4 Ways to Know When Your Blog SERIOUSLY Needs a Makeover

We all have those days when we stare at the wall behind the TV.  Not just because there’s nothing worth watching, but because the paint is flaking and you have that nagging feeling that the entire room needs a makeover.

I had that feeling with my blog.  It had been up and running (well, limping along, wheezing and in desperate need of oxygen) for a year.  It was definitely time to redecorate.

Here’s how I knew that my blog SERIOUSLY needed a makeover:

1.  No subscribers.  Not one.  Not even my mother or my best friend.  That’s a Big Red Flag!

2.  Accidentally hitting the ‘reset’ button in the Header menu and removing all the great design work.  ‘Default WordPress’ is not a great look for a blog.

3.  Dwindling post frequency.  How can you run out of stuff to say on a blog?  Does that ever happen in real life – like at work, at parties, meeting friends?  No?  They call it ‘lack of focus’, and it’s a big problem.

4.  Writing about events rather than insights or feelings.  A blog isn’t a timesheet where you have to justify what you got up to – it’s a living, growing body of work showing the best of what you do.  Or at least, it should be!  I know this blog wasn’t.

Yes, guilty as charged.  This blog managed to incorporate ALL of the above, and was in SERIOUS need of a makeover.  That process begins today, with a smart new About page (still a work in progress, but it’s a beginning!)

We all know that redecorating can be messy too.  There’s all that dust, spilled paint, coffee stains, chocolate wrappers, brushes, dust sheets…you name it.  But despite the hard work ahead, you know it’ll be worth it in the end when you sit back on your virtual sofa and admire your handiwork.

Anyways, I have purchased the virtual paint, donned the overalls and lifted the brush, and am hoping to transform this blog from Zzzzzzz-List to A-List over the next few weeks.  Please drop by – I really won’t mind if you point out ‘Hey, you’ve missed a spot!’

In the meantime, please excuse the mess while this blog undergoes its very own transformation, and see you when the chaos is over!

Anna Parnell, articles

Great Irish Book Week!

Great Irish Book Week Launch

“Petticoat Rebellion – The Anna Parnell Story ” has been selected for Great Irish Book Week, a special promotion of 30 top titles from Irish publishers.

Senator David Norris, T.V. Presenter Kathryn Thomas, Author Anna McPartlin and The Arts Council’s Sarah Bannon successfully launched the Great Irish Book Week at the National Library on Thursday 1st October.

A FREE 288-page sampler of extracts from all the books is included with every purchase in your local bookshop.

Or, you can visit this special page on the Great Irish Book Week site for a sneak preview!

Anna Parnell, articles, Michael Davitt

Michael Davitt the Peacemaker

Michael Davitt Kevin Myers wrote a lovely insightful article about Michael Davitt in today’s Irish Independent newspaper, called “None dreamed such impossible dreams as Davitt did and then made them come true”.

Comparing Davitt to a nineteenth-century Ghandi, Myers writes, “Davitt’s real lesson for the world — which Ghandi learnt, but tragically Pearse and Connolly did not — wasn’t about the creation of a word but a concept: that peaceful, studiously non-violent mass-action in pursuit of a palpably just cause can create an almost irresistible political momentum. If unjust imprisonment be your fate, then lift your hand against no man, and go to jail.” Davitt did indeed go to jail in 1881, when the British government realised that he was encouraging starving tenants not to pay their overpriced rents. He went back to jail in England, peacefully and with dignity.

Myers goes on to say that “No single individual has ever transformed Ireland for the better as Davitt did; but best of all, he gave power to the powerless by perfectly peaceful means”.

Michael Davitt was one of the key intellects behind the formation of the Ladies Land League, which was headed by Anna Parnell. Both were accused by the media of the time of being extremists, but a closer look at their characters reveals the opposite. Both were pacifists, dedicated to using peaceful means to end the land struggle in Ireland.