Tag Archives: Blogging

HELP! Am I really that “off-putting” and horrible?

A few weeks ago Kristen Lamb, who I follow, wrote a blog entry entitled: 8 Tips to Make Sure Everyone on Twitter Hates Us. I was intrigued because Twitter and I, we just aren’t gelling.

So, I read her advice and thought I would drop her a line asking for a little one-on-one assistance.

Kristen, Love the blog and particularly this post. I’ve been trying to get people to follow me on Twitter but I’m having a hell of a time. I Tweet links to my blog (which I think is funny and informative – maybe it isn’t?), I make funny comments about news and other items I see on Twitter. I try not to be offensive or too edgy, just (hopefully) funny and sarcastic. What do I get? Crickets. There are also a few Twitter accounts I follow and I would love them to follow me. They seem like funny, witty people. I try to engage them in social interaction. Silence. Like you said, I thought Twitter was a tool to be social with other people. Instead, these people just want to be social with people they already know and see every day. I don’t get it? Is it me? Am I expecting too much? Am I that unlovable? Do I suck that bad? Please help!
Manure Gurl

This was Kristen’s helpful advice back:

This is where hashtags help. It’s like communities or groups where people chat. #MyWANA is a good place to start. Also try hashtags of favorite shows or hobbies. Look for ones where people are actually TALKING and that will take trial and error.

I also received this response:

Do what Kristin (sp) suggests, but here’s something to add to the list…and please don’t take it the wrong way: re-visit your decision to identify yourself as “manuregurl.” I don’t know if you’re a farmer, daughter of a farmer, and don’t want to offend farmers in general, but it’s an off-putting moniker, to say the least. It’s about as appealing as naming yourself “Sh*thead”, but more importantly, it sends a message that you don’t take yourself or your blog seriously. And if *you* don’t take yourself seriously, why should an anonymous reader/Twitterer/blogger/potential agent or publisher? -Just a thought. And FWIW, I’ll follow you and your blog – promise. 🙂 Best from Nashville.

So, after I read that, I promptly took it the wrong way. What didn’t help was The Genius agreed with this person – he too thought my name was “off-putting.” I cried, wailed, pulled out my hair and ground my teeth into mere stubs. A few days later, I came up for air.

Is a Twitter handle like Manure Gurl really like calling yourself Shithead? I don’t think so. But maybe there’s something wrong with the way that I think. After all, I’m the one who originally picked the name.

As for the not taking myself too seriously comment – guilty as charged. I don’t take myself too seriously. I currently take three pills a day to ensure I don’t. I used to take myself and my life and everything going round and round in my head too seriously. I’ve been down that path and I have the mental and physical scars to show for it. Once in awhile, I rebound and it isn’t pretty to see. But I don’t think that should stop someone from reading and enjoying my writing. At least, I hope it doesn’t.

So I would like to know – do you consider my Twitter and Blog name off putting? Am I a shithead? Do you feel that’s why I don’t have many people following me or reading my Blog? What do you think I could do to make it better? How do I get more followers and readers? Should I start all over from scratch with a name like Bubbles R Gr8 or Happy!Happy!Joy!Joy! ?

Please be honest. I know there aren’t many of you out there who follow or read my blog but maybe you could ask some of your friends or fellow Twits and bloggers. I’d like to get this right, if I can. As I stated once before, I’d like to make this a success because I don’t have a lot of successful things of my own in my life – at least, nothing I am actually capable of seeing.

Thanks.

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Breaking out of my shell

I want to make this blog a success because, to be honest, I don’t have a lot of successful things in my life; well, at least none that I can see. To work toward this goal, I have decided to take part in WordPress’ Zero to Hero exercise, which promises to help you develop a better blog in 30 days.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

According to the first assignment, I am supposed to introduce myself, which just goes to show I’ve already fucked up this blog thing and made my first post about my Doc Martin/PC Joseph Penhale meme habit. Shit!

To help remedy this error, I’ve decided my second post will be my formal introduction to the blogging world.

Greetings, venerable ones. I am Manure Gurl, a 40-something writer, editor, photographer, wife and mother who lives in the far rural reaches of southern Ontario, Canada; not quite in two-headed calf country but pretty damn close. To get all the stereotypical mumbo-jumbo crap out of the way, no, I do not live in an igloo, although there are some winter nights when my house is probably as cold as one. I drive a mini van, not a dog sled. I haven’t skied in more than 25 years, I cannot ice skate, and none of my children are involved in hockey (sacrilege!). Instead, they are aficionados of the beautiful game, football/soccer, which is played during the summer on a grass-covered field in warm/hot/stifling weather, rain or shine, or in a converted roller rink in the winter (weird but true).

I know you’re wondering, why Manure Gurl? There are several reasons. When I was younger, my best friend used to joke that my eyes were brown because I was full of shit, which wasn’t too far off the mark (my eyes have changed colour since then and are greenish hazel now). I’m a smart ass, a joker, a teller of tales and love hearing and telling stories, the funnier and more off-beat, the better. Also, my first Twitter handle was ManureGurl (I had to go with the creative spelling because someone had already taken ManureGirl, I shit you not) and I still maintain the account. Of course, the main reason is the name has some relation to my day job, what I do when I’m not writing blogs. I write about excrement – shit, manure, crap, dung, muck, guano, poultry litter, droppings, organic fertilizer. I admit, it’s not what I dreamt of doing when I graduated from J-school (I wanted to be a war correspondent) but it helps pay the bills. As the old adage states: It’s a shitty job but someone has to do it.

I’m hoping to use this blog as a vehicle for displaying my true passion, which is writing fiction and poetry. I’m also a big fan of theatre and opera so there may be the odd review thrown in for good measure and, of course, stories and vignettes from my life, both past and present. My world can become pretty fucked up from time to time and that’s always worth a big laugh. It’s better than crying.

I’m a pretty passionate person and can become somewhat obsessive about subjects and hobbies. I’ve been known to research a topic to death, the more obscure and difficult, the bigger the challenge. My current obsessions include collecting Canadian, U.S. and UK first edition books; reading, particularly the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die; British TV shows Doc Martin and Sherlock; raspberry lemonade; U.S. TV shows Criminal Minds, Mad Men, Homeland, The Killing and The Walking Dead; and losing weight.

I’d probably pee my pants in glee if my blog, or even my Twitter feed, were followed by The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson), British actor John Marquez (@MrJohnmarquez), Matthew Gray Gubler (@GUBLERNATION) or really anybody with a pulse. I know that probably won’t happen, after all these people actually have lives. But it’s nice to dream. And, in the immortal words of that awesome Canadian band, Hedley: I can do anything!