Happy 9th Anniversary to My Tiny Wordy Hideaway

Chocolate cupcake with a #9 candle.

“TREAT YO’SELF!” one of the voices in my head yelled as I threw myself a cupcake party.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: I launched this li’l site on April 28, 2012, three weeks before my 40th birthday as a means of charting the effects of the aging process on my opinions of, enthusiasm for, offense at, and/or detailed nitpicking of various works of art, expression, humanity, inhumanity, glory, love, idolatry, inspiration, hollowness, geek lifestyles, food, and Deep Thoughts. MCC has also served as a digital scrapbook for our annual road trips, entertainment conventions, and other modest travels. It’s a general repository for any other content that strikes my fancy and inspires thoughts more than one tweet long.

Basically it’s me me me me me, plus special appearances and other invaluable contributions from Anne, my wife of 16 years and #1 fan. When the most tedious entries yield the poorest traffic figures, she still thinks I’m cool.

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20 Lessons Learned from 4 Years of Blogging for Satisfaction Instead of Success

WordPress 4 Years!

Fun trivia: if you try to pay Facebook to “boost” one of your posts so more than five followers will see it, they’ll refuse your money and deny the request if the post has no images, or if its primary image contains more text than picture. I learned that one firsthand in August 2014. Y’know, for science.

I launched Midlife Crisis Crossover on April 28, 2012, three weeks before my 40th birthday as a means of charting the effects of the aging process and this fallen world’s degrading standards on my impressions of, reactions against, and general experiences with various works of art, commerce, wonder, majesty, and shamelessness. It’s my way of keeping the writing part of my brain alive and active, rather than let it atrophy and die. If you’ve read my “About” page, you know this part already.

With four years and 1,277 entries racked up, I’ve now spent more time and enthusiasm on this long-term project than I did in college, both attempts combined. I’ve learned a few things along the way. Sometimes I put one or more of those lessons to good use. Other days, I just gotta be me, and hope that’s good enough for anyone else outside my own head.

Right this way for What I Know Now That I Didn’t Back Then…

The Official MCC Guide to Finding Joy in Blogging All Wrong

Lucky!

If you’re pressed for time, please feel free to pretend this photo of our dog Lucky wearing a bandanna is today’s entire MCC entry, toss him a happy “Like”, and read no further. He’s used to that kind of fleeting attention from strangers.

Welcome to Midlife Crisis Crossover’s 1100th entry! In the grand tradition of comic books and The Simpsons, every 100 entries we mark the occasion as a sort of accomplishment and sometimes celebrate it. Those 1100 moments have been an interesting way to spend the last 3½ years of my internet time, but odds are it’ll take another two or three hundred years of consistent blogging before I stand a chance at becoming a household name. By then I’ll be more renowned for my refusal to die than for any paragraph I’ve ever written.

Every blogger who somehow makes a living off it has their official list of blogging tips that you’re supposed to follow in order to achieve fame, success, impact, and/or income. I’m happy for them and I wish them well as they make lasting contributions to the world at large and change the course of mighty rivers. Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum, stubborn folks like me keep plugging away at their sites without regard for conventional wisdom, official procedures, or dime-a-dozen “Blogging for Dummies” articles. My approach to the game can be summed up in two words: “low-key” and “counterintuitive”.

Wanna blog like me? Here’s ten tips for how it works in my world, through happy times or blah:

Right this way for the official “Be Like MCC” list!

So You Want to Be a Super Awesome “Freshly Pressed” All-Star

WordPress "Freshly Pressed" badgeA fake reader lurking within my subconscious writes:

Dear Mr. Crossover,

Hello! How are you? I am fine. I have been using WordPress.com for four years. Please follow my blog and reblog all three of my posts so far, because I just Liked a random post you wrote last month without reading it and now you owe me. I have another question. I read your About page and it says you had three different posts on Freshly Pressed, which is a really big deal because it means WordPress likes you best. I think that’s really unfair and you didn’t deserve it and I want to know your secret. How can I be more like you and get Freshly Pressed so that I can become famous and everyone will like me and then I can write for Hollywood and make enough money to buy your website and set it on fire and run over the ashes in my new Humvee? Also, I nominated you for a Liebster Award and I will Follow you if you Follow me.

Sincerely,
N.V.S. Strawman
Exposition, WY
http://ripoffsweatshopfashions.wordpress.com

Dear Mr. Strawman,

I wish you hadn’t asked, but I can tell you what I’ve learned from the experiences that changed my life forever and made me Hero of the Internets. As you begin reading, prepare to rethink your entire existence piece by piece, until every second becomes retroactively spectacular from Day Zero onward.

Click here for handy tips on how to be me!

Your Handy Spam Comment Inspection Checklist

MasterSpam Theatre

Random spammer, welcome to This is Your Life! And might I say, you have much to rethink.

Each day the ol’ Midlife Crisis Crossover spam filter catches a few would-be advertisers and funnels them into a gravity well for handy reevaluation and inevitable permanent disintegration. For my first depressing month on WordPress it was simple to discern spam comments from real, live comments: if it was a comment, it was a spammer. My undying gratitude remains perpetually owed to those longtime followers who wrote real, live comments in subsequent months so that I could eventually form a basis for comparison between sincerity and superficial salesmanship.

Nowadays my daily spam dosage tends to be the same few varieties over and over again. It’s quick to flush but boring to glance at. It’s rare to see one of their lowly kind be creative enough to merit more than four seconds of my time.

When one of them fails at their quote-unquote “job” in spectacular fashion, then they have my undivided attention for all of a minute, the equivalent of an eternity in their world.

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Welcome, New Bloggers! Your Default “About” Page is Showing.

Far be it from me to convince myself that 350+ consecutive daily MCC entries and fourteen years of Internet participation experience (dating to the era when Usenet was ebbing but not dying, and “social media” wasn’t a labeled thing) are sufficient credentials to hoist myself upon an ornate pedestal and begin dispensing wisdom from above to fellow WordPress users about The Correct Way to Do Blogging. For reasons that would require a separate entry altogether, I don’t even like dispensing constructive criticism to other online writers, let alone have the ego to declare myself in the sensei business. One glance at MCC’s minimal visual design should provide evidence enough that I have a multitude of lessons yet to learn for myself.

Regardless, longtime bloggers can agree on a few of the most basic of basics. Today’s message is about one of those super-basic basics.

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