Home » Blogging World » How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

I went to a French high school.  We didn’t do things like the Prom Queen and King. Come to think of it, I wonder if any of the English schools in Quebec did?  Maybe it’s just an American thing. I honestly don’t know and frankly, don’t feel like looking it up because, in the grand scheme of things, it means diddly-squat.  Prompt Queen? Now that’s a different story.

Somehow any writing I have done in the past few years has been a good ninety-to-ninety-five percent prompt-related.  How did this happen? Is this a bad thing or a good thing?  Or a nothing to even waste my energies on?  I know I am far from alone.  Many bloggers only write prompt-induced posts. And that is a fine thing.  It has helped me work on my writing chops, I think.  Plus, when it comes to creativity, I need a nudge.

I take a pause in writing to think about this, and what my point shall be while I make myself a coffee,

Random shot of coffee

then get side-tracked by catching up on my daily blog reading, check my emails, and I land on my horoscope.  Coz yeah, I receive it daily, even though I don’t buy what they’re selling.  However, it is ironic that today’s says this:

07.30.2020

You may find yourself asking some major life questions today, Aries. Thoughtful Mercury finds itself opposed to grandiose Jupiter, asking you to ask whether you have all of the tools you need for the career you wish to create for yourself. You may find yourself revisiting educational or travel plans today. A positive sense of optimism permeates the day, lending support and strength to your questioning.

Okay, so why I write what I write is not a “major life question” but it is one of the questions I’ve been posing myself lately, and the only one I shall tackle at this time because it does affect how I spend some of my time.  Time that suddenly became plentiful, yet ill-used.  Since March, our lives, the world over, have been turned upside-down, sideways and inside out in a manner none of could ever have imagined.  Now that we are almost half a year into this (Seriously?!?!) we still can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  How are we spending this time?  Everyone has seen some kind of change in their schedule.  Some barely had a break as they went from working in an office to working from home (and are working up to 20% more than before), some went from working days to working overnight, many of us lost our jobs, some were/are on hold, waiting, convinced they will be able to return to their former jobs at some time (though less and less a probability) and some, like me, have managed to find new jobs.  A first, it seemed this no working thing would be the perfect time to tackle projects! Um. No. I couldn’t justify it as projects require money which is no longer coming in, or at least, not with the same flow.  Many took up baking and cooking and gardening.  And reading. And writing.

Because flowers are pretty even when they are straggly

Many bloggers went to town. Suddenly the once, twice or thrice-weekly bloggers became daily bloggers. The multi-posters wrote even more.  My inbox overflowed.  (I hate using the Reader though I swear I am contemplating moving to it so that my overwhelm doesn’t send me to the looney-bin.)

I know I have a point to all this.  Oh yes. Prompts.  I don’t know how I went from Friday Fictioneers to also participating in Crimson’s Creative Challenge, Weekend Writing Prompt and an occasional dVerse.  I don’t like to post more than once per day and I’m not a daily blogger, either.  I often would find myself wanting to write about something and then thinking, oh no, it’s Wednesday, that’s when I do FF and then I can’t write it on Thursday because that’s when I do CCC and then it’s too late because that feeling has passed.  Just so you know, there is no obligation for me to write FF on Wednesdays nor CCC on Thursdays. It is all self-imposed.  The reason I do this is it gives me a chance to read everyone else’s story/poem, whatevs… because. There is the rub. I’m an excellent participant and reciprocator. But it is as time-consuming AF to read and comment on 65 other 100-word stories. And I do. Mostly. I have since cut back on those who don’t even acknowledge my comment – after a few weeks of nothing, I drop them. Got better things to do with my time. And there are those who never visit mine. (And that’s okay, too. Just don’t expect me to go to yours after a while, either.)  That’s what blogging is.

The swirls of the clouds resemble my thoughts

So what about those blogs I follow (and love) and read outside of these prompts? I feel so bad when fellow bloggers read me and I find myself three posts behind on theirs.  How much time per day is a person supposed to sit on their ass reading and commenting on blogs?  I swear I must read a novel’s worth per day.  When can I sit on my ass and read a book?  Because, frankly, after reading off the computer for 3-4 hours (if not more) I no longer feel like picking up a book.

That’s a helluva detour to my point, isn’t it?  Maybe that’s why I do these prompts. They force me to keep myself brief as none of them are longer than 150 words. 😉 They have and will continue to serve their purpose as they push my creativity to write different things.  And I think my writing has improved because of these challenges so no, I am not giving them up.  I am, however, going to cherry-pick from now on because for me it is important, when participating in a challenge, to participate.  I’m not a write-and-run kinda gal.

Back in February 2016, Eric Tonningson, Awakening to Awareness (a coach, speaker, writer, blogger I admire) commented with:  “Hey, where are those thoughtful Dale posts??? All I’m seeing in my WP Reader is Friday Fictioneer stuff. 🙂”.  I haven’t heard from him since this time, last year, but his words have been swirling in my head lately.

