Honestly, I never really planned to become a blogger. When I majored in English all those years ago, I just wanted to publish a few books for middle grade children and hoped that they would be successful enough to earn me a modest income. I thought I liked the way the publishing world worked at the time: I would spend long hours writing and editing my manuscript, then send it to publishers until I found one that accepted it, at which point it would be their job to handle the marketing and sales. My job would be to receive the royalties and get started on my next book. It seemed like a good plan at the time.
Sadly, things didn’t quite work out that way. My articles sold, but my books didn’t—except for one young adult novel which was accepted by an educational publisher. The rejection letters just kept coming. It didn’t take long before I began to doubt my writing skills, especially when I went to bookstores and read the books that actually were being published. Clearly, the books I wanted to write and the books the public wanted to read were two very different things. As the years went by, I found myself spending much less time writing, and more time pursuing different interests that didn’t require coping with quite so much rejection.
But then the blogging world exploded, and I couldn’t help but see that there might be some advantages to writing one. I could choose what to write about without worrying whether or not a publisher thought it could be commercially successful. The downside was I wouldn’t get paid for writing, but hey, I was certainly used to that! I’m naturally cautious and a bit of a procrastinator, so it took me a while (and the steady encouragement of a good friend) to work up the nerve to actually start the blog. But finally, four months ago, I started “Muddling Through My Middle Age.” (Did I mention that all the good titles were taken?)
And I’m so happy I did. As a middle age woman, it gave me confidence to realize that I could still start something entirely new and stick with it. And although there was just a little rejection involved (It did hurt a bit to realize that some of my friends had no interest in checking out my blog. I mean, if they had opened a bakery, I would have bought at least one cake), I soon got over it. The blog turned out to be a great way to connect with others who were also dealing with the trials and tribulations of being middle aged. Friends and strangers have left positive and insightful comments both on the blog and on my Facebook page, which is the only place I advertise it. My list of followers is growing slowly, but steadily.
For me, the most important thing is simply that I am writing again, and enjoying it. I’m glad I finally realized that it was okay to let go of my old dream of publishing lots of children’s books and try a different form of writing instead. I think all of us need to realize that sometimes we have to be flexible when chasing our dreams, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just find a way to do what you know you are meant to do, and don’t sweat the details. Trust me, it will work out.