Writing Pet Peeves #7: Lose/Loose

This is another of those mistakes that I’ve only seen since getting on WordPress. During my years in high school and college I never once heard of people mistaking these two words. Never. But the WordPress community has a life of its own and these two words seem to be a major part of it.

I don’t typically see “lose” written in place of “loose.” But I see the other way around ALL the time. And I just want to pull my hair out. I”m really starting to think that everyone on WordPress went to the same school and had the same teacher who never adequately explained some of the mistakes that I see made all the time. Because there are some mistakes that one would expect to be made every so often just as mistakes, but just about every post in this series is a mistake I would not expect to see made over and over again by bloggers who are constantly writing on their blogs. Sure not everyone writes well, but this isn’t about writing well. This is about elementary level mistakes that people seem to be completely unaware of.

I guess I’ll just have to keep “loosing” my mind about it to bring about some change and awareness. Do you ever see these two words used interchangeably?


On this day in 2014 I published Finally Overcoming the Inability to Write.

 

2500 WordPress Followers and Surprise!

The following will be a short letter to you. And then I have a great surprise for all of you! Seriously.

To you,

Just recently Write me a Book, John! surpassed 2500 WordPress followers. I know so many bloggers talk about not caring about followers or site views and all of that and that’s fine, but I’m very open about the fact that I do. Think about it. There wouldn’t be any reason for me to post just about every single day if it weren’t for you. Maybe you read half my posts or a quarter or a tenth, but it doesn’t matter. You read them. You may disagree with some of what I say and I may have even offended you at some point along the way, but you’ve helped me reach this point.

And I understand that plenty of people (bloggers included) don’t take blogging seriously. I know of bloggers who will post a week straight and then not again for a month, and that’s fine. But it’s just not what I want from this whole experience. What I really want is to keep you constantly entertained and informed as much as I possibly can. I want you to wake up each morning looking for what I post each day. I want you to share my posts on Twitter or Facebook of whichever social media site you prefer. I want you to have to think before posting a comment on one of my posts. I want this little spec of the internet to become a little part of your day-to-day routine. And maybe all of that is me wanting too much, but you’ll never be able to tell me that I don’t take you, your opinion, and your blog seriously…because I do.

All I’d like to say is thank you. For reading my rants. For disagreeing with me. And mostly just for reading. It means the world to me that you spend your valuable time on this little blog of mine.

Your fellow blogger,

John


Now for the surprise.

I want to ask you something. And in return I want to GIVE you something even better! I realize that a great many of the 2500 followers on here don’t hardly interact with me, if at all. But many of you do. And many of you have been around here for many months and several have been here since early 2014. And for every one of you I’m talking about there’s a reason you’ve stuck around. Maybe it’s my direct nature of writing my posts. Maybe you think I’m sometimes funny. Maybe you just like books and put up with me. I don’t know, but there IS some reason you read my blog.

And I want you to tell me! I want you to tell me why you like my blog as much (or little) as you do. And I’d like for you to really think about it before posting your response because the person who I determine writes the best response will get to name a character in my WIP! You can name he/she after yourself or after your dog or after whatever you want (within reason) OR if that isn’t enticing to you, then I’ll buy you two paperback books of your choice (and throw in a signed copy of mine).

What do you think?! All I want to know is what you think I’m doing right. That’s it. I really hope you’ll take a minute to comment.

PS: You’ll get the two books or the opportunity to name one of my characters ONLY if I get at least ten individual responses.


On this day in 2014 I published 200 WordPress Followers!.

 

 

Terry Pratchett has Died

I have to be honest. I don’t know anything about him. I couldn’t tell you a single book he wrote. I couldn’t even tell you the name of any series he wrote. Now I bet you’re wondering why I’d write about him if I know nothing about him. Well, because every time I opened WordPress yesterday I came across posts written about him. I’m talking dozens. And it would appear to me that he made a lasting impact on a great many people.

I’m not going to talk about his death. I’m not going to talk about some of his best books that have been mentioned countless times over the last 24 hours. I want you to do that. I want you to tell me about this man who is so beloved by so many. Tell me anything you want. Maybe you have a favorite book of his? Maybe you have a story about how one of his books helped you during a difficult time? Maybe you were lucky enough to meet him some time ago? Anything. I just want to know about the person who has now left the literary world at a loss.


On this day in 2014 published You’re Currently Reading Something…Tell me About it!.

 

How Helpful are Writing Books?

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Okay guys, time for a bit of honesty. It is 3:51 in the morning as I sit here and write this. I’m sleepy. So I’m going to make this quick.

I’ve never read a writing book. I didn’t even know they existed before I started on WordPress, shows you how much I get out. And there’s one writing book that I’ve seen mentioned over and over again. You probably know it. Maybe. Stephen King’s On Writing. I have no idea if this book is any good, but I do know that about a gazillion bloggers on WordPress have read it. Maybe you’re one of them.

