Tag Archives: Blogging

How to Keep On Blogging

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How to Keep On Blogging

It’s a common experience across the Blogosphere: you’ve made a commitment to your readers that you’ll post consistently on certain days, but, every once in a while, as the day approaches, you can’t think of a topic to write about; or your post is boring, even to you. What should you do?

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What to do:

  • Give yourself permission to miss one post a year. But unless you’re experiencing a life-crisis (like a death in the family, a birth, a move, a fire, surgery, prolonged illness, a flood), you only get one pass a year. Work on the following tips starting today, so you won’t become a habitual slacker.
  • Keep a notebook where you jot down your brilliant ideas. I know from personal experience that no matter how vivid my ideas are, if I don’t actually write them down, they dissolve into the ether. Elizabeth Gilbert says something to the effect that if you don’t diligently take the idea and do something with it, it will go away and find someone else to birth it.
  • Don’t have any ideas? Brainstorm. On a blank page, write down any idea that comes to you (even if it’s stupid) and let it suggest other ideas, along the same lines or totally unrelated. Make it a game to come up with at least twenty, then chose the five best to craft into posts (and you’re allowed to fine-tune them as you work).
  • Your blog probably has a focus. Mine is the arts and the creative process. What aspects of your focus have neglected? Certainly you haven’t exhausted every possible angle. Or if you feel you have, think up something totally unrelated for a change. For example, I might write about garden tools (though it wouldn’t be hard to make that into an art or design article). Or take an outlandish position on something and work it into a humor piece.
  • Interview somebody. It can be someone connected with the focus of your blog, someone you know or someone you’ve never met. Ask her. She might say no, but she might say yes. You can interview her in person, by phone, or by email.
  • Tell about your life. I follow about 100 blogs, and I think I know these bloggers as well as I know my friends. Then they’ll post about something that happened to them and I realize I don’t know them at all. I’m honored when they share their private lives with me. You can tell your readers about an incident from your past, or what you’re going through right now, or come up with a list of interesting factoids about yourself (like your major in college, your first job, what cities you’ve lived in, your hobbies).blogging-15968_1280

Being stuck for a blog post idea isn’t fatal. You can take steps to prevent yourself from running out of ideas, or you can inspire yourself to come up with an engaging topic.

Is there something you do that I didn’t mention that helps you keep going in your blogging life? Please share in the comments below.

Has this article been of help to you? Please make my day by clicking the like button and by sharing it on your social media accounts.

My Favorite Art Blogs

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My Favorite Art Blogs

Art is one of my passions. Blogging is another. Here, in alphabetical order, are my ten most favorite art blogs:

  • Artistcoveries. Judith started this blog in March, 2016 to share her process of discovery as creates. She’s self-taught, and it’s been exciting to witness her progress. She lists lots of resources that she’s found helpful.
  • Beez in the Belfry. Sandy Steen Bartholomew is a talented illustrator, comics author, and mixed media artist. I learned of her when I bought one of her Zentangle® books (she’s also a Certified Zentangle Teacher). She blogs about the many facets of her life, even offering glimpses inside her studio.
  • Colossal. Featuring artists working in all facets of art, design, photography, crafts, illustration, and more, Colossal consistently wows me.
  • Living on the Edge of Wild. Deborah J. Brasket is a writer and artist. She posts about whatever is on her heart and what she’s recently painted or seen and shares her writing.
  • Frugal Crafter. Lindsay Weirich is an artist, writer, and craft designer. She is also an excellent teacher, as evidenced by the wonderful step-by-step videos she produces, shared on the blog and on YouTube.
  • Oil_painting_palette wikipediaMy Modern Met. Similar to Colossal, this website showcases gorgeous art, design, photography, and more. I always find something new there.
  • My Street Inspiration. This site displays examples of creative artistry you find on the street—murals, public art, graffiti, and street musicians.
  • Nathalie’s Studio. Nathalie Kalbach is a mixed-media artist. She designs stamps and she shares her art journal and discusses her projects. She shares visits to museums and documents her strolls through the ‘hood, Jersey City, and Manhattan across the river. (Her photos make me homesick for New Jersey.)
  • Sketch Away: Travels with My Sketchbook. Suhita Shirodkar always has her sketchbook with her and records what’s going on in her life. She’s also an art workshop instructor and makes recommendations about supplies she uses.
  • Writing and Illustrating. Kathy Temean is heavily involved with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in New Jersey. Every Saturday she posts an interview with an illustrator, complete with pictures of their work and questions about their process, how they got started in the business, and everything else artistic minds want to know. She also deals with the writing side, and often picture book authors will offer copies for a giveaway on the website.