What would he say now?  He’d probably nod his head in agreement.

I have now seen the light.  I officially demote myself from Prompt Queen to Prompt Baroness.

Apologies. I understand if it was TL:DR

145 thoughts on “How Did I Become a Prompt Queen?

    • Thank you, Janet. I blathered on so damn long, I didn’t even mention half the stuff I wanted like how you’ve inspired me with your 100 days and a few other things. Course it took me all day to write coz I was out watching the clouds, listening to thunder, making a salad for supper, my mushroom thing for lunch, changing what I wrote. Eesh. So disorganised. Always stream of consciousness…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Dale, I definitely feel what you are saying here. Blogging is like a drug and the emails of others posts can be overwhelming! Right now I am a captive audience but some days my head is full of fog and I can’t read or write . Like you I cling to prompts because they challenge us to “think in straight lines” and often “keep our word count limited”. I feel guilty sometimes for going in blind and just deleting vast swaves of emails because I am drowning in them. We must remember we blog because we want to, not because we must, though, yes it is addictive. Be well and safe I think you should be re titled once again to, QUEEN OF PROMPTS! 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Willow. It is a drug – a good drug. It can become overwhelming when we allow it to, for sure. Prompts are great and I’ll not give them up. They help me to get my creativity going. And yes, there are times when I simply empty my inbox without looking. I have to or I go crazy.
      And yes, we blog for ourselves. If others read, that is a bonus. And I can say I don’t take offence if someone does not read me. It has to be a pleasure.
      And nah… there are many queens and kings of prompts! 🧡🧡🧡🧡

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  2. Your blog is not too long, at all Baroness Dale! (Though you are still Queen anyway) In fact your post has given me plenty of food for thought. I had to cut Friday Fictioneers because I felt I had to comment on every single post and it began to worry me, then with the need to finish my book (which has taken three years this September) it seemed the right thing to do anyway. Such a shame but it’s a time thing. I follow certain contributors and I commit to responding to them. I like that you respond to writing prompts, that draws me in and I miss the FF but just can’t manage the reciprocal part. I have responded to one blogger two or three times, asking questions, showing interest and I never get a reply. I think there are many bloggers like that. Even if you don’t write a detailed reply, what’s so hard about saying Thanks. I think you have the blogging process properly nailed – without thoughtful responses, you’re just looking at a black hole!

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    • Thank you, oh kind one (you’re one of those who has three posts in waiting!! And which I am getting to today because I love your stuff.)
      I understand why you did. It is nuts. I am glad I have finally pared it down to those who “merit” a comment from me. And yes, these challenges are all about reciprocity so those who don’t, get the boot from me. And I am plenty fine with that. You know, some of the participants read and comment on only a dozen of the stories. That’s cool, too. We are the ones who have self-imposed the read ’em all. As time goes on, less and less people comment on those who don’t play. We all learn.
      I know what you mean, For heaven’s sake, could you at least leave a like to my comment to show me you read the damn thing?
      And thank you, Jilly. I really appreciate you and your comments and can’t wait to check out your book! (I am also an avid “encourager” of my fellow bloggers by reading their books – AND leaving a review 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read with interest, Dale.
    We’re all capable of taking on too much. And there does come a time when we have to ask, What is important, and Where can I make cutbacks.
    I enjoy seeing your takes on my CCC prompts; you’re one of the few who mostly posts an answering photo. But I wouldn’t like to think you feel obliged to do this. I do not hold you, or anyone else, to these prompts. They’re for fun, not for pressure

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  4. Lovely Dale, you state ALL the reasons why I don’t have my own blog…. I need all the time I can and am willing to consecrate to reading the few blogs of interest to me and to COMMENT on those. I love READING (for myself) too much to give it up and as long as I see have some eye-sight I shall continue to do so.
    Also, I don’’t understand all your abbreviations of WO speak – but same as you, I couldn’t be bothered to look any of them up. I’m just not interested enough. But what I shall do, is sending you (privately – IF I can find it still) a ‘text messaging for the elderly ones’ and I only hope I haven’t already given you that specific cackle to read…. If I did, there is no need to search for it, is there 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t get me wrong, Kiki, I love the blogging world and the conversations that have come into being. I love writing and reading and being read and getting and giving comments, too.
      What’s WO? The only abbreviations I used were for the prompts I had just listed: FF for Friday Fictioneers, CCC for Crimson’s Creative Challenge, WWP for Weekend Writing Prompt 😉
      Looking forward to receiving your document! As I love getting anything you send.
      xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Dale, a very interesting post. This virus has affected us all in different ways and I think it’s a matter of one step in front of the other to get through.
    Your concern for others is among your greatest assets and I can feel that that is part of what is overwhelming you now. Plough on, my friend, but be good to thineself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jean. Thank you. Yes, it has and honestly, for many of us, thank goodness for writing and blogging!
      That is such a sweet thing to say. I do love my blogging family, truly. So yes, I shall keep on ploughing on by not losing my mind and choosing what to share!

