Lessons in WordPressing

Abstract Painting from Museum in Sydney, Australia, 2014


I am not giving lessons in wordpress. If you found yourself here thinking, oh good, I could use a lesson, click way, click away. I am no teacher. Actually, I am a teacher, but if you are over the age of seven, I’m probably of no use to you.

My Lessons in Blogging

I’m not entirely certain when I started this blog. In 2008, I think, after the recession. I think it was days before the recession. I was quitting my job at a software development company. I had saved up some money. I rented an extra room in my roommate’s house which I had turned into my “writing studio“. I was about to embark on a new adventure as a writer with a capital W! Then on my first day as an unemployed office-worker, but newly inspired writer, the market crashed. All this is neither here nor there. These words are mainly a placement in time, a bookmark for a memory to help me recall an answer to the question, When did all this blogging baloney start? I call it baloney because I am the writer and this is how I have treated it for all these years. I haven’t taken myself seriously enough to give it the value of my time. Why? I need a therapist to wade through all that why. The point is I’ve decided to give it another go, but I have a lot of problems. Obstacles. Challenges.

One problem is my audience. Who is my audience? Who am I writing to? It is possible that I may have erased the 35 followers who neglected to unfollow me over the years, (more about that later) so, I am back to the beginning. I know when I started this blog it was going to be about being a writer. Then it was about being an artist. Then it was about being a teacher. Then it was about living abroad. Which leads me to the second problem. What am I trying to say? These are problems that I need to solve. There are more: What is my voice? What is my purpose? Do I have a message? Do I have a goal? Honestly, I can’t figure it out. I can’t figure out what I want to say or even why I want to say anything at all. Someday’s, I want to say so much, and other days I have nothing, nothing to say. I don’t even know what I am trying to say right at this moment other than I’m trying to say nothing/something- better. I’d call these artistic problems, but I have other problems too. Here’s a strange one: I want to be seen not seen and I want to be read not read. If you can understand what that means, you, you my reader are my audience.

When one wants to be seen not seen and read not read, they do very little to understand what makes something google searchable. This leads to the technical and logistical obstacles. Resistance is what I believe it is called. Examples of resistance are never learning how to properly use WordPress. Don’t learn what SEO is, or learn how to use tags. Make really strange categories. Change the name of your blog. Change the name of your URL. Don’t tell your friends you’re writing. Never learn about the tools or tricks of the platform. Marketing? What’s that? Etc. One fine example of resistance is to act like you’re doing but sabotage your ability to improve. The best way to never fail is to never truly try. Bravo resistance, it works very well.

Failing is Good

So I’ve read.

I think I have successfully failed at this (blogging) by way of neglect and self imposed ignorance. Can I just mention, right here right now, since I have your attention and all? I have seven blogs. SEVEN! It’s just, whaa, laughable. I mean, I’m impressed with myself really. I’m just filling up the empty spaces of the internet with these rambling inconsequential words. I’ve got a blog for poetry, a blog for short stories, a blog for family stuff, another travel blog, a blog for photos, and a movie blog that I haven’t even started yet. It’s nuts. It really is. I can honestly say right here in this blogosphere of silence; It’s too much. I’m all over the place and no where at all.

I’m trying to reel all this me in. Here’s a tangent…

Hostel in Seoul, South Korea, 2014

I Used to Want to be an Artist, Now I Just Want a Job I Like

I’m unemployed again. It’s fine. I have support. I have a couple of teaching gigs coming up, so I’ll get a little bit of money, but I’m so tired of teaching. I really only wanted to teach to be able to travel while living abroad, but covid stopped the travel. There was one moment in my life when I thought I would be a good teacher and I started to get my teaching certification, but then the overwhelm of debt caused me to stop, and teaching in Korea just killed any love of teaching I had. Little kids are still great and cute (not all the time) but… I’m not getting into it. I’ll just say education is about making money and that kills passion for actually educating. Once its about profit over everything else- I mean isn’t that what kills everything? Not for the rich people I guess. I suppose if I were the one making all the money I’d feel differently. So what now? Not an actress, not an artist, not a writer, not a teacher, please no more service industry, what can I do for a job? I want two things now.

  1. Money
  2. Happiness- which translates to like my job

Learning to WordPress

I decided, as a bit of an experiment, while in the midst of unemployedness, to try to properly blog. I mean to actually learn about how to use this tool and make something. I mean to go online and look at some video lessons, read some articles, and take some tutorials on how to use WordPress. This is my first post with having a little knowledge about block editor. I think it already looks better, and more organized. I’ve learned a little about content management. A bit about blocks and how to manage and edit them. You know, stuff I could have looked into years ago. Hey, better late than never?