That’s it—my ten favorite art blogs. (Just so you know, I wrote a separate post about my favorite Zentangle blogs.)

Now it’s your turn. Is there an art blog you love that I’ve overlooked? Or do you blog about art? Share in the comments below.

Guest Post: How to Use Medium to Share Your Writing and Grow Your Email List by Nicole Bianchi

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Guest Post: How to Use Medium to Share Your Writing and Grow Your Email List by Nicole Bianchi

Thank you to Nicole Bianchi for this excellent article about utilizing Medium. 

 


Want to connect with other writers? Make sure to get your invitation to my private writing community on Facebook!

As a writer, you’re probably seeking more exposure for your work. What if I told you there was a website where you could publish your writing and tap into a potential audience of 30,000 people per month?

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Enter Medium. A blogging and publishing platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, it’s a fantastic place to share new articles or republish old blog posts and reach more readers.

However, there are several steps you need to take in order to get your writing in front of Medium’s audience. When I first tried posting on Medium back in March 2016, my posts received very little views and interaction. Feeling discouraged, I stopped posting.

But in November a friend encouraged me to try posting again. One of her posts had gone viral on the platform and brought her several hundred new email subscribers. She advised that I try submitting to Medium publications. These publications are like magazines that exist inside the Medium platform and curate articles around specific topics.

I followed my friend’s advice, and the results were amazing. My Medium following grew from around 200 people to 1,800. Three of my posts ended up becoming trending articles in a publication and as of today have received over twenty-five thousand views. Another was featured on the Medium homepage.

Best of all, Medium drove traffic back to my website. Over the past three months, 550+ new subscribers have joined my email list with most of those subscribers coming directly from Medium.

Today, I’m going to share with you how to set up an account and all of the strategies I’ve used to turn Medium readers into subscribers.

How to Get Started on Medium

Step 1 – Set up a Medium Account

To get started on Medium, you’ll first need to create an account.

You can sign-up with your email address or with a Twitter, Facebook, or Google account. I recommend signing up with your Twitter account if you have one. Any of your Twitter followers who are also on Medium will automatically appear as Medium followers too.

Medium will also ask you to select your interests and will suggest people for you to follow. Make sure to pick the topics that you will be writing about. Medium will display articles related to those topics in your homepage feed, and you’ll be able to see the types of articles that are performing well.

Step 2 – Edit Your Profile

Now it’s time to edit your profile. (Click on the avatar at the top right-hand corner of the page to find your profile. Choose “profile” from the drop-down menu.)

Here’s a screenshot of my current profile:

Use a photo of yourself for the profile picture. This will give your account more authority and establish trust with your readers. I recommend uploading the same photo that you use on your other social media accounts so your followers will immediately recognize you if they follow you elsewhere on the web.

Finally, make sure to include a prominent link to your website or to your email list sign-up form.

Step 3 – Write Your First Story

To start writing your first post, you can click on “Write a Story” in the menu bar or choose “New Story” from the drop-down menu.

If you’re republishing a post from your blog, just copy and paste it and make the necessary formatting edits.

Alternatively, you have the option to import a post directly from your blog. However, I’ve had problems in the past where a post I imported displayed the date I first published it on the blog and not on Medium. This meant that it did not show up as a new story in readers’ feeds. I recommend just creating a new story and copying and pasting your blog post into the Medium editor.

The title, subtitle, and lead picture are extremely important for getting people to click on your article.

