The Times They Are A-Changin’…

Beyond MLB4


Or at least, I am. Or at least, MidLifeBloggers is. After almost six years, I believe I’ve said and published everything I have to say on midlife.

I’ve moved on. Gotten older, and all that conversation about perimenopause and hitting fifty and empty nests just isn’t relevant to me any more.

The online scene has changed as well. In 2008, midlife was not a blogging category; in 2013, it very much is. I’m proud to have been an integral part of the battle to make that happen.

What does this mean to you, the reader of MidLifeBloggers? Maybe nothing. The site won’t go away, but it will have a new focus. 

Beyond MidLifeBloggers: The Other Side of Sixty

Enough of my friends are 60 plus that I know how the conversations change on the other side of sixty. I want to chronicle that change. So yes, once again, I want to speak for and to those who are not yet a real part of the online conversation.

At the same time, however, I want to scale back from the drive to be a voice and to create a platform for others to have a voice. One thing that has become clear to me over the years–and which was hard for me to finally admit–is that I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m an idea person, but the follow-up necessary to realize those ideas is beyond my interest and, frankly, attention span. I see this when I look at the several midlife sites that have come into being–and then some–over the past year or so. So I am, in a word, de-professionalizing MidLifeBloggers.

That means I will stop thinking first of what is right for the site as a brand. I will stop thinking first of myself as a brand. Sounds odd perhaps to those of you who haven’t participated in the blogger branding rat race, but those who have know exactly what I mean. I want to write for an audience of readers, my readers, not marketers and PR reps.

I’m also ending  the part of MidLifeBloggers that was devoted to publishing other midlife writers. That doesn’t rule out the occasional guest post; certainly, if a writer has  something to say about the other side of sixty, I want to see it.  But I’m no longer soliciting for the fifty percent of MidLifeBloggers that was once other bloggers’ posts.

And now it’s time to move on.  To…

  • Concentrating on my own writing. During the Writer’s Workshop this Fall, I found myself envying the workshop participants the time and space they were giving to their writing.
  • The Writer’s Workshop, which will continue. The new session begins in February.
  • Blogging, the day-to-day, no-particular-topic, here’s-what-I’m-thinking blogging that I started with way back nine years ago on ByJane.

This is really a change in mind set for me, and I’m not sure how it will turn out for you. Let me know….

  • Mo at Mocadeaux

    I am proud to have had a post of mine featured on MidLife Bloggers and wish you great happiness and success as your site enters its new phase. I’ll be along for the ride, wherever you take us.

  • D.R. Shoultz

    I agree with a lot of the discussion here regarding it’s time to re-evaluate the benefits (if any) of having a blog. I thought blogging was a necessity for writers, especially new writers. After several years of doing both, I no longer believe that’s the case. I find little correlation to my blogging activity and sales of my books. Going forward I’m going to back off on the author interviews, the book reviews, and the other stuff not directly related to my writing.

  • Lynne Spreen

    Oh, I so understand! I think people are starting to move away from blogging, at least as a way of selling their writing. I wrote about it a year ago here:

    I recently learned that social media expert Guy Kawasaki estimates only 1% of your blog followers will buy your books. In my case, that means I’ve blogged 150,000 words to sell 40 copies of my novel. Not very efficient. I could have written 2 more books. Luckily, my topic is the entire second half of life, and I love exploring that. Plus I throw in feminism and other issues.

    But I agree, midlife is overdone, and it happened so fast! I’m going to have to think up a new tagline.
    Best wishes in your future permutations.

    • janegassner

      Lynne, I love your comparison of your blog to network. It so focuses on the good and accepts the not-so-good about running a site. When I’ve taught blogging, day one, hour one is devoted to : why do you want to blog, and I’ve got a whole spiel I give, with statistics and all, about it. Your categories are pretty much on, at least according to Technorati’s State of Blogging report from two years ago. They had a couple more categories in the breakdown but the majority of bloggers were what they called “Hobbyists” and in their survey, they accounted for some 60%. Last year they didn’t do a State of Blogging survey and report. Instead, they did something on the order of “state of the internet marketplace”. Obviously, the hobbyists were all gone. I would wager that the majority had morphed into at least part-time blogging for money, which would be your category two. I have some urge to organize those of us who aren’t in it for the money, but I probably won’t.

      • Lynne Spreen

        Jane, I sense that with everything going on, you’re reevaluating. How freeing. How absolutely freeing. I will mask my jealousy and say I hope you find the gate and run through it, laughing. Although I am only (“only” !!!) 59, I am tiring of the navel-gazing of that decade. I think the women in their 70s and 80s really have it going on, wise-wise. Have you checked out 70Candles?

