Fifty Shades of You

Today, one of my favourite bloggers, Inkbiotic, invited readers to answer some personal questions. I’m going to answer the questions here, then ask my own readers to answer the questions, who in turn should ask their readers for answers. It would be great to hear from new bloggers as well as oldies!

If you are a blogger, how would you describe what you write about? Are there specific themes you stick to or a style you use? (feel free to add a link)

Good question! I have three main themes.

First, I write scientific and cultural observations about the Earth and its inhabitants, and transmit my reports back to my home planet where they are reviewed by the Science Committee for the Observation of  Less Intelligent Species.

Second, in order to pass unnoticed as a human being, to better report on their actions, I interact with them on social media, such as this blog, various forums and other writing platforms… I have a Twitter, too, but we fell out. My interactions come predominantly in the form of short stories and poems, both writing my own and reading those written by others.

Third, I ramble. And not in the walking sense.

Do you write driven by inspiration or do you struggle to find things to say?

I never struggle for something to say. But because I don’t want to fill this blog with pointless ramble, I try to keep it focused on my creative works. When I write fanfiction, I’m inspired by the characters or events of a particular established work. My flash-fictions are predominantly inspired by prompts given by others. My drabbles tend to be inspired by events from the real world—a stray thought, a piece of news, something I see around me—whilst my poems are inspired by a wide range of things.

Which kinds of posts do you most like writing? Do other people like reading them?

It really depends what mood I’m in. I love challenging myself with word counts, so poetry and drabbles fulfill that need. At other times I like to write longer works (flash or fan fiction). And, from time to time, I’m just struck by the need to rant.

The feedback I get is fairly positive, so I assume that people do indeed like to read them. I’m very grateful to the small group of core readers who take the time to cast their eyes and ‘Like’ or comment on my content.

What wouldn’t you ever write about? Why?

I think it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t really ever write about fashion, or what celebrities are up to in their crazy lives, or tips for making oneself more aesthetically pleasing to other individuals of the species.

Unless, of course, my High Commander requests a report of such activities.

I simply have no interest in these things.

What’s your favourite post that you’ve written? (again, add a link if you like) What did you like about it? Did other people ‘get’ it?

Very difficult question. I think if I had to choose, it would be my flash-fiction story about the Literary Apolcalypse, which I wrote for a Terribleminds Flash Fiction Friday prompt.

I like it because we were given 1500 words to tell the story, and I managed it in 14.5. I think people ‘got’ it, and I like it because it was a creative way for me to indulge in my inherent laziness.

What’s your favourite post that someone else has written? What about it caught your attention?

That’s really difficult to answer. I don’t keep track of my favourite posts, just as I don’t keep track of my favourite songs, or foods. When asked, “What’s your favourite…” I tend to respond with a blank look before shuffling away.

*The Urban Spaceman begins shuffling towards the nearest fire exit…*

Do you keep a blog because you want it to lead somewhere? Or do you just like writing?

I just want to entertain.

What sort of blogs do you most like to read? Personal? Stories? Factual? Pictures?

Short stories, poetry and various forms of art, whether traditional or digital. I’m not big on reading blogs about current affairs (I have the news for that, and sometimes get inundated with current affairs on forums I frequent). I do like to read others’ personal experiences of things which are new or unknown to me, for example, travel to places I’ve never been, observations about cultures I’m unaware of, celebrating holidays which aren’t the norm here. But creative blogs form the majority of those I follow.

What kind of posts put you off reading? Is there anything else about a blog that puts you off (eg fonts, popups)?

I rarely stick around a blog that’s difficult to navigate, but I mostly find blogs by reviewing the comments/follows of those who follow me or comment on my posts. I usually end up with like-minded human beings and fellow fans of the written word.

One thing that does annoy me is blogs with non-static images (for example, gifs). I find them a distraction when I’m trying to read.

I’m also very intolerant of intolerance. I’m not going to waste my time on a blog if I find the sentiment there to be racist, sexist, homophobic, or derogatory/nasty in any way towards other human beings.

When do you write and read blogs? From work? On the toilet? Inside a volcano?

Yeah, the volcano thing. Also from my spaceship, between filing reports to the homeworld.

That wraps up Inkbiotic’s questions, and I’ll add my own here!

Before hitting ‘publish’, do you second-guess yourself, constantly review/rewrite your content, or do you have a more cavalier attitude towards putting your blog posts out there?

17 Comments on “Fifty Shades of You

  1. I just wanted to throw in my two cents about gifs. I actually love them! I find they make the post so much more entertaining and it’s always a little treat for me when someone uses a gif from a fandom that I’m also a part of 😀


    • Ooh, glad you chimed in! I don’t actually dislike animated gifs when they’re part of a post; I’m specifically thinking of a blog I read recently which had some sort of animation as a fixed part of the side menu. So, no matter how far I scrolled whilst reading the post, that damn flashing animation kept drawing my eye to it, pulling my focus away from the actual blog content.

      But cats doing amusing stuff, or super cute Calumon gifs as part of the content, are fine by me!


  2. Good responses to Petra’s questions! Really enjoyed reading them.

    I’ll attempt an answer to your own codicil, if I may: I nearly always schedule my posts for a day or so later. That way I’ve got time to reconsider, revise, rescind if necessary or totally recast them. Even after they’re published I’m still tinkering away at them. Once a perfectionist, always a doubter … *sigh*


    • Ah yes, scheduling! I’ve yet to toy with it myself, because I’m one of those people who’ll schedule a post then obsess (losing sleep in the process) about it until it gets published, but I imagine it can be a very useful tool.

      Thanks for answering the question, and reassuring me that I’m not the only self-doubting perfectionist out there! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Us self-doubting perfectionists must stick together!

        I try to be two or even three posts ahead of myself (unless something topical crops up) and therefore schedule like mad for 6.00 GMT. That catches the Antipodean evening bloggers, the early rising European bloggers and the East coast US and Canadian late-nighters! No sleep lost as I’m already thinking of the next post …


        • Ahh, the evils of time zones! I tend to run the opposite way; about 6pm GMT allows me to catch the Europeans between finishing work and having dinner, the Americans between breakfast and lunch, and those lucky people living in The Future at some point between late night and breakfast(ish).

          Here’s to the next post!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ha!

            By the way, I’m guessing you’re familiar with the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s 60s hit ‘I’m the Urban Spaceman’ — so, great name for a blog! — but if by the remotest chance you’re not here’s the talented Neil Innes on lead vocals on a BBC transmission, one of the versions I knew and loved:


  3. Fantastic answers, I love learning about your secret mission as you navigate the behaviour of us strange little humans.
    In response to your second guessing question: I constantly review, edit, go away and do something else, come back, edit, have a think about it, leave it for the night, then wake up and decide it’s a terrible idea. Several posts only ever got posted because I messed up and posted by accident. I am incapable of ‘cavalier’, I need me some ‘cavalier’! 🙂


    • Heheh, funny you should mention posting by accident; there are a few times when I’ve wished WP gave you a “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO PUBLISH THIS POST?” pop-up prompt when hitting the button for the first time. There are a couple of posts I would’ve loved to rescind and work further on before putting it out there.

      Thanks for the thoughtful questions, human female!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Found you on the Inkbiotic blog and decided to first, read…and because I enjoyed your writing, I followed. I’ll read more later!


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