It was during one of these lessons that I got the idea of combining my blogs. All travel like Let’s Put a Pin in That, and photography Simple will go to An Accidental Vagabond. The poetry and short stories can combine and the others eh… I already have a full plate of this mess. This will take some time. First thing I did was change the theme. I’ve done that before, but I put more effort in what the theme can offer towards what I want to do. I liked the layout for my blog Let’s Put a Pin in That, so I decided to use the same one since I’m bringing that over here. I made this decision because there was no need to have a separate travel blog for me alone and then me as a couple. That was silly. I think I was thinking of following the same road as a lot of the other travel couples, but truth be told, I don’t think Eun and I are a travel couple. From here on you’ll be reading the name Eun in future posts. We’re just your average couple living in Seoul, South Korea. Nothing glamorous. We have some fun days, but Covid really slowed down on the glamor, and I don’t know how the travel bloggers and influencers were able to keep traveling. We didn’t. I’m not a part of a travel couple team, and I’m not a photographer, So why the separate blogs? I can put them all here. Nice, clean, organized, fun, entertaining reads. At the very least it’s a giant public journal. It will be here after I’m dead. How’s that for a thought?

What to Expect Going Forward

Theme change has already happened. I’ll clean up the categories, minimize tags and make them more focused. Streamline it the best I learn how to. After this post, I’ll start moving over some content from Let’s Put a Pin in That. This will be posts about travels pre-covid and a few trips here in Korea, but updated. That blog was going to be about places Eun and I wanted to go, so now I’ll use the blog title as a page. Speaking of pages. Those will be updated, and some will be deleted. I’ll also weave in some posts from Simple, maybe take the best photos and making it a page. I don’t know. It’s a big project. I’m not on a timeline and I’m doing it for my own benefit of learning something that maybe later can turn into a job I love and eventually make money. Give it my value for value. Be valuable. Be valued.

Now, there will be mistakes I’m sure as I think I already made a pretty big one.

My “writing desk” Zhengzhou, China 2013

I Probably Lost the Few Followers I Had

I didn’t have very many followers. 35 I think. I have not been consistent in writing over the 16 years, and aside from a friend that has always returned to read, I’m not sure how many followers ever… followed. I mean, who want’s to follow a path that isn’t complete? I get it. I truly understand. I’m only mentioning this here now because I changed my URL and once I changed it, you know, after the fact, I thought, oh wait, Will WordPress send a message or do I need to send a message? I probably should have written this post that I’m posting now before I changed my URL. I think I just lost my followers. Abandoned them. I am like a new budding blog with a bunch of posts dating back to the early 2000’s. What can I do? I could be wrong. So if you followed me in the past and you found me at this URL- please leave a comment just letting me know. I really have no way of knowing.

You may be thinking, Why change your URL? Yeah, well, the original URL was leta1950.wordpress. I didn’t know what to pick when I first started the blog, and honestly I think it was that whole resistance thing. Pick a name no one understands. Letafae is/was my mother’s name, but it wasn’t a blog about my mother. I really lack imagination. Anyway, An Accidental Vagabond is much more fitting to who I am. I am a vagabond of life. I don’t mean that in some spiritual way. It truly is accidental. Many years ago I had read Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, and I had wanted to live life like he had described in the book, but I’m not Rolf Potts. Although, I kind of have done this long-term travel he wrote about, but only by accident. I won’t meander my words any longer on this subject as I think my posts will ( if written well) show that this blog title is the most fitting for the purpose of this blog. It’s also my instagram handle. Ah-Ha, convergence!


What I Have Learned so Far

I’ve learned that I need to take the time to learn and not be afraid of either being seen and criticized or worse- do my best to be seen and still ignored. All this is okay, as long as it looks nice. I personally want to feel proud of my own content. That’s my first. To feel proud of it I have to put real effort into it. I’m building my baseball field (Field of Dreams reference for those who don’t know). Having greater knowledge and skills on how to use WordPress is actually fun. I feel like I have more control over the look of the content. This is fun. You can buy a drum set and bang around a lot and you’ll probably learn some beats, but if you wanna be really good at something, you have to learn some skills. Learning the skills makes everything so much more fun. I know this. I think a lot of people do, but resistance. Side note:The War of Art by Steven Pressfield talks about this resistance as self-sabotage. I read this book years ago, but it stuck with me. I’ve learned I’ve more to learn and that I don’t have to rush. I’ve also learned through writing this post that this blog is about a lifestyle. My lifestyle. It will have travel. Things on art, things on food, things on teaching because all that is a part of my life. I wouldn’t say it is a lifestyle blog as in a way of influence, but a story about a journey through the life of an accidental vagabond.

Flower offerings in Bali
Canang Sari- Hindu flower offerings in Bali, 2017

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