  • Lisa L. Flowers

    These two things really resonated with me and I’m going to keep them close in 2014:

    One thing that has become clear to me over the years–and which was hard for me to finally admit–is that I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m an idea person, but the follow-up necessary to realize those ideas is beyond my interest and, frankly, attention span.


    Concentrating on my own writing…I found myself envying the workshop participants the time and space they were giving to their writing.

    • janegassner

      It’s so easy to just sit and front of this computer and follow the crowd, Lisa. It’s the getting up from it and moving that takes doing. I think we should check in with each other from time to time to see how 2014 is progressing!

  • Lois Alter Mark

    Jane, you are awesome. I so admire that you’re following your heart, and I know you’re going to be hugely sucessful. Looking forward to following your journey.

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Lois. From your lips, etc etc etc!!

  • Donna Hull

    It’s so easy to become burned out in the blogging world. Writing and then running the business end of things is brutal. And as we 60+ gals know, the energy just isn’t there the way it used to be. Thanks for turning the conversation our way. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    • janegassner

      I would probably be a wealthy woman, Donna, if I were any good at the consistency required to run a business. I so couldn’t do what you do–and you’re so good at it!

      • Donna Hull

        Aww, Jane, thanks for the complement. But there are times all I want to do is write, skip all the other junk and get those words onto my computer screen. I’m thinking of declaring one day a week as a writing day, maybe not even turn on social media. I can’t say don’t turn on the internet because I rely more and more on it for research.

  • Sheryl

    I so “get” what you are saying. I, too, am an idea – not a business – person, and sometimes the whole business of blogging takes me away from my real passion – writing. Good luck with your new focus!

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Sheryl. I’m sorta scared and sorta excited to see what I come up with!!!

  • Cecfielding

    Pioneer is an excellent word for you. You’ve always been several years ahead of the rest of us, and I expect you to keep making a difference. You go, girl! I’ll be watching!

    • janegassner

      You have been here from the start, Cecfielding! You were the impetus for MidLifeBloggers to begin with!

  • Lynn

    Jane, you are one brave broad. Bravo! (do you teach alliteration in your workshop?)

    • janegassner

      Alliteration, Lynn? Always! I don’t know that I’m brave so much as always looking for unplowed land!

  • ccassara

    And why not? I’m in the same boat as you and I do agree that it’s connected to stage in life. Best of luck!


    • janegassner

      When I started MidLifeBloggers, Carol, I was aware that i was defying Erikson’s Stages. Now, I think I’m back on track. Should be fun to document this one.

  • Marci Rich

    I think this is terrific, Jane! You’ve been a pioneer I and an inspiration, and readers who appreciate great writing (especially this five-months-shy of 58-year-old), will gladly follow you. All best wishes on this next chapter!

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Marci. It will be interesting to see how hard it is for me to ignore the siren call of stats and such. This branding thing has become a knee-jerk response with me.

      • Marci Rich

        I’m sure you’ll keep your head down and write. When you disappear into the world you’re creating, it will be hard for the sirens to distract you!

  • Mindy Mitchell

    I am so happy for you (and me!), Jane. As a 61 year old woman, I am more interested in looking forward to new adventures. I am done with the menopause thing (long ago) and never had a nest to empty so I am enjoying the new possibilities of what is on my road less traveled. Thank you for continuing to share yours!.

    • janegassner

      I’d love to hear about your road less traveled, Mindy, so keep in touch.

  • lisaweldon

    I want to go ahead and enroll in February’s class. This last class was simply phenomenal.

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Lisa, it means the world to me.

  • Janie Emaus

    I couldn’t be happier for you!

    • janegassner

      Getting to know you, Janie, has been no small part of my decision to do this.

  • Judy Freedman

    I’m excited for you and totally get it. You come first.

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Judy. I never have been able to sit still.

  • Helene Bludman

    Good for you, Jane, and as a 60 year-old I plan to follow you on your next adventure. See you at EBWW.

    • Walker

      I second what Helene has to say.. I’ll follow along til next August, then declare myself part of the tribe!

      • janegassner

        Walker, you are a charter member of the tribe. I’m looking forward to how your topic evolves as you move into your 60s. Maybe not at all. Or maybe–what? Can’t wait to see.

    • janegassner

      There are a lot of us out there, Helene, and we have learned to play nicely with each other.

  • Norine @ Science of Parenthood

    Well done you for deciding what’s really important to you and acting on it. I’m looking forward to seeing you at EBWW!

    • janegassner

      EBWW should be some party, Norine. I can’t believe how many of us midlife and beyond bloggers are going.

  • Chris Bradshaw

    I’m excited for you. Have a great Holiday Season, Jane.

    • janegassner

      Thanks, Chris. You too…! We can still Skype, can’t we??????

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