My Life Online-A World View

I wrote my first article for this online blog in June, 2015. I wrote about ageism, the wealth of aging boomers, and the generation born before the baby boomers, which I call the ‘Lucky Few’.

The next month, I wrote about 50s fashion, what old people worry about, and how no one wants to take our advice. I had a vague theme, a workable design and a great desire to finally write.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I had to maintain two separate lives, my regular life of activity and responsibility, and my online writing life, for which I had to get up at 5 am, so that I could write without distraction. I’ve done that every morning since, although I’m finding that now I can steal a few minutes from my regular life to write.

I wrote through the flu, a sore arm, Christmas, family holidays, three seasons of neglected gardens, and two and half years of ignored housework. I clearly didn’t know what was involved, or where I was heading. One thing that never concerned me was running out of ideas. Topics for articles come thick and fast—one topic emerges like magic from another.

Who reads this blog?

My readership evolved slowly. My first subscribers started with my family, my friends, my neighbors in our condo complex, and my book club. I eventually learned how to post on Facebook, I spent several agonizing weeks learning to manage Twitter. Social media, I soon learned, expanded my reach.

I have many to thank for the existence of this blog, my daughter for her unfailing assistance, Bluehost for their 24/7 technological help, my understanding husband Bob, my patient family, my fellow bloggers, and my faithful readers, especially those who comment.

As many of you know, I post only once a week, on Sundays. I started doing this as a temporary measure, but found that a thousand word article, with a valid theme, and solid research to support it, is all I can manage each week. My life constantly draws me away from writing, and I’ve had to be ruthless about my chores and commitments. My ‘to do’ list grows in concert with the time it takes me to write each article. I have to live with the fact that some of those chores will be ignored forever.

How do I know who is reading?

Each Sunday morning, after checking up on my newly posted blog, I open the dashboard, and view the maps displayed there. (If you use WordPress as your platform, you will find this under Jetpack) There, for my information and entertainment, is a map that pops up at the touch of a link, revealing the countries of each reader, as they open my latest article.

The first country to show up, typically, is the US. Next, Canada, then Britain, Germany, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, India, and lastly, the Philippines. It’s fascinating to see this process each week! I’d love to speculate about what this map says about the arrival of sunrise in each hemisphere, and the times that readers open my blog. But then I remember that as a young teacher, I taught an entire grade two class that the sun rose in the west and set in the east, and graded them accordingly, so I’ll leave that alone! Geography (or horology, for that matter) was never my strength.

What do I do to promote my blog?

Most importantly, I maintain a network of online connections. I subscribe to over 20 blogs, and, since some bloggers post several times a week, I have an average of 300 posts to read each week. I read them all, but can take the time to comment on only 50 or so. I love doing this, and regret I can’t respond to them all. Most of these bloggers are listed in my blogroll, (although I haven’t updated for months).

I take a few hours each week to read articles on Twitter, sometimes re-posting, and sometimes adding articles from other internet sources. Twitter contacts (I have 455 to date) add up faster than Facebook friends (only 200), It beats me how people rack up thousands of contacts on both platforms, although I suspect they spend many more hours a day than I do, searching for postable news and articles!

I spend up to 40 hours a week on this project. This is not a complaint, since I love doing it. It satisfies the age-old problem of finding something compelling to do in retirement, and keeps the deterioration of my brain at bay. But I realize if I put this much time and effort into any other endeavor like a job for example, or housework, I’d be richer, or at the very least, I’d have a really clean house!

If I was to choose what I valued most about my blogging experience, it would be a close draw between the satisfaction of the creative process, and the pleasure I get from having a network of online friends! Thank you, everyone—you know who you are!

 

This entry was posted in Current Issues, Featured, Humor, Retirement and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Please feel free to leave comments; your email address will not be published.

43 Responses to My Life Online-A World View

  1. Yes, keeping up with a blog can take an enormous amount of time but as you said it has been a very rewarding activity for me too. So glad that I found you blog.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      Thanks, Bernadette! I think yours was one of the first blogs I started to read three years ago. You are an inspiration!

  2. I think there may be as many approaches to blogging as there are bloggers, and as many reasons for keeping a blog!

    I enjoy blogs above all other social media. In the blogs I read, the author makes the effort to share a bit of themselves, in whatever way they value.

    Facebook, Twitter, and the like are full of one-liners, shared headlines, every ism under the sun, one sentence pronouncements, most of it highly superficial. I regard most social media as an opportunity for hot-dogging, a place to grab for attention, pick up “fans”. Not my cup of tea.

    Ah, but a well written blog, now that is something worth spending a bit if time with!

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      I always enjoy the style of writing more than the subject matter, although both of them, as you know, are important. But I consider Twitter and Facebook as sources that point to blogs I can peruse, and add to my list for reading, if I find them interesting and well-written. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. Barry Dym says:

    Yours is a stunning dedication to the craft. 40 hours per week! I’m amazed.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      It surprised me as well, when I actually counted the hours! Maybe I’m just not very efficient! LOL

      • Ruby Misak says:

        I’m not surprised of Diane’s achievements. I’m her older sister and remember Diane deep into a book in various places on the prairie farm. When she wasn’t reading she was day dreaming or writing poetry. Diane, you also manage to be active in all areas of life.
        What a gal.

        • Still the Lucky Few says:

          So nice of you to say this, Ruby! What you are not saying, though, is that when I was reading and writing poetry, you ended up doing more than your share of the chores! I know I didn’t thank you then, so please accept it now, Ruby—a big thank you!

  4. Cheerful Monk says:

    I can’t think of a better use of your time! I love blogging, too — it was what I was born to do.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      It’s always great to find our calling! You are a tireless DAILY blogger, Jean. That takes commitment!

  5. Rin Porter says:

    Thank you for this glimpse into your writing life. I am astonished that you can get up at 5 AM to write! Wow! You’ve been such a faithful post-er since you started your blog. I guess that’s why–you’ve created a structure for it. I’ve been remiss the last two months, but I hope I’ll be getting back into regular weekly posting soon.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      I needed the structure. I know myself—I have a built-in tendency to escape routine, so I have to impose it strictly! I always look forward to your articles—when you do post, it’s very worthwhile!

  6. Pat Skene says:

    You certainly are far more dedicated than I have been. And you have a wonderful blog for all your efforts. I love writing and do other projects as well, and only write a blog post when the spirit nags me or I have rantz in my pantz about something. When I don’t write for a while, I feel the pent up energy and have to let it out through my fingers. Life can be a distraction from our writing if we let it. Obviously you have learned to control the distractions. Well done and keep up the great work.

  7. Cathy says:

    Hello Diane. Up at the airport waiting to board, have loads of other blogs to be read but yours is definite. Will give me something to think about all the way to Hong Kong😊

    Short of letter writing (which is usually one on one) blogging is a form of one on one communication even though it’s read by many. It doesn’t seem to matter if its information based (as in a lot of your posts) or general life influenced (as in most of mine ) – we write. I don’t write or research at 5am ( applause for you for doing it) I’m usually sound asleep at that time but I’ve been known to spend the day with my iPad in hand drafting and fine tuning more than one post at a time.

    Thanks for being there with your caring thoughts and ideas for us ‘lucky few’ (circa 1942 in my case) ~ Cathy

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      How can you concentrate enough to comment when you are waiting to board? You must be a seasoned traveler, without any stress about flying! The process of writing is more important than the topic, to my way of thinking, Cathy. Just ‘getting it down’ is so liberating!

  8. ann oxrieder says:

    When do you have time to work on your novel? My blog outreach suffers because of how many hours a day my novel takes. Though I am very impressed that you start so early in the day and really work at responding to others.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      Sadly, my novel (s) are taking a back seat! I WILL get back to them, but for now, I’m finding blogging very satisfying! Thanks for giving me a poke, Ann!

  9. Hi Diane! Congratulations on passing your two year bloggoversary this last June. It is definitely an accomplishment. And I too only blog once a week. As you say, to write an article that you research I can’t imagine fitting more in unless you do just a photo challenge or something. As you say, blogging certainly takes time but there are rewards for those of us who just can’t stop. Also a huge benefit is the great other bloggers we meet here. So nice to have crossed paths with you and look forward to seeing where you go in the future. ~Kathy

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      There is no doubt that the blogging community has added a great deal to my life. One part of the appeal, of course, is that people from all over the globe participate. What a bonus!

  10. Great to get this insight into the how and the why of your blog, Diane. I do enjoy your posts – but don’t have/make the time to comment. Keep up the good work 🙂 For your geography/horology purposes – I’m in Scotland and it’s 10.00 am here. All the best.

  11. Rummuser says:

    This resonates with me – “If I was to choose what I valued most about my blogging experience, it would be a close draw between the satisfaction of the creative process, and the pleasure I get from having a network of online friends!”

    I blog every Friday for sure and on other days if I get any interesting topics to share with my readership. I have been blogging since twelve years but in its present form and on my own domain since June of 2008. I am retired and so can find the time to blog whenever the mood takes me. The problem is to find something to write about!

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      Rummuser, I’m retired as well, but that doesn’t guarantee that I have lots of time! I guess I’m the sort of person who finds it hard to create boundaries, so am pulled in several different directions, usually away from my writing!

  12. Brenda Cullen says:

    Congrats Diane on your blog, I am so grateful of your extensive research. I am so fortunate to be a recipient of your knowledge.

    I do look forward to Sunday mornings.

    Cheers, Brenda

  13. Clive says:

    5am starts? 40 hours a week? I’m not doing this right, am I! I admire your dedication. I follow far more blogs than you – I tend to follow back most who follow me, as a courtesy – but there are only a select few that I read every time: yours being one of them. I’m glad our blogs found each other, we have a lot to be grateful to Bernadette and her Senior Salon for!

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      Thanks, Clive. I started out following many more, but gradually limited them to WordPress blogs—easier to be accepted, and fewer captcha challenges! Yes, Bernadette makes quite a contribution to our community!

  14. Joe Wasylyk says:

    Hi Diane! I know that any meaningful blogging activity is worth it’s weight in Gold or maybe today it’s weight in Bitcoins. Congratulations on having the perseverance to thoroughly researching topics before writing them up. In my Blog I spent 5 hours to research and write each article. I know that in my case 5 hours per month is not the same thing as 40 hours per week. However; it is too much for me and at the present time I am on a long sabbatical leave from blog writing.

    I currently have 36 articles written about financial literacy, lifelong learning & senior entrepreneurship. Now I like to do mini-blogs where I can make a comment or two before any post and just like this site have an opportunity to make comments in the discussion area.

    Maybe, you could put something together commercially like a new book of essays, poems or a non-fiction book based on all the valuable research work that you have already done. It is the Fall season a time to enjoy a bountiful harvest after all that labour of love writing all these very interesting blog articles.

    Thanks for all the good work Diane! I know that a part of solving our ageism problem today is getting more seniors to speak up and let their voice be heard, especially on seniors issues where we really need more seniors to come out and play.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      How very encouraging, Joe. I know I’d like to publish something, and I like your idea. I will most likely start to put something together this winter—possible publish an e-book. I started out wanting to concentrate on seniors only, but these are such interesting times, that I get drawn into other subjects! Thank you for your advice!

