how to….Cathi’s #1 indispensable blog rule

500 words or less.

That’s my central obligatory rule. There are hundreds of rules out there for blogging, for instance, you don’t pull on superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t have ungodly long subject lines and you always provide an external link as “open in new window”. Nevertheless, the one and only blogging rule I find of greatest consequence is never to post a post that is post 500 words. I read enough in my career as a perpetual student, so when I succumb to so-called “brain candy”, that’s just what I want – short and sweet with a crackly wrapper.
Now, I know that I rarely ever answer the end-of-post question…however, I’m curious, do you have an indispensable blog rule you find vital, critical, essential, and a requisite to everything you consider to be blogging?
[total words: 137]


72 thoughts on “how to….Cathi’s #1 indispensable blog rule

  1. i have two:
    ~catchy title (this is cousin to the “hook” mentality in songwriting, and a TOTAL challenge for myself)
    ~end-of-post-question – of which i’ve noticed you rarely acknowledge…

  2. I know, mandy mac, I know…I like your hooks [is that ok for me to say…sounds slightly skanky.]

    I’m working on the question thing…I have commitment issues, you know.

  3. OH, I just found out about my commitment issues by how frustrated I got w/ priceline making me give my card prior to booking our trip. Who-wooda-known?

    Exams are a terrible expression from a teacher to a student. They’re ever so random and only create undue stress. In my opinion, there are plenty of other ways for me to see if my students got it or not…so, expect something like a practical project coming your way!

  4. my rule – you have to respond to your comments.

    stegall, you are the Queen of this!

    i don’t always get a chance to personally respond to each commenter so i try to do a general “dropping” (it’s a poo term mandy pants)

    but i know of some people who never respond to their visitors. i don’t like that. at all. it’s rude. and should dealt with in a very serious manner.

    suggestions anyone???

  5. wow tam, great dialogue here…you’re such a pro, you deserve one of those garguntuous belts wrestlers get when they win their thing…I’ll work on that! But you’re right, a commenter needs to be acknowledged, validated, etc…and I certainly suggest repercussions for those tenacious bloggers who refuse to do so…brainstorming session, this friday, 10 o’clock, Tam’s house! Be. There!!!

    Now Mandy Mac, as much as I love you, and you know I do, we can’t get all sexist like some people in blog land are and create our own sorority for female bloggers, with our own greek letters, and pledge, because that would just be mean now, wouldn’t it, BRIAN?!?!?!

    Alece, I’ve known you what, 2 weeks, and you have been the most gracious blogger yet! I heart your heart! Community has such value, especially here in this wonderful world call the blogosphere where we all run around voicing our opinions on everyone else’s opinions

    Oh, Jules, I love that you’re here with us! And I love even more that you’re promoting another blog…it’s the community thing again. so sweet! And yes, I love Andrew Piper’s blog, the 22 word thing has to be tough, but he definitely gets his point across.

    Now love, you managed to try, I’ll give you that much…but there are times when I have to negate my own rules…like this response has to be nearing 500 words in itself!

    And finally, hislife, you master the catchy title every time, and the community you foster at hislifeformine is so powerful, I just may succumb to this a;lkdsfajldkfj diet thing…well, at least consider it.

  6. No, I don’t have any rules. I just wing it…along with everything else in my life. I used to respond to all the comments, but then it was like I was on the commuter for 17 hours a day…so now I just eat chocolate. Yay for me.

  7. so. personal blog crisis to come: working full-time.
    this drastic change in my summer status will wreck my blog life.
    and i can’t stop the train that’s about to hit.

    and, didn’t you say you wanted a greek letter on our candy therapy logo? 😉

  8. OH, Kristi, you rebel! No to rules, yes to chocolate! I think this could be a very good friendship! 🙂

    Mandy Mac, mandy mac…my heart. my heart is breaking. I just got to know you. and. you’re leaving. me. oh. this. hurts. so. badly….your picture is even affected by this news.

    Oh alece, it’s true, it’s so very true. I want to move to Africa b/c of you and kristi…are you guys anywhere close to each other? I could do a two birds, one stone thing when Mark and I decide to adopt a baby from your side of the water!

