Praise…Please?!

Last Updated on: September 30th, 2016

Here’s a totally relevant song to listen to while you read this post:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQnGLHOYnck&w=560&h=315]

I have been doing some wondering lately. I’ve been wondering if I should write posts more often, or less often, or if I should write whenever I want. Now that people are actually reading my writing, I’m at a different place in my mind than I was when I first began this blog. At that time, I didn’t think anyone would really be interested in what I have to say (my depression at work). Now, I am a blogger, and people are reading and sharing some of my writing! (I love you for doing this, by the way!) I’ve also been wondering if I should do another survey. I got some very good feedback the last time I did one.

To prove that I’ve actually taken a look at the results, and have learned that the majority of you want to hear the honest-to-goodness truth about some of the things I go through, this post is one that will let you in on some of the behind-the-scenes thoughts and actions of my mind, my experiences, and my life.

First, let me tell you thatย I’ve lost a few blog commenters along the way. I attribute this loss to the fact that, in a fit of frustration about being treated unfairly (several months ago, when I partook in a contest), I ended up deleting quite a few of my blog posts, without being aware of the consequences. One of these consequences was that all the comments on those posts were deleted. I apologized to everyone for this, and even sent apologies directly to a few people on Facebook and via email. For whatever reason, these people have not returned to comment. Perhaps they did not forgive me, in which case, I suppose that is their problem and not mine. I just know that I did all I can to make things right, and I have not deleted any more blog posts since then! LESSON LEARNED!

Apparently, deleting posts also hurts a blog’s ratings or rankings. I’m not too sure of this; I don’t know much about this sort of thing. Furthermore, I don’t really care. But I do care about my readers, who are my commenters! And in the words of Kristen Lamb, I’m trying to ย Give Readers What They Want.

I’ve gained quite a few new readers and commenters, too, along the way, and I’m veryย happy about that!ย I love getting comments, and seem to take it personally when people don’t leave them. I understand that people are busy, and it’s tough to comment on everyone’s blog all the time, but I think, sometimes, that I am a very needy person when it comes to interacting with others. This is because I crave praise, which leads me to share a personal story that has impacted me in a huge way.

I think that everyone has a need to be praised for their efforts, even if they are not stupendous. I am also pretty sure that my own need stems from the lack of praise I received from my parents as a child. As the oldest of three, my parents expected me to be perfect, and to set a good example for my siblings (I have a brother who is three years younger than me, and a sister who’s four years younger).

My story

When I was in Grade 8, I was valedictorian. I recall that year vividly, for three reasons, and the last is what impacted me the most. I remember this year because:

1. That year was the year that some of my classmates played a cruel prank on me. (A story for another time…)

2. Three girls in my class (me included) were vying for the title of Valedictorian, and the competition got a bit ugly toward the end of the year. I think I’d have died if I lost. (Not literally, of course, but figuratively…)

3. When I brought home my report card I had 99% in Math. I think that this is what cinched my win of the title I so desperately wanted. However, I recall my mom’s words to this day:

“Why wasn’t it a hundred?”

…and my face fell.

…and my jaw dropped open.

…and I nearly cried.

Yes, this is what my mom said to me.

I was as shocked as you are right now. (You are shocked, aren’t you?)

No “Way to go, Lorraine!”

No “Congratulations on you achievement!”

No “I’m proud of you!”

Nope, there was none of that.

Just: “Why wasn’t it a hundred?”

To this day, this still hurts me. I just turned 42. (Surprise! Some of you didn’t think I’m that “old”!) And yeah, I know it seems a bit ridiculous for me to still feel hurt by this incident, perhaps, but it’s true; the pain of feeling inadequate is still there, deep inside me. (Ok, maybe not so deep…)

The other day, I mentioned something to my mom that I was really excited about, which had something to do with my “accomplishments” in the last seven months of owning a computer, and all she said to me was “Does your hand ever get sore?” Meaning: from patting myself on the back…

It’s nice to know she hasn’t changed. (Yes, for all you “Sheldon Coopers” out there, that was sarcasm. I love The Big Bang Theory, by the way!)