A constant stream of articles floods readers’ homepage feeds. The only way yours will stand out is if the title and picture catch readers’ eyes. For example, here’s how one of my posts would show up on a reader’s homepage:

The picture makes the story stand out, the title is intriguing, and the subtitle further explains what the title is about without giving too much away.

I’ve tried not including subtitles on posts, but I’ve found that the articles usually do not perform as well.

Read my post here for tips on how to write compelling headlines and more suggestions on how to format the body of your Medium post. You can find free stock photos to use as lead pictures at Pixabay and Unsplash.

To continue reading this article, click here.

Happy Blog Birthday to Me

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Happy Blog Birthday to Me

ARHtistic License is three years old today!

In the past three years, I’ve published over 1,735 posts. ARHtistic License now has 465 subscribers.

But sometimes I wonder if all my work is worth it.

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I subscribe to a hundred blogs, and I check out at least twenty new-to-me blogs a week. Some of the blogs I see are fabulous—and I share their posts on social media and through Flipboard and Creative Juice.

But some of the blogs I see are, frankly, poorly written and unattractively designed—and yet have thousands of subscribers.

I must be doing something wrong.

Help me.

 

Two measures of a blog’s popularity are views and likes. Views are the traffic your blog gets; likes are the number of people who enjoyed your post enough to click the “like” button.

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Here are the top ten posts on ARHtistic License in the past year, based on views:

  1. Serb Fest (267 views)
  2. NaPoWriMo Day 21 (152)
  3. Diva Challenge #334 (100)
  4. #DC345: Christmas Star (97)
  5. #DC346: Phicops and Huggins (93)
  6. #DC350: Rimana Heartstring (74)
  7. #DC362: Somnee (71)
  8. Cozy (71)
  9. Inktober Day 24: A Composite (71)
  10. #DC360 Shattuck vs. Tripoli (69)

I think I know why the first one got a lot of views. My daughter sent a link to a Bosnian friend. I think Daria must have posted it online, where lots of her friends are among the Balkan community (thank you, Daria). I also posted it on the Phoenix International Folk Dancers’ Facebook page, which also generated some views.

The other nine posts were responses to challenges. The NaPoWriMo people featured one of my poems on their website. (Unfortunately, it was not one of my favorite poems. I like this one better if you’re interested.) The rest were zentangle challenges from I Am The Diva. Laura’s devoted fans support each other by checking out one another’s entries.

Writing and coffee

Here are the top eleven posts on ARHtistic License for the past year, based on likes:

  1. NaPoWriMo Day 21 (20 likes)
  2. Strategy (20)
  3. Wordless Wednesday: My Neighbor’s Pomegranates (20)
  4. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day (19)
  5. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Tecoma Yellow Bells (18)
  6. My Favorite Photo of 2017 (18)
  7. Christmas Recipe Challenge (18)
  8. 12 Worst Blogging Mistakes (17)
  9. Beach House (17)
  10. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Hibiscus (16)
  11. Ahwatukee Festival of Lights (16)

Isn’t it interesting that there is almost no overlap between the two lists? Again, most of these articles are responses to blogging challenges, especially photo challenges (photographers are very supportive of each other—thank you, shutterbugs).

Two articles that didn’t make the top lists but which I feel are among my best work this year are I’d Rather Be Dancing: Phoenix Folk Dance Festival and Walk in the Art District. Both are photo essays which required many hours to shoot and edit

Isn’t it also interesting how low the number of likes is? The same NaPoWriMo article that had 152 views only had 20 likes. Does that mean that the other 132 people who read it disliked it?

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I know the “like” button is peculiar to the WordPress platform (which ARHtistic License utilizes) and fans and users of other platforms might not be tuned into it. Also, to click the WordPress “like” button, you must sign up for Gravatar, which requires a username and an email, and, optionally, your website. This gives you a little identifying avatar (of your own provision, or one will be generated for you) which also makes it possible for others to view the profile you submitted—and can help others find your blog. I know it involves time and some people are uncomfortable releasing their email addresses, but it’s a requirement for adding comments and interacting with the WordPress blogging community. Consider that you do your favorite bloggers a disservice when you don’t let them know how much you enjoy their work. Like me, they might feel as though they wouldn’t be missed if they quit.

