Up a Road Slowly: Lagging Behind in Blogging 101

Road photo by Julia

It’s not quite the upward path I envisioned, but it is a road. (Photo by Julia Fleming)

When I was in the sixth grade, I read Irene Hunt’s Up a Road Slowly. Hunt’s best-known children’s book is Across Five Aprils, which I missed in my own childhood and discovered when my children and I were studying the Civil War. As a child, I didn’t particularly enjoy Up a Road Slowly, so I didn’t seek out Hunt’s other books. The visual image created by Hunt’s title–of climbing up a steep path, one step at  a time–is what I remembered ruefully this morning, after paying a visit to the Blogging 101 Commons with its busy chatter about today’s assignment. I felt so far behind most of the other bloggers. How can I reconcile completion of the Blogging 101 assignments with the demands of my real life (as opposed to my virtual life)?

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Is my voluntary commitment to Blogging 101 barring me from the beauty of fall in the mountains? (This photo was taken by an iPhone 5 with no filters or HDR.)

Thanks to being out of town the last two weekends in September, I got woefully behind on the assignments. Two days ago, I made a feeble stab at “Start Personalizing,” but what I am longing to work on is the assignment that the other bloggers are doing–which changes from day to day! My rate of doing assignments seems to be two a week, at best. My true dilemma: do I press on to the next assignment, even when I feel that I didn’t master the skill taught by a previous assignment?

For 24 hours, I erroneously believed that Blogging 101 had ended, after I misunderstood this assignment. Thanks to the entertaining, nostalgic, evocativewitty, and lovely responses to various community challenges posted by other Blogging 101ers, I realized that I was wrong. Nope, the powers-that-be are still posting assignments for the blogging novice; it’s not time to post that “Elegy for Blogging 101” just yet. I’ve gone back to following the Commons: sure, my Reader is overflowing, but at least I know that assignments are still forthcoming.

I’ve tried jumping ahead with the assignments–this post is partly in response to the Nature Photo Challenge but primarily a response to the Daily Post’s Photo Challenge, which was to photograph and write about a sign. The words “Patient Entrance” not only had a literal meaning for me, as I walked into the shot clinic, but they also spoke to me as a new blogger who loves the exchange of ideas that she finds here at WPW (WordPress World) but finds the balance of responsibility and creativity difficult to manage. Yesterday, my college son, who is home on Fall Break, expressed his concern at finding me on my laptop 24/7: “You’re like a teenager, Mom. You’re always on the computer!” As I explained, I didn’t own a computer when I was in college or grad school: shouldn’t I get some catch-up time for the years that I missed? He pointed out that I was using a logical fallacy to justify my excessive computer time. (At least he’s learning something at college.)

If I am to enter successfully into the blogosphere, my family will need to be patient with me. Even my husband’s stoic silence may crack under the strain of unwashed dishes and cluttered countertops. But a double measure of patience is needed here: I need to be patient with myself as the latest assignments on Blogging 101 blow temptingly past me. Maybe I should even make a written list as the assignments come up, so that–if I decide to jump ahead–I could cross that one off the list?

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The color of this maple tree’s leaves changed with my perspective.

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The light also made a difference.

Although jumping ahead is permissible in Blogging 101–almost anything is permissible in Blogging 101, aside from disrespect, theft, or violation of blogger etiquette (a crime that I have inadvertently committed more than once)–I know myself to be a sequential learner. I like the contents of anthologies to be arranged chronologically. I am not a fan of unit studies (a common approach in homeschools), because I prefer to learn about events in the order that they occurred, not through a common theme. If I’m starting to read a new series, I prefer to start with the first book. Using my trusty Blogging 101: Zero to Hero bookmark on my toolbar, I shall look to see what assignment comes next for me personally–after my son has returned to college!  (I’m only able to type this post because he stayed up late rewatching the first movie in the Bourne trilogy, but I hear him walking around upstairs now. Time to get off the computer and cook him the nice breakfast that he doesn’t get at school.) Meanwhile, onward and upward, as I patiently enter the blogging world.

This was an interesting sign, but it inspires thoughts of the Jazz Age as opposed to the Blogging Age.

This was an interesting sign, but it inspires thoughts of the Jazz Age as opposed to the Blogging Age.

Note: All photos in this post were taken on an iPhone 5s.