Anyways, that’s my rant for the day. Sort of.

From viewing the flag counter I have on my blog, I see that most of my visitors are from the good old USofA (United States of America, or USA). Interesting, considering I am Canadian. I think that is proof that I should be writing for an American audience. Hmm. It’s nice to have great neighbours! ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, since I’m fluctuating between positivity and negativity (or is this in my mind only?) I want to say thanks to everyone who has ever read my blog posts, and to those sweet, kind, supportive readers who leave me comments. You honestly don’t know how much I value them. Sometimes, it may not seem like it, when I leave short replies, but, believe me, I really, truly do.

When I guest posted on Hunger for Happiness, I received a lot of support, evidenced in the comments that were left for me. I loved the amount of praise and encouragement I got. It totally made my week!

I just wish that these good feelings would last. I sometimes seem to fall into depression quite easily, but put on a false bravado for everyone to see. I’m not convinced I’m bipolar, but I know I have had problems in the past with major depression, and suicidal thoughts.

I think that my biggest problem is that I still crave praise from my parents and I know in my heart that I’ll just never get it. It doesn’t seem to matter WHAT I do; they are who they are and there’s nothing I can do about that…

As a writer, this is really frustrating, since it takes a long time to get recognized. This is especially true for people like me who keep putting things off, because how can you get recognized if you don’t even have a book out there yet? (Um, I have things in the works, but so far, I have not yet written a query letter. I have been too busy doing everything else.)

Ok, time for some more confessions.

If I am coming across as emotional or needy, I think – no, I know – thatย I am this way as a result of the fact that I recently opened up some bad memories. I didn’t do it on purpose; I was working on my book; the book about my life. The one that I keep saying I’m going to write, but never seem to find the time to do. (I’m a big procrastinator when it comes to certain things, and sometimes when I say that things are in the works, I mean that they are sitting there, waiting for me to work on them!)

I began this so-called book almost four years ago, and then my ancient computer died, and I wasn’t able to revive it. I thought I lost my writing forever. This is one of the reasons why I like to use a pen and paper!

However,ย I found it, finally, in one of my email inboxes, since my computer guy was able to retrieve it from my old computer. He emailed it to me, and I finally opened it, and worked on it.

So far, I have two chapters written. I have been working on it the last two days. These chapters cover the topics of the first time I was raped and the abortion I had. (The two are unrelated events; I didn’t get pregnant as a result of my rape.) These are tough topics to write about. They are even harder to live through. I know that no one is forcing me to write about my life and go through these memories, and so I have no one but myself to blame for the tumultuous feelings I am currently enduring.

I’ve been working on other things, too. I’m trying to write some blog posts (I think I have three or four that are in the queue at the moment.) I’ve also been typingย my short stories and saving them to my computer. I have half of one left to enter. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. I was considering making them into an ebook (and maybe giving it away for free) but I don’t think they are very good. I’m also considering just publishing them as blog posts. I might do this. I have to confess that I wrote them almost twenty years ago, for a high school course. ย I’d like to think that I’ve learned a few things since then! Also, writers are their own worst critics, too, so maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Who knows?

As you can see, the life of a writer is not filled with glamour. It’s filled with constant worry and questions. Wondering gets you nowhere, and so that is why I am appealing to you, dear reader, to let me know your thoughts.

My standards are so high that I disappoint myself if I’m not perfect. I blame my mom, because of her high standards for me and the fact that she didn’t praise me. I don’t know if she expected too much from me or not enough. In a way, it’s kind of a catch-22 situation, since I probably wouldn’t have aspired to be “all that I can be” if she had low or no expectations.

Funny, life, and how it goes sometimes.