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  6. A thoughtful post, Blog Baroness, and I totally agree about the time it takes to be involved with prompts. You are a queen–empress perhaps–in the way you respond. You are such an outgoing, engaging, caring person, and it shows in the way you respond and react to others on social media.
    There are blogs I follow that I never comment on anymore because they don’t comment on mine. As you say, that’s fine and their choice, but also mine. 😏 I like to do prompts because I think it does help me with my writing, but then the downside is poems posted on blogs usually can not be submitted for publication. And writing for prompts takes time from writing for submission–and also all my other work is writing, too–so a lot of time spent in front of the computer screen.

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    • Thank you, Poetess Extraordinaire.
      It’s insane the amount of time involved – of course, that is me, isn’t it? Not everyone is nuts like I am… But I do so love the blogging community and the friendships created. I honestly believe if I were to find myself in your neck of the woods, we would enjoy a glass of wine and great conversation. Of course, we don’t click with every single blogger but there are some that touch us more than others.
      Exactly. And that’s okay. They don’t comment or acknowledge your comment? Then you stop leaving them. If they leave a “like” then they can get a “like”.
      As for wanting to submit for publication, this is definitely a downside. Choices have to be made and we have to do that which works for us.
      I don’t even want to calculate just how much time I spend in front of the computer. It’s RIDONKULOUS!

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        • Neither do I. And we WILL. You’re not that far away 😉 We used to go down to the Jersey shore every summer – man I miss those days – for camping. You’re not that far away.
          No kidding. It is. I can understand their wanting only original content… but it is, really…

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  7. Dear Dale,

    Well I certainly feel cast aside…kicked to the curb…minimized (wait, nature did that to me)…NOT.
    I know from facilitating Friday Fictioneers what a time-suck it can be. When I first took the helm from Madison I felt it my duty to read and comment on every fershtunkenah story until it occurred to me some don’t reciprocate. If some feel ignored that I no longer do that, it’s not my problem. Here’s a quarter. Go buy a clue.
    The hundred word challenge has been a magnificent exercise in word conservation and I’m not quite ready to give it up.
    That being said, there is life outside the blogosphere so I understand where you’re coming from. And you do many more challenges than I. I doff my chapeau to you.
    I’m grateful you’ve participated in FF as long as you have for through it I’ve gained a forever friend. A friendship no longer based on a blog challenge.
    Because you’re a bright spot on the “Hollywood Squares” I will miss your weekly posts.
    As I told a friend who left Hy-Vee…you can leave Hy-Vee but you can’t leave me. 😉
    I hope my rambling made sense.
    The Reader’s Digest version of my comment is “You have my support.”
    Ciao for niao.

    Shalom and lotsa understanding hugs,

    Rochelle

    PS You’ll soon have mail with some other reading. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Yes, yes, I’ve no doubt you do 😉 And I also know you jest (at least a little).
      And yes, responding to every fershtunkenah (God, I love that word! How did I not know this one?) story is a thing I am glad I no longer do. It took a while to realise that there was no reciprocation from others – and that doesn’t bug me half as much as not acknowledging my comment at all. At least leave a bloody “like” so I know you pretended to read it.
      I absolutely adore the one hundred or thirty-eight or one hundred and fifty word challenges. I truly believe they have helped me write better. Or, at least I think they do 😉 And no way am I giving them up, by the way. I am just going to force myself to pick and choose so that I don’t feel like it’s a burden to participate.
      So don’t even think you can get rid of me that easily. I shall be taking my spot on the Hollywood Squares regularly. Just not always.
      And yes, we found a friendship that I cherish.

      Shalom and lotsa love,

      Dale

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  8. Hey Dale, I’ve been blogging for a few years. I have two sites, but the second one gets only the rare (one per week or two) post. I am new to FF and dVerse and have sort of followed your lead, but been a regular at Sammi’s weekend prompt for a long time.
    I start reading FFs on Wednesday. It takes me until Friday to get through them all. DVerse takes even longer and I will not do them all, but I try.
    I also write to prompts (via zoom) with my writer group a couple of Saturdays each month.
    Some writing I call ‘muse’ prompted. That is mostly poetry to deal with whatever comes up (or is planted) in my brain.
    Add reading books and such, a touch of art, and I am sure I’ve busted through a 40-hour work-week. Retired, they call it. And then, even I have a life outside of all that.
    What we bloggers seem to give each other is the most important thing we have: our time.
    I’m glad you wrote (and I read) this. While it’s about you, it’s about all of us. Thanks, Dale.

