WordPress Community = Awesome!

I’m winding down tonight from weeks of frenzied activity – too much, too soon and I was struggling.

And so, realizing I was headed into old destructive habits that I vowed to leave behind, I came here to read and write.

It such a relief to commune here- to correspond with the community and to know I’m not the only one who struggles with such things…

I (very reluctantly) set up a Facebook account for the child-unit yesterday – he’s been asking for quite a few weeks and I tried valiantly to get him into WordPress, instead – – 🙂

It will come to him, I’m sure – this love of a diverse community of intelligent folks who allow you to broaden your horizons and learn about those who feel differently than you do –

To dive into a pool of the written word that transcends the acronyms and short-cuts of the social networking –

To immerse yourself in really getting to know someone else via their passions that need more space than 164 characters and one pic –

So while feeling the tension of the past few weeks disappear – while sharing what I’ve learned and giving thanks for the gifts given  – it occurred to me that I, in my busy neglect of the past weeks, needed to tell my WordPress community –

Thank You – You are my saving grace and you’re always there for me.

You Rock!

What Kind of Writer are You?

Some years ago, I was hired by a local woman to help organize her computer files.   As I worked we visited and I learned she was a writer.   A paid writer.  And had been for over 50 years.

Not too long after, she hired me to do formatting for a company booklet she had been hired to create.

And then, she asked me to find some relevant pictures…and then, I passed on some research I found while looking for pictures that I thought was relevant to her writing project…

In short, I ended up helping her to write the booklet.

And I gained a mentor.


This woman’s CV is amazing – which she sent to me to show me how it’s done.  Half-way through the first page, I was almost giddy with joy over my luck at happening onto such a talented and widely-versed mentor.

And she, in her own way, deemed me fit to take on for ‘developing’ as she said.   She had ‘developed’ many writers over the years and that she deemed me worthy was a huge ego boost – – at least for awhile…

Lesson #1 – If you are to be a freelance writer, you must have a high tolerance for financial uncertainty.

Check!  I’ve been married to a gambler, been unemployed and self-employed more times than I can count – No problemo…

Lesson #2 – Before you ever write a single word for an article, you will know which publication it is for, what their readers want, what their advertisers expect and which issue you will submit it for.

Whoaaa….. Lesson #1 was so easy – – but this, this sounds like ….WORK!    What are you trying to do?  Kill my muse?!?

I got many other lessons from her during our time together, but let’s suffice it to say that she was somewhat disappointed in my response to #2 and while she continued to mentor and hire me for various jobs, all offers of developing me into a freelance writer were cheerfully and gently declined.

Just not my style.


I’m a prolific writer, and I can write on schedule if I have to, but why do it the hard way?   Some days, I write 5, 6 or 8 posts – then I take 3 or 4 days off – – why force it?

I can usually whip out 3 or 4 chapters a day on my various projects when the ole’ gray noodle has had plenty of contemplating time –  I do not bemoan the ‘fermenting’ portions of my writing journey – I simply turn my mind to other matters and let my subconscious figure out how the evil witch managed to get into the palace in the first place…

This is why I have five different manuscripts in various stages of completion…

I write everyday, just not always on the same project.

Why am I telling you this?   Because these past few months, I realized the way I go about writing and editing is often on the list of ‘no-no’s’ from those who Know what it takes to earn your living from your writing.

The few times I tried to ‘buckle down’ and commit to seriously earning my living from my writing, life became bleak and stressful.   As I hawked my wares, and responded to ads that wanted 400 words of web copy with 360 instances of various keywords, my soul died a little more each day.

So I left it behind and went back to what I knew and enjoyed.   Writing for the pure joy of it.   I decided if ever I earn a living from writing, it simply must be from book sales – because sending me through a checklist of writing ‘do’s’ is akin to hobbling a horse and asking it to gallop.

Just doesn’t happen….

Fortunately for me, there is a generous and kind writer’s community here on WordPress – I no longer agonize as much over the ‘what to do’ lists and question whether I am a writer or not…

For here, there is truly  ‘to each his own’ community support.

