One of the bloggers that I regularly follow just announced that he is ending his blog–or at least thinking about it. He hasn’t achieved the objectives he had set and is feeling the pressure of constant posting. He is witty and insightful. His posts make me laugh and reflect. Selfishly, I hope that he does not stop blogging.
It’s funny; I never really understood blogs when they first came out – and for many years avoided them like the plague (shhh, please don’t tell). Then I realized that much of what I was looking up on-line were actually blog posts – recipes, travel tips, how to fix this, what to do about that. Those on-line posts offered more than just information – they had a story and personality behind them. Then, when I began to plan my retirement, I was lucky to come across some great retirement bloggers. I loved the short, to-the-point snapshots of others who had retired ahead of me. Even when I disagreed, or couldn’t really relate to a particular experience, the posts made me stop and think.
Being a blog reader, I have found creative solutions to a variety of dilemmas. Blogs have offered voices of experience when I have ventured into a new territory. They have entertained me, made me laugh, and have had the power to move me deeply.
When I began blogging myself, I rediscovered the joy of creative writing – I had forgotten how much I had missed it. I was also able to keep in touch with friends and family around the globe and make new connections. I was able to shout to the hilltops my praise of another. My blogs have caused me to reflect deeply and to think things through in a new light. I didn’t have a particular goal when I started blogging – but I have been enjoying the process and the possibilities.
To me, starting a blog is like learning a language, playing a new instrument, or starting a new fitness routine. If you stop just because you reach a plateau, you will never know the rewards that may lie ahead. There have been a couple of bloggers I have followed that have now stopped blogging (or have taken a really long break). For me, it was like close friends moving away.
I get it…I do! It’s work and commitment. There are other things to get done. It is hard to constantly put yourself out there. People may think that you stink. But it is also exhilarating and challenging. And as the attached photos show, you can do it anywhere. I’ve actually composed several of my posts in the car, and two of them in the hospital waiting room. (Men over 65 + baseball = injury…irrefutably!) Blogging can also give you something constructive to do when your spouse, for a random example, is caught up in watching too much Trump, or your youngest son (when back in town) is working on his research. And when you’re in the ‘zone’ there are few places better.
Of course, there is also the added dimension of reader comments. When sincere, and thoughtfully written, these comments have an incredible power to change writing from a solitary act to two-way communication and community building. Albeit, sometimes the community that we end up creating is not what we originally envisioned. The UK blogger mentioned at the start of this post, had set “the single goal of building an online community of retired men.” While he may not have achieved that purpose (at least not yet), there is a community out there–and this response post is proof that it exists!