 

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17 thoughts on “Up a Road Slowly: Lagging Behind in Blogging 101

  1. Uh oh. Please tell me about these violations of bloging etiquette. Are the rules posted somewhere?

    As for getting behind: I don’t think the assignments are meant to make you feel like you’re doing it wrong. I like what Aileen said about doing the assignments that seem the most beneficial first and going back (at some unspecified point) to do others. I’m not doing any of them (just blundering along in my own way). But I AM concerned about this blogging etiquette of which you speak….

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    • Are there written rules for blogging etiquette at WordPress? It never occurred to me to look for one, so I don’t know. I’ve gradually became aware of a few do’s and don’ts, as I went through the first half of Blogging 101. I didn’t realize that it was courteous to respond to comments. I also didn’t realize that other bloggers appreciate receiving comments as well as likes. A comment lets someone else know that you’ve read the post and connected with or appreciated it. Recently, the Daily Post had an article about what constitutes a good comment. The article made me realize that I’ve done some of the things it advised against: leaving a link in your comment on someone else’s posts, while not necessarily bad manners, could be interpreted to mean that your main goal in leaving a comment was to get someone else to read your post. Maybe I should look for such a list? I have not been blogging long enough to write one 🙂

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    • You’re absolutely right: I shouldn’t feel bad about getting behind on the assignments. When I was in school, it was better for me to do assignments on time; when I get behind on something, I get discouraged and feel like quitting. I appreciate the fact that the assignments are still available for me to read, even though the September Blogging 101 class is now over. I do plan to finish all the assignments, at some point, because I learned so much from the assignments that I tried. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I haven’t been doing all the assignments. After all, we are not in school. This is a free little course if you can call it that. Sometimes I don’t like the assignments 😦 I could go on and on. I started my blog before Blogging U and had found out a lot of things on my own. But gads we won’t be getting graded. I know what you mean about it being time consuming and I am still mulling that one over as well.

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    • Being obsessed with the “grade” is an old habit of mine, even when there is no grade! I wish I could have kept up with the pace of the assignments, because it was useful to see how other people responded to them–I don’t know if that makes any sense? Now that I have this Liebster Award out of the way, I’m going back to the Blogging 101 list. The time issue is a problem, but I find that the benefits of blogging are out-weighing the messy house–for the moment, at any rate.

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      • There is another little course starting in a few days, Blogging 201 that is supposed to offer advice on how to develop your blog. I don’t know if you are interested. You need to sign up for it like we did with 101. Don’t worry if you don’t get everything out of these things. WordPress has all this help pages to explain things as well.

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  3. Sandi, if it is any consolation, this is my second time doing Blogging 101 and I’ve never finished all assignments. I do want to go back to what I missed and try to complete them. Life just gets in the way sometimes and if we want to do blogging well, it takes time that is sometimes hard to find. Just push foward, one step at a time.

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  4. I am not very good at doing things exactly as they are posted. My mind and imagination take over and I am easily distracted…….oh look…a puppy! Now what was I saying?……

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  5. Hello Sandi ! Blogging is indeed so addictive and demands so much of your time. My family is quite supportive of my passion for for writing, but at times my husband too wishes I limit my time on the computer!

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  6. Pingback: Blogging 101- Be inspired by the Community | Heather Publishing

  7. Sandi, I would have lost my mind if I’d tried to do every assignment on the day it was due. Instead, I tried to pick and choose the ones I thought would be most beneficial. I figure I can go back and look at the ones I missed when the course is over. My brain might be less addled then. …

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  8. Again you have seamlessly combined the Blogging 101 with your artistry. No pun intended. This article about your missed lessons shows just how your brain works. ❤ By the way, after you are truly addicted to blogging, there will be no apologies for being hooked. And thanks for the ping back.

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  9. I am behind as well. My daughter is in the second week of school refusal, I am trying to get my own course work done for a course I signed up for before I knew my daughter would be at home 24/7, we just finished seven weeks of renovations and I am trying to fit in blogging and falling so behind! I like your idea of writing down the assignments though as I can never seem to find the previous ones! Good luck for you!

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  10. Awww… Thanks for the ping back. I’m glad you found it lovely. 🙂

    (And… I’d just keep doing what you can do and keep moving forward. I’m new to this, too and a lot of times have found that as I keep going on assignments, the previous ones start to make more sense. But… if you are just stuck, post in the commons! Someone will be there to help you out. I’ve had good luck with that. And… I’m pretty sure there is nothing wrong with having a real life. You don’t need to power blog. 🙂 )

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