So I wrote this for anyone who may be questioning their own writing style – if it works and brings you joy – great.  If not, question what, exactly, needs to change.

It may not be you, at all – it just might be the venue you’re writing in/for…

1337 – Revisited

Earlier today I asked why the heck a WordPress achievement button was made for the odd number of 1337 – here’s the responses I got:

“congratulations on the 1337 likes! thanks wordpress, for such random info! just for fun i did a google search and ‘internet slang’ defines 1337 as ‘elite’. it’s official, tamra jo – you’re a wordpress elite!! : ) aleya”


“Congrats, you elitist! :)



I have stories about elitists and none of them are good – – so, I decided to re-check the actual definitions of elitism and elitists, which are:

e·lit·ism or é·lit·ism

  1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
  2. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
    Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.


  1. Someone who believes in rule by an elite group.

See why I’m struggling with this?


Elitism is 180 degrees south of how I feel about the world – Even though I believe this to be a tongue-in-cheek way of saying, “Hey!  Way to go!  Lots of people here dig what you write” – I still cringe at the term Elite.

I have no issues with self-esteem, confidence or satisfaction in my abilities and projects.   I’m glad that what I write is informative or entertaining to others….

I just really, really don’t want to be an Elitist – – so, anyone know the next award level?   Cuz I gotta hurry up and get there before this label turns me into an arrogant jackarse of a snob…


150? That’s It?

Dunbar’s Number theory is as follows:

Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person.[1] Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 230, with a commonly used value of 150.[2][3] Dunbar’s number states the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, and it does not include the number of people known personally with a ceased social relationship, nor people just generally known with a lack of persistent social relationship, a number which might be much higher and likely depends on long-term memory size.

Dunbar’s number was first proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who theorized that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size … the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained.” On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues such as high school friends with whom a person would want to reacquaint themself if they met again.[4]Courtesy Wikipedia

I, perhaps, am in trouble…


My real world community number has shrunk vastly these past few years.   And though I’m tentatively coming out from my self-imposed hibernation, I do not even come close to 150 as far as daily connecting/contacting goes.

However, my WordPress community continues to grow. I currently follow 212 blogs – I’m behind on checking out the blogs of recent folks who have found me, liked and commented (which is the way I find most of the blogs I follow!)

I haven’t visited Freshly Pressed for months now, because my reader keeps me busy and always supplied with enough reading material.

But I’m starting to slip behind in my WordPress activities – with a little less than a 350 combined community of those who follow me and who I follow.   Thank goodness there are those of you who do not post everyday, else I’d never get caught up.


I remember in the early days of my WordPress venture (2010) – I’d write all day and then go over and check out the blogs of my real world friends.

Now, thanks to a system that makes it so easy to find others whose company you enjoy, I find myself sometimes shutting the reader down before I’ve made my way completely through the new posts list.

Which means I’m going to need to ponder this for awhile –

I really believe I’m perfectly capable of sustaining stable reading relationships with more than 150 – I’m a fast reader and WordPress does have that fancy-schmancy Like button to show support when I don’t really having anything important enough to share via a comment.  

But I also know that I’m starting to push the limits of how much I can read and still limit my WordPress activities to less than 3 hours a day (1-2 in the morning, 1 or so at night).

Perhaps, it’d just be easier to build a ‘slow down time’ machine…

Yup, I think that’s the answer I like best.

Unseen Friends

I really, really appreciate my WordPress Community!

Legends of Windemere

They live close to our heart
Though we have never met
Friends from the ether
Connected by words
Read off the screen

Somehow we found each other
And decided to hang out
Creating bonds of virtual light
That dot the social landscape
Of the world of cyberspace

We share our pains and joys
Console the grieving and the sick
As if the distance is not there
Celebrate victories and milestones
With the sincerity of friendship

A family of the unseen
Is what many have become
Joined in words upon the screen
Which is enough
To forge friendships strong and pure


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