My goal in starting my blog was to stimulate a dialogue among people I enjoy—intelligent, artistic, creative people. I haven’t succeeded. If someone leaves a thoughtful comment, I will reply, especially if a question is asked. But I get so few comments on most posts.

What am I doing wrong?

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Between now and my next blog birthday, I need to decide how to improve my blog so that it becomes what I want it to be—a place where creatives exchange ideas—or, decide if I want to scale it back or discontinue it altogether.

Here’s how you can help me:

  • If you’re not a subscriber to my blog, please sign up today! (See the third item on my sidebar.)
  • If you enjoy something I’ve posted, please click the “like” button (a great way to give feedback on any blog).
  • If you have something to add about a topic, please leave a comment.
  • If you’re on Facebook, follow the ARHtistic License page.
  • If you’re on Twitter, follow me.
  • If you’re on Instagram, follow me.
  • If you have any ideas about how I can improve ARHtistic License or attract my target audience, please tell me in the comments below.

Thank you. I think about my readers every day, and I’d love to get to know you better.

 

In the Meme Time: Expectations

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Newsletter expectations

12 Worst Blogging Mistakes

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12 Worst Blogging Mistakes

I read a lot of blogs. I follow nearly 300, and I check out new blogs all the time. If you follow me or you’ve left a comment on ARHtistic License or you’ve tweeted something that interested me, I’ve probably taken a look at your blog.

There are thousands of great blogs out there. And, sadly, there are thousands of terrible blogs out there.

How do you know if your blog is one of the bad ones? Here are some signs.

  1. Pop-ups. I hate it if I’ve just started reading a post on your blog and a pop-up blocks my view. If it asks me to sign up for your blog, I dismiss it. How do I know I want to sign up for your blog if I haven’t even read a post yet? Please have a sign-up option prominently (and permanently) located on your blog. If I can only sign up without reading your blog, I never will.Woman typing on laptop
  2. Old school look. Honestly, there’s no excuse for the 1990s-retro-look websites. So many platforms will allow you to set up a good-looking blog for free that there is no reason to keep a dorky-looking one. Start new.
  3. Tiny text, or text that doesn’t show up against the background. Some of us have old eyes. If I can’t read your blog, I won’t come back to it.
  4. Poor grammar and spelling. Please learn the basics. You can get a free version of Grammarly to help you.
  5. No illustrations. Beautify your blog and drum up the interest factor with pictures. There are lots of sources for free images you can use on your blog.
  6. Long, unbroken paragraphs. Nothing looks so formidable as a huge expanse of words. Throw in a little white space. Try to limit paragraphs to no more than five sentences.
  7. Posts that have no point. If you’re just writing your daily to-do list, you really don’t need to release it into the blogosphere. Write something an audience would love to read. Content is king.
  8. Your articles are sales pitches for your affiliates. I get it—blogging is time-consuming. It’s nice to earn some money at it. But if you’re not giving me meaningful content (see #7), I’m not going to read your blog.
  9. No sharing buttons. Sometimes I like an article so much I wish all my friends could read it. If I can’t just hit a button, but I actually have to open my social media and cut and paste a link, I’m way too lazy. You lose.Typing on laptop DeathtoStock
  10. No “like” buttons. I’d love to let you know I enjoyed your article, or at least show you I visited, but sometimes I’m too lazy to write a comment. I wish I could just click my approval.
  11. Your newsletter is a never-ending sales pitch. If I like your blog and sign up for your newsletter, I expect to see content like what you post on your blog, except better, more personal, and with incentives, like an occasional giveaway or contest. If issue after issue just urges me to buy your book or sign up for your online class, I will cancel my subscription.
  12. No way to contact you. If I love your blog, I might want to ask permission to use one of your pieces as a guest post or offer my help with something. If you don’t have a contact form or a blog email account, you might miss a chance to network. I’ll have to connect with a different blogger instead.