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    • Hey Bill,
      I saw that you have a second site when I went snooping 😉 I have yet to check out the other one but will be doing so because I adore your writing. I remember seeing you at Sammi’s and then suddenly there you were at Rochelle’s and dVerse… So you were stalking me! 😉 I love that. It’s how we learn about various prompts, isn’t it? And I do love prompts. I don’t have the creativity to just up and decide to write a short story or poem (or very rarely) without them. When I participate in FF (which I will continue to do) I will check all the way up to Tuesday for any latecomers. dVerse, I only do once and again as I don’t consider myself a poet but keep trying.
      I need to be retired. I don’t have time for this work sh*t!
      And you are right. Bloggers give each other our time. And the best part of blogging is the exchanges we have in the comment section (ofttimes the best part of the post).
      I am glad you read and commented, Bill. I guess it was a pre-apology for any time I take away from it!

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      • Dale,
        Maybe I was lurking more than stalking. I write too much poetry and FF gets me to move on prose. I split my sites cuz the other (Dispassionate Doubt) is controversial and didn’t think many would want to read that stuff. Few do, but only when they wish. I was intrigued by the French school // English school concept. I agree with you because I feel like I am at my limit of time available for things. If I add anything, I need to remove something.
        And I happen to like your poetry. So keep that up. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bill,
          I was teasing, you know that! How can you write too much poetry? Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to write more prose, just wondering why you think you write too much poetry… I am going to go take a look-see, controversy or not.
          There is a world of difference in mentality between the French and English schools. The French had absolutely no idea what a real prom is 😉 I am privy to both as I am a proper mix. I just happened to do my schooling backwards. Elementary in English and Secondary in French. Oh well.
          And I love that you happen to like my poetry and I shall keep it up 🙂 Thank you for that.

          Liked by 1 person

          • During 2019, I wrote at least one poem each day. By year’s end, over 400. It is sort of my default everything.
            A couple of weeks ago, I facilitated my writer group (mostly fiction prose folks) writing to prompts for poetry. I think I told you. I worked all week coming up with idea for the two hours. I love it, but it wears me out. There are times when to me, everything is a poem or a prompt for one. Anyway, take care my friend.

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          • But you are a poet, Bill. There is nothing wrong for everything to be a poem or a prompt for one 😉 400 in one year is impressive.
            That said, my attempts at poetry are to try to expand my abilities and get out of writing short prompt stories or whatever so I imagine that is what you want to do with the prose.
            You take care as well and keep on keepin on!

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  9. It’s so very easy to overload on reading. I try to read every single post of everyone I follow but to do that I have had to unfollow many blogs. It also means that a lot of posts only get a “like” with no comment, although in most cases I have fully read the post. Getting into a conversation within comments is very nice but leads to its own problems. Who stops responding, and at what stage? Will the person feel snubbed because I haven’t replied? Some people overcome such difficulties by using emoticons but then I feel we are replicating facebook!!!! Oh, hell, what to do!!!!!!!!!!! (I will be happy with a like!) Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is. And you know, most of us, I am sure, are not insulted if you or anyone else just can’t keep up. And getting a “like” is an acknowledgement that you took the time to read it and that means something.
      As for the conversations, I don’t worry about how it stops, realising that life goes on! Yes, a last emoticon smile is a good way to say, I’m off! Ciao for now! 😉
      And I am also happy with a last like. Hugs right back! xoxo

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  10. Dear Baroness, you will always be the Prompt Queen because no one else has that awesome gift of gab that we all love. I can relate to the incredible amount of time and emails poured over but I don’t want to miss my faves and there are so many. Imagine, I could be reading War and Peace. I’m with you, if I speak to someone I’m expecting a nod back, otherwise I’m going to assume they that I’m invisible and I hate that feeling. Things have gotten incredibly weird and awful since 2020 eased in so quietly only to knock the socks off of us. Waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel, meanwhile I’m distracting myself with Baroness. Keep up the good work whatever you decide it will be. 🥰

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    • Dear Lovely Poetess,
      You are a sweet and loving person. I am so glad I discovered you through Frank and Resa and who knows who else (we do have our circles, don’t we?) Thank goodness my gift of gab is not too much! I really don’t like the Reader so I’ll keep on getting the emails. Every now and again, when my inbox hits numbers that leave me quaking, I hold my breath, apologise to all and sundry and flush anything older than one month (yeah, it gets that bad, I swear).
      Speaking of books, you are officially challenged. I took Mrs. Dalloway off the shelf. 😉
      We learn who to give our time to and who just gets a nod.
      2020 – what a great way to put it.
      I, too shall keep distracting myself with whatever HoH puts out there and our chit-chats that follow (I do so love them).
      😘

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      • Dear Dale, I am so with you on the overwhelming mail box. I have had as many as 2500 but usually just flush them out before the box is completely full. I see your challenge on Dalloway and up you “Orlando”, Virginia’s book dedicated to Vita. Florida is expecting a hurricane to skirt along our coast tomorrow and Sunday….I mean, really???? What next?
        I hope your weekend is a lot more peaceful and filled with good fun.
        You’re a doll!
        😘

