Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

tcb web site changes January 2021

Over the next 24 hours or so this WordPress site will become my web site. Those who follow my efforts elsewhere will be aware that I have been dissatisfied with my web hosting provider for a while now and have moved other web presence to WP. This one was part way through a paid period and so has had to wait until now to make the change, but buttons have been pressed this afternoon and the move is in train.

Hopefully all will go as smoothly with this one as has happened with the others, but there may be a slight glitch with emails as there always seems to be a small window in the transfer that something whistles through. If you have emailed and do not get a response within a day please resend or use one of my other contact methods.

The look of this site may change slightly as I work out how best to manage the change.

Thanks for looking in

on blogging

I know that I am no longer very consistent in blogging here. I would like to get back to the days when I would write exactly 600 words to go out at 0600 every Monday, but my life now is very different to the one that I had back then.

Early in my blogging I was a road warrior and frequent business traveller. There would be time on trains and ‘planes (and waiting for them) to rough out blog posts and time in hotel rooms to polish them. Even whilst driving I could, if nothing else, capture Ideas for I used to have a voice activated digital recorder on a lanyard around my neck. I started using it when I first had a hands free ‘phone kit in my company car and could not always be relied upon to remember exactly what someone had told or asked me. Having the digital recorder was a help later in the day and I soon came to use it for recording ideas. It also captured my occasional thoughts on other motorists…

So I would have all of these ideas, many based on something that had happened that day and could be caught whilst fresh and then developed. Initially I wrote blogs as individual stories that were as long as they took; one might be 450 words and the next over 1000. It was a chance encounter in an airport that changed things for me and developed my approach as a writer.

I will call my mentor Janice for the sake on anonymity. She saw what I was writing one day and struck up a conversation that led to her following my Monday Musings and she contacted me later to suggest that I set a word count and tried to develop my blogs to fit it exactly. She gave me a framework to write to and encouraged me a lot. Through her tutelage I began to write things with a tight focus and the challenge of sharing a sentence here and a word there to get to the 600 word target was one that I began to enjoy. Janice died less than a year after we met, but I tried to keep up her standards for some time.

Later I became a professional writer in that I began to be paid for regular magazine features. I had written a few features and short pieces going back to the late seventies, but had stopped when I was not paid by two publishers, one of whom not only used my words, but also my photos. That soured my interest in writing for publication until I was approached for an article. That commission was used and paid for and led to a series followed by another series and for nearly three years I had an article out every month. Carefully reading what appeared in print against what I had submitted gave me a lot of respect for the skill of a good editor in making small and subtle changes to enhance what appeared on the pages.

The Summer of 2016 marked a turning point for me professionally and changed my lifestyle considerably. No longer did I have the periods on solitude to capture ideas nor the lonely periods in hotel rooms where I could work those ideas up into blog posts, each carefully sculpted to an exact length. The magazine for which I had been writing closed down and that took away one of the disciplines too; there is nothing like writing to a publishing deadline to focus the mind and a personal target is no substitute.

It is rare now for me to be in the position where I have had seven or eight weeks worth of blogs written and scheduled here. I did manage it briefly last Spring, but then personal projects took over my time and I lost impetus again. Can I get it back? I don’t know, but I do like to write and it is something that I want to try and get back into.

Thank you to those who have followed me so far. I hope that I can maintain your interest.

the lockdown log 7

So far the day goes well. Thursdays I have off from my part time job and so I, being an early riser, get on with more personal projects. This morning I have written a new page for the companion blog to this one and saved the draft for reviewing later and been out for my essential chores trip. Read more…

the lockdown log 6

Not quite nine o’clock and I have been working for about three and a half hours now, including a quick trip to my local Waitrose for a fix on some of the things we have not enjoyed for about two months. It has been a productive morning so far. Read more…

missing in action

It has been an interesting year to be sure: We have seen political upheaval here in the UK (and we’re not done yet thanks to the red team), watched the fun and games over in my second home in the USA and through it all I seem to have not found much time to keep my blogging here that regular. Read more…

travelling in hope – scheduled posts coming up for the next two weeks

I’m off on my travels again later today heading off to work for a week and a bit on what is, at least for me, another new continent. I’ve written recently about how British expertise is in demand around and this will be my third new continent in 5 months so you can see what I mean. Read more…

holiday humour – could I have sobotaged the Aztecs

TCB checked his tie in the mirror and smoothed down his suit. “You’ll do” the Berkshire Belle told him from the bed where she lay reading the morning paper, adding “It says here that the price of chocolate will be important to you today”. He grinned, “Probably means I’ll fancy a Kit-Kat for the train, but won’t pay rip off Britain prices at the station”. Read more…

mid week musings on blogging and plans for this site

I am in the process of taking a look at how this blog should work and to reduce the amount of time that I spend each week on keeping this and its companion web site running smoothly. Read more…

Weekend Musings on Change

It is a while now since Monday Musings settled into its current format and I would like to make some changes. As yet I’ve not entirely decided what these should be, but what follows is the way that I am thinking.

The 600 words every Monday at 0600 UTC was a challenge that I was happy to meet. Over the years that I have been hitting that target I have written in a variety of styles and on a range of topics. Musings was intended to be a vehicle for serious topics even if I do get them over with a periodic use of humour, but the 600 words once a week has become something of a constraint, or at least from time to time it has.

I will keep the Monday column going though, simply because it is a good discipline and one that I find very useful in terms of business writing. Six hundred words in a standard font and size is a single sheet of A4 paper, and being able to set out an idea on a single side of paper is something that anyone in business should be able to do.

But when I wrote I Don’t Have My Decision Making Trousers On, the old Musings posts that I incorporated into that book all benefitted from being re-written with the freedom of however many words it took. In some cases they were improved by condensing them, but in most cases they came out a little longer. The 600 limit also precludes some of the stories that I have wanted to tell and a few of those drafts that I had stored away found their way into “Trousers”.

So what I have in mind is to keep my 600 word format musings coming through on Mondays, but to be able to bring in anything else that crosses my mind as and when it does. That leads to the second change, and this is also something that I’ve not yet decided on, but I will change the name of the blog. Monday Musings was somewhat un-original; there are many blogs with that title, but so far every alternative that I can come up with is also either in use or too close to someone else’s pride and joy for me to want to muscle in.

The change of name will therefore come when I get that spark of inspiration to find a new name for it; there is no hurry.

So it is business as usual, but with a gradual change over the coming weeks. Thanks to all who read what I write here, and another thanks to those who leave a comment, Tweet the blog or talk to me about things that I have written when we run in to each other.

thursday news from monday musings

A rare mid-week post, but I have a couple of pieces of news to broadcast.

First off I had some kind feedback on last year’s Christmas Story and so I am working on a couple of humorous posts again for the next two, maybe three, Monday Musing columns and the first of these is already scheduled ready to run.

The other piece of news is that, having become aware that I need to prune the archives here to maintain space I have put together a collection of the older posts that seem to generate repeat traffic and added a lot of new and original material to be published as an e-book. The completed volume is with Amazon at the moment and will be exclusively available via Kindle to begin with. If you don’t own a Kindle, then  Kindle for PC can be downloaded from the Amazon site at no cost. Click here to buy the book from Amazon.

I Don't Have My Decision Making Trousers On

As 2011 runs out I’d like to thank all those who have followed my blog(s) and supported my efforts over the year. Seasonal greeting to all and best wishes for a good 2012.