The Joys of Blogging

IMG_4757It’s been over eighteen months since I started this blog, which still surprises me.  I’d be lying if I said everything has gone according to plan, mostly because I didn’t exactly have a firm plan in mind when I started this blog, but also because writing my own blog turned out to be a very different experience from anything I could have imagined.

My initial idea was to write about adjusting to this new phase of my life that is called “middle age,” and to share some of the challenges and joys that come with it.  I thought that my close friends, and possibly some of their friends (and of course my mother), would read it and leave a comment now and then.  Of course I had moments when I fantasized that my blog would be wildly successful so that I could earn big bucks from it and, more importantly, rub it in the faces of all the editors who ever rejected my manuscripts (“See what you missed out on!”), but that was never an actual plan.

But like so many things in life, the realities of blogging turned out to be quite different from my expectations.  My mother does read my blog (thanks, Mom!) and so do many of my friends, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many of my older and friends and acquaintances, some of whom I haven’t seen in decades, were also not only reading my blog, but taking the time to let me know that it spoke to them.  I had no idea my blog would reconnect me so powerfully to my past, but it did.

Although my original intention was to simply write about being middle aged, I found that even after adjusting my posting schedule to only twice a week, I soon ran out of things to say on that particular subject.  There are only so many posts I can write about fading eyesight  and memory, sprouting hair where hair does not belong, developing new wrinkles and sags on a daily basis, and adjusting to being part of the sandwich generation, etc., without repeating myself and boring my readers.  So I branched out, and began writing about other things that were going on in my life and the world around me, and nobody seemed to mind too much.  Or if they did, they were nice enough not to complain.

Of course, there are a few aspects of blogging that did go just as I expected. I have always struggled with technology, and continue to do so.  Writing my posts is the easy part, figuring out how to add links, size photos correctly, and change the format is much harder for me.  There are times when I can’t answer comments without exiting my page and then coming back to it, and sometimes I can see how many Facebook shares a post has, and sometimes I can’t.  Don’t ask me why.  When I contact the WordPress help, the answer is usually that there must be something wrong with my computer.  Of course.

Still, the nicest and most unexpected perk of blogging has been how many wonderful other bloggers I have met.  These are people who are busy writing their own blogs, and yet still take the time to leave words of encouragement and wisdom on my posts, or comments so funny that I laugh out loud when I read them.  Their blogs have become “must reads” for me, even on my busiest of days, because they are that good.  I’d like to especially acknowledge Kim over at www.kimgorman.com, who writes a wonderful blog about meeting the challenges of life with determination and grace, and whose writing never fails to inspire me.  She is a recent recipient of the Sunshine Blogger Award, and deservedly so.

I always knew that I enjoyed writing, but blogging is more than simply writing.  It’s building a community, sharing ideas, and best of all….making new and wonderful friends. Thank you all for that.

66 thoughts on “The Joys of Blogging

  1. Hi Ann, since we connected I signed up for alerts from your blog and I read them every time a new one comes out. I enjoy them and especially like the one about the class reunion back in Cheney, America. Our is coming up next year and we have had one in probably 15 years. I live in Texas now so I hope the time is right if one gets scheduled for me to attend. The last one I went to I really enjoyed. Anyway thanks for you blog I read and enjoy it! Cheers – Kurt Richardson

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kurt! And I really hope you make it to Cheney next year for your class reunion. It will be worth the trip, trust me! It’s so nice to see everyone again and reconnect. It’s even nice to see the town again and how well it is doing. So many small towns are struggling these days, but Cheney seems to be thriving! And thank so much for reading my blog and taking the time to let me know you like it. That means a lot!

      Like

  2. How right you are.
    There are many great bloggers out there.
    And I’ve given up on trying to attach a photo
    to my post. Far too difficult. 😕

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have had a similar experience blogging too. I was hoping that my family would get involved and we could all swap recipes. In particular, I was hoping to get my mother to write down her vast repertoire of tips.

    Although my initial impetus did not pan out, I am still having fun — mostly connecting to other bloggers, who are incredibly supportive and upbeat.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t think blogs ever quite go as we initially plan them, whether those plans are somewhere deep inside our minds or down on paper. Not only do the blogs change, but we change with them. I’m glad you’ve kept yours going, Ann. And I understand that the perspective of only writing about one subject can get more and more difficult to adhere to. Your normal life changes, so why not your blog? Readers and followers are always surprisingly forgiving, possibly I think because, over time, they (we) come to know you as a person – albeit a person from afar, when they are not personal friends or family – and want to know more about you. It’s a way to develop new friendships, get to know new people, making those new people ‘old and familiar’, in the best possible way.

    As for the technical problems, I used to know how to use this site very well (to the extent that I used to help out on the forums) but a two year break has meant I’ve pretty much had to start again! There are some things here I’m good at, and others… oh dear!

    I enjoy your blog so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Val! And I know what you mean. Even though I haven’t met my blogging friends in person, I do feel as if I know some of them rather well, just through their writing. It’s hard to keep a blog going on just one subject, but if we branch out a bit to other areas that interest us, then it’s not so hard at all. And I know that the good blogs I follow (including yours) are always interesting, no matter what the subject. Plus, writing about different topics forces me to really think through what my feelings are on that particular subject, so it’s been a personal growing experience as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And I hope you keep on writing as well. I was initially drawn to your blog just because of your gravitar name, but followed it because it is very good. Still love the name, though!