So, there you have it—my blogger pet peeves. If you recognize your blog above, it’s not too hard to improve it. Your readers will thank you—and you may attract some more!

Are there any other big blogging mistakes that I’ve missed? Share in the comments below.

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30 Ideas for Your Next Blog Post

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30 Ideas for Your Next Blog Post

Did you make a resolution to blog more frequently in 2018? Good for you! But if you are like me, sometimes you have no idea what to write about.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m away from my desk. If I don’t write them down, they fly away. I carry a little assignment pad in my purse so I can capture ideas on the go, and occasionally I’ll take a walk with my notebook and pen, because physically moving frees up my imagination.

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In the meantime, it’s always good to have a few ideas in the bank. So here are 30 ideas, results of a recent brainstorming session. If you like these, feel free to use them. You may want to bookmark this page for future reference.

  1. My earliest childhood memory.
  2. My first best friend.
  3. My favorite teacher in elementary school, high school, college.
  4. What I thought I’d grow up to be when I was a freshman in high school.
  5. What I did on September 11, 2001.
  6. What I believe about God.
  7. How I miss the mall (or the video store, or phone booths, or other cultural phenomena that were rendered obsolete by technology).
  8. My favorite recording artist when I was in high school.
  9. My favorite subjects in school.
  10. If I became president, the first thing I’d change.
  11. A photo essay of things that are my favorite color (examples: a blue car, a blue dress, a blue flower, etc.).
  12. A historical site near my home.
  13. My dream vacation.
  14. My bucket list.
  15. If I could have dinner with any famous person, living or dead, whom I would choose, and why.
  16. One thing I wish I could do over, and what I would do differently this time.
  17. The most meaningful gift I ever received.
  18. My ten most favorite books, songs, or movies.
  19. My greatest achievement.
  20. A promise someone made that I never expected him to keep—but he did.
  21. A promise I made that I didn’t keep—and why.
  22. My favorite museum.
  23. The most beautiful town/city I ever visited.
  24. The musical instrument I most wish I had learned to play.
  25. The physical attribute I wish I had (blue eyes, blond hair, a mustache, an extra pair of hands, etc.).
  26. The sport I most wish I had learned to play.
  27. Something I’m waiting until I’m older to do.
  28. Something I’m glad I never did.
  29. My biggest regret.
  30. My pet peeve.

Do you have some ideas to share? List them in a comment below.

Was this post helpful to you? Spread the love. Please click the “Like” button, and share on all your social media.

Let’s Help Each Other Build Writer or Artist Platforms

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Let’s Help Each Other Build Writer or Artist Platforms

On Thursday, I posted a guest article by literary agent Bob Hostetler. The first half of the article was about a 600-lb. woman whose doctor insisted she lose 30 pounds in a month before he would do weight-reduction surgery for her. The woman was frustrated by being forced to change her eating habits in advance; she thought she could begin her new regime after the surgery.

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Hostetler compared that woman’s mindset with those of the budding authors he meets at writer’s conferences, who:

vowed that, post-contract, they would market themselves and their books via social media, blogs, website, speaking engagements, podcasts, interviews, and more. But when a panel of agents and editors suggested that a healthy platform comprised of such things can—and, almost always, must—come pre-contract, they expressed chagrin.

That got me to thinking—we can help each other with platform building. All writers and artists should have a website or at least a blog, along with social media (in addition to your social media that you use for friends and family). Have you set yours up yet? That should be one of your top priorities for 2018.

I’m often offered free copies of books in exchange for a review, but I am reluctant to take those offers. I already have a couple hundred books at home that I’m dying to read, and I usually write a short (or long) review of everything I read, which I post on ARHtistic License, Amazon, and Goodreads. If you want to send me a book, that’s fine, but it may take years before I get around to reading it. (However, review requests from paying publications are most welcome and will be accommodated in a timely fashion. Money talks.)

