Blogging 101 – Day 3

I hope you are all enjoying the Blogging 101 Course as much as I am.  Much food for thought already, and we are only on Day 3!

Today’s assignment looks like fun.  “Getting to know the neighbours”, so I will be heading over to the Commons in a minute and also obeying instructions to pick and then follow 5 new blogs.

But before I do that, just a word on yesterday’s assignment.  The naming of the Blog, or the naming of our baby!

I expect, like many of us, I had a few sleepless nights wondering what to call my baby.  In the end I came up with ACT Made Lyrical, and actually at the time I felt it was quite an inspired choice.  True I knew not many people would know what ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) was all about, but I thought the strap line “Living Well Stressing Less” would compensate for that.

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “The Birth of a Blog – The naming of ACT Made Lyrical” and overnight my misgivings about the title grew.  Was it too narrow?  Was it too obscure?  Should I reverse the title and strap-line etc?  By this morning I was all for throwing out the baby with the bathwater and ACT Made Lyrical as a title looked dead in the water.

Then quite by chance, and this is what un-nerves me about Social Media, the workings of which I don’t understand at all, I came across a blog post

Super-niching: The Dirty Little Secrets of Successful Bloggers Everywhere

and ACT Made Lyrical has survived to fight another day!

If you are concerned that your blog is too niche and too narrow, this blog post may help you to see it in a new light.  Suddenly your super-niche becomes something desirable and something to celebrate!

Happy blogging.  See you soon in the Commons.

Corinne

 

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The Birth of a Blog – The naming of ACT Made Lyrical

After the birth, the naming!

Day 2 of the Blogging 101 Course asks us to name the baby!

As any parent knows, naming the baby is always a fraught thing to do.  It is something that requires a good deal of careful thought as this name is going to stay with that baby for life.  Name the baby well and that name will serve it well, name the baby badly and it can become a burden!

I have often wished my own parents had chosen a different name for me.  My name is Corinne, a relatively unusual name in the UK where I mostly live.  There were no other Corinnes in my school, let alone in my class, and I have gone through my life having to say my name twice and usually spell it as well!!  There are worse burdens but I have often wished that I had had a simpler name.  Conversely, in France where I sometimes live, Corinnes are ten a penny and I never have to repeat it or spell it.  In a foreign country my name is no burden at all!!

So when it came to naming my blog, personal experience had already taught me to name it with care!

Having said that, ACT Made Lyrical, is not a name that will resonate with many people, I guess, unless they have heard of ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy).  For that reason I did have my doubts about using it.  However, it does sum up exactly what the blog is about.  The blog is about ACT and I have made it lyrical.  The main focus of the blog is to deliver the ACT therapeutic message through the medium of poetry.  It is what I do!

I had also recently read a book by Russ Harris, one of the most famous ACT writers, entitled “ACT Made Simple”.  I liked that title and ACT Made Lyrical seemed to be in the same mould, and it sounded lyrical and poetic too and so the blog was  born, and so the blog was named!

To compensate for the possible lack of clarity in the title, I wanted the tagline to be VERY CLEAR.   I did consider “Living Well in the Midst of Life’s Challenges” as well as “Living Well Stressing Less”, and I ran them both past a couple of friends.  They both plumped for “Living Well Stressing Less” as being more pithy and memorable, so I went with that.

I would love you to leave some feedback and I am open to suggestions!!!!

I look forward to reading about how you gave birth to and named your baby blogs.

Have a great day.

Corinne

 

 

 

Who I am and why I’m here

Hello to all my fellow students on the Blogging 101 course, and hello to any other visitors who are dropping by today.  Welcome to one and all!

I am delighted that you have chosen to spend some time here at ACT Made Lyrical.  I hope you will enjoy what you find here and that you will visit again, as often as you like, and if you want to leave a comment, so much the better!

I have been blogging for about two months now, and for me this is the second time around.  I first dipped my toe into the blogosphere about three years ago and I blogged away for about fifteen months.  That blog was called soulsnet.com and it was pretty similar to ACT Made Lyrical in that it was made up of the same combination of poetry, commentary and photographs.  I used the 2010 theme then and I was pretty pleased with how it looked and what I produced.

Over the next year or so I learned a lot about both blogging and the blogging community and for the most part I really enjoyed it.  But, I ran out of steam.  Why?  Well I think I turned a pleasure into hard work and once it started to feel like a chore and visitor numbers weren’t growing I started to get demotivated.  So I stopped.

Why have I started again?  Well over the course of the next couple of years although I stopped blogging I never stopped writing poetry.  The difference was that instead of sharing them on a blog I  just wrote them down in notebooks that then went into the cupboard.

