In the ten months since I started this blog I’ve learned a lot about blogging. I really knew almost nothing before that. Before I started doing this, I had followed a couple of individual blogs written by friends, or that I’d found web surfing. But I didn’t understand about the blogging community.
I had no idea how many travel sites or photography sites there were. I didn’t know about writing or photo challenges or contests, or what kinds of assistance hosting services like WordPress and Google offer. I didn’t understand about awards and other recognition for blogsites.
What I did know was that I was about to be retired, and I wanted something to help me stay on track with some of my goals, and a place to record what I learned as my beloved and I planned for the next stage of our life. My daughter suggested I start a blog.
Armed with a blog title and a pile of projects to work on and write about, I did a little online research. I chose WordPress.com as my host, picked a graphics theme, and jumped in. The first few weeks I spent a lot of time looking at other blogs and reading blogging tips and technical info.
I finally started writing about my retirement and how I felt about it. I really wasn’t expecting anyone but a few friends to look at what I was saying, and for the first month or two, nobody did. Then two things happened that got me both on track and off.
The first is that I decided to try a photo challenge. The second was that my mom became ill, and I began spending a lot of time with her and my sister.
The photo challenge brought me a lot of hits. I got comments, I got a few followers, and I got hooked. Challenges and looking at other bloggers’ responses really began eating into my time. Retirement research took a back seat. My mom’s care also took my focus away from my other retirement projects, so I stopped working on and writing about those for a while altogether.
My blog became mostly photo and writing challenges, with a few travelogues and other items, usually centered around occasions, sprinkled in. In other words, I lost my original focus, but I met the blogosphere. We take the good with the bad.
Now, I’ve written 100 posts, and I’m at a crossroads. My mom passed away a few months ago, and although I’ll be helping my sister with a few related things through next Spring, I need to get busy again on some of my original retirement projects.
I need to finish up some research to help my husband determine when he will retire. I need to do more work on my house so we can sell it. I need to research a variety of potential places to live out our retirement. I need to finish archiving photos so I can get rid of all the hard copies. I need to continue developing a healthy diet and workable exercise regimens.
I need a new plan.
And here it is: I won’t frantically go through my archives trying to figure out how to respond to every single photo challenge. I’ll do the challenges that fit my original charter or make sense as part of my personal “ruminations.” I won’t spend hours struggling with writing challenges that I’m really not comfortable with (I never wanted this to be a current events opinion forum, for example.)
I will get back to researching (and reporting on) my lifestyle issues. And I’ll keep doing a monthly travelogue post. I will limit my online time better to allow for more of the “real-life” tasks I’ve been neglecting, but I will continue to follow other bloggers for a while each day.
Hopefully, I’ll manage my time a little better, and as a result The Retiring Sort will get better and stronger. Maybe in the new year I’ll even finally get around to cleaning up my categories and pages….
In the meantime, I hope you’ll stay with me as I tweak and find my footing again, looking toward my next 100 posts. I really love my blog, and the many other bloggers it has brought into my life. I won’t be giving those things up, just attempting to organize my life a little better to fit everything in.
Stay tuned for my continuing adventures… and thanks for helping me come this far.
- The Retiring Sort: On the Brink of Retirement
- My (Retired) Life so Far
- The Blogosphere – A Generous, and Slightly Random, Community
Picture credits: BLOG: © Alexandr Mitiuc – Fotolia.com.