So, off I go, again, to open some more wounds. If anyone tries telling you that the life of a writer is glamorous, don’t believe them. It’s not. Not in my case, anyway. Of course I write about the raw truth, which is painful to re-live. Reality-based writing, so far, hasn’t been that tough for me. I am a pretty open person, and I believe in honesty. That’s one of the reasons many of you began reading my words initially – because I tell it like it is.

I truly believe that honesty is the best policy, even if it hurts. And right now, I’m hurting, both physically and mentally. On a personal note (because this post hasn’t been personal enough), I have to see a specialist about a cyst that I have on my leg that is causing me pain. My doctor has already advised me that it will have to be removed in order to alleviate my pain. Likely, that will happen sometime next month, sometime after I see the specialist on September 10th. That will be the “bad” part of September. The “good” part is that I should be hearing something about the poetry contest I entered, as some type of “short list” is to be posted on September 3rd on the website for Canada Writes. I’m definitely looking forward to that!

If I win, I’ll surely expect some praise from all of you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please don’t forget to check out my “moved” blog, The New and Improved Poetry Perfected on WordPress!ย (It’s still called Poetry Perfected, but I love the new and improved look it has! I also love the WP platform!)

Wow. It feels like this post is turning into a book… and now,ย seeing as how I have surpassed the 2000 word mark, I think that it’s time to end this post here. Before I go, and before you go, please try to let me know if you’d like to see me post more often or less often (or if it doesn’t matter to you). I’d really appreciate it! Also, if you have a preference as to which days are the best for you, let me know. Your choices would be Tues/Fri or Wed/Sat or Thurs/Sun if twice a week postings are fine. If you like once a week, let me know which day is the best. I realize that I won’t be able to please everyone, but I’ll see what I can do!

Thanks! Have a great day, and see you in the comment section! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and praise your children, if you have children.

They need it. Take it from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I know.

44 thoughts on “Praise…Please?!

  1. zenschoolforcreatives says

    Lorraine, I can remember things from my childhood that were far from okay. I have learned to realize that my parents were doing the very best they knew at the time. I also have learned to accept them the way they were and focus on all the positive things from my childhood like going on holidays, a bath at night, dinner cooked, a comfortable bed, safety in my own home etc. My parents tried hard yet didn’t realize the emotional damage they did to their children. I tried hard also with my own children and probably did some emotional damage too only to a lesser extent. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I think we are all guilty of doing things, as parents, that could have been improved upon. I also realize that my parents probably did the best they could, at the time, too. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone! It’s nice to see that you focus on the positive. I try to, too, usually…

  2. I increased the number of times I post on my blog to twice a week and I’m now considering going back to once a week. As much as I enjoy writing, it takes a lot of time and that’s just not something I’ve got much of, so if you have the time and inclination post away, but if you’re doing it because there’s some blog rule about it, save yourself the aggravation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. I’d be pretty bitter about it years later if I got a 99% and got the response you did. We may love them, but parents don’t get more perfect with age.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Debra, I think parents try to do their best but often fail. I know I have not been a perfect mother, at times, but I have tried to be better than my parents were, regarding certain things. I also think I have succeeded! ๐Ÿ™‚

      As far as the blog posts, I think I am going to try for Tuesday posts and Friday posts. I’m still unsure. I like the regular interaction with people, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I guess we all do, though…at times!

  3. AllanDubon.com says

    Lorraine this is a great post! I noticed you were concerned over the frequency of your posts. May I suggest something weird? LOL. I wrote an article about SEO (http://allandubon.com/how-do-you-seo/) and essentially it says: Don’t worry about it. I don’t know how Tech Nerdy you are ๐Ÿ˜€ but there were a lot of people disappointed with googles latest update called panda. People who had worked really hard to build up their SEO lost a large part of their traffic overnight.

    My suggestion is to just put out great content and let the SEO happen naturally. I think you are a great writer. Hope this helps!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks for your comment, Allan. I only recently checked out your blog. I found it from a posting in one our LinkedIn groups!

