My photo blog is now fifty posts old. Which, in human terms, means it’s about to start stealing cars and hiring homeless dudes to buy it alcohol and smokes. So, basically it’s eleven.
My photo blog, Salted Shambhala, probably has as much to do with my life and recovery as this one does. Just with more sexual innuendo, music and savage beatings. And photos. Mostly photos. And, as well as publishing my fiftieth post, I also changed the layout to make it prettier. Go Team Salt.
The reason I started the photo blog was to have someplace where I didn’t have to write about me. It was just to have someplace to do creative stuff that had nothing to do with punching a spigot into my chest every week so I can bleed my life out.
People who use blogging as a recovery tool have to be as honest as possible, otherwise we’re just writing nonsense. It’s like being in therapy, if you’re not honest in the group, or with your doctor, you’re wasting your time.
So the photo blog allowed me to use other writing muscles. To use my different writing voices. It was meant to be a place where I didn’t have to write about me… directly. But what I think it has evolved into is a place where I can retrain myself to write news again on a regular basis.
Just in terms of style I’ve limited myself to using fewer than 350 words per post. Which, for me, is remarkable. I think the average post here on Salted Lithium is 1100 words. And hardly any of them ever involve plans on building a bomb out of a tennis ball, duct tape and 500 match heads.
I highly recommend starting a second blog to anyone using their current one as a recovery tool. As a recovery tool to help me recover from my recovery blog, my photo blog has helped with my recovery almost as much as my recovery blog.
Speaking of tools… I’ve found a few websites that might help other bloggers feel better about themselves. See? I totally care what happens to you.
A Blogger’s Disclaimer: We’ve all had people come to our blogs, read half of one post and decide they know enough about our lives, and our recovery, to leave messages which dismiss our struggle, our beliefs, even our hobbies. Each time these people leave their notes it takes a little piece of energy out of us. The more hateful and/or bored of these people are called trolls, and they can suck the life out of our fun faster than if the Jonas Brothers walked into an orgy.
The disclaimer covers personal relationships and privacy; copyright and courtesy; offensive language and materials, and; feedback and initiating contact. It gets into stalkers, how ex-lovers should treat the blog/blogger, how the writer doesn’t owe the reader anything… it’s pretty extensive. He has link codes for text and some images… which aren’t great, but you can make your own. If you use any of it, definitely link back to the page. He’s a blogger as well, and deserves some respect for coming up with a great response to the people who want to piss us off.
Do not assume that you know everything there is to know about a writer simply because you read their weblog on a regular basis. Any judgements you make will be based on the information they have provided you about themselves, which is probably vague, incomplete or embellished. Whatever opinion you form on them as people, or their life as a whole, is probably best kept to yourself. Remember, you are the reader.
Blogger’s Legal Guide: What happens if you’re blogging anonymously and your ISP is subpoenaed for your identity? What is your responsibility under the law for the comments left on your blog? Can linking to a site make you an accomplice to libel? What legal recourse do you have if someone takes a comment you left in their forum and edits it so you’re admitting to being a paedophile? What is a “DMCA”? What part of my blog is really trademarked and copyrighted if all I do is write out “trademarked and copyrighted”?
If you’re at all interested in the answers to these questions the Electronic Frontier Foundation has them… plus, you know, a whole lot more.
FAQ&A About Defamation: Most people believe the freedom of speech laws in their country give them the right to use whatever words in whatever order they want. They’re wrong. Making shit up about someone is illegal. So what if someone writes lies about you? What if a forum develops where you’re the target, and people are writing lies about your life?
Most of us have absolutely no idea how to protect ourselves from libel. This site is called “Chilling Effects”, it’s part of the Internet + Intellectual Property Justice Project, and it’s maintained by the University of San Francisco School of Law.
File Den & Drop Box: WordPress has a number of “short codes” which allow us bloggers to easily slip videos, music and all sorts of other stuff into our posts. To embed a video from YouTube, for example, you simply type out [youtu be=URL_here] in the HTML editor. WordPress also makes a paid upgrade available so you can upload music to your blog and embed it into your post simply by typing out [aud io=URL_here] (copy, paste and take out the single space).
But if you want to play music on your blog you don’t actually need to upgrade your account. You can simply create a free account at a file hosting site, such as File Den or Drop Box, and insert the link into the short code like you normally would.
So… free tunes for everyone. Unfortunately, if you’re surfing using a slow speed or no-speed Internet connection, the player doesn’t buffer well.
I also found, and added to my blogroll, some smart and irreverent personal blogs written by people who are dealing with their lives.
I definitely recommend taking a look at these blogs, and even putting them straight into your blogroll… you know, if you want to be cool like me. So, in no particular order:
The She Chronicles
existere (latin): to stand out, to emerge;
Crazy Is The New Sane;
No Quick Fix, and;
A Roller Coaster Life-Living With A Bipolar Teenager.
Some of them are just starting out, some are starting over, and some have been around for awhile… but they’re all definitely quality blogs.