Learning the Fundamentals, Day 3: Visit the Neighbors

I’m going back to Day 3 to fully complete the assignment for the WordPress Blogging Class, Learning the Fundamentals. As I edit this post, I can sthat this Fundamentals Day 3 did not disappoint in terms of learning and discovery and going deeper into blogging through going back to Fundamentals. And discovering other random surprises.

Assignment: “Visit the Neighbors”, and find five blogs to follow. I follow 540 blogs and can sort them in different ways. Given that I’m trying to redo this blog, I was hoping to start over with following blogs, but I can’t really do that. I can go through the blogs I follow and reacquaint myself with them, but 540 blogs is too much to try to go through and check out.

I’m following the tips in the assignment and trying out specific tags in the Reader as a way to get to see unfamiliar blogs. I am starting with the tag, “Altered Books”, since that is my focus for now in order to get ready for my workshop and not suck the fun out of it stressing out about it in October.

The first one I visit is https://catseatdogs.com, by Clare. It’s a great title. The tagline is: Fabulous. Friendly. Homemade. Then I found all their social media and follow/liked it; this is a way to be more aware of when they post on her blog, and a way to get to know them more and what it’s about, which seems to be making art and journaling. There is also reference to the “Get Messy” community, intriguing and could lead me down a whole other distracting path. This blogger is using altered books in a specific way, as “found books” to transform into art journals; the post I looked at involved choosing what book/format to alter.

Second blog I’ve chosen: https://ravendustblog.wordpress.com The blog has 10 followers but has posts since 2014, and the fact that the About Page has nothing on it and the widgets and social media links are not filled, tells me this person, Dusty Corvid, is very specifically using the blog as a kind of “Log”, for classes in Foundation Textiles, “OCA”, Open College of the Arts, which sounds like a cool place for learning all kinds of arts.So it’s not a blog intended to have a large audience…the posts on altered books involve the blogger making an altered book as a work of art and not a journal, which is refreshing. Also the technique of putting a white wash over pages of writing is an interesting way to “undo” the original book in preparation for painting.The blogger had reservations about drawing in a book, another really great topic to discuss when talking about altered books. In addition, it turns out this blogger is a fan of Cy Twombly whose work I love. I had no idea Twombly was a cryptographer. Then I stumbled on a post where the blogger went to an exhibit of drawings of Alice in Wonderland, my favorite book ever, so I am excited to explore more posts.

Third blog is: https://orangemarmeladepress.wordpress.com This artist makes all kinds of books which you can see on their blog/website, but the post I really got excited about was the one where the blogger was helping clean up after an altered books class at a local library (I had no idea libraries offer altered book classes!), and finds a book in the trash that got started and was abandoned.

That is a whole other post I will have to use this link for. Lately I have been thinking about the altered book as a project that is just as interesting when it gets neglected, destroyed, abandoned or put in what I call The Art Box, a kind of limbo for art therapy projects.

I next made a new tag in my reader, “Art Materials”, and visited a blog post about getting rid of old art materials and deciding to keep some. This is the blog, entitled “Exploring the Magic that is the Right Brain: Writings, reflections, and a log on art practiceand specific post: https://encodey.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/judgment-befalls-the-art-supplies/ What do you do with art materials you “never” use or have developed resistance to? I love reading what other artists say about their materials and how they use them, and am writing more about it anyway.

Number 5, in the tag, “Gender Identity”, I struck gold again, and found a blog called janitorqueer about a person who is a janitor and genderqueer. I have always been interested in the job of a janitor as I am interested in a lot of unusual jobs people don’t think about or talk about to kids as something to do when they grow up.

 

And that makes five. This assignment was a treasure trove rabbit hall to go down. I think limiting it to five blogs is important, so you can really get to know five blogs and bloggers more than surface level…

 

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How I arrived at the idea for a “One sentence/Image or 3 images/sentences”!

This post will be long and seem disorganized and many sentences and will be followed by my short posts, my newly invented Blog Prompt (one of the assignments of the blogging class), which is to make posts that are One Sentence Long!

First of all, the great benefits of taking a Blogging Class in the WordPress Community:

  1. You can trust it’s pretty safe, as the majority of other bloggers are super accepting of all kinds of people, blogs and posting styles.
  2. You can trust you will learn Assignment 1 no matter what you do! It involves the identity of your blog, why you’re blogging, how etc.
  3.  My creative process has to be edited and organized and suppressed in all sorts of everyday settings. Here, as in art work, I can “let it all hang out” with only great consequence, unique to the internet, WordPress, and this class/community!
  4. The class accepts and embraces these aspects of my creative process/blogging: not doing homework or doing it in any order, not participating for a week or 2 and then participating a LOT, going in and out of attention to blogging class, getting easily distracted by a million blogs, starting blogging tasks and not finishing because already distracted by a million cool things on the internet, getting confused by anything with too many details, and being able to ignore complex stuff in the class and jump around in a fast seeming “disorganized” creative brain way. I’m even allowed to appreciate and absorb other bloggers blogs any way I want. I can read a little and comment on one thing. I can read it then not read it again for a long time. That means there aren’t the usual restrictions on Reading (from elementary school Reading and Reading Comprehension Class): read the first time for the main idea ,then reread to absorb something they want you to get, prioritize what the writer wrote and be able to spit it back in a way that shows someone very organized how well you read it. Ask the questions we say you should ask.