  15. joared says:

    I enjoy your blog and appreciate the time and effort you put into the writing. I recently recounted again how my blog came to be. Blogging was to be a secondary activity which I viewed as one to engage in for an hour or so if nothing else of interest, probably in the evening since I was still working, Topics about which to write have never been lacking given the wide range of subjects I allow myself. Some matters I’ve taken time to write more formally with research and links, but support with documentation, noting opinion, as I respect following journalism’s ethics and good standards practices. Composition with editing quickly revealed itself to be more time consuming than I expected, intended or wanted — complicating my life. I’m not always sure why, but I’ve continued blogging, though I sometimes take a break from doing so. I have discovered I enjoy reading others and writing, though I’ve made little or no effort to pursue an increased readership as haven’t bothered to even link to social media or learn how to do it.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      I think you still enjoy some things about blogging, since you are continuing, even on a reduced basis. By the way, Joared, getting into social media is a double-edged sword—it’s easier to start than to stop, I’ve found! I’m finding Twitter more satisfying than Facebook, there is such ease in accessing articles, and posting your own. It took some time (LOL) to learn it, but now I really enjoy it!

      • joared says:

        Yes, I do enjoy blogging just don’t want to make a job of it with rigid schedule. Worked part time til about 3 years ago so want flexibility. My only interest in FB (where I’ve had an account for years but don’t use since I became displeased with how privacy addressed) would be to have my blog post appear. Since Twitter is a 140 character, though I heard they might double length, I guess only a bit of blog post could appear, or simply a link, but haven’t explored that either.

        • Still the Lucky Few says:

          You can post a short comment on Twitter and add a link to an article on your blog. A few words go a long way on a single tweet! I understand your desire for flexibility, since it’s not so long ago that you finished with work!

  16. Lynne Spreen says:

    Wow. Your workload slays me. I subscribe to your blog because it’s smart and timely. I like your writing voice because it’s frank and honest (like using the term “old people” without irony or any kind of artifice; you’re just okay saying it, and so am I, but I sometimes get complaints. Which to me demonstrates subconscious ageist thinking.) Thanks for blogging, Diane. May your dendrites ever be supple.

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      It’s revealing that the outdated term ‘seniors’ is still on my masthead, so I guess I started out with that mind set. The program my tecchie used to apply it is defunct, and I don’t quite know how to change it! I struggled, just as many of us do, about the terms we use for older people. Seemed that saying it without apology was the only way to go! I think blogging is good for my dendrites (so far)!

      • joared says:

        FWIW if you drop senior, a term which I’ve never liked, you might want to consider my preference for “older” rather than old — subtle but significance difference, at least in my mind. I did accept RB’s selection at TGB of elderblogger, but think the elder part has troubled many people, maybe mixing it with elderly with a quite different meaning.

        • Still the Lucky Few says:

          I like ‘older person’ best. Like you, I think ‘elder’ is too heavy with reference to ‘elderly’, which suggests frailty.

  17. Aunt Beulah says:

    Your last paragraph perfectly and clearly described my feelings about blogging.. I started my blog in the fall of 2013 and posted once a week until January of 2016 when I dropped back to the first and fifteenth of ever month because I felt I was neglecting other activities I enjoy, including different sorts of writing. The decision to do so worried me, but I found most of my followers stayed with me, especially those who left comments. I’ve also gained new readers since then. I sincerely appreciate the enjoyment and information I get from blog friends like you.

  18. somehow I missed this post – but thanks for the insight into your blogging world.

    I post mainly about what I’m doing, I don’t always have any links general research and I often include photos of my art-works. I don’t have any set day either…

    On the other hand I have to make online notes for my art program regularly because otherwise when I’m asked to send stuff in, I find I’m behind on the work log, the other logs…

    • Still the Lucky Few says:

      Your approach is different from mine—but it is uniquely yours. Many creative people (like you) let their feelings take the lead in what they do!

  19. Yeah, Another Blogger says:

    Hi Diane. You’ve got a lot of energy and stick-to-it-ness. Your blog is a success because of that, and also because of your talents.

    Keep on writing!

    Neil S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *