Blogging became one of my pastimes and a new passion about eighteen months ago. At first it was a big challenge. So much to learn, so much new material to assimilate. Then I grew to love it, thought I was on a roll.
But then, ever greedy for new experiences, I entered a blogging competition.
The process of applying made me rethink my blogging process. What is it that I’m trying to do? Why would a woman my age want a blog? Who reads what I post? What areas should I concentrate on? Why do I do it? Is it enough to love writing and to want to communicate? Do I do it because I can?
Some of the answers came easily. Others were more difficult. Then there are questions that don’t have answers.
I went to one of Glennys Marsden’s workshops last year. The workshop was about personal branding. I’d asked the same questions then. I thought I was clear and on the right track.
Urged by a clever granddaughter who knows about this stuff, I worked on my application. She read it, made workable suggestions. Grateful, I polished the entry. And submitted.
The minute I pressed the ‘submit’ button, all the ideas I used to have for blogs flew away.
I sat at the computer. My fingers refused to tap on the keyboard. The screen stayed starkly white. I resorted to paper and pencil, still my favourite writing tools after owning a computer since 1985. My hands refused to write. Blank pages. Blank pages! That was serious.
The long-list of eight entrants was posted last week. At least we didn’t have to wait long before we knew that much. Four men, four women – a good balance.
The entries sounded wonderful. Much clearer than mine, much more upbeat than I could manage. Carefully set out blogging plans for a year. I hadn’t done that. Maybe I’d waffled.
I clicked around, curious about the entrants. Recognised a couple of writers I know. Especially intrigued by one entry, I clicked on one more link.
A BIG mistake – an online dating site! I closed it. I didn’t need to read any more than I saw in a second or two.
For days afterwards, my inbox was full of obscene ‘invitation’ emails. I spammed them as quickly as I could, but felt uneasy, defiled. And indignant, too. How dare people invade my inbox? My paralysis at the computer compounded. Writing and blogging became even more difficult.
The sponsors of the competition did not respond to my email alerting them.
Then, I noticed my lovely young pharmacist wearing an enormous badge that read, ‘I’m a pharmacist. You can ask me anything’.
‘That’s dangerous,’ I said. ‘I’ve accidently opened a Pandora’s box of questions. Mostly obscene!’
The clever woman told me some things I could do to stop my unwanted emails. Her suggestions worked.
Now I’m back to thinking creatively about blogging. It’s quite a relief. As soon as I’ve cleaned the pantry and the linen cupboard, I’ll revisit my application and retrieve some of the good ideas.
Here’s to more blog posts, soon.