Flash Fiction Friday – The Sky That Loves Me

March 27 2023, prompt: Write a story about something impossibly blue in 99 words (no more, no less). You can go with the sky or any other object. What impact does the colour have on the setting or characters? Does it lead to action or create a pause? Go where the prompt leads! See March 27: Story Challenge in 99-words for more details.

The Sky That Loves Me- by Hugh W. Roberts

The sky above was a deep, impossibly blue. The kind of blue that makes you feel like you could reach up and touch it. The type of blue that makes you want to sing.

And then I started to sing. I sang about the impossibly blue sky. I sang about the hope that it gave me. I sang about the love that I felt for the world around me.

And as I sang, the sky seemed to get even bluer. The world seemed to get even brighter. It was then that I decided today was not my suicide day.

Image of a blue cloudless sky
Image Credit: Charli Mills

Written for the 99-word flash fiction challenge hosted by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch.

Click this link to view last week’s entries.


Enjoyed this piece of flash fiction? Then you’ll love ‘More Glimpses.’


32 short stories and flash fiction pieces take readers to the edge of their imagination.

More Glimpses

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Is Blogging Causing You Stress Or Making You Feel Guilty? How To Fix It

What makes you put your head in your hands or shake your head regarding blogging?

Recently, I’ve been shaking my head a lot when visiting the blogging world.

Some of my fellow bloggers worry me, and I’m concerned about their mental health.

I’m witnessing bloggers panicking, stressed, feeling guilty, or apologising because of how they blog.

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Are you showing signs of stress because of blogging?

Here are some of the bloggers I am referring to. Are you one of them?

The Sprinters

Have you heard this quote?

Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!

It’s a quote many bloggers acknowledge.

Sprinters rush around the blogging world every day as if they’re on a time challenge where they must read and leave comments on as many blog posts as possible within a certain amount of time.

The comments they leave are seldom engaging and are often empty. Instead of leaving a comment saying why they thought a post was great or why they liked a photo or reading a piece of fiction, they’ll leave a comment like, ‘Great story’ or ‘I enjoyed this.’

They don’t have time to leave engaging comments, so leave comments that’ll not make you want to engage with them other than maybe to say ‘Thanks.’

If they fail to leave comments on all the blogs they’re following, they believe they may upset someone. They need to prove they’ve visited your post, often by leaving an empty comment.

They often show signs of stress or pressure in the content they publish and the comments they leave.

They won’t read long-engaging posts because that wastes time and worsens their stress. They’re on a mission to read as many posts as possible in the time they have so they don’t upset anyone.

Why read a couple of interesting, engaging, long posts when you can read lots of short blog posts in the time it takes to read one fascinating post over 1,000 words that gets you and lots of other readers wanting to get into a discussion?

When I saw the above tweet from James, I punched the air with my fist. He makes a valid point. And it doesn’t only apply to new bloggers.

Blogging should never be about sprinting under pressure around the blogging world to see how many blog posts you can read and comment on in 20 minutes!

Those posts will still be there next week.

There is no such thing as being behind in blogging. Read, respond and leave comments when you have the time to do so.

Hugh W. Roberts

Ask yourself why you started blogging. Was it for enjoyment and fun? Or did you come to the blogging world on a mission to try and break the world record every day for the number of blog posts you can read and comment on so you don’t feel guilty or upset anyone?

Is rushing around the blogging world, feeling stressed out while leaving the same non-engaging short comments, fun?

Slow down, and engage with bloggers rather than trying to prove the point that you have visited their posts.

If you don’t have the time to read and leave comments, make time by reading less blogs.

Hugh W. Roberts

This brings me to…

The obliging blogger

In the next paragraph, I’ll ask you a question. Leave your answer in the comments section before reading the rest of this post.

Question: If a blogger reads and leaves comments on all your blog posts, should you feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts?

You won’t be surprised that my answer to that question is ‘No.’

But if you answered ‘Yes’, share your reasons in the comments section.