But I do like to publish a guest article every Thursday. I usually contact the authors of articles I find on the web and ask if I may repost them. I would love to post your article on ARHtistic License, preferably something you’ve already written that you would like to get more exposure. It would be helpful to me if it were related to your art or your creative process.

Or, I could interview you.

Or, I could include your comments in a panel article about a topic in which you have some expertise.

Also, I regularly submit guest posts to A Writer’s Path, and I wouldn’t mind submitting to your website, if you think my focus on the arts and the creative process are compatible with the theme of your website.

What do you think? Do any of these ideas appeal to you? You can comment below, and/or contact me through the “Contact ARHtistic License” form (click the link at the top of the page).

 

#ALCGC2017 Final Check-In

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#ALCGC2017 Final Check-In

Happy New Year! Time to track our progress in the year past, and set our goals for the year to come.

I mentioned in my recent article about goal-setting that the smartest thing I did in 2017 was schedule all the tasks I wanted to do. Here is how it worked (changed slightly from what I thought on January 1 last year):

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  • Every morning at breakfast: read a chapter of the Bible and reflect on it in my Bible journal.
  • Sunday—rewrite and submit old pieces in my file cabinet.
  • Monday through Thursday—work on blog posts.
  • Friday and Saturday—work on The Unicornologist and The God of Paradox.
  • Odd numbered days—write a poem.
  • Even numbered days—make a small piece of art or work on a larger one.
  • Every evening that I’m home—practice piano for an hour and either recorder or guitar for an hour.
  • Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings: folk dancing.
  • Once a week: go on an “artist date” to fill up on beauty and inspiration.typewriter

Here’s what worked and what didn’t:

  • I’m happy that reading a chapter of scripture has become an almost daily habit, one I want to continue the rest of my life.
  • I rewrote several old pieces from 20 years ago. I actually sold one. I sent a few picture book manuscripts out to agents; no nibbles, so I’m working on rewriting them again as flash fiction. I entered a couple of contests; no wins, but I did get one encouraging consideration for publication that ultimately didn’t happen.
  • Last Saturday I posted my year-end review for ARHtistic License. I would love to cut back working on the blog to only three days a week, but I can’t seem to manage it. I used to work on the blog for as many days as it took me to be scheduled four weeks out, but often that was five or six days a week, leaving very little time for other writing projects. Working four days a week, I’m only about two weeks ahead, which I’m just not okay with. I may need to cut back my daily expectations for my blog, but I don’t know how. (Suggestions welcome.) I also submitted some guest posts to A Writer’s Path to help new readers discover ARHtistic License.frustrated-writer-2
  • I’ve made progress on The Unicornologist, and even thought it was finished at one point, but my beta readers convinced me it’s not. I started entering it into Scrivener, and I used a template that K.M. Weiland devised, which is showing me where the manuscript has structural problems. I think I need to go on a writer’s retreat just so I can concentrate on that manuscript for a few days without interruptions.
  • I also thought I was pretty much finished with my Bible study guide, The God of Paradox. Just for fun, I asked my Bible study group if they’d like to give it a dry run, and they agreed. Boy, am I glad. Seeing my guide from the vantage point of a group leader is an education in itself. Writing Bible lessons and actually leading them are two totally experiences, and the flaws in my manuscript are revealing themselves. I’m making changes as we go along, but when we’re finished with the run-through, I think the study guide will need a pretty serious rewrite.
  • I wrote a lot of poems this year, though not one every other day as planned. However, I’ve written enough poems in the last two years to choose the 33 best ones and enter them in a chapbook contest.
  • I made a lot of little artworks this year, many of them Zentangles (though, again, not one every other day). The December ones were mostly Christmas themed. If you missed them, you can see them here.Mom's piano
  • During December I practiced lots of Christmas carols on piano—one of my favorite holiday traditions.
  • The fingertips on my left hand are now calloused from regular guitar practice, but they are still sore by the end of an hour. I am slowly improving.
  • While practicing the ensembles in the back of my recorder book, I became disheartened, because I had no one to play with. I can’t be the only person who longs to play with others but doesn’t have an outlet. I looked on YouTube to see if anyone had posted recordings of the duets so I could play along. I found one video where one person played one part one time through. It was something, but didn’t go far enough for my needs. So the idea of a special project was born: recording videos of me playing each part of the duets two times through, to give recorder students (and me) an opportunity to practice duets with a virtual partner. Someday I’ll describe my incredibly long learning process for making videos, but for now, I (somewhat sheepishly) present Episode 1 of Playing Recorder Duets with Mrs. Huelsenbeck:
  • I danced almost every Tuesday night and most Wednesday mornings through October, when I landed on my foot off-balance and injured it. A few weeks later I tried dancing again, and paid for it with a week of pain. A few weeks after that my foot felt better, so I danced again, but this time I aggravated a hip problem, and suffered for another two weeks. It’s clear I need to see an orthopedist, and I have an appointment for the end of February <sigh>.
  • I planned to go on an “artist date” every week, but I didn’t. It was more like once every three months. FAIL. For 2018, I’m going to pencil a specific location into my calendar every month, as close as possible to the first day of the month.Oil_painting_palette wikipedia