So, have you read any writing books? How helpful have they been for you?

PS: A few days ago I asked y’all to pick my next read, right? It turns out that y’all are indecisive. Yesterday was going to be the last day that I looked at the votes, but guess what? Gone Girl and 1984 are tied! So if you haven’t already voted in the poll, please do so today! Just click here.

2014: What do I think of you?

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Photo Credit

Here it is, my 2014 recap! Cause I know you’ve been dying for me to write this. Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that this will not be all about blogging or books or writing…it’s going to be about all things me, and some not. Might as well get started before you die of boredom.

I’ve seen other bloggers write their recaps in chronological order, but no. I’m not doing that. I’m going to hit on whatever topics I want. First up…Blogging.

Blogging

Talk about a fantastic year. Did you see my WordPress annual report that gave you a little insight into my blog? If not, you can do so here. What’s happened on this blog is as unlikely as it gets. I blogged for six months last year and had a grand total of 1200 views. Let’s be real, that’s nothing. I was literally writing for myself cause no one else was reading. I only blogged about writing my first book. So I’d write a chapter and then write a blog post. I’d go a week without writing and I’d go a week without blogging. I didn’t read other blogs and I definitely never commented on any. I guess I thought WordPress would magically make my blog popular. Didn’t happen.

I turned the year with something like 80 WordPress followers. My app currently has the number at 2184. That’s pretty significant. And I’d have to say it’s all because of a change in format. No longer do I write about my writing, (especially since I haven’t written in months) but about anything that comes to mind. Sure books are the heavy focus, but now I include poems and my thoughts on particular subjects like Pearl Harbor and D-Day. I just realized that I posted 12 poems on here this year! Which means I’ve written 17 poems in my life. I think my Halloween poem was by far the worst. I mean, I shouldn’t have posted it because it was terrible. But I wrote it at like three in the morning and went to sleep. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite. I really like the autumn one. And also the reading one. But the materialistic one too? Ugh. I can’t pick a favorite. You try.

And what my annual report didn’t tell y’all was that there were more than 10,000 comments on my blog this year! Read that again…10,000! That’s why I like blogging so much. I get to discuss all these things I have going on in my head with people who know so much more than I do.

AND I’ve gotten the chance to get to know some great people over the course of this year because of this blog. Maybe one of them (or me) will one day write a huge bestselling book and go on a book tour so I can attend an event and be like, “Hey! I’m that guy who goes on rants about books on WordPress! It’s nice to meet you!” I heard there’s a WordPress expo? Maybe? Someone find out.

I have some lofty goals for 2015 for Write me a Book, John! First, I want to hit 40,000 site views for the year. Second, I want to reach 5,000 WordPress followers. And third, I’d like to post 25 new poems on here in 2015. Think y’all can help make those happen?

2014 final blog stats:

282 posts

30,102 views

12,195 visitors

5,302 Likes

10,159 comments.

Reading

Hmm. This was a terrible year for me, which you already know if you read this post. I managed to finish a grand total of seven books this year. I’m basically a reader who spends more time talking about reading than actually reading. I read a couple good books and a couple that were okay, but that doesn’t matter. I need to read more. Period. This is serious stuff.

Work

This is a topic that I’ve really only shared with a handful of y’all. So, now I might as well share with all of you who decide to read this. Most of you don’t know that I work in retail. I actually started when I was 17 and I’ve been at the same job ever since. I make more and I have a different title, but the job is largely the same. I started the summer before my senior year in high school and worked all the way through college. And now 19 months after graduating from UHD, I’m still there. I have no issue with the job. But now I’m looking for something more. In each of the last three months I’ve had three major interviews for CJ related jobs (my degree is in criminal justice). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the first two. BUT the most recent one was just over a week ago and I’m moving forward in the process. There are five steps total. And this is the first of the three that I’m confident about. I’ll have to let y’all know what happens. I have about three weeks before the next step.

Sports

I’m from Houston. I’m a die hard Texans fan. You probably already know that their season is over. They finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs by a single game. But I’m not going to complain too much about a team that improved by 7 wins over last season with largely the same personnel. Nope. And the Rockets (NBA) are looking more and more like legitimate title contenders with each passing day. James Harden is leading the way with an MVP-caliber start to the season. Wouldn’t it be something to have the NFL Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) in JJ Watt AND the NBA MVP in James Harden? JJ Watt will most likely be the unanimous winner of the DPOY and his case for MVP is out of this world. Let’s see what happens. All things considered, I’m excited about the future of the three major sports teams here in Houston. Jose Altuve just won the batting title for the Astros. Just an FYI.

