The Shocking Truth On What Blogging Is Really Like

The Shocking Truth On What Blogging Is Really Like

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Hours of work, wrestling with photoshoots and interface, sustained physical injuries, sleep deprivation, unsolicited criticism, and now … (oh, this is unbelievable!), held “captive” and muted by The Police Engine!!

This sums up my experience with blogging here on

Alright, blogging is not all that bad. Please don’t take me too seriously and just come along for a ride! 😊

I’m writing this post to explain what had just happened to my “captivity”. I am also writing it to raise a glass to all the amazing bloggers on this site! I recognize and appreciate all the hard work you guys put into this blog! And, I would like to raise awareness about the stuff we (bloggers) sometimes go through to keep you, readers, informed and entertained. Just so you know …

The Content

Firstly, there is a certain mindset that one adopts when he/she starts blogging. All of a sudden, you start noticing details in your life that you would have overlooked otherwise. A funky chess move worth bragging about, the connection between hockey and chess, something about spirituality and chess, a penguin teaching chess  … And bam! You’ve got a blog story to share!

On the flip side, you stop noticing other things that are “irrelevant”. Absorbed by the Santa story I was writing in my head a few months ago, I walked into my low-hanging lamp. Glass was broken. Blood was shed. $1000 in replacement costs.

Caption: one step closer to looking like Harry Potter!


Then you write, write, write, and edit, edit, edit, and finally the blog sounds good. But when your writing frenzy is over, you realize the blog is not as funny, eloquent, or meaningful as you intended it to be. So, you re-write, re-write, re-write and re-edit, re-edit, re-edit and finally you get something worth sharing. Hurray!

Sometimes writing happens in my sleep. All of a sudden, my mind just starts “writing” its own story, against my will! I can’t shut it down. It’s pure torture. So, I resign. I lay awake in my bed for hours, listening to its gibberish. There is only one way to clear it up. Get up and write everything down - be it 3am or the next morning. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often.

I see lots of blogs here with such elaborate game analysis, commentaries and information – it makes my head spin! Can you imagine the amount of time a blogger had put into it? Simply amazing!

Bloggers – I truly salute all the effort you put into your blogs!

The Head Image

Look at the head image of this blog. Do you think I just sat down, smiled and voila – got a presentable photo of myself? No, no! Let me tell you what this process was like!

First, I had to declutter my table from all the kids’ stuff (toys, stickers, drawings, torn down crayons, crumbs, etc). Then I had to find the right angle for my iPhone camera and set it up on the tri-pod. By the time I figured it all out, my kids made another mess on the table.

Then I started taking pictures of myself. With flash, without flash, with lights, without lights, with extra lamps all around me, no lamps around me … After take 20, the best that I could come up with was this sad, VERY sad photo:


So I asked my husband to take a proper picture with his newer iPhone. 20 minutes and 30 shots later, oh look:

Much better! Although I look like a bubblegum. When I uploaded the above photo on my blog, it looked like this:

Oh, fiddlesticks! I keep forgetting that gives us a haircut if our heads come too close to the top of the picture! The cover photos should be in 1600 x 900 px format. For those who don’t know, the standard, default ratio on most camera’s/iPhones (to my knowledge) is 4:3, or 1200 x 900 px. This means that wants us, bloggers, to use this “scenic” setting which requires our shots to be shorter and wider. Basically, wants more PANORAMA!

I tried playing with my photo dimensions to fit it ALL in:

It worked!!

Bloggers – if you all have figured this out, I applaud you, for I still have a lot to learn!


“One more photo, John, please!” I requested.

“Work it baby, work it!” My hubby continued in the groove.

“John, we are shooting for my chess blog. Not Playboy!”

30 shots later I settled on the cover photo. Why do we do this to ourselves, people? Or is it just me?!


Alright, folks … while landscape photos are still somewhat manageable, what about the portrait images? ... Forget it!

And Then Comes The Strike!

I'm sorry to say that your account has been muted because we have determined it to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions…

Your ability to chat publicly is now restricted for 24 hours. We want everyone to be able to enjoy chess in a safe, friendly, and positive environment. [bla-bla-bla]


Thank you very much, Support

This was the automatic email I got last Friday, after I poured my heart and soul into my Don’t Let Your Chess Die blog. I was in shock!! My entire blog was disabled and I was completely muted, hands tied!

What did I violate? I had no idea. My mind went nuts trying to solve this mystery. Was the giant bear behind me the culprit? Or the word “s e ks ie” I used to describe my chess puzzles? (I can’t even type that four-letter word properly anymore in fear of violating something!)

I couldn’t sleep.  I called my mom, the most conservative person, to ask her for her opinion. She had read the blog just in time before it got muted. “I think it’s your hips, Olya. People can see your hips on those photos.” Since when a photo of a complete person with hips and other limbs got offensive? It’s not like I’m naked there. I’m wearing jeans!

I couldn’t sleep, thinking of all the 600 people that follow me here … and what they must be thinking of me now. They all got the message about my new post – Don’t Let Your Chess Die, only to see that my entire blog got shut down! I am forever grateful to those few caring souls who reached out to me and asked me if I was ok. No, I wasn’t ok! And I couldn’t even respond to tell you I wasn’t ok! But thank you, thank you for asking. Warmed up my shuddered heart.

Oh, Support Team – you almost made me cry!

It turns out … I did not violate anything. And it weren't my hips. It was just a glitch in the system!

The Rewards

Now that you got a glimpse of what blogging can be like, a pure nightmare, I will attest that it can also be rewarding! Why else would we go through the trouble? For the love of chess. For the love of chess, people!

We are The Creators. We generate content out of thin air. Pretty cool skill to have, no?

And lastly, we love reading your comments. Only the good ones though. So please, keep this mind 😊


And there you have it, folks. I’ve spilled all the beans! I poured my heart out!

We have a wonderful community here and I am so grateful to be a part of it, despite all the glitches! You guys are awesome!

Yours truly,


P.S. I have deleted my Don’t Let Your Chess Die post and will re-post in a few days, when the shock of what had just happened passes ... I still can't believe it!!

Former Canadian Girls Chess Champion (1999 tied for 1st, 2001 1st place)

Busy mom of two

Blogger and chess addict happy.png