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        • Dear Rene. I do that regularly… I basically go back one month and flush everything before it and hope I can catch up…
          Oh wait! I thought we would both read Mrs. Dalloway! I will definitely download Orlando… Do we read that first, then? I am more than willing to have us a little book club thing.
          I saw that… Isaia is coming… damnation…
          My weekend will be filled with hot dogs, Gatorade and food processor working to make more sandwich fillings… Did I tell you I am already done with this job? I am done with this job, less than two months in.
          YOU’RE a doll!
          😘

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          • I’m battening down the hatches , a storm is passing by and probably coming ashore up around the barrier islands where I have a house. I mean what next?? I really never seem to get to sit down and read much ,I’m full time at the hospital.I hope to start Mrs. Dalloway soon and we can tear it apart, I love this, you hate that so on and so forth. Fun!! Have a beautiful day doll face. Sending love and hugs. 😘🤗

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          • I was just listening to the news through my alarm clock (coz yeah, I still use one)… Ugh. Hold tight, my friend. I hear you. I feel like I can’t seem to permit myself to sit down and read. If it’s any consolation, I have not started it yet, either! And it will be great to encourage each other 😉
            Love it, we use doll face, too 😉 Have a splendiferous day despite the storm that I hope does not return to hurricane force! Sending you much love and hugs 😘🤗

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          • It’s a pity we can hunker down with A box of bon bons and read a good book. Soon! I’m on Merritt Island this weekend ( good timing) so I think storm surge will be the only issue with Isa…esa…whatever the hell it is. Love and hugs to you. 😘🤗

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          • I hear ya, Sistah! Yes, Soon!
            Isaia – like throw in another i and another a while you’re at it! Sheesh.
            Hope you don’t suffer any consequences ! xoxo

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          • I am done with it but will not leave my friend shorthanded (unless something really fabulous comes my way) so am counting down the days till October 15. Thanks!

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          • Doesn’t mean she won’t up and skedaddle if the price is right. But that’s okay. In the grand scheme of things, it’s alrighty.

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  11. Prompts, due dates, and the duty to participate and reciprocate, would all bury my creativity alive. The little bit of it I have. I personally thrive on inspiration that comes when it’s least expected.
    Im with you on this one. And you are one of the very few who reciprocate in an authentic sincere manner. Most do with a like and a generic recycled comment.

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  12. You have hit the blog problem nail on the head. It’s extremely difficult to keep up with so many blogs. And we all could spend all day trying to read all the words that hit our screens. You always have good insights, and your posts are clever. It would be wonderful for you to get back to work. No job is no fun and blogging doesn’t help much unless you can derive some income from it. Keep on keeping on and prompt wisely my Queen.

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    • Thank you so much, Timothy. It is insanely difficult to keep up. Of course, it’s our fault for following them all in the first place! I have, however, not been shy to unfollow those that no longer fit in my tastes. It happens.
      I thank you for thinking me clever and insightful.
      I am working since June, by the way. I work three twelve-hour days per week. What do they say? Be careful what you wish for? I won’t be sad when golf season is over. I’m exhausted!! But then, that means, come October, time to find something else. I am SO ready to retire.
      I shall keep on keeping on with all the great support my blog family have shown me. 🙂

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      • That’s good you have a job. Can you recover one day and then get on with live the other three or are the three twelves spread out? I unfollow people when they get too political, post too much junk, or get outside my interest.

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        • Yes, I was rather happy it showed up when it did. A friend announced it on FB and when I said I was interested, she took me right away. I work Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. I admit by Monday I’m pretty fried but that’s okay, I have two days to recuperate. I also unfollow the super political, the crap (amazing how many people put junk out there) and overly religious. Or those who just write about stuff that doesn’t touch me.

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          • I can’t either. Well, I can, coz I have to, for now. But I do have that break. Originally, they wanted to give me Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I said are you nuts? Four days off for three days of ridiculous… no thanks. It’s much more manageable like this. And for one season, I can do it. I won’t be returning next year, I can promise you that.

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  13. I don’t do the prompts as much as I’d like because, like you if I write to one of the prompts I feel like I should fully participate and read others who responded to the prompt. And I don’t got time for that. We spend so much time on the screen these days, I just don’t want to spend that much more time. So, I pick and choose in this activity, like in so many other activities.

    But … keep writing, keep improving your game, keep doing what you do.

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    • I hear ya, Mark. Truth be told, if I didn’t do the prompts, I don’t know how much writing I would do. They spur my creativity which, in all honestly, needs a kick in the pants. Not all of us have stories in our heads that we can put to paper 😉 But yes, if I participate, I participate fully. I am glad I did smarten up to give my time to those who merit it. Picking and choosing. That’s the key.

      I will, fear not. And thank you. I really appreciate you.

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  14. It wasn’t TL:DR. I enjoyed every word of it, and have had similar thoughts and feelings about blogging. I think of it as reciprocal, too, and I often have to choose between taking the time to write a post and taking the time to read the posts from other bloggers (some of whom are quite prolific and/or write incredibly long posts — I love them anyhow but how to find the time??). I don’t like the Reader either and my email is a mess (about 16,000 blog notification sitting in there waiting for me to do The Big Delete because it’s going to come to that).

