☣️ Reading "The Stand" During a Pandemic + The Blogsmith Agency Rebrand 💥 | The Blogsmith #125





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Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman
Hey Listies,
Hello to my new subscribers!
I’m not quite sure what wave of quarantine we’re in but all of Denver’s new restrictions are taking me back to the mindset I had at beginning of the pandemic.
When things started shutting down, I made a big list of things I wanted to accomplish in quarantine, primarily new knowledge (mostly via MasterClass) and cooking/baking experiments (made an Oreo cheesecake and naan, each for the first time last week).
I should add that I’m not creating this list to force myself to be productive or to give myself any hard deadlines — it’s just my way of staying sane by feeling like I have some sense of control over my life right now. 😂
It seems fair to assume that it’ll be at least a few more months before some semblance of normalcy has the chance to return (thanks to some promising vaccines!), so I’m updating my initial list of quarantine goals to be excited about getting through the winter.
One of my pandemic goals was to read all 1153(!) pages of The Stand, Stephen King’s magnum opus.
It’s about a deadly virus that takes out >99% of the population, leaving survivors to deal with the fallout and an epic battle between “good” and “evil” (which don’t seem like entirely the right labels…).
Here are some spoiler-free thoughts I had while reading:
  • In life, people tend to choose sides and the choices they make can be polarizing to those that don’t agree with them.
  • That said, the differences between (most of) the people on each side in The Stand are so small almost to the point of being insignificant. They are more similar than they are different. We are all human.
  • Stephen King’s message seems to be that organized society is what forces people to take sides. It’s interesting to ponder, if unhelpful.
  • It might be useful to learn how to hot-wire a car and electrician basics (plus piloting and how to be a doctor if you have the time) in case society ever shuts down. Same with first aid and pharmaceutical basics. The list goes on, since you can’t count on other people to retain specialized knowledge when 99% of society is dead.
  • I don’t think I would make it long in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • The battle between good versus evil, or at least dealing with chaos, never really ends. And there’s never really a winner. But that’s no reason not to take a stand.
If you’re looking for a timely pandemic challenge, I’d suggest getting a copy of the complete & uncut version of The Stand.

My copy of The Stand. I found these boarding passes my dad used as bookmarks — from back when you could smoke in planes! Also notable — Denver was his destination (if you read the book, you'll get the reference).
My copy of The Stand. I found these boarding passes my dad used as bookmarks — from back when you could smoke in planes! Also notable — Denver was his destination (if you read the book, you'll get the reference).
Here are a few business updates I’ve been busy working on and have been dying to share:
The Blogsmith has a fancy new website!
Zealth designed it on WordPress with Elementor in tandem with art direction by yours truly. This new design was a necessary step for rebranding The Blogsmith as an SEO content agency.
I’ve shared my journey from freelancer to agency + how I’ve been building systems to scale for WordCamp Denver 2020, with an updated take on the same presentation for the WPMRR Summit.
I’ll be sharing a more detailed blog update on the new website and rebrand soon — stay tuned!
This November, I participated in NaNoWriMo.
It’s a writing event that occurs each year throughout the month of November. The goal is to write 50,000 words to go towards the rough draft of a book.
Most participants write fiction but I made my own rules by writing a non-fiction book. My project was an expansion of The Blogsmith’s 12 page style guide that I created for my writers and editors, with more context and examples. I took inspiration from Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style to create a modern style guide for web content.
At month’s end, I accomplished my goal of 50,000 words after writing all my planned topics + several blog posts I’ve been wanting to rewrite.
I’m excited for next year but ready for a bit of a writing break!
What are you looking forward to as we wind down the dumpster fire that was 2020? I’d love to hear all about it as we look forward to 2021.
Until next time,
Maddy Osman
Here's everything I wrote during NaNoWriMo — book chapters and blog posts.
Here's everything I wrote during NaNoWriMo — book chapters and blog posts.
⌨️ From the Keyboard of The Blogsmith ⌨️
How to Build an Accessible Website with WordPress (+ Tools to Use) | Raidboxes
Social Media Facts And Statistics You Should Know | Fanbooster
🌎 Around the World Wide Web 🌎
An Interview With Zack Katz About Values-Driven WordPress Businesses | PublishPress
How Google autocomplete predictions are generated | Google
What are webhooks? | Zapier
SERP Mazes - How Google keeps users in search results | Kevin Indig
How to Set up Cloudflare APO for WordPress – A Deep Dive into Boosting Performance up to 300% | Kinsta
💁‍♀️ Slightly Off-Topic 💁‍♀️
You Need a Personal Highlight Reel | Harvard Business Review
How to Be Productive, According to Ancient Philosophy | Pocket
Please note: this newsletter contains affiliate links for products I use to better myself and my business.
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Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman @MaddyOsman

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