At the age of 39, I started what most people call a “bucket list”, but I called a TDBID (to do before I die). It was filled with adventures like learning to ride a motorcycle, driving a racecar, jumping out of a plane. The TDBID morphed into a general point-of-view: I forced myself to be open to adventures that crossed my path. The most magnaminous of these was Dancing with the Stars (the local version, for charity). The Alzheimer’s Association asked me to be a dancer, and I had never heard of anything more frightening in my life. Here I was, a relatively subdued personality with a twinge of shyness, going to perform a dance routine in front of a packed auditorium. In addition to stage fright, I was out of shape and had never danced before.
This overwhelming, all-consuming adventure is what started my need to write. It helped me to verbalize the process-the fitness challenge, the crazy dance moves, the panic attacks. The blog which began as an outlet for my experience became a creative outlet for life in general. My single blogging rule, learned the hard way, is I only write when I feel strongly that I must. (Rilke fans will recognize this advice from “Letters to a Young Poet”). If I force myself to write when I have nothing compelling to share, the results are invariably disastrous. If I write because the blog is forming itself in my head and demands to be released, only then do I have a shot at forming something worth reading.
This rule has translated to a posting rate of about one story a month. While not prolific by any means, it is consistent enough to keep the writing muscle from going too flabby, and to keep my small posse of followers engaged. I appreciate the comments and feedback, as well as the sense of community one gets from being a part of the WordPress family. Like any hard-core WordPress fan, my goals are to continually hone my craft, develop a constructive outlet for a stressful life, and one day become “Freshly Pressed”. I’ve got my fingers crossed that they choose a good one.