Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things

Thinking about changing my mind (about categories); help me decide

I ditched my categories a while back, to give myself freedom to blog about whatever I wanted to blog about. It worked. Blogging stopped feeling like a classroom  “assignment” and became a spontaneous overflowing of whatever was on my mind. And my readers weren’t freaked out when I went eclectic–instead, their feedback was that they, too, thought it liberated my writing and made my posts more interesting.

No, not electric. I went eclectic.
No, not electric. I went eclectic.

But I’ve been thinking, if Billy Ray Cyrus can change his style, his sound, his haircut with every new album, I’m going to feel free to also sing along:
Lately I’ve been thinking and I’m thinkin’ ’bout changing my mind.
Categories are back on my blog! Over there on the right.
To make navigation easier for newcomers, that’s why.
But I’m wondering whether a little group-think might help me jazz up my category names–you know, make them sizzle. Right now they’re sort of boring.
Or, is boring good because it’s clear?
Help me, blogging friends. These categories fairly encompass the topics I write about:
Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things
No, not faerie. Fairly, fairly.

These categories fairly encompass the topics I write about:

  • food and drink
  • health and wellness
  • living and loving
  • writing and reading
  • and for everything that doesn’t fit, there remains the xyz eclectic musings category (I had to come up with a word that began with x, y, or z, or in this case with xyz, to get this uncategorized category to show up last in the list, which is where I want it to be). 

Please help decide what to name my categories. If you need a reason to help me, choose from these 5 good ones:

  1. just because you’re a helpful sort,
  2. or because we’re friends;
  3. or because I’ll tell the whole world about how wonderful you are and give you credit, publicity and links back to your blog;
  4. whatever else might motivate you is a fine enough reason;
  5. or help me because you’re a Jedi-Master and you have a mission to help everyone who asks (you are, aren’t you? I knew it!)

Why-ever you help, I’ll sincerely appreciate it. Thank you!
Do you vote for my category-names as they are, or do you have more electrifying words I could borrow? 

24 thoughts on “Thinking about changing my mind (about categories); help me decide”

  1. Surely, because I beliveve that you and Ken are the personification of it, you must have a category entitled “the good life”. “Here, there, and everywhere” and “Observations from the upper deck” also came to mind immediately. Hahaha, when am I going to start blogging. I’m still so happy to have found you ! Write on !!!!

      1. It’s accurate, for sure. People never know where we’re going to pop up next–we’re here, there and everywhere.
        Now I need to come up with a clever tune to make a jingle out of it, so I can trademark it–something like Mighty Mouse’s theme song “Here I come to save the day!” “Here, and there, and every-where!”

    1. Thanks for the ideas, Rena–as soon as you start blogging I’ll give you kudos and links and cyber high-fives. Until then, you’ll have to make do with my gratitude and friendship. (As usual, I’m a little dense and I need some help understanding your opaque reference to the “upper deck.”) And P.S., I’m so happy to have found you, too! <3

  2. I like your categories, and because I am all for your success, I took a few minutes and scoped out some other blogs to see what they do. Many have no-nonsence categories, for which I can figure out the topic all by myself. A few go the cutesy route with quirky little phrases, but I haven’t the slightest idea what they are about, so I didn’t bother to check further – and probably missed some brilliant blogging! I like yours – clear and precise, but when you get to the actual title of each entry, that’s when you wax creative and pull the reader into the story. Oh, I did stumble over “Writing and Reading” because I’m used to seeing it written as “Reading and Writing”! See? I need to open myself up to change more often!

    1. I’m thinking I agree with you–that the titles are the place to get “jazzy” with creativity.
      And whenever someone stumbles, I re-consider. Because while it might be a sign that something is either clever and creative, more often, it’s a sign that it’s just plain tripping people up and needs to be smoothed out. I went with Writing and Reading because I write more frequently about writing than about reading–
      Anyone else? Would you prefer to see “Reading and Writing?”

    2. The upper deck, the top, the best place for viewing. I’m not saying at all that you look down on anyone, but that you have a very special, all encompassing perspective. You see the things that the people in the expensive front row seats miss, and we are all better for it !!!