    I love that coffee mug. I very much enjoy your responses to prompts. I apologize for not visiting as often as I’d like to. And thank you for expressing some of the overwhelm I often feel connected to blogging. I love it but… omg, how do people manage as much as they do? And still read books? And still have a life?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for saying that. I think many of us bloggers have had similar thoughts. How can they not? Yes, my goodness some are prolific! How the hell do they write such long posts and more than one per day? Do they really expect us to read them all? I hope not because I have come to the point that the multi-posters get one read from me. I actually managed to set up that I receive only one of theirs per day (coz they do this day after day… seriously?) which saves me the pain of choosing. That reminds me, I have to do this for a couple others. And what blows my mind is they write BOOKS and read books as well as write short novellas as pots.
      I do the Big Delete every six months or so because yes, it just gives me knots in my stomach to see how many there are and it is impossible to keep up. It’s so funny. I do it, then I am on top of things and suddenly, I am not. Sigh.

      Isn’t it great? I have a set of six received during a Christmas gift exchange (course you like this one, it’s purple!) I am glad you do enjoy what you read from me and please, do not apologise unless you accept mine for not reading all of yours, either.
      They don’t have a life, Robin. Tell yourself that 😉

      Like

    • I missed that period of your life, sadly. I think I would have enjoyed reading you, David. Actually, I can go back and read you.
      Why you stopped belongs to you. I respect that. And love when you come for the odd visit. 🙂

      Like

  15. Thar you go, Miss Baroness! I’m so proud of ya!
    🙂
    You do you and you life your life as YOU need to, because that makes you, YOU.
    I love your posts – prompted or not – and the whole idea of a blog is for you to write what you want to write about.
    If it includes prompts? Fab. If it does not – Fab, too.
    Me? I’m gonna keep bugging you and being nutty in your comments, because, you do you and I do ME … 😉
    Yeah?
    On a more serious note – though all of this really is – I think that taking time to reassess and find out whether what one began as one thing had become something else, let alone a burden or obligation, is an important thing to do, and good on you for doing so.
    I’ve done same, a few times.
    For me, at this time, the (almost daily collection of) prompts serves me as something akin to word-meditation. It works for me. For now. I had to pause a few times, too, to consider whether I felt obligated. It is important to do so. Also, while I also like it when people read my posts, I know I don’t read everyone’s. I can’t, and I don’t think anyone would want me to read begrudgingly (and if they did, well … that’s rich … ;)). I try to read as I can, but sometimes I can’t and that ought to be okay, just as I don’t expect others to read my post if it is not what they are in the mood that day.
    Write for YOU, Dale.
    I know you know it, but I thought I’d put in my two Posting Princess pennies … 😉
    Luvs,
    Na’ama (Your NYNF)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank ya my NYNF. I am truly glad you love my posts and you know I love yours. And yes, blogging is a personal thing. We can’t be anyone else but ourselves in the end. It wouldn’t work.
      The prompts are always going to be there for me because I need the creative push in the patootie to get going (except when I do these here style posts). It’s the rest that goes with it that can be heavy. I truly feel it fair to give the other participants some love for their part in the challenge. Those who are deserving, of course. Thank goodness I started smartening up. My time is mine and if I give you some of it, then the least you can do is acknowledge it. Doesn’t have to be with a long comment but a minimum “like” would be nice.
      I know bloggers such as you understand when we can’t make it to all of their posts, no matter how much we try – and the same goes for mine. There is life outside the blogosphere!
      You are a lovely writer and friend, Na’ama!
      xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, those thoughts were swirling in my brain and I was becoming disconcerted at the whole blogging/prompt thing so I thought I’d put it out there 😉
      Baroness, not too shabby, right?
      Thanks. It’s one of a set of 6 (from Costco, believe it or not) that I “won” at our Christmas gift exchange. I love the size.
      Glad you do!!

      Like

  16. Q

    I could never do prompts on a regular basis. It takes a commitment that I just couldn’t give it, truth be told. I’ve done various of the challenges in the past but it was a once and done kind of thing for me, and I didn’t follow the rules of following and reading and all that jazz, so really, I didn’t actually participate, LOL.

    What’s funny is that back on my old blog, bloggers used to ‘award’ other bloggers with badges. I got a few of them and had fun with it, playing along and all and nominating others as per the chain letter dynamic. So one of the bloggers was an influencer and she asked me if I was interested in hosting a weekly prompt challenge with her. I was all in until she told me what it required. Never heard from her again!

    It comes down to doing what’s in you to do. Want to do a prompt, do it. Want to write something else, do it. The writing is the thing.

    B

    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      I know it ain’t your thing. You don’t do rules all that well 😉 I kinda like when we challenged ourselves with Karen, though. One and done.

