My Journey to Become a Writer 01/31/2024 Post #31

What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?

I did Day 31 of the 100 Words a Day Writing Challenge 2024 through LA Writer’s Lab. Having this as part of my morning routine has really helped. I’m so glad to have journaled for the past thirty-one days. That habit plays a big part in clearing my head.

Can you imagine what I’d be like without it?

Informative Image

Since it’s the end of the month, I thought I’d look back and reflect on what has happened since January first. At the end of most days, I don’t tend to see much measurable progress; but I know I’m moving forward. Just in the last few days I’ve come a long way toward coming up with a more concrete plan for this year.

What Am I Afraid of Doing Next in My Journey as a Writer?

I’ve been focusing my thoughts on creating a business plan, and I’m scared I will either skip this step, or get completely stuck on it. There has to be a balance.

Stuff I find myself saying:  It’s much easier to steer a moving car – unless it’s going far too fast.

How Am I Balancing the Different Aspects of Being a Writer?

Today I started to write out job titles for every branch of my business. My main product is writing; but there are a lot of other factors that have to be in place for me to function well. There are administrative, media, tech and planning issues, along with finances, and even some facility maintenance.

So often there is a mini-war going on inside of me about which task needs my attention first. I’m wearing a lot of different hats and have literally thought of assigning one knick-knack per role – like I’d set out a different vase, or paperweight on my desk, depending on what job I was getting done, in order to remind myself what function I’m fulfilling.

Every area needs attention; but I can only tend to one thing at a time – having a tangible reminder might make it easier.

What I’m Doing About Building a Body of Work as a Writer

I read the first chapter of my manuscript to my writing group today. I’m astonished at how much easier it’s getting to tell that story. I still read way too fast; but I wouldn’t have said those words out loud for anything six months ago. It’s getting less painful and not so humiliating.

What I’m Doing to Complete My Manuscripts as a Writer

I made a few touch ups here and there on my first chapter and was able to ask for some feedback on parts I wasn’t too sure about. On Monday, we talked about “not breaking the fourth wall” – I can’t define that term; but I understood the jist of it. I think it has to do with over-explaining, or the author stepping in to interfere with the story.

My spellchecker is saying “jist” isn’t a word. Isn’t it? Another thing to look up…

What I’m Doing to Grow My Website as a Writer

I spent a large chunk of time today adding Alt Text to images for future posts. It was nice to do some “assembly line” type work to rest my brain, and I was glad to do it without warding off “the other workers in my head” who were vying for my attention.

I know there are lots of things to do; but today was the day to do Alt text. I’m glad I made that decision and stuck by it. Too much time is wasted in indecisiveness and worry about not getting everything done at once.

What I’m Doing to Build My Blog as a Writer

I’m kind of shocked that I made it through thirty-one days of this journal without skipping one. I don’t know if these will ever be helpful to anyone; but for me, having a consistent deadline and sticking with it has been a very good discipline for me as a writer.

Not so Fun Fact About Me:  I accidently washed my wool sweater, and now it looks like it was made for a ten year old.

More stuff I find myself saying: Pay attention, Jody.

– Jody Susan

What I’m Doing About Networking as a Writer

The class I’m in on Wednesdays only has about five to seven writers, plus the instructor. I have appreciated having a smaller group. Hearing other people share their work has been so good. It amazes me how different everyone’s stories are, and yet, we can still empathize with each other.

What I’m Doing About Monetization as a Writer

Still nothing; but I think I will “hire myself” soon to start working on affiliate links. I had some ideas today to add those in without being obnoxious about it. We’ll see if I actually get around to implementing my thoughts.

Trivia Question:  How many times do I normally sneeze?

Answer: Twice

I don’t know why I just told you that – probably because I couldn’t think of anything else, and I just sneezed. Twice. It does seem funny that people habitually have tallies on how many times people say “gesundheit” to them.

What I’m Doing About Social Media as a Writer

I added Meta Business Suite to my phone, supposedly to make Instagram and Facebook easier; but its only left me baffled – probably because I have two Facebook pages now, and they pretty much look the same.

