7 Reasons Why Coaxing a 4 Inch Cockroach from my Bathroom in Fiji Made Me a Better Blogger
Author: Ryan Biddulph | July 16th, 2014 | 29 Comments
blogging tips , blogging tips, cockroaches, fiji
I don’t mind bugs much. I do however get a little freaked out when I see cockroaches roaming the premises. Especially when the cockroaches in mention are 4 inches long.
We’ve seen monster roaches in Penang, Malaysia, flying mammoth roaches in Battambang, Cambodia and some hefty cockroaches in Koh Lanta, Thailand.
Nowhere have I seen roaches as big as they are in Fiji.
For reference, I went online not 5 seconds after releasing our friend – let’s call him Fiji Freddy – into the jungle….aka…..our front yard…here in Savusavu, Fiji. Yep, I went online to find a version of a good old ruler.
From the tip of his impressive antennae to the ends of his spiked legs, the dude was 4 inches. What a brute.
Anyway, they get so darn big here because wildlife is fairly sparse. We’re on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Factor in that mongooses brought here to control rats have wiped out many species of snakes and other ground nesting birds which would prey on roaches, and that makes for some Monster Island type creations.(inserted for Godzilla fans, remember Mothra and King Ghidorah?)
Blogging and Cockroach Removal
Rewind to the incident. I cruised into the bathroom early in the evening. I saw a large, foreboding figure traipsing through the bathroom, casually taking his paces on the shower floor.
I was floored. This sucker was BIG! As big a roach as I’ve seen on earth, and I’ve lived for many years in more than a few tropical hotspots with some heavyweight critters.
After taking a deep breath and assessing the situation I knew he needed to be removed from the shower floor, pronto. Can’t have him tap dancing on my head during the night, as some roaches are apt to do.
I grabbed a dustpan, slowly moved toward the little/big guy, and gently moved the pan toward him.
I removed Fiji Freddy by calming coaxing him onto the dustpan – I could feel his weight when I picked him up – and tossing him into the front yard after skillfully moving by Kelli like a fine mist (she don’t like cockroaches much).
How in the heck did Fiji Freddy make me a better blogger?
First off, kudos to my friend Dave Humphrey for planting the idea seed to write this post 😉 OK, on to the reasons.
I’m no Zen master but around roaches – and damn big ones at that – I usually don’t panic….too much. Sometimes I get a bit antsy, but overall, I intend to stay calm and follow through on that intent.
This was the case when a cockroach ran all the way up my arm in Hoi An, Vietnam and when a big sucker cockroach ran all over my chest, face and head in Pak Nam Pran, Thailand. I kept amazingly calm through both situations.
Last night I remained calm when Freddy made an appearance in our bathroom. Blogging from paradise, I’ve had plenty of practice removing these guys, along with:
- Baby scorpions (Costa Rica)
- Centipedes (Bali)
- Large spiders (Bali)
….from our homes. No sweat, most of the time.
I remained calm to get the job done and out he went into the wilderness. I could have panicked and become paralyzed with fear but that wouldn’t have helped the situation.
I brought this vibe with me when I wrote my post the following day, and voila; the energy carried over into another successful post. Not panicking provides you with a bunch of blogging benefits.
Bloggers, you can’t panic when:
- The internet goes out
- Your subscriber base dwindles
- You’re generating little money through your blog
- You’re not receiving any comments
- You’re getting no social shares
Panicking does you no good. Detaching from outcomes helps, as does calmly assessing where your blogging problem is and how you need to solve it. Keep cool bloggers, and proceed, to succeed. Thanks Freddy for the blog post idea BTW…..
Appreciate Beauty Even if It Takes Some Digging
Beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. Freddy is the result of HUNDREDS of millions of years of evolution. His kind was around when dinosaurs were around. That my friends, is quite amazing. Stunning really.
When humans are extinct Freddy and his brethren will be running around, no doubt, because they are survivors.
A closer look at them shows some impressive armor, and a set of antennae that are ridiculously effective in helping FF get around through the pitch black jungle nights here in Fiji.