I’m pleased that I made progress on most of my goals, even if I didn’t finish one of my big projects or secure an agent. For 2018 I’m planning on continuing as I had been, with the tweaks I’ve mentioned.

For the last two years, I’ve offered a challenge for readers to post their creative goals, record their progress, and share in the comments. The response has been mostly silence. So, this year, although I personally will take the time to reflect on my goals and progress at regular intervals, I won’t burden you by posting monthly updates.

I wish you the best possible 2018, full of inspiration and completed creative endeavors. Happy New Year!

ARHtistic License: 2017 in Review

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ARHtistic License: 2017 in Review

When I set my goals for my blog for this year, I hoped I’d reach the 350-follower mark.

I’m thrilled to say I made it a few days ago. It’s silly to set a goal that’s completely out of my control (relying solely on you, dear readers, to actually click the follow button), but I am gratified nonetheless. Thank you, all of you, for your kindness to me. I will try to deserve your readership by writing more of the kind of stuff you like to read. (Your suggestions are welcome! Share in the comments.) My readership goal for 2018 is 600. You can help me make that goal by sharing (through Facebook, Twitter, Google +, email, etc.) any of my posts that you think might interest your friends. Thanks!

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My Top Ten Posts of 2017 (in terms of views). Have you seen all of these?

10. Phoenix Art Museum

9. #DC339: In the Holiday Spirit This post, as well and #6, #4, #3 and #2, are responses to a Zentangle challenge. I’ve written before about challenges being a good way to find new readers for your blog (as well as more blogs for you read!) The zentanglers have surpassed even the photographers in their support of ARHtistic License. (My photochallenge posts have always made the top ten before now.)

8. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Donányi My thoughts on a particularly difficult piano exercise book.

7. Creative Juice 56

6. #DC344: Afterglow

5. The Magic of Landscape Architecture About the transformation of our yard.

4. Inktober Day 24: A Composite One drawing, entered in three different challenges.

3. Cozy

2. Diva Challenge #334

  1. Serb Fest I was not expecting that my photo essay about a local ethnic festival would be my #1 post written in 2017. I thought my dance friends would be interested in the beautiful costumes the Serbian dance groups wore, so I posted it on my folkdance group’s Facebook page. My daughter forwarded a link to her Bosnian friend, and I think somehow it circulated among the Serbian-American community.IMG_1257

My biggest surprise is that three of my blog posts from last year had as many views in 2017 as my top three above did. They are: Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee, Ballet Feet, and Go Mobile.

One step I might take next year is to chose a new WordPress “theme” (it’s like a blog template). Even though last year I upgraded to a “premium” blogsite, I kept my free theme because I like it and I’m very comfortable with it. However, it doesn’t have the functionality of the premium themes. Switching up might also mean a huge learning curve for me. Any bloggers out there have a suggestion for me?

On New Year’s Day I’ll share my progress on my other writing, art, dance, and music goals, as well as sharing my creative goals for 2018. See you then!