      I am not a techie, but read about different things on the internet to help improve my (limited) understanding. In fact, I just came across an article today that linked to http://chkme.com/ and I see that I have A LOT to change about how I do things around here!

      If you are someone who reciprocates comments each week, please let me know. There are quite a few LI members who do this, and it helps build relationships. I like people, I like commenting, and I like reading. If you are of the same mindset, let me know! You’ll gain a few new readers!

      • AllanDubon.com says

        I’d love to be part of your group. I really enjoy interacting with people and seeing their perspective on things. I’m in,

        • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

          Great! Most people have commented on my posts at some time, but I am thinking of posting a list of people with their websites. I have many people in one of my Google+ circles (called Bloggers Helping Bloggers) but don’t know how to simply list all the people from it, other than writing out each person’s name. I have added you to this circle, too! Do you have any advice on how I can share this? I’m not really familiar with G+ or a techie, so keep your instructions simple, please! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • AllanDubon.com says

            You could create a page and have it not show up in your menu bar. That way you could give it to everyone in that particular blog circle. Adding comments to each others blogs will definitely help with visibility. If you don’t know how to do that you could shoot me an email via my contact page at: AllanDubon.com and I could create and host that page and give you the link to it.

            Let me know how I can help ๐Ÿ˜€

            • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

              I have heard things about creating a page but then not publishing it, but this concept is a bit lost on me…

              I tried your contact page. It didn’t work. I ended up saying something to you on Google Plus. Please just respond to that! Thank you, Allan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Lorraine, thanks for posting this on the “Write Your Life Story” Writing Prompt Challenge. That got me here! I relate to your story. I don’t think my mom would have said that, but neither would she have handed out any sort of “Atta girl.” Except for help with math homework, my communication with my father was funneled through Mom. Yes, I get it. I’ve learned to be self-reinforcing and to find friends who share my passions and help me celebrate even tiny things.

    I’ve been blogging for over seven years, and the game keeps changing. I aim for once a week now when it used to be three. Fact is, if I read all the blogs that interest me (including those of all the friends I’ve made in the blogging world), I’d do nothing else. Short is good if you want to keep my attention. Laser focus. 500 words. Yes, my posts ARE closer to 700. Almost never more.

    My approach is to write because I LOVE TO WRITE. If people actually READ what I write, I’m delighted. If they don’t — whatever. Somehow that’s worked. Despite a frequent lack of comments, I have lots of hits and my list keeps growing.

    Follow your bliss Sweetie! Write it (well) and they will read.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Sharon, I am honoured that you have taken the time to read AND comment. I met you a while back *sort of* on Sue Mitchell’s blog.

      I have begun my memoirs/autobiography, and have two chapters done. I’m interested in some feedback – can I email you? I realize that this is A LOT to ask, but I’d appreciate it, to see if I should continue on with they tone and style as is, or if I should change it.

      As for the blog posts, thanks for your input. I usually write until I have said what needs to be said. I also know what you mean about “keeping up” with all the reading and commenting! Sometimes it seems like there is not enough time for writing! I’m still trying to find the balance!

      One more thing…Atta girl, Sharon! ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re awesome!!!

  5. Hi Lorraine,
    I know everyone who had posted has probably already said the same things I’m about to write, but I’ll say them again. One thing I’ve learned is sometimes family and even some friends don’t support us in the way we would like them to.

    You have a great following here and I can tell they care about you and your writing. You should be proud, which I know you are but sometimes it’s easy to let people rob us of that joy. I think writers, artists, creative people of all kinds are easily hurt in that way. I’d tell you to ignore them, but it’s hard to do when it’s family and their praise or lack thereof, that hurts the most.

    I don’t have to tell you that you’re doing great, because I know you already know that, but I will anyway. You’re doing great!