      1. Wow–that’s sweet; what an honor! It’s a good description of what I strive for–to see people and events from a higher ground point of view, but rarely feel like I actually attain that (my emotions and pride tend to get in the way). If I do get an upper deck view, it’s usually because I’ve borrowed a perspective from someone wiser…

  3. One of my strengths in editing short stories, articles and short memoir pieces is helping the writers come up with really good titles. Titles I’m good at; naming themes not so much. I actually like the list of themes you have on the right side. Sorry to sound boring, but the themes work for me. Just surprise us with quirky, funny or poignant titles of the posts you write under each theme.

    1. Thanks Marylin–the votes are coming in for themes/categories that are clear & direct, with post titles that are more creative. That feels natural for me, so I’m definitely leaning that way and will probably go with it.

  4. I think your straight forward categories fit your style over here. And readers know what they will be diving into when clicking on a category (whereas I have a “Grizzies” category where I put all of my white trash posts – I’ve often wanted to change it because no one knows what the what I’m talking about if they just glance at the title).

      1. I agree. I wish I would have been more “plain” in my categories but now it seems daunting to go back and re-tag every post if I change. You got a good thing going on here with your choice of category titles!

        1. If all you want to do is change the name of a category you’ve used, all you have to do is go under “categories” and edit the name itself. Nothing moves and no re-tagging involved.
          Example–I decide the category “Underwhere?” would be better off named “Australian Travel Tips” (No, I don’t know why stuff like this falls into my mind, a shrink would probably have a blast psychoanalyzing me–and would probably be wrong)…. I simply go to the Dashboard, open posts–then open categories. Click on the category I want to “edit” and then type the new name. Poof! (I love magic!)

  5. Hi Tracy!
    I may not be the creative type you may be looking for here, but being a logical and fairly organized person, I tell you that I like to see categories back on your blog and I like them the way you laid them down: they are clear, concise and they serve a purpose: they help people sort your posts out based on their main topic, they narrow searches and, if you think about it, they kind of create a topic-based column. All good things if you ask me.
    Just think of the website of a newspaper, for instance: as a user I like it to have clear and “no frill”, visible links to the various sections in the paper: domestic news, world news, economy, arts, sports… They help me find what I want/need fast and effortlessly. Now, sure, they could call them something like “My mind’s labyrinth”, “Mondays stink”, and “My car needs a wash” instead. They might be funny names but in essence they would just slow users down in what they need to accomplish: finding information regarding a specific topic fast.
    So I would stick to your current setup.
    Just my 2 cents, of course 🙂

    1. I think your 2 cents is worth at least $1, Stefano. Very helpful advice.
      I’m definitely a wildly-creative type, but I’ve found that I’m so much more able to communicate with others when I balance that with a healthy (large) portion of rational logic. I’ve long been struggling with how to find the right proportions–too much left-brain thinking totally shuts down my creativity and I wither; so does the quality of my writing/art. I’m getting a lot better at finding the right mix as I get older. It’s a process that takes time (as does all growth).

      1. Thank you, Tracy.
        I know what you are saying as I tend to go through the same process when I am in my photography mode… One just needs to find the right balance, but it is not something easy to accomplish.
        You are also right that growing older helps in the struggle to achieve that balance… although in my case I am afraid it does not help me carry that heavy photo backpack in the wilderness! 😉
        Oh well, you just can’t have it all I guess!

  6. richardstuartgilbert

    Tracy, I find this so interesting. But I can’t begin to advise you! I have kept adding categories to a ridiculous degree. I say I do it for me, so I can find things, but I rarely use them . . .

    1. Richard–
      I don’t know how it is for you, but I find blogging the most difficult “genre” I’ve ever written for. Having and knowing a history of rules/procedures/examples for genres such as novel, essay, autobiography is a kind of crutch for me, it helps me hobble along. This blogging thing is so new and that newness makes me uncomfortable. Therefore most of what I do in blogging, right now, is “for me.” I’m thinking one of the characteristics of blogging, is the immediate feed-back from the blog-reader as “audience” so I’m trying to discover how that works. Thanks for weighing in. I appreciate it.

  7. Hello Tracy!
    I like to start a new relationship with the “honesty foot” so that’s what I think.
    You need categories. They are very useful especially for new readers. Your categories are clear but, maybe, they need … to be spiced up.
    I was thinking something like
    The epicurean pleasures: food and drink
    and The salt of life: writing and reading.
    Of course, just a thought. 🙂

    1. I’m totally in favor of more spice, Francesca– I’m going to play with your ideas and see what they look like over there on the right, if I make the category names “longer”. I definitely like the sound and the concept of them. I would like them to also look good visually on the webpage.

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