  9. [how is it ok that we don’t want kids of our own right now but are willing to remortgage our house to adopt a kid from across the world…hmmm…i love contradicting myself]

  10. alece…I’ve wanted to go to Africa for YEARS! But seriously, I can’t tell you how tempted I will be to stash a beautiful african baby in my suitcase [mental note: buy big suitcase before going to africa]…and I hear I’ll have to stash another one in there for mandy mac! [mental note: buy 2 big suitcases before going to africa]

    Oh, so miss mandy mac, I think a road trip is in order. Well, wait, we have to go over a big pond…so, a boat trip!!!!

  11. uh – hello! i think i am needed on this trip too. in fact. i AM supposed to be on this trip. you all need adult supervision, im sure!

  12. you probably want to fly… rather than raft on your tied-together-2-large-suitcases. it’s slightly quicker. although still 17 hours from NY. but hey, what’s 17 hours between friends?!

    africa will change you. you need to know that in advance.

  13. seriously girls! Oh my gosh! if money were no issue – i would so totally be at each of your doorsteps (simultaneously – im gifted like that) with plane tickets in hand and lots and lots over big ole suitcases! SUH-WEEEEET!!!!

  14. stegall – if you’re bad enough they’ll pay you to stop playing and you can buy our tickets too! Awww – what a great friend!

  15. okay, i’m gonna soapbox for a moment here.

    all-too-often i hear people saying that they want to go to africa, or they want to do any number of things. and i always ask, “what’s stopping you?” if God’s in it, what’s holding you back?

    i know the financial factor is huge. (it’s the story of my life!) but our God is certainly bigger than that. and while i know you (and by “you” i mean the collective “you” which of course includes me)… while i know you know that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and that the money for your airline ticket is a piece of pie for him, it’s hard to believe that enough to actually trust him for it. i know. i know.

    if you want to come/go/do something… seek him. if he wants you to, he will provide. not in the sit-back-relax-and-wait-for-money-to-fall-from-the-sky kind of way that’s really just laziness masked as “i’m waiting on God’. but in the work-your-arse-off kind of way to do all you can to make it possibe for God to bring in the funds.

    all that to say…

    don’t let the dollar amount scare you. too many people have been kept off the mission field for that reason alone.

    and if it grieves my heart, i can’t help but think what it does to the heart of God.

    end rant. (and i hope you know i love you. seriously, i do. this was not judgment.)

  16. the collective you responds: “Sister, you’ve got it goin on!!!”

    Funny that you mentioned that. As our custom, Mark and I are sitting next to each other, computer at hand…and I read him the comments. You know, he went straight to orbitz to price out tickets – saying, “Hell-yeah, if you go, I go!”. Then, we saw that they were $2014 each to come in july

    …girlfriend, can I be honest w/ you?? My faith sucks. Enter my rant, I love my God so fiercely, but he’s chosen to keep our florida house from selling, which inevitably keeps us going month to month, losing over $80k in 2 years, all while living in my parent’s guest room. I get the “why” thing going through my mind all the time. Reiteration, my faith sucks. I, alece, am one of the people who isn’t an overseas missionary b/c of the fear of finances [well that, and I don’t do squatty pottys]. Ok, Exit, confessions of this pastor’s wife.

    This won’t stop me from saving up to visit you, my friend, it won’t.

  17. i don’t know about havin it goin on, but… thanks.

    yeah – fares are really high right now. and june/july tends to be the highest all year just about. there are cheaper times to come… are you restricted to summer for a trip like this?

    what are your thoughts on fundraising? it’s not about mooching money off of people, but it’s about giving them an opportunity to get involved in serving the people of africa through you… cause of course we’d put you to work if you came. unless you just wanted a vacation, but my thought is that you’d want to pull up your sleeves and get your hands dirty (as long as you had a real toilet to do your business in).

    and i’m reminded of the verse that says, “i believe! help me overcome my unbelief!” (mark 9:24) my faith wanes often as well. and lately, in the area of finances, it’s been harder than ever to trust because we’ve been harder hit than ever before in all 10 years of ministry. BUT… God knows and understands even that. and i can let my heart cry out to him with the little bit of faith i can muster, “i believe!” while at the same time asking him to “help me overcome my unbelief”. the paradoxical two-sidedness of our faithwalk is ever present.