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot Tues/Fri would work for me if you decide twice a week. Tuesday if it’s once a week.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Donna, you have made some good points here. I DO know that I’m doing great, given that I have only owned my laptop for about seven-and-a-half months, but sometimes it’s tough living in my day-to-day life when those around me that see me face-to-face don’t appreciate all I have accomplished, either because they don’t understand exactly how far I’ve come, or because they just don’t really care. Either way, I am the type of person who truly craves praise, and I’ve tried to raise my son by praising him for everything so he doesn’t get a complex like the one I have!

      I am very proud of him, too. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t do drugs, and very rarely drinks. He’s a health nut and eats properly. He goes to the gym almost daily and has a muscular body but is not a bodybuilder. He’s smart, independent, and a good-looking guy. Sometimes he has an attitude and is stubborn, but for the most part, he’s easy to get along with. I’m happy I raised such a good kid (he’s 23).

      As for me, I am so happy that I have met a bunch of people online that are super-supportive! I feel more understood by everyone here in cyberspace than by my own family. Of course, I have more in common with the writers/creative types than I do with my family members, so I guess it stands to reason that I’d be more understood out here. I”m very grateful for the wonderful people I’ve met, and for the interactions I have with them. I’m pleased to have you as part of my support system, too, Donna Jean!

      As for the postings, I was thinking Tuesday/Friday as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kristine Millar says

    Hi Lorraine. First, since your blog is all about ‘your life’, it’s to be expected that it is all about personal feelings or experiences. That does not mean you have to stick to those topics for ever. Sure, it might have been cathartic to do that at first, but you might get bored and want to branch out to something else. There are no hard and fast rules. You may know with mine, I only blog when something inspires me and it’s usually social or political issues. I wouldn’t even know if they are read, because I have rarely received comments but I know that many people visit my site. I just do it to get it out there. Yes, you may be insecure and need constant praise, but I’m afraid for writers, you can’t rely on praise like oxygen or else you may never have enough fuel. You believe in yourself, I know from your blogs. So, use that and just forge your path forward. Parents??? Yeah…we have all had that kind of thing. I had the opposite, the lack of knowing or asking whether I even had homework. No guidance or encouragement at all. So, as far as praise goes – what’s that? LOL. Good luck mate, it’s all good. Don’t overthink things and you will be fine : )

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Kristine, I am sorry to hear about your lack of guidance and encouragement. I’m here, remember, only a Skype call away for when you need to vent! ๐Ÿ™‚ You have my email, too, so use it, please! I’ve always enjoyed talking with you… just not about politics! Ugh! About anything else, though…no problem!

      It’s kinda funny; I only overthink things when I am over-tired. I wrote the majority of this post when I was really tired, and a bit emotional. I almost didn’t publish it, but I think there was a good message at the end. Praise your children.

      I know you have a son, too, Kristine. Remember, no matter how old he gets, even as an adult, he still needs praise. Please praise him for little things, too. He’ll like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for speaking up. You might want to see my reply to Donna Jean’s comment. I mention my son in it…

      Call me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. We are all human and that means not perfect, but when you try for perfection you need to be acknowledged and yes, praised. I love to read your posts. They have helped me so many times. I know I don’t comment much, but I’m here, praising you, and cheering you on.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Debra, I know you read my posts, and are often silent. I have learned to accept this; you are like the shy kid that doesn’t like to interact with others at recess, and eats lunch at his/her own table. This is acceptable behaviour, especially when everyone realizes that you’re not the one holding the gun, but the one who’s protecting the school FROM the gunman…

      This may be a weird analogy, but I think you get what I mean.

      I am so happy that I have been able to help you learn something a bit more easily than you otherwise would have. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I think your blog posts are great! They’re full of feeling, memories and emotion, but not over the top. To be a great writer, you have to write about what’s in your heart – how you feel and why you feel the way you do. I always look forward to your posts and hope that you can do one at least once a week. Keep up the good work!

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      You are one of my sweetest supporters, Jo Ann. Thank you for that!

      I will post once a week for sure, but I have been posting twice a week for a long time. I doubt that will change. However, you are guaranteed at least one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am glad you like reading my posts. Super-glad!!!

