Sunday, September 9, 2018

Blogger Tips: How to Write and Edit Posts

Here are some tips on writing blog posts with the Blogger interface. Contact me if you'd like your own personalized blog designed. Once your blog is set up, you only need to know a few things to start creating some awesome posts. So let's get started!
Make sure you are signed into Google (go to and click on Sign In on the top right), and then go to your Blogger Dashboard.

1. Ignore everything in the left-hand column. Messing with anything there could mess up your blog. In the middle you will see a list of all your blog posts, which includes how many comments and views each post has received. Above that you will see an orange button labeled New Post. Click that.

2.  This will take you to a screen where you should write your blog. Important: Do not write your blogs in Word and paste into here. It will bring background characters that will screw up the blog post. This is REALLY important.

3. You will see that you can enter a Post title and the big empty area is where you will type your blog text. Your post title should include important keywords every time as this is the title that will appear in search engines.

4. Type your first paragraph. Like any article, this should get to the point of what this blog post is about. Three or four sentences is best. These are also the first few sentences that will appear when you share your blog post on Facebook.

5. You will see a tool bar above the area where you type to allow you to make text bold, italic, etc. There are also buttons to insert pictures and add links.  Use the default font to have a consistent look.

6. Continue typing until you are done with the text portion of the blog. At any time you can click on the Save button on the top right to save what you are typing. DO NOT CLICK ON PUBLISH. That is only when you are done and you want to make it live.

7. After all text is typed, then go back and play with adding pictures and links. Note: Only add pictures AFTER the first paragraph, not before. To add a picture, put your cursor between two paragraph where you want it to be. Click the Insert image icon up top (to the right of Link) and then choose a picture from your hard drive. After the picture is inserted, you can click on it to add a caption, resize, and make it left, center, or right justified with your text.

8. To make a hyperlink, highlight the text you want to hyperlink. Click Link up top in the toolbar and type in the URL that text should take you to when someone clicks on it.

9. At any time you can click Preview up top right to see what your blog post will look like when live. Make sure you click Save before doing that. Once you are ready to make your blog post live, click Publish. This will take you back to your Blogger Dashboard and you will see it listed. If you need to edit a blog post, published or unpublished, hover your mouse over the blog title in your Blogger Dashboard and you will see Edit appear. Click that. If you published a blog post by mistake, you can check the square box to the left of the post title, then click on Revert to draft up top.

10. Have fun! Remember, always type your blog posts with this interface. Do not use Word or any other program.

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Guest Post: Katherine Gotthardt on Time Management

Why slow down? Enjoy this enlightening post on time management by guest blogger, Katherine Gotthardt.


I Will Not Manage Time
By Katherine M. Gotthardt

It’s past midnight, and I’m writing this. So that should tell you something. I’m more awake than I ought to be, but yesterday, every time I sat still, I fell asleep, feeling guilty for having fatigue. I pretended to be awake. My eldest child, twenty years old and mature enough to know I tend towards workaholism, asked me questions, receiving answers that made sense in my head but had nothing to do with the questions. That’s how she knew I was talking in my sleep. She doesn’t understand. I need to manage my time, but I have no time. So I won’t manage it.

Dusty on my desk are three books on time management. All of them say to take time for self, and while I’m getting better at it, I admit I’ve had to become extremely unhealthy to make it happen. This is not something I’m particularly proud of, nor something I would recommend. It’s expensive, for one thing. And then there’s that thing of, “You’re getting too old for this, and you’re literally killing yourself.” That’s a problem.

But the reality is, I need to get things done. You see, everyone on my mother’s side of the family, with the exception of one brother, died in their 60’s. This doesn’t scare me in the sense that you’d think it would. It scares me because there’s so much to be done, and I really don’t want to leave my family so soon. I don’t want to waste time trying to manage time. I want to use the time I have. I want every moment to count.

Now the holistic healers out there will say I am talking myself into an early grave, and the western medicine men will tell me I’m working my way into one. And the cynics will say, “She’s being dramatic,” and the empaths will say, “That poor woman.” And I say in return, hold up. I’m getting better at this self-care thing, but it’s taking me time. But there’s so little time, at least in this life. And that, too, is problematic.

In my next life, I might have more time. I’m coming back as a lilac (I’ve already decided). They might live longer than humans. I’m not really sure. They smell better, though. And bees. They feed bees. They are delectable things, lilacs, and I’ve always wanted to be beautiful in a simple, fragrant way. I’ll get my way in my next life. But right now, I’ve got no time.