  18. Can I come too? Tam and I can split gas money to whatever airport!

    Alece, I loved your encouragement to pray about all this, like for reals. I would LOVE it if God talked my husband into wanting to be WILD and go to africa for however long. Anywhere but the rain forest/jungle. Those really seem like humans aren’t allowed.

    And Cathi, anyone who can say they love God with a fierceness while He isn’t cooperating with their plans, has big faith in my eyes.

  19. oh tawny, of course you can come! It wouldn’t be the same w/o your sweetness [kind of like cookie dough w/ too much baking soda]

    Thanks for that amazingly beautiful encouragement, sweet tawny, it’s good to feel that kind of compassion on this chaotic journey of ours!

    And yes, alece is an american-african rockstar!!!

  20. Cathi, I better tell you now, so you don’t get disappointed later, I am not really sweet at all. 🙂 I don’t think I am mean. But have you ever taken any of those personality tests? I am a lion, red, choleric. Not one of the nice people. 🙂 I do have a little of the otter, yellow, sanguine thrown it there, which I thank God for, quite often.

  21. tawny, youre crackin me up!!!

    ok. heres the deal-eee-ooooh

    finances? we are tighter than joan rivers face! in. sane!

    pastors salary. need i say more.

    awhile ago i told brent that mandy and i wanted to go to SA together (this was pre stegall) now we all want to go together 😀 I LOVE IT! so he says..then we start praying for that. and we believe that if you are to go He will show us exactly what we need to make it happen. period.

    other than money and doctors approval…I’M THERE!!!

  22. Tawny, your candor cracks me up! I appreciate your authenticity and to your credit, your mojo is fascinating! So, even if you’re not the sweet woman from my first impression, I still think your 3/4 taller than amazing!

    I say we start planning for next summer…gives us over a year to save, plan, and if we twist some words…raise support! 😉

  23. I just realized how accurate that sign-off was “OX”. I’ve always written “XOXO” but that would be kisses, hugs, etc. However, you were much more accurate, for we always say hugs and kisses.
    Great brain, my dear!

  24. (i surprisingly discovered an internet connection that i’m currently stealing from an unsuspecting neighbor…)

    i enjoyed reading the continued comments here…

  25. Yay, for neighbors with internet. Just read about your happy pink Alece. 🙂

    Cathi, I really was just trying not to be overly affectionate. We haven’t known each other that long, yet. 🙂

  26. I agree w/ Tawny…Yeah, alece for hob-nobbing on the neighbors! It’s much better than steeling their goldfish!
    Make sure to check w/ the hubs to see if next July would work…seriously, I’m starting to save!

  27. Can you tell I am bored? My husband is playing Halo. And my kids are cooking their own lunch. Yay!

    Are there any boundaries you respect Cathi? I am just curious, you definately seem like the FREE type. 🙂 I wish I was more that way. I get paranoid about offending people. Because, I have A LOT, being a lion and all.

    I don’t think I would really be a able to go next summer. My kids are all still too young. (my youngest is 7) Someday, I hope God takes us somewhere! (I leave Him lots of room to work.)

    OK, I am going to try and be done with this conversation, I feel like I am hogging blogworld. At least Cathi’s world!

  28. I like you hogging my world, Tawny…
    I’m avoiding going home b/c everyone is working in the garden, and I kill things. They’re best left alone.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with self awareness. If you feel you need larger boundaries, respect that knowledge of yourself. I have time-specific, contingent boundaries, which means that I have them in the places I find necessary. This here blog world, yeah, if I offend someone or someone offends me, it’s not like I’ll run into them every other day at the copy machine, now does it? I like people.

    Bring the babies w/ you Tawny! I’m sure they have bugs big enough to share clothes with them! It’ll be fine, I’m sure! 🙂

  29. That is a very interesting perspective Cathi. I didn’t even think of being different in blog world. If I seem to have a personality change, you can take the credit. 🙂

  30. july’s a busy time for us, but we can make it work… if you’re serious, we need to start talking more “real”ly soon to figure out how many people, length of time, what y’all want to do, etc.

    sooooo…. you just let me know.

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