Writing

Ugh. My goals at the beginning of the year were to write two books. I wrote maybe a third of one. Which is fine, I’ve known for months that I didn’t want to revisit the story until the new year. Well, time to put up or shut up. I have about 30k words written and I know exactly where I left off. I may even have a little surprise for y’all about this at a later date. We’ll see.

But my writing goal this year is to finish the first draft of the story I have now. No other timetable. I just want to finish it. I think I can. Even if I start working a new job, I think I’ll be able to finish it.

The Hunger Games

Yep. Gets a whole bullet to itself. Hm. I bet if I did a search of my blog for Katniss of THG or anything at all related to those three books that I would come up with a couple dozen posts. I mean, I’m obsessed. Sure I didn’t reread the books like I said I would, but now all I do is sing The Hanging Tree. Not even kidding. Matter of fact, here. Watch. Yes I know that Jennifer Lawrence isn’t going to win any Grammys any time soon, but really? Did you expect her to sound so…perfect? Seriously. You can’t listen to that and not be impressed. And the movie itself wasn’t bad. It wasn’t as memorable as either of the first two, but no one expected the first half of the worst book to be the best movie. At least no one who knows anything about the movies and the books. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the series. Pretty sure I’ll be that crying uncontrollably emoji once it’s over. Not even kidding. Y’all have no idea. I want the mockingjay pin tattoo.

YouTube

This is one that I would never have imagined happening. I’m big on TV. Y’all know this. Before 2014 I had subscribed to a grand total of zero YouTube channels. And I could have named one YouTuber. But then in July I discovered Superwoman. I still sing her song #Leh just about every day. And I watch all of the videos she releases. But that’s not all. I’m now subscribed to maybe a dozen channels that range from top ten lists to pranks. I discover new channels almost every week and have discovered that I’m genuinely entertained by people who just put themselves in front of a camera and record. Here’s Superwoman’s 2014 recap. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this really made me happy to see. I know I don’t know her personally and I’ve yet to meet her, but there are very few celebrities who I believe are as genuine as she is.

People

Oooh getting personal. I’m no different from any other person. I have people in my life who matter more than or less than the next person. 2014 was no different. I’ve had a number of people just kind of drop out of my life this year, and one that I never would have expected. But hey, that’s life. I still have a number of people who I personally admire and respect. I’ve written about a few of them on here this year.

Overall 2014 will be remembered for the people I now know from blogging and for me beginning my career search.

So I think that’s it. No real major events. No random kids. No random marriage. Not really anything that would mean something to someone else, but that’s okay. It was my year.

2014: My year in blogging

Hey guys, last year I hadn’t blogged long enough to get one of these reports at the end of the year. Honestly, I’m pretty ecstatic about where my blog is and where I think it’s going. And it’s all because of my readers. Because of you. Y’all have no idea how much I enjoy this. All I can say is thank you. It’s been a memorable 2014 and I promise to keep the posts coming next year. Now check out the full report to see what you helped accomplish! Seriously, it’s all you. I just happen to have my name in the title.


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I Don’t Have a Catchy Title for my November Recap

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Photo Credit: FIP

November has a couple of holidays, the start of the holiday shopping season, and a new second best month of the year for your favorite blog! Yep. It’s kind of a big deal because toward the end of the month I noticed a lot less traffic right around the Thanksgiving holiday. And I STILL managed to best last month by a healthy margin. Now let’s get into some stats. The previous record will be in parenthesis.

Posts: 29 (31)

Likes: 417 (584) I’m fully convinced this record will never fall.

Followers: 2005 (1866)

Not much to say here. I had more unique visitors in November than any previous month, but still just barely fell short of a new record for overall site views. I’m just going to start considering the month of May as my blogging golden age. Cause nothing I’ve done since then has been able to match it. Oh well. I’m content with where I am right now. Now on to some posts.

Top Post

Do Reviews Really Influence Your Book Buying Decisions?

Favorite Post

What I Thought of Mockingjay Part 1

Post you may Have Missed

Which Authors Would you Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?

So that’s it. The surprise of the month was the top post. I usually don’t check to see what’s leading the way until I write my recap and this one just narrowly had more views than one other.

Two things to tell y’all about December. First, I’m going to stop posting poems on the weekends. I feel like y’all don’t see them that way. So I’m just going to mix them in with my regular posts during the week. Second, I’m going to test out a new posting time of the day. I’ve tried posting at midnight before and it didn’t really do anything for me. But ever since I began blogging daily I’ve always posted at 9:40 a.m. Central time. And it’s worked. But now I’m going to try the afternoon. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I’m greedy and just want as many people to read my posts as possible. But really, who doesn’t want that?

So here’s to December!

And instead of reading this post on your WordPress app, read it on your computer or browser on your phone! Why? Cause it’s snowing on Write me a Book, John! It will be for the next month or so.