      Like

  5. Yes, it seems blogs do change. I started a blog just like yours and I think I even had a similar name. I am not a writer and ran out of ideas in like two weeks! I am glad I found your blog, as you are able to express what many in our age group are thinking and going through. I decided to blog about what I truly love, my backyard. As for technology, my kids do it for me. They even set up my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the best blogs are the ones that are written about what the author truly loves! And your love of gardening shines through yours…not to mention some of the critters in your garden. And yes, my biggest “tech support” is my children, when I can get them to take a look at my computer. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re right, Ann, finding and learning about such interesting people, like you, has been something I never anticipated when I started this blogging thing.
    The topics we choose to write about are varied and they come and go as well as our minds process things around us, but the relationships, as strange as it sounds, that we make on here is a bonus and gift that I never expected.
    And you’re right about Kim, she is, like you, a gifted writer whom I always make a point of reading.
    How much fun is that😊

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Congrats on your milestone! My blog has been through a few changes too. I agree that one of the best things about blogging has been meeting other bloggers. I did not think about that when I started, but now I’m always so grateful when someone stops by and leaves a comment! And I always look forward to seeing what my blogging friends are up to. See you out there!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Your bogging journey is similar to one. But I had plan just a dog and desire to write about her and share her goldenrods with the world. When I began following your blog I have tell you it was the name. I too muddle through many things in life including middle age. Thanks for sharing and also for following Kali. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re welcome! I really enjoy reading about Kali, and now Kloe as well. And I think that probably most of us are muddling along through life, whether middle age or otherwise! Thanks for being such a loyal reader, and for sharing your blog with the rest of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So true Ann. Blogging is so much more than just writing. When I started I never dreamed I’d connect with so many wonderful writers from all over the world and make so many friends. It takes on a life of its own and your blog is one that I’ve always resonated with. Hope you keep enjoying it and sharing your life with us Ann. You’re a talented writer and someone I’d happily love to share a coffee with! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Miriam! Your blog resonates with me, as well, which is why I’m so glad I discovered it. Connecting with other bloggers and discovering so many great blogs is a benefit I didn’t predict when I started blogging, but it has been a very happy surprise. And yes, I’d love to share a cup of coffee with you! Did you see Kim Gorman’s idea about a blogger’s convention? Wouldn’t that be fun???

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations for having got this far. I agree it has been an absolutely wonderful experience and the new friends and all the support and encouraging words are definitely the best part of it. Keep going and those publishers might soon come knocking.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I always suspected there were lots of terrific people in the world that I hadn’t yet met, and this blog has just confirmed it! The support and care we give each other is incredible.

      Like

  11. As others here seem universally to agree upon, Ann, the blogging experience for me has been wholly positive, and far exceeded my expectations – which admittedly were quite low! I find it most gratifying when someone leaves a little word of support and encouragement, which thankfully they occasionally do. I hadn’t expected to attract readers at all when I began two years ago, so the acknowledgement is all the more a delight. I only post 10 times a year myself – once every 5 weeks or so – and spend most of my blogging time reading others, such as yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is much more than we ever imagined, isn’t it? And thank you for being such a faithful reader. I’m glad to know you only post ten times a year, as there have been a few times when I’ve checked your page just to make sure I didn’t miss a post. Even though I am following your blog, I know there are occasional glitches, and I wanted to be sure, because I really like your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, thankyou for your interest Ann; I appreciate it. I’ve only posted once [http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-ek] six days ago, since you subscribed in June. I shalln’t be posting again until mid-September. Yes, it’s a bit of an unreliable business getting notifications by email, and The Reader hardly seems any more dependable. I shudder to think how many blogs I’ve missed, and how many bloggers have missed me. Oh well, WordPress is still the best format, it seems. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m so glad you told me that and provided the link! Yes, I’m following you and your posts are supposed to show up in my email. But this one did not. When I saw this comment, I immediately clicked on the link (which doesn’t seem to work on this post, but did work in my email notification of your comment) and read it! Thanks again!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Mine changed too, Ann. I suppose that we shouldn’t be surprised. I started off thinking that I would blog about writing all of the time, but, as you say, you begin to run out of things to say. But you also begin to write about other things that interest you and, certainly in my case, my blog began to reflect all of the things that interest me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think after a while, some of our other interests begin to creep into our blogs, whether we want them to or not. But that’s a good thing, because while I enjoy your posts about writing and publishing, I also really enjoy your travel posts. You have been to places I will probably never get to, so reading about your adventures there is very much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Personally, I’m glad you branched out and now write about a range of things, Ann. Middle age is fine as a topic, of course. I’m in early middle age myself, so there’s a lot there I can relate to. It would have been a pity not to have had your thoughts on other topics too, though. I generally find myself agreeing with what you say about such things as tolerance and the need for civil discourse in politics, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Goodness, I discovered your web journal surprisingly. Blogging, similar to life, does not generally go the way we envisioned. Also, that is OK. Keep writing!I’m getting a charge out of the voyage with you, Ann! well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So true and thank you for writing about these blogging thoughts. I really enjoy the sense of community in blogging. I didn’t know what to expect either, but I thought it time to start journaling my thoughts somewhere…and so began my blogging journey. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.