I’ll see that somebody commented, or made a request, and then I’ll be swiping all over the screen trying to find it and can’t. I’m kind of frustrated with that.

What I’m Doing About Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Writer

I am making progress on adding Alt text to my images. It helps to do them in batches by copying and pasting similar text into the boxes.

What I’m Doing to Stay Organized as a Writer

I’m slowing down my “idea treadmill” and trying to get some traction by taking care of administrative issues that have been hanging over my head for far too long.

Looking Back at My Writing Journey

I can’t believe I read what I read today out loud. I read a sentence confessing something I have been trying to cover up since ninth grade. In the past month I have allowed other people to take a look at that paragraph; but speaking it with my own mouth seems like a major milestone. I am astonished at how many people have nodded their heads and said those words resonate with them. To me, this is a lesson in allowing myself to write about our frail humanity in a raw way, without fear.

Any Other Thoughts on Becoming a Writer, Random Rants, Tales, or Trials…

I’ve been formulating a topic in my head that I doubt I’ll get to, so I’m at least going to tack on a summary impromptu post here:

What is Alt Text for Images and Why You Should Use it in 2024

When I started this website and began uploading images to my posts, I was told, “Don’t worry about that box that says “Alt Text for Image”, it doesn’t matter; but I have since learned that it does matter. That box ought to be filled out.

Alt Text is used to describe images for people who are visually impaired. With no “alternative text”, people visiting your site who have vision issues will not know what the purpose of your images are.

Think of leaving “Alt Text for images” off of a website as being similar to building a skyscraper with no elevator. Neglecting that detail would make the floors inaccessible to a host of people, and the architect and contractors would likely be in trouble for not following code. In a similar way, posts that are not user-friendly, because their images can’t be read by screen readers, are unlikely to be ranked well by search engines.

How Do You Decide What Type of Alternative Text an Image Is?

For a long time, I had no idea what I was supposed to put in the “Alternative Text” box on my image posts.

I finally found this highly helpful page: An alt Decision Tree | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C

Understanding the “alt Decision Tree” has made a world of difference. Before, I had no clue that there is a list of categories a picture can fall into. Here are the main ones:

  • Informative Image
  • Decorative Image
  • Functional Image
  • Images of Text
  • Complex Images
  • Groups of Images
  • Image Maps

The “alt Decision Tree” asks some simple questions to help find which category certain images come under. I’d encourage you to bookmark this chart in your favorites to keep it handy.

The Easiest Way I Have Found to Use Alt Text for Images in 2024

This is a screen shot of the right side of my screen, when I insert an image in a post on my website. I can fill in the details so that a screen reader is able to describe my image; but this route is rather ambiguous and leaves me confused, so I don’t like it as well.

This is an example of where to place Alt Text for images

When I plan to use an image, I prefer to upload it to my media library prior to inserting it into the post. For some reason, the boxes for adding Alt Text to images make more sense in this section of my dashboard. Below, I have filled out the Alt Text I used for the pink box above. This is what the back-end looks like.

This is a screen shot of how I added Alt Text to the image above while in the media library.

The Most Efficient and Effective Way to Include Alt Text for Images on A Website in 2024

I have found that the fastest way to add Alternative Text to my posts is to do it by batches. As I plan my content, I try to also think through what images I will be using and upload those to my media library all at once. From there, especially if the pictures are similar, I will type out the caption and description in Word, and then paste it into the box provided by my media library.

I have not gone back over every post to update my images; but I’ve begun the process. Hopefully soon all my images will be able to be viewed with a screen reader. Once this is done, I plan to have the page re-indexed. Hopefully the update will help my pages rank higher.

Well, I know that’s not the normal way I end these daily journals; but I did want to add in that information, because it’s been useful to me, and learning about Alt text has definitely been part of my writing journey lately.

Thanks for reading what I’m writing,

Jody Susan


I'm not sure what to say here: I once got second place in a dog-look-alike-contest? I know how to fold a fitted sheet? I'm pretty much a poster child for social backwardness - at least as far as social media is concerned; but I have some stories I think I'm supposed to share and am attempting to do that here, in this space.

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