Nobody should feel obliged to read and comment on another blogger’s posts because they read and leave comments on all their blog posts.

Your time is precious, and wasting it by forcing yourself to read and comment on content that does not interest you is a waste of your time.

“But won’t the blogger who reads and comments on all my posts stop reading and commenting on my blog posts if I don’t return the favour?’

Yes, they may, but does it matter? And if they do, ask yourself this question.

‘Why am I following that blogger?’

If it’s because you genuinely enjoy reading their content, then, by all means, continue to follow them, but don’t feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts.

If a blogger gets upset with you for not reading and leaving comments on all their posts, consider unfollowing them.

Allocate the time you spent reading their blogs to the blogs you enjoy reading, and leave valuable, engaging comments on those posts rather than short, empty, non-engaging comments.

Tip: Make the first comment count and show that you genuinely want to engage.

Don’t get too upset if the blogger you’re trying to engage with doesn’t want to engage with you when they respond to your comment with nothing but a ‘Thank you.’

That’s your cue to think twice before engaging with them again.

If you don’t want to engage with a blogger after reading a post, press the like button and move on. After all, that’s why it’s there.

There is nothing wrong with not leaving a comment after reading a blog post if you’ve nothing of value to add. Stop acting like it’s a crime not to leave one.

Hugh W. Roberts

Don’t be tricked into feeling guilty if you don’t always leave a comment. I read many blog posts where I do not click the ‘like’ button or leave comments. Why? Because I have nothing of value to add.

Likewise, never feel obliged to follow a blogger who has followed your blog. There’s no harm in visiting their blog to check out their content. If you like it, by all means, follow back, but don’t follow them simply because they followed you.

The desperate blogger

This blogger comes in two forms.

The first are bloggers you’ve never received comments from, and suddenly they’ll leave a comment and link on one of your posts that begs you (and your readers) to check out their blog, read their posts and leave comments.

I’ve received lots of these types of comments recently.

Their comment won’t mention anything about the contents of the posts they’ve left their comment on, just a few words of desperation and a link to their blog.

You’ll see them leaving the same comment on other blogs. I never approve these comments, so you’ll never see them in the comments section of any of my blog posts.

These types of comments are often left by new bloggers looking for new followers and readers.

If you’re new to blogging, there are much better ways to gain followers and new readers than to leave uninvited links on other blogs. These posts list some tips that will help you gain new followers and readers.

New To Blogging? These Free Tips On Leaving Comments Will Help Bring New Visitors To Your Blog

Are You Struggling To Get People To Your Blog? These 7 Free Methods Will Help

The other type of desperate blogger is someone who has previously left some engaging comments but unexpectedly starts dropping links to their posts that have nothing to do with the content of your post, asking you to read and comment.

I’ve said this many times before. Other blogs are not places for you to leave links unless the host has invited you to leave them. For example, in my Wordless Wednesday posts, I invite bloggers to leave links to their Wordless Wednesday posts.

If you have a post you’d like to share with a blogger in the comments section because it’s connected to their post, ask for permission to leave the link first.

Many bloggers class uninvited links as spam and move comments that include them to the spam folder or bin.

How do you deal with uninvited links left in the comments section of your blog?

I edit them out before approving the comment by pressing the edit button.

Image highlighting the edit button on a comment on a WordPress blog
Click edit to edit out uninvited links from bloggers

Remember to save the changes and then approve the comment. Most bloggers leaving uninvited links soon get the message.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Never feel pressured to read and comment on too many blog posts when you don’t have the time.
  • Read and leave engaging comments on a few blog posts a day/week rather than try and read and leave empty, non-engaging comments on all the blog posts of those you follow.
  • Never feel obliged to follow a blog simply because they followed you.
  • Don’t force yourself or waste time reading blog posts that do not interest you. Instead, invest your time reading and engaging with bloggers who publish content that interests you.
  • It doesn’t matter if you don’t read a blog post today. It’ll still be there to read in a week or when you have more time.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you do not get around to reading all the blog posts you want to read and comment on.
  • If you have nothing of value to add in a comment, rather than leaving short, empty, non-engaging comments, click the ‘like’ button and move on.
  • Other blogs are not the place to leave uninvited links promoting your blog.
  • Edit out uninvited links before approving comments.
  • Remove any thoughts of thinking you’re behind with blogging and have to catch up. Read and comment on posts when you have the time to do so.

