Photo: Late spring at The Carrot Barn in Schoharie County, NY. New beginnings, thrill of an approaching harvest, flowers and veggies to plant, and all that. Has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but enjoy it anyway.
Writing a blog is a commitment. I knew that in the abstract 151 posts ago, when I started this adventure, guns blazing. Now, I feel guilty when I fall behind, usually because everyday responsibilities, pleasures, and—let’s be honest—struggles intervene. But more often it’s because I can’t find a shred of inspiration or worthy truth in draft after draft, and the false starts just lie there, half-begun, like a bud that dies off before it blooms.
I know full well that “real” writers —that is, the ones who seek and are successful at getting published—write every day with great discipline, at an appointed time, for a designated duration, in the same isolated place, even if they end up with only a sentence worth saving. They effectively shut the rest of the world out. Talent and imaginative powers aside, I suppose that is why I don’t have a completed manuscript to my name and don’t think of myself as a “real” writer. From a rational standpoint, however, I know that such self-disparagement is ridiculous. I am just as “real” a writer as any. I have been stringing sentences together since roughly the age of seven, have probably written thousands of pages during my career, if not in book form, and have never stopped feeling that gnawing urge to write.
Once my career began to slow down, my daughter urged me to try blogging. I was very skeptical initially but soon fell in. I love working on a draft and fiddling with it till I’m satisfied, taking photos, and presenting the lot in a fun-to-see-and-read post. And I love sharing “finds”of all sorts. For someone who once wrote and designed magazine and newsletter layouts, the blog became my logical next step, one that required me to stretch and completely rethink my concept of a “page.” Thank you, technically savvy and ultra-creative friend Mary for your guidance. It’s also been fulfilling and, quite frankly, ego-boosting to know that readers from multiple continents, as well as family, friends, and neighbors, take the time to read my blog posts.
Floating in and out of retirement—”demi-retired,” as I like to call it—often creates unexpected demands on my time that make it harder not only to post regularly, but also to keep up with all of the many bloggers I follow. In the end, finding people with common (or uncommon) interests, talents, pleasures, and frustrations all over the globe and getting to know them through their writing may be the best part of blogging. You know who you are! Plus, blogging has given whole new meaning to the phrase “armchair traveler.” There’s a whole universe of interesting stuff to learn out there and great people to get to know. If you haven’t explored beyond a cooking or book review site, I urge you to dig a little deeper.