At the same time I became interested in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).  I did some ACT courses and now my poetry had more of a focus.  I wasn’t just writing poetry I was writing poetry that was grounded in ACT.  I felt that what I was writing was more meaningful and had a therapeutic value.  I had discovered in fact that what I was writing was therapeutic poetry.  It was certainly therapeutic for me writing it and I believed that it would be therapeutic for people reading it too.

And so ACT Made Lyrical, with the strap line Living Well Stressing Less, was born!

Two months later I have published 14 posts and I am really pleased with the way the site looks.  That is not so much down to me as to the 2015 Theme that I now use.  It is amazing.  I can’t believe how professional it looks.  I love it and am really glad that I took that break, if for no other reason than it made me try something different.  I am not good with new technology and I know that I wouldn’t have made a change otherwise.  I have had MANY teething problems along the way and I have a lot to learn, especially in regards to social media which both fascinates and frightens me!

Another key difference this time is this course and all the others that WordPress now runs.  As far as I know these were not available last time.  Writing can be a pretty solitary affair, blogging can feel like shouting into the void, and so it is great to have this opportunity to connect with others and to learn with each other.

I am looking forward to learning a lot and getting to know you in the weeks to come.

Warm regards

Corinne

PS

Have just remembered I have got to put tags.  Tags and categories is something else I don’t know how to use properly!!!

ACT and Committed Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I don’t think my blog will ever be ready to launch.  What should I do?

A:  ACTivate your blog now!!

It can be very scary when we are on the brink of something new, can’t it?  In fact it can be so scary that we can look for any excuse not to actually take that final step.  We can always find something else to do, some other detail to tweak, something else not quite right, not quite perfect that we can play around with.

I feel a bit like that with this blog.  I am not very teckie, I am not at all social media savy, I struggle every day with some new aspect of WordPress.  There is so much to learn.  At this rate this blog may never get launched!!

I have therefore decided that it is time to ACTivate my blog.

What does this mean?  Well from an ACT point of view it means that I am going to accept the uncomfortable feelings that I am having, the inevitable uncomfortable feelings that accompany something new, something strange.  I am going to accept the discomfort, befriend and explore it even, and I am going to take action in a valued direction.

For me, that means that I am going to launch my blog even though I am full of misgivings.  I am going to feel the fear and do it anyway!!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you willing to “be ready for the strangeness and accommodate the new”?
  • Are you prepared to live with the discomfort that accompanies change?
  • Are you, like me, going to “feel the fear and do it anyway?”
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

POEM FOR TODAY

Surf

SILVER SURFING

If something new’s approaching let us not bar fast the door,

Let’s be fair and open-hearted, welcome what may lie in store,

Let’s be ready for the strangeness and accommodate the new

Let’s not scurry back to safety before we have seen it through.

If discomfort overwhelms us let’s stand strong until it fades

And relinquish scepticism and reluctance that persuades

Us to turn our back on progress, it’s too late and we’re too old,

Let’s not buy into the story that’s the oldest ever told.

For it’s not a case of number, we’re as old now as we feel

You can put a label on us but that label isn’t real,

And for everyone who’s saying that old age is full of strife,

Let us tell them we are proudly silver surfing through our life.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

 

If you enjoyed “Silver Surfing” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go ……………….

A final word from ACT

ACT has a very special term for the excuses that we make to avoid the discomfort that goes with stepping out of our comfort zone.  That term is:

EXPERIENTIAL AVOIDANCE

It is a term that embodies our suffering, not just once but twice.  We suffer the pain of presence and we suffer the pain of absence.  What does this mean?

Experiential avoidance is the process of trying to avoid our own experiences, our uncomfortable feelings, memories, bodily sensations, behaviours, even when doing so causes us long-term behavioural difficulties.  We don’t go to the party because we are shy and lacking in confidence, we don’t go the gym because we feel too fat or too depressed, we don’t launch a blog in case nobody visits!!

Experiential avoidance means that we suffer the presence of our uncomfortable feelings and we also suffer the pain of the absence of the things that we don’t do, the things that we avoid.  A double whammy!!

Learning to live with discomfort, to accept our uncomfortable feelings and to commit to valued action anyway is what lies at the heart of ACT.  It is what gives Acceptance Commitment Therapy its name.  It is the key to living a meaningful and valued life even in the midst of life’s challenges.

If you want to find out more about Experiential Avoidance then I recommend you dip into Steven Hayes’ wonderful book:

Worth learning how to deal with it!!!

Which leads us to the …………………………..

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………………………….

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If you have read this far please leave your comments.  How is ACT helping you?

I am on an ACT journey and I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne