It’s just a little quiz…no prizes, just my eternal good will.
Okay, it is a New Year’s Post…because we’re now a week or so into 2016. Holy Shit! How did that happen?
I could go into a small riff about age and time and blah blah blah, but you’ve probably read a million other blog posts on the same topic. Which provoked little more than a “yeah, un huh” from those in the know and a “Christ, will the aging please stop bleating about it” from those who haven’t gotten there yet. (YET – because I promise you, you will)
I haven’t written a real blog post in, well, in I don’t remember when. I haven’t actually posted very much at all over the past six months or so. When I have, there has been some purpose to the post. A purposeful post is not a real blog post, IMHO. A real blog post evolves out of itself. It’s what we used to do before the days when we all got Serious About Making A Living At Blogging. That’s before we started twisting ourselves and our ideas and our lives to conform to the wisdom of those who were first in line at the Great Monetization Window–the gurus of marketing. All of which is to say, before we grew up, got serious and–stopped having fun.
I haven’t written a real blog post in months because the idea of sharing myself with the blogging community feels a little too public to me. Weird, no? I don’t believe that I’ve changed; I’m still perfectly comfortable putting out a tad TMI if I think it’s warranted. What’s changed, I believe, is my sense of who my audience is.
Disclaimer: I feel incredibly pretentious even speaking about My Audience. Yes, I did once have one. I did once actively pursue one. But in the past year or so–not so much. Or really, if truth be told, at all.
Neither of them stir in me the passionate engagement that I had with MidLifeBloggers.
I started blogging in the early days of BlogHer and what drove me then was to gain just an iota of the credit and credibility for our midlife cohort that the twenty and thirty-something mommybloggers were getting. I worked it really hard and had some success. In fact, I had tilled that midlife field so well that eventually it started to feel very crowded. Over-crowded, I might even say.
I had never wanted to be a service-oriented site. My goal was not to offer sermons from the mount about how to deal with menopause or midlife sex or second/third/fourth careers. I sought and published people who were writing about their own personal experience with those things, for good or ill, to learn from or be wary of. I didn’t make much money, but then unrepentant child of the ’60s that I am, that was never my goal. Making a difference, that was what has always motivated me. Call me naive, dumb, or just plain foolish–that’s the only goal that satisfies me, and when it’s not happening, I plain lose interest.
And too, I started to age out of midlife, or at least I couldn’t muster much interest in the topics that were bandied about. Once the mainstream media got involved in midlife blogging, the topics were grafted from the women’s magazines:
- Menopause–Oy, the hot flashes, the sleepless nights, the dry vagina
- Midlife Sex–Oy, the dry vagina and oy, his ED
- Midlife Parenting of Parents & Adult Children–Oy, when did my mother become my kid and my kid start sounding like my mother?
- Midlife Careers–Oy…..
Menopause is something you’re vitally interested in when you’re going through it. When you’re done, you don’t really give a shit. You’re just glad you don’t have to spend any time or money shopping in the feminine products aisle. Not only wasn’t I interested in it myself, I didn’t particularly care about shepherding other women through it. The same was true I noticed about the other hot topics on midlife sites. Sex: having it not having it wanting it not wanting it–hell, do your thing whatever it is and be happy doing it was/is my mantra. There are the finite viable topics that men and women are interested in: sex, relationships, sports, career, hooking up, getting married, having kids……oh wait, I’m starting to fall asleep.
Here’s the thing about being on the other side of sixty, all those things that you once cared about so passionately are no longer of such import. And if they are, you find yourself saying/thinking the same thing you thought five or ten or twenty years ago. Which doesn’t leave a whole helluva lot to explore in a blog post. I had dinner the other night with a close friend, a much younger woman who has been blogging as long as I have. We agreed that we feel like we’re watching Groundhog Day when we read blogs today: isn’t that the same post that I did back in ’07? When I saw the program for a midlifeblogging conference, I thought–and I think I said–“hey, reinvent the wheel, why don’t you.”
From time to time I think: you should really just let it all hang out, Jane. Explore your deepest feelings and fears. Make visible every nuance of your journey to old age. And then I think: to what end? And I further think: why does it seem somewhat hostile out there to me these days?
Any of this resonate with anyone else????? This is, I’m pleased to say, a real blog post and as such, you can comment on it. And I’ll comment back. And we’ll have a conversation. Like in the olden days….
That’s what we’ll be doing…
And here’s how we’ll be doing it…
- Every Saturday I post a lesson pertaining to that week’s topic. It will include
- text written by me
- an assignment (prompt, research task) for you
- You have the week to complete the assignment.
- We will communicate on-line during the week as much or as little as we need to.
- Some weeks, we will meet in a video chat at a time that works for both of us.
- I set up a virtual Workshop room in Google Drive.
- Drive enables not only private sharing of documents, but commenting as well.
- This will be the central part of the workshop, which you can access any time that works for you from any platform (Drive works on smart phones as well as tablets).
- The video chats take place in real time via Google Hangouts.
Want to Know How I Know About All This:
- I’ve been a working writer all my adult life and that means I understand what it feels like to be a writer as well as what how the business works.
- Since 1975, I have earned my living as
- a magazine feature writer (too many to list, including Redbook, Los Angeles, New Times, Ladies Home Journal
- non-fiction book writer (Doubleday),
- documentary producer (PBS),
- radio reporter (KPFK),
- scholarly writer (academic conferences)
- business writer (British American Chamber of Commerce)
- print editor (LA Free Press),
- blogger (Patch, More.com, Third Age, Vibrant Nation, She Posts).
- I founded MidLifeBloggers.com in 2008 and the first Writers Workshop began that year.
To Reserve Your Place: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your name, email address & phone number, plus
- A brief note with your goals and blog address
- Your preferred method for paying the $300 fee
- Google Wallet
- I will send you the relevant info for making the payment when I acknowledge your request to reserve a place