Posts Tagged With: blog


I have two main blogs – this one, about my life, the things going on in my life, and the fun things I do; and the one I call “my writing blog.”  With dreams of being a published writer, I felt it was important to start blogging as a writer, connecting with other writer-bloggers, as well as agent-bloggers.  Knowing, or I guess more hoping, that my name would one day be known to people who read my books, who would also read my blog, I started blogging at

At the same time, I had a life, a life removed from writing.  I wanted a little more anonymity in my life than my writing blog allowed.  And I figured that while some people would be interested in both my writing life and my non-writing life, most wouldn’t be.  Blogging is all about niche, right?  You must have a niche.  My writing blog was obviously in the writing niche.  My life blog was in the me niche.

But I’ve been absolutely awful at keeping up with blogging.  I have dry spells in blogging, like I’m sure everyone does.  I sometimes have ideas that I think should be cross-posted.  I sometimes have ideas that don’t really fit either.  I’m often so frozen with indecision that I do nothing.  That’s usually when I have a blog lapse.

So when I saw this blog post by Kristen Lamb, I thought a lot about it.  The part that really struck me was, it’s the “interests other than writing that are going to connect with readers.”  She goes on to say, “Readers don’t give a flying squirrel’s butt about three-act structure, Create Space, or the future of publishing…”

Well, duh.  No really, DUH!  She’s exactly right!  I was using my “writing blog” only to connect with other writers, not to connect with future readers.  So, then, what’s the point?

There is no point, obviously.  My friends and family, who I primarily write my “life” blog for (although I love anyone who stops in!) will probably also read my “writing” blog.  Very possibly, people who stop into one blog will be interested in the other.  Not every post, of course, but some.

I cook.  I sew.  I travel.  I write.  I take photos.  I’m an American ex-pat.  I’m interested in the world around me.  I try to embrace life.  And I’m often inspired.  If any of these interest you, please check back for more.  🙂

I’ve migrated my blog posts over with the original date stamp.  If you’re interested in reading these, choose the “Sara Johnson” category over on the right. →

If you subscribe to my blog and got hit with a ton of new blog posts, I’m sorry about that!

Categories: Random, Writer Sara Johnson | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Toning up your writing

“Is your writing flabby or fit?”  That’s the question The Writer’s Diet asks, and it gives you immediate feedback on your writing, showing you where you have excessive verbs, prepositions, and adverbs (among other things).

I found The Writer’s Diet via MetaFilter, one of my all time favorite websites.  I’ve been introduced to hundreds of news stories, photographers, artists, singers, ideas, and interesting individuals I would never have discovered otherwise.  This is just the latest.  From the metafilter post:  “The WritersDiet Test, created by Dr. Helen Sword, allows you to enter a writing sample of 100 to 1000 words and have it graded from “lean” to “heart attack” on its level of excess verbiage.”  Well, of course I wanted to find out where my writing fell.

Since I wasn’t on the computer with my current WIP, I entered in the text of one of my more storytelling posts on my other blog, Blessed by Holy Water in Tallinn.  The results?  My overall score was “Fit and Trim,” with everything except the verbs coming in at lean.  My verbs, though, evidently need toning.  The site also highlights each of the instances within your text, so you can see where you might look into editing your content.  I can see each and every instance I used be, is, are, were, am, and was.  Very interesting, indeed.  You can also download a full diagnosis, which includes suggestions for improvement.

I definitely wanted to see what came up with my current WIP, so I switched computers and copied in the first chapter.  My results:

My current WIP is lean, baby!!

So what about this post?  “Fit and Trim,” although my verbs still need toning (but, it counted the 6 instances I used it in the paragraph above as examples, so I think I should get a break on that!).

Try out The Writer’s Diet and let me know what you think of the site.  Do you think it’s useful?  Where did your writing sample fall on the health chart?

Categories: On Writing, Writer Sara Johnson | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Embrace Life. Be Inspired. In Finland.

I have been desperately trying to figure out my blogging life.  Do I want a blog for me and a blog about my life in Finland?  Or do I just want to do it all on one?  What about a photo blog?  Do I want to do a separate one, or do it on here?  People who come here because it’s me won’t care, but what about the people who come here because it’s Finland?  And what about the ones who come here because of the photography?  Neither one of those groups cares about anything else, right?  And what about when I’m no longer in Finland?  I want a blog to last a lifetime, not have to start another one in a couple of years.

After much consideration, I think this blog will live beyond Finland…just with a different name.  Now, it’s “Embrace life.  Be inspired.  In Finland.”  But maybe in a few years, it will be “In England.”  Or “In Paris.”  Or maybe it won’t have a location.  Maybe it will just be.

Maybe.  I’m the master of indecision.

Categories: Random | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Embrace Life. Be Inspired.

It started with a trip to Michael’s in August 2010.  Idly wandering through the aisles, I came across the clearance section in the bead aisle.  I saw three rings – spacers, actually – for next to nothing.  One said “Embrace Life.”  One said “Be Inspired.”  The third said “Live With Passion.”

I picked them up and thought I could wear them as rings.  But three didn’t quite fit on my finger, so I chose my two favorites (the third went to my friend geauxgirl).  On a date one night, less than a week after I got them, my date asked what they said.

“One says Embrace Life, the other says Be Inspired.”

“Which one is more important?” he asked.

I considered it.  “Both are important.  You have to embrace life, and you have to be inspired.”  I paused, thinking.  “You can’t be inspired without embracing life.  But I suppose you could embrace life without being inspired.  So I guess that’s more important.”

“Then you should wear that on the bottom, and the other on the top.  The most important thing should be closest to your heart.”

I wore those rings almost every day.  I looked down at them often, turning the rings around on my finger, playing with them, unconsciously repeating the words over and over again in my head.

Embrace life.  Be inspired.

Words to live by.

And the perfect title for my new blog.

Categories: Random | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

5 Things I wish I had more time for

  1. Working out
  2. Writing
  3. Reading
  4. Crafting
  5. Blogging

Everyone knows that you should get some exercise every day, but finding time to do it is difficult.  That’s one of the issues every contestant on The Biggest Loser complains about.  What time do you cut into to make the time?  Time with the family?  Work?  Sleep?  There is only a finite amount of time in each day.

I do pretty well with daily exercise, and sometimes I even work out twice a day.  But I rarely read daily, or craft daily, and I sure don’t blog daily (my last blog was…2 weeks ago?!)

I should write daily.  Every piece of writing advice says this.  But I don’t.  Actually, right now, I can’t remember the last time I wrote something creative.  Within the last two weeks, certainly, but within the last week?  I don’t think so.

I recently thought, you know, I want to do each of these things daily.  Surely there’s time for that somewhere, right?

But where?

Where does my time go, and when can I carve out some time to do the things I’m supposed to do?  Maybe if I stopped showering, or cut my sleeping down to four hours a night, maybe then I’d have time.  A teleporting device would sure come in handy, I could easily get an extra 3-4 hours a week by not having to drive. 

What’s sad is, I don’t even have kids I can blame it on.  I can’t say, “I have to pick the kids up from soccer practice, make them a snack, help them with their homework, get them bathed and put to bed.”

So how is it they can do it, and I can’t?

Is it that I have to choose?  I only get one thing of those five?  Then what’s it to be?  Write?  Or work out?  Read, or blog?

I don’t want to choose – I want to do it all.

Categories: Five Things Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Did I say that? I lied.

Well, not lied, really.  Changed my mind.  I’m a woman, I get to do that.

Really, it’s not so much changing my mind as it is revising my thought process.  It’s something I do all the time, and why I’ve developed several Best Practices in my career.  I want to do something.  I set up a process for doing it.  I decide something isn’t working so I revise the process.  Rinse and repeat until it’s exactly what works best for me.

So what, you may ask, am I changing my mind about/revising?  Well, the categories, of course!  My brain is way too scattered to abide by silly little categories!!

I’ll still stick with the Wednesday Writings, Five Things Fridays, and Weekend Roundup, but everything else will be miscellaneous thoughts and categories.  Because that’s how my mind works – miscellaneously.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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