I find them fascinating creatures. I see the beauty in them. I may have to look a bit beyond any fears regarding their appearance but I can dig out the beauty and appreciate it.
I see beauty in my new blog and post, on a face-value basis but I also see the beauty in receiving thoughtful comments, and overall, having an incredibly powerful medium through which I can make friends and inspire folks from all over the globe.
I appreciate this more each day.
Bloggers, appreciate that you can write a post, and publish it, and reach so many folks. Appreciate your comments, and each cent you make through blogging, because it is a precious gift, this blogging/internet lifestyle gig we have….whether it’s part time or full time for you.
See the beauty in it all.
Damn. Freddy caught my attention. Size mattered in that case. I couldn’t miss him.
3 weeks ago when we landed in Nadi I noted a 5 inch long beetle at the airport. Wow. He was beyond huge, the type of bug you see Jack Hannah wrangling on some late night talk show.
Bugs of this size are eye-catching. You can’t take your peepers off of them.
Ditto the longer, more in depth, pillar type posts I’ve been writing. I’ve posted a few of these bad boys here on Blogging From Paradise and lo and behold, just yesterday the folks over at Hootsuite just had to send me a tweet letting me know how much my Hootsuite review post rocked.
That wasn’t happening with a 400 word short piece. Nope, you gotta bring out the big guns to warrant the attention of the big dawgs. Size matters. 2,000 to 2,500 to 3,000 word posts – or higher word counts – snag the attention of authority bloggers, the casual blogger, and heck the dude walking in off of the cyber street for the first time.
Google also vibes heavily with pillar-styled posts. They feel size matters too. So if you’re creating a post in the first place, think big. Think online resource. Size matters. Write longer, pillar type posts to generate the most attention, and to draw in readers.
Accept Things as They Are
Living and blogging in paradise I simply had to accept I was not in New Jersey anymore. I would meet up with poisonous snakes, or centipedes, or monster cockroaches, or aggressive touts.
I was bound to face stuff I never saw in NJ because although paradise IS paradise, you’re going to face stuff you never faced if you haven’t lived in paradise before.
I’ve accepted this for the most part but at times, I’ve struggled a bit with being sick because of substandard cleanliness conditions in India, patiently waiting for a bus in Vietnam, for 2 hours (for no apparent reason), being bitten by one wild man and punched by another in Kathmandu, Nepal, or being aggressively stalked by street hawkers in Bali every day, after I explicitly tell them – nicely of course – “No thank you, not interested”, day after day.
This has nothing to do with other people and situations and all to do with me, and I get it. Most times, I embrace it all and I am smiling.
I accepted that being in Fiji, roaches would be huge. I knew they were big, but not this big. It’s a bit disconcerting going to sleep at night knowing these monsters are around because I once had one tap dance all over my body in Pak Nam Pran, Thailand, while I was sleeping.
Anyway, I saw Fiji Freddy in the shower last night and figured, it is what it is. You can’t avoid seeing huge cockroaches in Fiji. Point blank. It’s part of the reason why this place is so clean, unspoiled, and stunningly pristine.
Ditto folks, for blogging. I had to accept things as they were when I decided to close my blog last week due to a number of circumstances. I was happy to change and felt excited for a fresh, clean start, to begin this blog intelligently, but it took at least a few seconds for me to let go the idea that 3400 posts I’d created were sent off into the ethers the second I did a redirect to here.
Oh well, letting go precedes growing. I’m happy to grow and feel elated with my decision because hey, I had to embrace things as they were and my old blog was on the way out for months….I just needed to release on it.
Bloggers, embrace any situation as it is. This means you can always improve, and get better, and aim higher, and you can always rock out this blogging bit, and you can even be my neighbor in paradise but if you’re making the same mistakes day after day, you’re doomed.
You’ll fail for years or forever, unless you embrace things as they are, by admitting to yourself that:
- You’re not writing frequently enough to improve your blogging skills
- Your blog has no clear direction or theme
- You’re not connecting with leaders
- You’re making a number of core mistakes
Embrace these realities. Failures are events, not people, and if you can embrace your failures you’ll be free to do what it takes, to succeed.