Are there any examples of blogging that have you holding your head in your hands, shaking your head or concerned for other bloggers? Please share them in the comments section.

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Reblog Of The Month: Have You Ever Been Tempted To Switch Off Your Social Media?

Be honest, does social media take up too much of your time?

Are you addicted to social media?

How does social media impact your life?

Would your life benefit from turning off social media?

Do you want to cut down on your social media use?

Would you like to join the 31-day social media switch off challenge?

Check out James’s latest post on his blog, ‘Perfect Manifesto’. Click the link below.

The 31 Day Social Media Switch Off Challenge 2022  – Perfect Manifesto

The 31 Day Social Media Switch Off Challenge 2022  – Perfect Manifesto

Comments are turned off here. Please leave comments on James’s post.

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Reblog of the month.

Copyright © 2022 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

7 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Deciding Whether To Follow A Blog

How many blogs do you follow?

How many of those blogs do you never visit?

How many of those blogs do you regally visit and comment on?

I used to follow over 500 blogs! I merely followed many because they followed me first.

What a big mistake that was!

New blog posts were continually dropping onto my WordPress reader list and into my email box.

It wasn’t long before I started to feel overwhelmed by it all and realised I couldn’t possibly read and comment on every new blog post.

I started feeling guilty about not having enough time to visit and comment on every blog I followed.

Something had to change.

I decided to go through all the blogs I followed and start unfollowing some of them.

Today, I’m following 129 blogs, and I’ve set myself a target of never exceeding a total of 150.

For some, that may seem like a lot of blogs to follow. For others, not enough. But it’s the perfect balance for me.

But what mistakes was I making when following blogs?

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1. Following Blogs That Publish Content I Had No Interest In

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But have a look through the list of blogs you follow and count how many of them publish content you’re not interested in reading.

Then ask yourself why are you following them.

Many of the blogs I unfollowed were blogs that followed my blog first. I felt it polite to follow back even though I had no idea what content they published.

It was like buying a car without having test driven it first.

Before following a blog, check out some of the posts and ask yourself these two questions.

Does the content interest me enough to keep me coming back?

Does the content motivate me enough to leave valuable comments? 

If you answer ‘No’ to the first question, then don’t follow.

Some of the bloggers you unfollow may unfollow you but don’t get yourself all worked up about it.

My blog loses followers almost every day. If readers don’t find my content interesting anymore, then they have every right to unfollow.

However, I take a different view on unfollowing a blog simply because they unfollowed me. That’s just plain silly.  

2. Following unfriendly blogs

Two things that I dislike in blog posts are lots of swearing and belittling others.

I’m adult enough to know that most adults do swear, but when there’s too much of it in blog posts, or there isn’t any need for it, then I won’t follow.

The same goes for bloggers who publish content that belittles other people or criticises them for how they live, look, write or talk.

By all means, warn readers at the beginning that a post contains swear words or may offend, but never swear at or criticise others in the post or comments section.

If you think you’ll be offended by the content on a blog or in its comments section, don’t follow it.

3. Following one-way blogs.

While looking through those blog posts, don’t forget to also look through the comments section and see if the blogger responds to comments. If the comments are all one-way, think seriously before deciding whether to follow.

If they don’t respond to comments (especially on their ‘about me‘ page), ask yourself if the blog is worth following.

If the content is interesting, then, by all means, follow but think hard about whether it’s worth leaving comments.

If they do respond, look at the way they respond.

Are they lazily interacting with their readers? Do they respond to all comments in the same dull manner (e.g. ‘Thanks for reading!’)?