      Goes to show. I’ve been nominated myself but oy, the hassle of the paying it forward thing? Nope. Too funny that you were approached to host. Hah!

      Yes, it does come down to doing what we do. That’s exactly how I’m going about it now.

      Q

      Liked by 1 person

      • Try at all, but yes this be true. Yeah that was fun. That was kind of how I envisioned the prompt thing but no dice.

        It’s one of those networking devices that drives me absolutely batty. I mean, just be authentic when you come upon a blog you dig- read it, comment, repeat. All there is to it, and you cut out the obligatory middleman.

        It’s the only way to go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I know. And that is okay, too. It was fun. We should try that again one day.

          I agree to that in general. Of course when participating in prompts, there is a whole different dynamic, though it still applies: you like, you comment, repeat. Only there are more to read 😉 – definitely not for everyone 😉

          It is.

          MWAH!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know one thing, it won’t be with Karenina of the Windy City. I believe she’ll be running for office one day soon.

            It’s like any group, team, etc. I’ve done all those and proved to be the ‘team player’ but so what if you don’t feel it, yanno? If you do, it’s a wonderful outlet though. That’s why places like WordPress prove that it’s not one size fits all. All are welcome.

            Fo sho

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • No, it will not, but that’s okay. Wait. Really?

            Yes. It is. And not all players belong on the team 😉 And I am glad there is a little something for everyone.

            Uh huh.

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • No, not really. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

            As it should be. Yanno, I read an article about an NBA player who didn’t kneel for the anthem. The blow back was immediate, and it felt like a mob to me. Never mind that it’s his right, it’s his decision. Mob rules. Scary stuff.

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ha ha! You had me going there for a second. I would not be surprised either, come to think of it.

            Yes. And Mob rules are extremely scary stuff. It’s like you can’t win, sometimes.

            MWAH!

            Like

  17. You read a lot, Dale! don’t worry about not getting to everything, it’s not possible. I think showing up when you can and leaving a decent comment (not fluff) is all that really matters – some kind of real connection with someone else’s words. That’s the part that matters to most people ,I think, and you always leave such good comments. So don’t pressure yourself too much! It’s all good, and many people have real affection for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Trent. I know, I do. Ridiculous.
      I think you’re right.. showing up is not nothing. And leaving real comments is important to me
      I feel rather lucky that people do have real affection for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow! I just read your post and most of the comments — took me half an hour. I don’t have time for this! 😉
    Seriously, I know where you’re coming from. I’d like to do more prompts myself because they are both fun and helpful. But with flash fiction, weekend, photo and poetry prompts, there are at least a dozen.
    I do follow (as in ‘keep a record of’) five one-word prompts — just so I don’t duplicate on my Sunday RagtagDP posting. And I’ve learned a lot from writing flash fiction. However, reading and commenting on 80-100 other responses can easily gobble up a day. As you say, a person has to find balance and enjoyment, not just do this as an obligation.

    I tell people how I met a very forceful religious woman in Montreal who taught me the difference between talking TO and talking WITH someone. My French was quite limited, but if I nodded and slipped in “D’accord” or “Oui, Je pense…: now and then, she would go on and on for half an hour. Seemingly, it never concerned her whether I understood or not. Any conversation, verbal or written, where someone talks TO you and not WITH you is one you’ll be wanting to drop out of quickly. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • How sweet of you to read it all! I know what you mean…😉
      I don’t doubt that you do. Blogging can be a full-time job.

      You are so right. Huge difference talking to and with. I sure hope I never fall into the the talking at or to category. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  19. First off, I love these musings. And the shot of your mug, which is gorgeous and gourmet-coffee worthy. I have one I save for the days I need that extra shot of gorgeous. Soul sisters again:). Second, TIME. Oh boy. I hear you. I have been working very hard at my day job and at the myriad things that need doing to keep a household running. And raising kiddos. The writer in me loves to write but after a day at the computer, checking blogs means hours more on the computer. Not a healthy lifestyle. I’m trying to find a balance, checking less often but being more engaged when I do. I love to read others’ musings but life must also go on beyond the screen, right? I appreciate those who stick with me despite my erratic timing of posts–and who understand that while I love their blog, I don’t have the luxury of this as my full-time pursuit, so my reading of theirs will be sketchy but gorgeously full of love and full of attention when I do. Tell me if you figure it all out . . . I certainly haven’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Kristine… I’m so glad you do. That mug is set of six I “won” at one or Christmas gift exchanges. I do love them when it’s time to treat myself with a cappuccino 😉
      And time. Good grief. There seems to be so little of it. And do we really want to spend all of our waking hours plugged in? No, I think not. I agree, balance is key and I do get it. Blogging means engaging and the bloggers who don’t take the time to respond to comments made to them? Well, I am sorry, my time is better served elsewhere. Your readers stick with you for many reasons. You write wonderful thought provoking pieces and you engage with your peeps. How often you write is not important because you do you and we appreciate you.when we get you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is really kind and sweet of you to say about my writing.❤️🎈Thank you! And how in the heck did you get a set of six mugs that are actually really attractive at a Christmas gift exchange? I always tend to get the weirdo gifts at those🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Tsk,tsk,tsk. I wondered if I missed you this week. Prompt Queen indeed. Great timing for this post, I often wondered how some of our FF members do so much. Debated many times if I should join another group. Thus far my answer concludes to a no. Do it, do it properly. 6 or so hours a week on a flash group is enough, let alone another group. Plus, some people overload the inbox (sometimes it’s everything and the kitchen sink – too much). No thanks. I rather continue with FF and start something new and broaden options / readership (working on content for a new blog, on writing – something I promised my real life writers group for 2020 before the virus,,. they think I’m a know-it-all guru of sorts haha).