I was present the moment I saw Freddy. My mind raced ahead a little bit but I wrangled the Monkey Mind, and returned to the moment. I worried that Kelli may see him. I worried that he’d fly away, or scamper away at a Carl Lewis like speed, but he calmly stepped onto the dustpan I placed under him because I was here, and in the now.
My presence of mind sent off an energy which told FF not to panic. If I was fearful, or scared, and allowed the lower energies to take over my mind then good old Racing Thoughts Syndrome would have sent my mind into overdrive, I’d stop being present, and the cockroach would likely have gone haywire.
I also couldn’t have found a solution; impossible to do so when you’re in a state of panic.
Lack of presence of mind creates many of the world’s problems. Fear, hate, distrust, anger and suffering grow out of a lack of presence of mind, by large numbers of people.
Happiness, health, wealth and balance are the products of presence of mind.
Bloggers, I’ve learned more about myself and my blog, and life, by being present. Tools like meditation taught me to be in the moment, to embrace my fears, to rein in my excitement a bit, so I could create and connect like a champion.
Being present helps you identify mistakes you’re making, the solutions you need to put into practice and the blogging mentor who’ll point you in the right direction.
If I learned one thing in paradise it’s to meditate for at least 20 minutes daily to remain present, which cultivates my peace of mind, balance and poise in the face of blogging – and life’s – obstacles.
Placement Is Everything
This one struck me on a few levels. I delicately placed Fiji Freddy the cockroach on the edge of the dustpan. Then, I placed him in our front yard, outside of the house, solving our roach problem. I also found him in the right spot, cornering him in the kitchen shower to cut off his sources of retreat.
I avoided a potentially uncomfortable situation by working the angles and getting my placement down.
Freddy would have sprinted away if I tried to use force to sweep him outside of the room violently. No finesse, only force, and force negates. If I tried to cover him he’d have felt suffocated, would have panicked, and scattered away.
I picked up the dustpan and placed him gently on the edge of the pan. Then when he hung on tight, I moved him calmly to the front porch, then I tossed him onto the front yard into the jungle.
That’s home to him. Placing him in the jungle gives him the best chance to survive.
My new blog is ALL about placement. Check out the obvious opt in form up top. This helps me build relationships with my audience. Subscribe. Build those bonds. I’ve shared a bunch of travel pictures along my sidebar. This is branding 101 and a major league tool through which I inspire my audience.
Placement plays such a huge part in blogging. Keep your opt in forms above the fold. Design a branded, eye-catching banner for your header. Use images to draw readers to your content.
Post a clear cut call to action at the end of each post. Ask questions at the end of posts to increase engagement. Ask readers to share your post at the end of your posts.
You Can Write About Anything
I often hear how I draw parallels between some darn interesting topics but honestly, I just observe and relate. I watch and connect. I recount my experiences at the end of the day. After listing out a few neat situations I narrow down the list, pick one, and connect the experience to my blogging niche. More appropriately, I connect to blogging from paradise.
For me it’s a piece of cake. Freddy the Fiji Roach was post fodder the moment I sent him on his merry way. Easy peasy. I watch, I connect.
You really can post about anything, whether it’s how removing a 4 inch cockroach from your bathroom in Fiji makes you a better blogger, or how a motorbike accident in Bali made you a better business person, or heck, you pick the situation from your life and correlate.
I’m accustomed to blogging about some pretty neat experiences while globetrotting – see, removing 4 inch roaches from my crib – but you can blog about anything whether you’re:
- A working dad
- A stay at home mom
- A blogging teenager
- A world traveling blogger
- A senior citizen new to the online bit
I don’t care who you are; if you’re human, you have some 50 to 100 experiences to recount each day. Hone your mind. Pinpoint your concentration on the short stories you’re experiencing each hour of the day to find a wealth of blog post ideas.
After you list out your experiences, choose 1 which lends itself to an in-depth post and correlate to your niche.
Think of the experience and connect it to your area of expertise. Prosper.
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Have you ever seen a 4 inch cockroach?
What lessons did you learn from Fiji Freddy?
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He's also a blogger, traveler and internet lifestyle junkie.
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