Friday, October 7, 2011

To Blog or not to Blog.

Blogging is a issue a number of friends and I have discussed a number of times.  For those of us who are writers, blogging, according to the marketing gurus, is the thing to do if you want to to sell our books, articles and the like.  It's part of building our platform.  Of course we all want to sell what we write, but I'm curious as to how many people really like blogging and why they do it. 

 If you weren't trying to market your books and yourself, would you be blogging at all?  Not that marketing is a bad thing, I just wonder if that's all there is.

I began my blog a few  years ago when someone at a writer's conference said I really should blog and have a website and actively promote myself on the internet.  Soooo.  I started a blog.  Put up a couple of entries and fizzled out.  I felt guilty and inadequate.  But then I have never been much of a self-promoter.  I do have a website that really looks pretty good.  But the blog?  I couldn't help asking:

 What did I have to write about? 
How could I sustain something like this long term? 
When would I find time? I was fortunate enough to have contracts coming in on  a regular basis. 
Did I really want to expose myself to the world? 
What was blogging really all about?
Was anyone really interested in what I had to say? 

 Despite my tongue in cheek assertion on my website that I know everything, I really had to wonder if blogging was for me.  It isn't as though I don't have a lot to say because I do and I've written over fifty books to prove it.  When the opportunity arose to take a world cruise and serve as the creative writing instructor, I realized that blogging would be a great way to share my experience with family and friends and to keep a journal for myself.  I made the promise and stuck with it.  Now that I am home, I'm back to the old questions.  What should I write about and does anybody really care?

 I'm not sure, but I thought it might be a good idea, especially after seeing that my son and granddaughter are blogging just because.  But that still leaves me with what to write about.  Writing? Life in general?  Sharing thoughts and ideas and philosophies--pet peeves? Maybe a place to write what's on my heart--like a journal.  And again, I wonder who cares? 

 Maybe a blog should be a question and answer thing.  Like an advice column.  I applied once after Ann Landers died--suggested doing a column called "Pat Answers." Guess they didn't see the humor. I could do an advice blog about writing, but I think that's being covered.  I think I would rather say what I think. 

 I discovered recently that my son was chronicling his journey on:

And my darling granddaughter, Hanna has this lovely blog called A Mother's Mosey.

These two have become an inspiration in finding my way to a blog.  I think the secret is to be who I am--not to worry about selling books or making myself a star.  I gave up being a best selling author long time ago, when I learned the truth about publishing and the mid-list author.  Okay--so I would like to sell books and maybe continue speaking and writing and making a living.  But for the blog, it will be what it will be.

I will share whatever feels right.  Perhaps friends will stop in from time to time as I  touch on subjects and issues that sound appealing.  Perhaps not. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Journey Ends--Another begins

  My son told me awhile back that I forgot to end the cruise--that I left everyone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You probably already figured out that we made it to Ft. Lauderdale and had a non-eventful flight back to the Pacific Northwest. The cruise was an amazing experience and believe it or not, after 110 days, I still love cruising. So does Ron. We are looking to do something a bit shorter though--perhaps this winter.

So, now it's time to end that journey and embark on another. We'd been home for only four days when my heart started flipping out--went into atrial fibrillation and would not convert. I got a ride in an ambulance. This was actually my second ambulance ride ever, but on the first one I remember nothing.

My heart eventually converted and I was given additional medication. Less than a week later it happened again. I ended up staying in the hospital for a week and came out with an ICD (pacemaker/defibrillator).

Since I needed time to rest, I went back to Grand Forks to be with my daughter and her family--I had to go see my adorable new great-grandbaby, Adalia Rose. My time there was, of course, rich and rewarding--UNTIL I got the call saying my mother was in ICU and not expected to live. I cut my visit short by a couple of days and the following day, the doctor and social worker arranged for her to go to the hospice house. I was with her night and day until she passed away seven days later.

The journey from life to death is a painful one. Someday I will write about that journey as well.