  9. Fearless Leader says

    Write whenever the urge hits you. Sometimes I have a great idea for a blog post and don’t write it then I forget it.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I usually write when I am inspired to. I don’t always publish it immediately, now that I know I can save drafts and schedule them! Thanks for your input, Toby.

  10. says

    Hi Lorraine, I’d say that your current frequency of posting is just fine. Post too often, it’s hard to keep up. Personally, I aim for once a week but as along as I don’t go more than two weeks without posting, life is good.

    Having regular readers really does change how you see your blog, doesn’t it? I recently went through the same thing. So far I’ve concluded that posting like I did when no one was reading yet still trying to include some helpful stuff along the way is a good balance for me. (Or maybe I’ll just end up being the blogosphere’s only unhelpful blog.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, I really like your honesty.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Thanks, Erica. Honesty is important to me, and it’s kinda what I’m known for. Oh, and being helpful… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not sure if I’m stressing too much over this or not. I’ve had a rough time, lately, and am suffering from that icky self-doubt all writers face.

      I know that posting too much is terrible, since there are so many things to read nowadays, and it IS hard to keep up with everyone. I like to create a balance not just for me, but for you, too (and my other readers). I love you guys (and gals)! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. says

    Post as often as you like. I will read it no matter what. Good luck with the doctors and the contest. I know you’ll be on that short list, Ms Awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. I tend to look at advice with a great deal of skepticism. I pretty much disregard it! I for example have never read one wit of advice on how to blog. So I can’t say just do whatever you feel like doing, because that would be advice.
    But if I did give advice, which I don’t, that would be it!!!
    lol~

    • Hi Cindy. I’m going to take advantage of your non-advice column. I blog about anything that inspires me. I don’t follow a specific topic, nor current events for that matter. As a retired Behavior Therapist, and current active participant in the entertainment industry, It has been suggested that I focus on these two fields. I don’t believe that there is a great demand in these two areas. What do you think? Didn’t mean to put you on the spot. Blessings.

      • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

        Johnny, maybe you should leave this comment for Cindy on her blog…just in case she doesn’t see it here…

          • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

            You may have replied to her, but it was on my blog. If she subscribed to the comments, she’ll get it. If not, she may never see it. Just trying to help you out. Click on her pic and you should be able to find your way over to her, somehow… ๐Ÿ˜›

  13. It doesn’t matter how often you blog. Your followers won’t die for lack of posts. They trust you, and deep in their hearts are much aware that what ever you post, will enlighten them, and/or quench their thirst. BTW, the positive comments you have received, are proof enough of your capabilities. We are patting your back, heh! Blessings.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      Johnny, thank you. For this comment, and for the recent birthday wishes. It’s nice to know I am loved (or at least, liked, LOL) by people I’ve connected with online. Thanks for helping with the back-pats. My arm was really getting sore! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hehe.

  14. Ok, to answer your question whatever schedule or how often you choose to post, make it consistent. If it’s once a week pick a day and stick to that. If it’s once every two weeks the same principle applies. Keep your posts to around 300 to 800 words. (I have a hard time with this one with my stories.)

    I sighed when I heard your story/stories. In the meantime stay true to yourself and all will be good.

    • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

      I’ve been reading different pieces of advice from “experts” and sometimes they contradict one another. One will say to write short posts, others say to write long ones for the new SEO page rank/indexing (which I don’t understand) and it’s tough to know what to do. This is why I am appealing to my readers. I want to give them what they want! Do you have a preference for which day you’d like to receive a new post from me? If so, let me know, please!

      Thanks for the good advice, Susan. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Lorraine Marie Reguly says

          I think I’ve posted on every day of the week so far, staggered over time. I’ve tried to look for trends, actually. I’m thinking Tuesdays and Fridays, now, but I’m not a hundred percent sure yet. I’ll wait to see how others react before putting anything in stone.

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