So where have you been?
And while I have had article ideas rolling around in my head, I have also been struggling with the focus of this blog, asking one of the best questions anyone can ask when making a decision: “What’s the point?”
Trying to Focus
Actually, focus is a pre-blog struggle, and one that my first blogging mentor, Seth Waite, emphasized in his very helpful but now inactive blog, The Blogging Agenda. At the time, I thought I knew what the focus would be – helping other Baby Boomers take their aging in stride, stay physically healthy and not become jaded because of our or others’ perceptions of what we should be in our 50’s and beyond.
As I progressed, however, I had a hard time gaining an audience – in part, because I wasn’t hanging out with those whom my blog might benefit. I found myself hanging out, instead, with blogging and writing experts who, though challenging and educating me, also made me realize how far behind I am in those realms.
In addition, I’m not considered any kind of expert in the field of aging well. Yes, I am comparatively healthy, take no medication (yet) and continually pursue and think about ways to keep myself from growing feeble as I age. But that doesn’t make me any kind of expert.
It makes me one more voice in this worldwide cacophony of advice and opinion they call the blogosphere.
When writing for the blog, I mentally vacillated between wanting to make it a personal journey and a research project. Response to the blogs seemed to vacillate as well. Probably because of the title, the article on Surfing Snails – written a year ago – remains the most popular blog. It’s significant that it’s one of the ones I most enjoyed writing.
But the unpaid time and effort it has taken to write the articles – popular or not – have not produced a good return. Small return for large effort produces burnout – particularly when the same amount of effort brings financial reward when expended for paying clients.
So where are you going now?
My intent now is to develop a website and blog that are more in tune with what I do for gainful employment.
For at least twelve years I have been doing what is now known as Virtual Office Assistance.
Since moving from the Chicago area in 1998, I have worked as a virtual administrative assistant for a Chicago-based General Contractor, while also working full time – first in the Career Resource Center of a university in western Tennessee, then as an office manager/copywriter/bookkeeper/project manager for a small advertising agency in the Mississippi Delta. I have now become their remote editor, proofreader and copywriter. Recently, I have also expanded into the insurance world, laying out ads and doing some research and web marketing for a small agency in Houston.
Though I still find the learning curve in the web writing/blogging sphere steep, I do not find it so in the area of administrative assistance. The organizational and software skills come naturally. MS Word, QuickBooks and Excel are daily tools, and I have used both Access and PowerPoint. My equipment is new; I regularly take phone dictation and use internet faxing services. It’s all in place. I’m good at what I do and eager to expand my capabilities.
However, I’m still not ready to give up on this blog. I still believe that as long as we have breath we can approach the world in wonder; we can recognize that we live in a wonder-filled world. This blog helps me express that passion and may give others an avenue to do the same. So until time and energy constraints make it impossible, I’m keeping this avenue open — if only to talk about the reasons for all that traveling!