5 Things I Discovered During My Blogging Break

Time is even more precious than I thought it was.

Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

We all know how precious time is, but how often do we have to remind ourselves about it?

Time is precious. Savour every second of it.’

Marjorie Bowker

The above quote was said to me a few years ago during a phone conversation I had with an aunt of mine. She sadly passed away in October 2018, but her quote resurfaced during my blogging break. Why? Because it got me thinking about how much time I had wasted not just during the years I’ve blogged, but over much of my life.

Should wasting time be a crime?

I believe so, yes. There’s not much I can do about the time I’ve wasted in the past, but there’s plenty I can do about the time I am wasting while blogging. I now have an action plan in place and will have even more time to enjoy. Thank you for the guidance, Auntie Marjorie.

New directions will open new doors.

I’ve taken up more exercise during my blogging break. I’ve walked a lot and taken in my surroundings much more than I used to. It’s been much better than spending most of my days sat in front of a computer screen.

Life is a gift, not something we have the right to own.

Hugh W. Roberts

Although I’ve cut down on the amount of time I spend in front of a computer screen, it did not stop me from discovering something I’ve never done before. As somebody who has difficulty with reading, I took the opportunity to try binge-watching.

#bingewatching #Rodserling #Twilightzone

I’ve not watched them all yet, but what I have seen has helped kick my creative mind to go in a new direction; a direction which has opened new doors for me. If I hadn’t taken a blogging break, those doors would have remained closed.

Online security should never be taken for granted.

My online presence also benefited from my blogging break, with me giving it some of the time I freed up. I firmly believed that I was doing everything I could to protect my online presence. How wrong I was.

7 MacOS Privacy Settings You Should Enable Now

I probably would never have read the above article if I had not been on a blogging break.

Now I feel safer.

People are still stealing my work.

Image by Mustafa shehadeh from Pixabay

Thanks to a reblog from Chris (The Story Reading Ape), I discovered from a blog post, written by Kevin Morris, that my first collection of short stories, Glimpses, was being sold illegally on a website named ‘Kiss Library’. I filed a DMCA against Kiss Library to have my book removed. Within hours, it no longer appeared on the site.

I also discovered the books of many authors who visit my blog being sold illegally on the same site. Are your books being sold unlawfully on Kiss Library?

Click here to read Kevin’s post, and take action if you find your books on Kiss Library.

I can slow time down.

For me, life seems a lot more fast-paced than it did a few years ago. Although we surround ourselves with time-saving devices and software, life still seems busy as we try and pack more and more into it. How many times do we ask the question “Where did time go?”

Although I thoroughly enjoy blogging and writing, there’s other stuff I enjoy doing too. The trouble was, I thought I never had enough time to enjoy it all.

There was stuff I should have done months ago but never got around to doing. My blogging break helped me get my ‘to do’ list completed. Now it’s ready for me to add new stuff to it.

All photos – Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

One of the best feelings I had during my blogging break was crossing things off a list that I’d had sitting on my desk for years. That may not sound very exciting, but it had me floating on cloud nine for days.

I even earned over £500 on eBay by selling some of my unwanted items. That’s money I would not have seen had I not taken a blogging break.

I discovered that it’s possible to slow time down when you’re enjoying yourself. And when you slow it down, it seems to expand and multiply. Creating time isn’t magic, it’s something we can all do (if we put our minds to it and it’s something we want to do).

Blogging breaks not only help me take a stocktake of time, but they always help refresh my creative mind. It’s one of the reasons why I intend to take more breaks from blogging in the future.

Have you ever taken a blogging break? If not, why not? What did you discover while on your blogging break?

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

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How To Help Stop Somebody Stealing Your Blog Posts

I recently stumbled upon a blog where the author had copied and was using my blog posts. No pingbacks or mention that I was the original author, just plain copy and pasting of some of my posts and images. It left me feeling angry, yet I also felt honoured that my work must be good enough if somebody wanted to copy it.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast and open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

Take action

In my case, I contacted the blogger concerned and asked them to remove all of my content from their blog. When that failed, I contacted the blogging platform hosting the blog and filed a copyright claim against the blogger. Within a few days, the blog and all of its content had been deleted.

Click here to find out what to do if a WordPress.Com user has infringed your copyright.

However, there is something we can all do to try and stop our hard work being copied. What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work, without your permission, that they could face the possibility of prosecution, a fine, both, or having their blog deleted by their host.

Display a notice

Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay

I recommend that anybody who has their own blog or web page to clearly displaying a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. There are many places on the internet that offer ‘Copyright and Disclaimer’ notices free of charge, and who give instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage.

WordPress offers some excellent advice and instructions on how to display a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. Click here to view it.

Widgets and menus

If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, and ‘I’ll come to widgets later, I recommend you display your copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets. I use the Tortuga theme on my blog, and the widgets I use are displayed on the sidebar to the right of my blog posts.

My ‘Copyright’ notice is the last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice (Disclaimer & GDPR) can be found on the menu bar at the top of my blog.

You are welcome to use these as the copyright and disclaimer notices for your own blog. All you need to do is copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the wording to reflect your own name and the name of your blog.

Click here to use the free copyright notice I use on my blog. Full instructions on how to copy and paste the warning on to your blog are included.

If you’re not sure what ‘widgets’ are or how to add them to your WordPress blog, click here for full details.

Copyright every blog post

I always add a copyright mark at the end of all my blog posts. All of my posts finish with Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved. Doing this also helps as a deterrent against copying my posts. Remember to change the year when a new year begins.

Protect your photos and images

Image by Ishant Mishra from Pixabay

Many of us also include photos and images in a post, and while you may display a copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I recommend that you also watermark any of your own photos that you use.

Most computers come with plenty of software that help edit photos you have loaded on to your hard drive, but there are also other ways to watermark your photos.

I use an Apple iMac and use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos. It’s a straightforward app to use and usually costs $9.99 to download, but can often be found either on offer or free of charge to download from the developer’s website. Click here to visit the website. (The link is not an affiliated link, so I do not receive any payment from it.)

I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case I use © hughsviewsandnews.com), press ‘start’, and my photos are then watermarked with my details.

There are also free watermarking apps for Apple products, too many to mention here, so check iTunes for more details.

What about Android users?

Image by Pasi Mämmelä from Pixabay

Click here for a free photo watermarking app for android. I’ve never used the app as I use an Apple iMac, but the reviews for this particular app are excellent.

Don’t forget you can also add copyright notices as a caption on photos. Your copyright details will then show under the photo.

Finally, always ensure you download the latest updates for any apps or software you use; otherwise, they may not work correctly.

If you have any questions about displaying copyright and/or disclaimer notices on your blog, please leave me a comment, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Have you ever had your blog posts and/or photos/images copied and used without your permission? What do you do to help stop your blog posts, photos and images being used illegally?

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Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.