Why do you spend so much of your retirement blogging? What are you getting from writing a blog? Don’t you get bored with writing? Isn’t it lonely spending so much time in front of your computer? Is your blog worth the time and money you are investing in it? Aren’t there other retirement hobbies that you want to pursue?
These are all questions that people ask me about writing this blog.
Last week over coffee a dear friend challenged me about the time I was spending on postworksavvy. She told me that I was missing various activities that would be “more fun”. This was not the first time she questioned why I continued to write blog posts. She observed that blogging seemed like a lot of hard work and asked me again why I was persisting with the blog.
Those questions prompted me to review my reasons for blogging as a way of spending retirement time.
My friend is correct — I’ve missed out on lots of interesting excursions and diversions. I’ve missed time with my friends. I’ve curtailed time spent on other hobbies.
But I have persisted with blogging because I can’t resist the challenges nor the elation as I conquer another learning hurdle or get another subscriber.
Blogging keeps my brain active.
I know that most retirees spend lots of time getting brain ‘inputs’. They read, travel, watch movies, exercise, attend the theatre, go to museums and visit galleries. These are all wonderful pursuits and I enjoy spending time in such activities.
But these activities entail passive learning. Not much is required of me when I spend time in passive learning activities.
To keep my brain function in ‘active’ mode, I need to have ‘outputs’ as well as well as ‘inputs’.
When I worked I constantly interacted with diverse groups of people, produced detailed reports, negotiated agreements, communicated complex information, planned for organizational sustainability and used leadership skills to accomplish my work.
There was no room for a passive learning style. During most of the very long days my brain was in ‘active’ or ‘output’ mode.
Keeping my brain active was a goal I set for retirement. Writing the postworksavvy blog is one of several strategies I use to maintain cognitive capacity.
Expressive writing skills are required for blogging. The style of writing for a blog is more personal and creative than the professional and factual style used during my career.
Developing a conversational style of writing has challenged me as I am naturally shy and reserved about my private thoughts and opinions.
Each post requires research and thought. Reader’s needs are paramount. Organization and logical thought are required to express ideas.
Because of this blog I follow media differently looking for trends that signal concerns for retired people and material for posts.
I have always enjoyed writing so putting words on the screen happens easily. Nonetheless, an amount of determination, self-discipline and concentration is required for each post.
Time passes quickly as I work away at my posts. There is pleasure in expressing my thoughts on the screen.
As a blogger, I put my opinions out to the world. Every post is public. Blogging allows connections with a large group of people. Many are friends and many are people who I will never meet. What an opportunity to take a position and to broadcast it!
There is also a downside to broadly exposing my work and opinions. When the content is published it is ‘out there’ for perpetuity. That makes me careful about what I say and careful to make proper attributions for content that I re-use.
Blogging allows participation in a large and growing online community.
An unforeseen benefit of writing a blog has been ‘meeting’ people online. When I started this blog I never dreamed that it would be possible to build relationships online. I quickly learned that when you become a blogger you join a unique community.
Blogging has brought amazing connections with people around the world. Some are retired and are online for fun. Many in the online community are earning a living online as journalists, writers, or marketers.
I also learned that there are online communities within communities. Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet other bloggers in person.
I recently met many bloggers and developers when I attended the Word Camp in Toronto in late September. It was amazing to meet so many people who are passionate about blogging and who know so much about how to use Word Press and how to monetize their blogs.
Maintaining the postworksavvy blog is an ongoing challenge. When I worked I had lots of technical support and did not need to learn about how my computer worked nor how it connected in cyberspace. As a blogger I have spent hours trying to figure out basic technical issues.
I was particularly discouraged a few months ago when I migrated from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and lost my subscribers for several months. An angel who works for Word Press helped me to get the subscriber list back at the Toronto Word Camp. I have also paid for help from someone who builds web sites using Word Press as the migration path of postworksavvy was not functioning correctly.
Technical issues are simple for people who know how computers work and who are not intimidated with technical terminology. I am determined that I won’t let technical issues stop me and will be enrolling in some continuing education courses to keep learning.
I may always have technical challenges but I will continue to try to keep up with the evolving culture that younger generations take for granted.
Writing this post has helped me clarify why I spend precious retirement time blogging.
Postworksavvy is a labour of love. It’s a great retirement hobby.
I look back at earlier posts with pride and I look forward to continuing to broad cast inspirations for a successful retirement.
Thanks for reading my blog. If you enjoy reading postworksavvy please email it to your friends and please consider becoming a subscriber.