    Good for you Dale, follow the muse!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dale, good for you to strip down and focus on what you write and cull your list of Follows. You are an excellent writer who allows yourself time to go outside and watch the clouds. And take your dog walking. In a much smaller way I have just been over my writing and bloggers I follow who never write a response to my own posts. In this crazy time I un-followed a few people who never commented on my writing and it feels great! I realized I kept on replying out of a sense of obligation. Who needs that in these days of working out what is really important to myself. You go for it!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Ina. Such a nice thing to say! It’s a good time to clean house, I say. I sometimes just change the settings to no longer receive the emails without completely dropping them (sneaky, I know but on those days I should decide to go through The Reader, then I can read if I wish.) Those who write stuff I am totally not into, however, I have no problem letting go. We only have so much time and energy, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  22. All hail the Prompt Baroness! I hear you about feeling overwhelmed and cutting back on the prompts. It sounds totally reasonable to me, and I wish you luck finding the right balance that works for you. ❤

    I had the same problem with Friday Fictioneers, that it was too dang successful! I simply didn't have enough time to read and comment on all those other stories, or even to keep track of who was good about replying and who wasn't. (I also found myself increasingly unable and unwilling to spend the extra time needed to squeeze my ideas down to 100 words) Plus –apparently unlike these other bloggers who have so much free time now– I have actually had *less* time to write since about February, between the eye surgeries and big deadlines at my job. 😦 Hoping to find my own new balance someday soon. And get back to even ONE prompt per week, now that my beloved Pegman has ended.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! I’m sure I’ll keep on keeping on. I’ll play when I feel so inspired.

      No kidding! Rochelle and I were talking about how happy we are that there are not 100 participants now!
      And hey, these restrictions are not for everyone.
      Hope you find your balance!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Quire honestly, I don’t know how you did all those prompts. In many ways, I think they’re more difficult than writing 2-3,000 word article or story. To be able to condense or create an idea so many times a week based on something that pops up is pretty impressive. I can understand wanting to cut back but it’s nice to know you’ll still be doing them. You’re right about your writing improving over the past few years. It’s noticeable, at least to me. But balance is everything in life and this is just another choice/example. As long as you don’t disappear, I’l be happy..:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, George. It is way more difficult to condense, you are right. As you can see by this post, I quite easily go on and on and on 😉
      No way I am disappearing any time soon, nor completely quitting the prompts – heck I did one today! But if I’m not in the mood to do one, I shan’t. And that’s what I used to do. Why I felt obligated is beyond me. I would sometimes like to write based on a prompt without having to read 65 other ones 😉 But I won’t do that because that’s not how these work.
      So, no, You can’t get rid of me that easily!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That is a something to consider when doing these prompts, isn’t it. The time it takes to read all the others which, out of respect, is the right thing to do.
        So how are you now going to spend all your free time?🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • It really is. And I have learned to participate with those who appreciate, if you know what I mean.
          Haha! Maybe I’ll actually pick up a book and read for more than the 10-15 minutes I do allow myself before bed. Or maybe I’ll finally write the “Mick” stories I’ve been promising myself for over five years… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Firstly, we never did proms in England, it was only an American thing, but now they’ve started doing them – so glad I’ve left school and didn’t have that to worry about 🙂 It sounds like you’ve set yourself quite a punishing schedule – the prompts have obviously been a good way to get into regular writing, but maybe you need to be a little kinder to yourself. I used to feel guilty about every post I didn’t read but now I know I can only do what I can – blogging shouldn’t be a chore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Proms have become such a fanfare. It’s ridiculous.
      Doing the prompts was indeed a way to get myself to write more, hone my craft, as it were 🙂
      You just don’t realise how much time is involved if you participate fully!
      And yeah, we have to lose the guilt.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Overwhelming, isn’t it?
    Weekends is cleaning house, so come Monday I’m faced with an overbloated mailbox! The Terror! 😱
    You are a Queen though, you know and no one does it better. Mainly because you have your heart in it.
    ps we didn’t have proms here either… fortunately! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Pingback: Flash Fiction: Stuck – Tannille

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