. I won’t delete what I’ve written but I really hope you don’t think I am that type of blogger.
    About following /reading/catching up etc . there’s 2 things I do – I follow everyone who follows me (unless it’s a scam or heavily religious etc) and I read/comment/ respond when / if and as very best as I can. That’s it. No guilt if i respond late or don’t get to all of everyone’s posts. But if and when I do I read and respond wholeheartedly.
    For the record, I am a huge admirer of your blog, your writing and style. You’re immensely intelligent , prolific and insightful. Love it. And I don’t think you should change or do anything. There’s an immense sense of YOU in your blog and that’s what is endearing to me.
    So I think I am done. I know you’ll say I’m loony for saying what is aid earlier but you were my first ‘friend’ here and the person I speak to most in depth and at length with and had to get it out.
    Excuse the typos because I’m just going to press send without rereading as I’ll end up deleting stuff and I don’t want to.
    If all reasoning fails and you can’t make sense of my insanity, you have permission to Blake it in hormones.
    Virtually hugging you X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, oh no!!! I didn’t mean to hurt you, and I’m sorry that I did!!!! I have to make this quick because I left myself no time and have 16 minutes to pack and be out the door, but I was congratulating you and know that you have followers because you have a warm, welcoming site to go along with your warm, welcoming and amazing personality. No, no, I was comparing myself to all of the OTHER things I have read all over about how to blog and do it right… NOT to you!! I was trying to say you have earned your followers the hard way, and because you have such a vibrant personality and great talent. I was trying to give you a high five, but in juxtaposition with the rest of what I was discussing probably looked bad. Please forgive me 😀 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh , now I’m sorry 😦. I basically knew what you would say but I just had to get it out. Thank you for everything you said. You’re so sweet and genuine. I’m off to be a normal, rational person now !
        High five and a hug.
        💜💜

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The crazy train I was riding today, normal and rational were forgotten at the station. With no explanation apart from those hormones you alluded to earlier on lol.
        I’m just glad you asked, because I would hate to leave any misunderstandings gone unaddressed, so thank you 😊 I thought it was very mature of you.
        I’m lying here at quarter to 1 in the morning watching movies and curled up on the sofa at camp because the mood I’ve been in, it seems the best place for me to be tonight lmao. (And thankfully I have service in the middle of the night here again so I can google away and keep myself distracted haha). Lots of chocolate and some tea and the coming up day will be a better one for us both 😉💕. Hugs back!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course. I used to be very different and told myself not to be that way anymore. Glad we’re good now 😊🌺🌺🌺
        Sometimes we just need to stay away from everyone and sort out brains now.
        Just waiting for that good day now 😊😊😊😙

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Oh dear, yes. I know exactly what you mean by needing that time away to get the brain straight! I am allowed to carry over an entire years vacation time at work, so once I got in enough years of service I had 4 weeks a year, I skipped taking any days off whatsoever so I could have 8 weeks the following year. I now use up 4 and keep the other 4 in reserve, and refer to them as my ‘mental health escape plan’ haha…. I know one day I’ll need the extra long break 🙂

        Like

      5. By the way. ..couple of awards coming your way…please don’t feel you have to do them! They’re just a little hug from me X

        Like

      1. That’s an amazing thing to say. I am taking it in the BEST way! I really don’t, it all just started speeding away from me after 100…bizarre for me. 😊 Thank you , Mandy Xx

        Like

  4. Beautiful post. Love it!👍👍 I just blog for the love of writing. I prefer to do two posts a week since I came back late in June after leaving it for close to 4 years. Though I wasn’t blogging throughout this period, yet I never stopped writing. I will often contribute articles, quotes, and lyrics to people and magazine, for the love of reaching out to humanity. Though I came back to blogging again in a more mature, relaxed and genuine manner, and my followers moved from 8 to over 70 in less than 2 months, yet I’m not letting it get to me. I’m just happy that other people appreciate my posts and I also enjoy theirs. It’s all for the love of writing and reaching out to humanity. Thanks once again.🌷

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you very much! And thank you for sharing your blogging experience here!! My stance on blogging shifts weekly, as I feel I still haven’t really found my ‘groove’, but when overthinking the numbers thing the first couple of weeks passed, I have since been much happier just playing around, and writing what I feel however I feel and not thinking at all (unless reminded haha) about my numbers so much as focusing on writing things I have an interest in or have on my mind, and connecting to people with similar (or opposing! That’s how you learn and grow 😉 ) viewpoints as mine. I will definitely be checking out your blog once I have settled in a bit more here (I just used up most of my vacation time this summer sitting out at camp). I am glad that you are finding it a much better endeavour this go around, being more relaxed about it.
      Thank you again for your visit and your thoughtful comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much! Don’t worry, you will definitely find your ‘groove’. A cool way to enjoy it, just like you said, is writing about whatever interests you, and not thinking much about the numbers. I’m glad you could actually chill out at camp. You should come back fully refreshed.😄😄

        Wishing you a great week ahead!🌷

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am definitely happier and more relaxed than I have been in a while, though a little tired and in need of a break from my break haha. I’m sure I’ll figure out what my groove is one day – or maybe erratic is my groove. I’m going to try not to overthink it 😉
        Wishing you a great week right back!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ‘Erratic groove’, haha! Like you said, I also think it’s safe not to over-think it. It will come to you naturally. Glad you are happier and more relaxed these days. ‘A break from your break’, haha! I don’t know how you gonna do that, but I believe you will feel stronger as you find time to relax some more. You are a really lively lady. I appreciate your strength and good heart. Remain blessed dear!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Haha, I’m not sure how I’m going to manage that either – the very first thing I did Monday morning when I saw my boss was arrange to come in to work on my day off 😛
        I get my fair share of relaxation in during the evenings (while I shirk my household duties haha), so that has to count for something 🙂
        I very much appreciate your reading and commenting, and am looking forward to getting to read more through your blog. I very much am enjoying getting to connect with good people such as yourself through here 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Haha, you sure do love to get things done,😄😄. Now I see why we won’t know just how ‘to take that break from your break’.😁😁 But it’s cool that you still find time to chill in the evenings when you get home. I pretty much do the same too, but it’s all good.😄😄

    I agree with you dear; it’s really a great experience meeting people with good hearts such as yourself in this platform. I hope to read more from your blog and get to know you more through your writing.

    You are such a wonderful person, and I’m glad to meet you. Do take care and stay blessed always!🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That blush sure sounds nice and will look great on you.😉😉 Won’t mind seeing it though.😄 But I’m glad I could put a sweet smile on that lovely face. I hope you had a great night. May you wake to the brighter side of things and continue to shine in that special way only you know how.

        You bet I’ll be looking forward to reading from you a lot more, and must say I really do enjoy the great chats we share. Really Special, just like you!🌷

        Do have a great day ahead.🌷🌷💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha! Maybe I will have to confirm by myself if it does.😄😄 I did have a good week overall. Though a little challenging at times, but everything was eventually sorted out. Thank you! I hope that injury is getting healed up real fine, and you are still taking things easy as promised.👍

        If you do go to the office on weekends, then work safe. But overall, do have yourself a lovely weekend ahead.🌷🌷

        Liked by 1 person

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