On my right arm, I have a tattoo of a plume, tiny birds flying from it. The nib scrolls “Carpe Diem” down towards my elbow. The tat needs recoloring, and I’ve got scabs on my arms where I’ve been scratching hives. I don’t know where the hives come from. The allergy tests all came back negative. My husband says it’s stress. Some days, he’s probably correct. But other days, they just appear. I watch them rise on my forearms, amazed that little lumps can grow on their own. What’s feeding them?

Author Katherine Gotthardt
Maybe they are eating time. That would account for the lack of it, yes? That would explain a good many things, like why the months speed by more quickly as you get older, why the road ragers fly by on the highway like mad men (and women) and why I’m enamored with Buddhism but so damn bad at it. I’m watching these hives eat time. Even a Buddhist would have difficulty with that.

So next week I’m off to the doctor’s to look at my neck, post-op, and another to look at my blood pressure. We’ll talk about my swollen feet and numb toes, and they both will wonder how it is I don’t have diabetes, why I’m driven to create a legacy and what the heck that has to do with anything when the world continues to spin on its axis, each day becoming night, each night becoming day, the passing of time something absurd. We kid ourselves, thinking we can manage it. The most we can manage is ourselves. And even that we’re not evolved enough to do.

No, I will not manage time. I won’t even bother to try. I’ll just manage to barter for more. Somehow.

Katherine Gotthardt is a poetry and prose writer with five books under her belt and many more to write. She is a founding member and Vice President of Write by the Rails and CEO of ATW - All Things Writing. Learn more about her at

#WbtR #BackOnTrackNow

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Guest Post: Jan Rayl on Time Management

Please welcome another guest post on Time Management by our lovable President of Write By the Rails, Jan Rayl:

Victor many thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog. I also want to take a moment to thank you for all the budding authors you have helped in our writing group, Write by the Rails. As I have recommended your services to many of our authors, I hear the feedback. I am pleased to say that every author I have given your information to contact has been 100% pleased with your work! I have seen countless book covers you have designed and they are beautiful!

Professionally I am a nurse. In nursing time management is critical and lives can depend on it in a fast-paced emergency setting. As a nurse educator I teach my student that the first thing you do is take a deep breath when faced with an emergency. I tell them we must take care of ourselves in a crisis to be able to carry on effectively.

The same is true no matter the profession: you must take care of yourself first. So how does this relate to time management? We each are in control of our calendars and schedules. I used to jot down the appointments on my calendar as they came up. I had work appointments, volunteer meetings, things folks would ask me to do, helping friends, doctors’ appointments, oops another meeting and then next thing I knew I was scheduled and at times overbooked. I stuck to my schedule!

I learned the valuable lesson of taking care of yourself first the hard way; I got sick. I got really sick and was off work for three months. I ended up with pneumonia, a sinus infection and both ears infected. Every meeting, appointment and commitment this double-booked, driven, helpful woman had crammed into my calendar came to a screeching halt.

Once I was on the road to recovery and no longer too sick to do anything, I began to ponder my calendar. As I looked back I saw week after week where I was completely booked every night of the week and most of every weekend. I was doing important things, I was helping others, getting things done. However, in the frenzy of my “helping” I had forgotten to take care of the most important person in life: myself.

Now when I look at my calendar I schedule “Jan Days” first. These are my days, days where I, Jan, get to do something for me. Sometimes it is half a day, or an evening. But I also am sure to book whole weekends! I may not have a big plan—I may stay home and read, go to a park, or a movie. The what does not matter. What matters is I go on my calendar first! I am also sure to have blank days every week. I have made a point to have evening meetings only twice a week. I need the down time in the evening.

I have found that I weeded through the things I was doing and have cut back to the things that give me joy. In the process the things I let go of got picked up by others and some were not. The things that were not may not have been that important to begin with. Perhaps I was doing them because I always had.

I work full-time teaching nursing and see a few patients part-time as a nurse. I volunteer as President of Write by the Rails, my local writing group. I live in Northern Virginia, well known for its fast-paced, driven lifestyle. But I am no longer fast-paced. I have learned to let some organizations and clubs go. I have learned to say, “no.” I have learned to manage my time by making “my” time first, then giving to others. I hope you will consider looking at your calendar and making sure you are taking care of yourself first!

Jan Rayl is in her third term as President of Write by the Rails. Write by the Rails is the Prince William County, Virginia area Chapter of Virginia Writer’s Club which celebrated 100 years in 2018. Jan has been published in numerous nursing journals and the Write by The Rails anthologies New Departures and No Additional Postage Necessary. Jan blogs on travel, book reviews and other musings at

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