Even though a blogger may respond to all the comments, if they are not actively engaging with their readers, ask yourself if it’s worth leaving comments and following their blog. 

4. Following blogs that could damage your health

There are lots of things that can damage your health when online. For example, too much screen time, becoming addicted to social media, reading too many negative articles or comments.

One of the worse things that can happen to a blogger, is feeling overwhelmed or guilty. This usually occurs when they can’t keep up with reading blog posts.

Feeling stressed and guilty for not reading posts is something every blogger should avoid.

If you’re following blogs that you believe publish too many daily posts, think about either unfollowing them or turning off notifications for those blogs when new posts are published.  

Of course, we can ignore all those posts, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking you could be missing out on something if you don’t read or leave comments on them all.

Thinking you’re missing out causes guilt and stress. I’ve suffered from it myself, and know of many other bloggers who also have. Keep blogging fun.

Don’t fall into the trap of feeling obliged, guilty or stressed just because certain bloggers comment on all of your posts. 

If it’s not going to cause you any guilt or stress, feel free to press the follow button, but only if you know that future content will be of interest to you and you can cope with the number of posts they are publishing.

If you believe you are following too many blogs, don’t put off unfollowing some of them. Take immediate action. You’ll feel much better for doing so.

And don’t forget to make the most of setting up receiving notifications on a daily or weekly basis rather than every time somebody publishes a new post.

5. Following ghost blogs

I’ve mentioned it many times before, but the first thing I do before deciding whether or not to follow a blog is to visit the ‘about me’ page of a blog. If there isn’t one, then I consider it a ‘ghost blog.’

If there isn’t an ‘about me’ page, it isn’t easy to find, it’s out of date, or it doesn’t contain any interesting information, I won’t follow.

Why? Because I want to find out about the person behind the blog first before deciding whether to follow or not.

If it’s out of date, then they probably don’t care about updating any content. You could be wasting your time by reading out of date information.

6. Following uncared for or neglected blogs

If a new blog I’m visiting is eye-catching, well organised, easy to navigate around, has excellent content, feels friendly, and seems a great place to be, I will press the follow button.

After all, if it looks and feels good and the content is of interest, I’m likely to read posts and leave valuable comments.

If the design of a blog is poor, takes too long to download, uses a font that is too small to read, has a brightly lit background that produces stars in front of my eyes, hasn’t been updated in years, or has lots of broken links, then I’ll move on quickly.

If a blogger doesn’t care about their blog, they are unlikely to care about their audience.

7. Following the blogs of trolls

We talked about checking out responses a blogger leaves to comments on their posts, but are those responses written in a friendly manner? And do they leave unfriendly comments elsewhere?

Because we blog or leave reviews, not everyone will agree with what we have to say.

I’ve witnessed many rude comments left by the host and by readers on many blogs.

I’ve been the victim of rude and unfriendly comments on other blogs where I’ve left a friendly comment. If the host of a blog responds to me in an unfriendly manner, I’ll unfollow their blog.

If the host of a blog allows other followers to attack readers without taking any action, I will unfollow.

I always respond to comments in a friendly, courteous and professional manner, even if a reader disagrees with what I’ve said.

If there’s evidence of a blogger attacking somebody in an unfriendly manner because they have not agreed with all or some of the contents in a post or in the comments section, then consider whether it’s worth following that blog.

Hosts of blogs should do all they can to stop trolls leaving comments on their blog posts. If they don’t, then they probably don’t care much or have any concern about the welfare of their readers.

By all means, if the content of that blog still interests you, you can still follow and never leave any comments, but be careful when reading negative responses to comments as they can often affect your mood.

Whatever you do, though, never respond to unfriendly comments by attacking the person who has left them. Leave trolls well alone. 


I use all the above seven tips before deciding whether or not to follow a blog. And they all help me keep my blogging under control. 

What factors are important to you when deciding whether or not to follow a blog? How many blogs do you follow? Is it too many or too few? Join the discussion by leaving your comments.

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