That is a big one, as my natural reading style is probably called ” Inattentive” I am irrelevantly attentive to some things and not attentive to so-called important things in a Seemingly Chaotic way, reading very fast and not wanting to reread most things. Jumping around with my mind and having my own weird reactions and importances…

The rules of the Blogging Class Commons are all useful and helpful and help you contain your Creative Blogging Mojo safely: make comments on the Commons (WordPress’ cool classroom, which of course is in the form of a blog where all participants can share their ideas: Make them brief. Post link to your blog. Don’t put your blog post on the Commons blogging site. Be considerate and kind of all other bloggers. Post only in English language. Then from there, the other rules of Acceptance of All Bloggers Involved in the Class!

  1. You don’t have to remember other classmate’s names or be distracted by what they are wearing, how they are sitting, and all the other stuff in a regular non-virtual class. AND, you are allowed to remember the way your remembering process is, not the way you are told to remember something! That is HUGE. I wish Blogging had been there for my years in high school…
  2. Basically, the virtual atmosphere of WordPress promotes and attracts people who naturally have the following: Total Tolerance and Acceptance of Other Bloggers’ unique process and blogging style and personhood/identity; the appearance and content of your blog MATTER. What you look like physically or how you stand, walk, sit or talk doesn’t matter at all! Yay.
  3. Big one, post as long as you want and have very longs meandering sentences which get you in big trouble in outer reality conversation but are ok in the blogosphere! Or do short posts or post whatever you feel like in whatever way and order or disorder that you want! As opposed to college essays etc.
  4. This means having a messy sloppy overfill, disorderly distracted, irrelevant, non linear, non-anything, non logical imaginative mind works fine.

In addition: the class also is great because:

  1. there is a great balance between working on your own blog and also looking at other people’s blog, blog style and content, and their blogging process unique to them. You learn from blogging and sharing and equally from looking at/checking out other people’s blogs!

(Just want to say Blogging is probably one of the few types of writing I have ever done where my crazy writing/creative process is pretty much unobstructed by being required to write for certain audiences because the internet audience who look at my blog are basically all a “curious and neutral and validating” audience. I have found this nowhere else! It explains why I get super excited whenever anyone in non-virtual reality mentions that they have a blog and have to suppress all the questions and just observe while being excited, limit questions and be brief in mentioning my own blog or notice I should NOT mention my own blog. On the internet you can show off your blog everywhere and get  whatever amount and intensity excited about any Blog and Blogger with only mostly wonderful consequences!!!)

Other great things about the class for me personally specific to my style of blogging AND learning especially learning: I figured out the why of the how of my process of Learning Anything from another language to how to take a train somewhere:

The class accepts and embraces all styles of Learning Stuff: for me, going in and out of attention to blogging class, getting easily distracted by a million blogs and blog topics I like, not doing homework in sequential order, starting blogging tasks and not finishing because already distracted by a million cool things on the internet, getting confused by anything with too many details, and being able to ignore complex stuff in the class and jump around in a fast seeming “disorganized” creative brain way. Also being allowed to not take in information if it feels like something to put off till later. AND you can ask for advice, go back to your blog and do what you think is right, then go back and read the advice without being judged for not Waiting and going about decision process in a backward way!!!
2. Being allowed to post this too long post with no bad consequences! As opposed to talking too much in a non-internet classroom where it’s seen as “hogging”. There’s room for everyone here!

3. you can think out loud to learn stuff and not be told anything or have your long crazy thought/ideas interrupted because it’s making no sense and too long and not staying on topic, like this post

SO this post is a great example:

I’m excited about discovering how my weird brain can be used for blogging and the class without having to change or control my brain process. I then decide to share this excited idea with the class. I start posting in the Commons, and very new for me, I don’t post my thoughts quickly on the commons, I realize it’s too long and can be a blog post I can share as a link with the others. So I decide to do one of my long thinking on the page posts and can illustrate all this by numbering things and not caring if they belong with the other things, AND, I am allowed to repeat myself with no consequences. In non-virtual life, I found out I say the same thing too much.
And noticing a thing that is irrelevant to the current focus of class!

Given my presentation of all the above,  and probably in answer to a few of the assignments in the class that I don’t remember in front of my brain:here is one Dilemma I have had since I started blogging:
Subjects for Bloggging: In one day I post a thousand blog posts in my head. As soon as one topic’s novelty wears off I want to move to something else irrelevant, AND I can’t figure out what to pick to post versus keep on the shelf for later…COnfusing.

My particular Blog TOPIC Choice Dilemma seems to involve very impulsive reactive type of excitement, limited attention to one thing at a time, and lots of attention to all kinds of things all over, and a very ingrained brain thing of not wanting to stay with something for what seems like a long time and is not to others because there is other cool stuff. Having impulsive attention style. Works for art to be into anything from a certain kind of glue to a scribble on a page, to change focus whenever however much!

The reason I don’t follow up when I introduce a sequence of posts if I plan to discuss it later on whenever: It is NOT that I have some problem with follow through or organizing or what you should do when you say you will follow with more of the same:

I thought it was laziness, that I had this great idea for Nutrition and Psychotherapy involving many blog posts was that I got excited about it, wrote the post, then didn’t feel like writing any more about it, thought I could “Catch up” later. It wasn’t laziness, it was the BLOG TOPIC dilemma. When you’re interested in lots of things as a “creative artist”, you want to put something on the paper, then get into some other cool thing or material, and so on. It works for my visual art, and now it works for my blogging style…

My current solution that of course seems totally original but is not is: Post a sentence whenever you want to post with no schedule of frequency or need to conform to anything except that it be one sentence or a sentence and an image… Sort of a more free kind of Twitter type of communication that I wish was Twitter Rules: only one sentence but it can be as long as you want! and have an Image too (which is part of Twitter)
I have impetus to write more on here and it’s too long already, another ADHD thing.

Next post may be a continuation of this one, not one sentence, about my use of mindfulness in blogging to help with my blogging “issues”… So I am going to cut out the next big paragraph and save it for that…