I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.
– American hunter and explorer Daniel Boone was born on this day in 1734 (died 1820)
One of the reasons I took a break from writing here was to take time to think through what this blog is really all about. Is it a niche blog that’s going to make me lots of money?
No. Not really.
Turns out, it’s about life. That means living as a senior citizen who still has a teenager at home, and who, in just the last five years decided to finally be diligent about pursuing his passions.
Of course there’s danger of being a senior citizen who is both ADD and in the early stages of dementia. You can’t remember what distracted you.
When I look at the purpose of this blog, I have to ask myself the questions I don’t really want to ask. What’s my niche for writing? What’s my market for making the most money?
I’m not sure that’s the approach I want to take, because what I really want to do is just write.
I want to tell stories. I want to comment on what life is, and isn’t, really about.
But will anyone read that?
It was odd when I took my break from blogging how many people came to me and said, “I’ll miss reading your blog.” Who knew that I had that many readers? Seriously.
Still, the blog is hardly a job, and certainly not generating any real income. In fact, hosting fees and anti-spam software pretty much put me in the negative, just for maintaining my little piece of Internet real estate.
I read the “experts” on blogging and freelance writing. The ones who say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing this. I still haven’t found the secret.
Actually, I suspect the secret may lie in convincing other people that you have the secret and getting them to pay you hundreds of dollars for them to reveal it to you.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure some of their programs actually do work. But, struggling to make this whole freelancing thing work out and already feeling guilty about the above mentioned costs for just running the blog, I’m not inclined to shell out hundreds, in some cases, thousands of dollars to learn someone else’s secret.
So, I dig around, read the free information that I can find. And I keep trying.
One day, I’ll make this work.
It may be that I won’t get to retire early from my state job and that I’ll have to continue this part time until I’m eligible for full retirement and Social (if it’s still available) Security.
That, of course, means that in addition to writing I need to be taking care of my health. I need to be getting to the YMCA to swim every morning.
While I’m writing this, swimming is a little hampered by a frozen shoulder. But I’m back to walking in the pool.
The way I figure it, my day has to start at 5:00 a.m. for me to get up, have a cup of coffee and spend some time in scripture and prayer. Then perhaps write a bit before I head off to the YMCA. This is all so that I can get to the office by 8:30 and work until 5:00 p.m. Most nights, I rush home for a quick dinner, then off to rehearsal, only to get home by 11:00 and try to wind down or get a bit more writing done.
That’s an impossible schedule that leaves no time for preparing daily lunches, helping get laundry done, and attacking the never ending stack of bills and yard work. And, in the corner of my office stands an easel that reminds me that I still haven’t returned to painting.
Somewhere in there, I need to prioritize. For a while, the blog had to suffer. Even as I write this the reality is that the blog may continue to suffer for a while.
But the urge to write is burning within. I have things to say. I have words to put on paper…or screen.
Maybe the answer is that I just have to carve out the time to put the words together and stop thinking about how they’re going to make me money. Maybe that will come in the process of just becoming a better writer.
I know what it is I want. Granted, it took more than fifty years to get here. And, unfortunately in that fifty years I accumulated a good amount of baggage that still needs to be paid for.
I wonder what would have happened had I been able to articulate this desire to write in my 20s. I suppose the reality is that I would find myself in my 50s with little to write about.
So, here I am, making this blog about life, and about figuring it out.
Stick with me, we’ll get there.
And, because it’s Sunday, this is what it’s really all about…