Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogging basics: the quest for excellence

What led to today's post on blogging? I was going through one of my favorite's folder at my terrific feed aggregator, Bloglines, and realized that I had saved many on writing. We all want to become better bloggers. Here are some recent writing tips from others:

  • "The Seven Basic Blog Posts" published at Wired.

  • Teach Yourself Blogging," at Internet Marketing Ideas and Tips.

  • "Keeping it Simple" at Web Applications Are the Future.

  • "Start Your Glory File" at Get It Write. To quote:

    . . . some great suggestions, including writing down every good thing anyone has ever said about your writing. My version of this is what I call my “glory” file. There’s a paper file folder, where I put notes, cards and printouts of emailed comments. I also have an electronic file, where I copy snippets of praise to read through when I haven’t received any lately.

Blogging for many of us is also about surfing and sharing stuff from the web. This great surfing tool, Bloglines, has a number of handy features, including the (save as unread) feature that led to this post. It also offers very easy subscription to what seems like an unlimited number of different feed sources, folders for various categories of feeds, a story clipper, a blog, and a capacity to search for posts or stories. For example, the words "blog writing" is a search term that today produced 1,034,000 posts on the subject.

Like anything else, Bloglines has limitations. Any feed's folder will only hold 200 new entry headlines. When I want to read the full story I just click on the headline. After I have scanned that set of feed headlines, they all go away except those where I have checked the "save" box. So the feeds "fill up" with old stories unless I get back to them and un-check those in which I am no longer interested.

I checked several other favorites folders and found writers to whom I regularly turn. The first one was from Glenn Greenwald at An attorney, he writes in great detail, but it is readable. Juan Cole at Informed Comment is also a good writer. Professor Cole is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable authors on the Middle East.Dandelion Salad's posts I saved were quite numerous, perhaps because the site has a lot of contributors. Think Progress' posts on writing are good for any news junkie. Andrew Sullivan writes for The

To conclude, my favorites' folders are now more lean because the posts are now indexed under "excellent writing." The purpose of this post is to make sure that my search for excellence does not go away, not so long as it still fills me with satisfaction and the wish to learn a better way.

My topical post today at South by Southwest and The Reaction is about politics.

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Sue Horner said...

Hi Carol,
Thanks for the link! I, too, use Bloglines to corral my increasing number of must-read blogs. Here's a few more for you:
* SEO specialist Naomi Dunford's IttyBiz (
* E-newsletter consultant Michael Katz's It Sure Beats Working (
* Speechwriter Jean Gogolin's WordTales blog (

Michael Stelzner also posted his Top 10 blogs for writers, where he says "you'll find daily doses of inspiration and discovery": (

Carol Gee said...

Sue, you are quite welcome. And thank you very much for the additional references. I may make a little writers blog roll to put up permanently, now that I have all this good stuff.


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.