Australia, blogging

Maintaining a Blog

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

WordPress recently told me it was my Blogging Anniversary. Really? What of it?

It has been almost ten years since I first created Something to Ponder About, after trying for a few miserable months with the Blogger platform. I never really got how you connected with other people on that platform, so quickly moved to WordPress, as a penfriend in Norway recommended it.

Purpose of Blogging

I really had to think about whether I should celebrate this Anniversary, or commiserate that I haven’t done better over the years? Some Bloggers have used their blogs as a venue to receive all kinds of free gimmicks, products and even discounts on holidays. What have I been doing?

Contemplating my navel in a semi-public way?

Don’t be misled into thinking I have been writing solidly for ten years. I have taken many a blogging break, here and there, when I have been on extended vacations and for the first three to four years, my frequency of posting was ‘hit and miss.’ That is, it wasn’t really conducive to comment conversations, or consistent readers.

In all honesty, I wasn’t a serious Blogger early on; merely posting interesting information to do with nutrition or D.I.Y. Craft that I might reference later, or using my blog to document my travels to, what I thought, were special parts of the world.

But then, something happened.

I began to connect with people worldwide. I started using my words in a way that was more constructive, ostensibly I wished to share information that might help others. The Blogger community responded with kindness and open arms, enveloping me on a truly wondrous journey that I am happy to say, continues to this day.

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Connecting with Other Bloggers

Many of the early Bloggers I connected with have now left the blogging world. A few remain, including Leya, Tina and Cyranny. In the early days, Christian Mihai ‘liked‘ every one of my published posts, but never ever did he post a comment. He is a huge Blogger now.

Strangely, I noticed I have only recently connected with fellow Aussie bloggers, but rather most of my readers were in locations around the world. That may be a comment on where my interest is directed, perhaps? I am not sure.

blogger friends
Way back in 2010

Ineke, in New Zealand, but from South Africa, has been a blogger friend and reader of mine from the start. She was the first Blogger I chatted with and the first Blogger I met, in person. When we met up in her home town, it was like we were already old friends.

It seemed easier to communicate with her over the blogosphere, as we were in a closer time zone, generally speaking. She was always, always supportive and assisted me in various Blogging challenges and joint projects in the blogging community. I thank her for her friendship and hope we will meet up again someday.

WordPress Challenges

Living as I do in this far-flung corner of the earth, the long delay in sending and receiving comment replies on blog posts does hamper the flow of conversation, at times. Thus, it was highly unlikely that I would sync with Snow, in Finland – yet something clicked between us. After a time, I discovered she had a similar childhood to me, growing up in Australia! We could share memories and she seemed to understand my typically Aussie ways.

Together, Snow and I launched the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge, which I now run with the extremely resourceful Sandy, in Canada. I love the Global connections blogging affords from all corners of the world!it is a truly multicultural phenomenon.

A pivotal moment in keeping my Blog active was starting the now-defunct ‘Monday Mystery Photo Challenge,’ which ran for close to three years. I had a lot of fun interactions and learnt lots about blogging, in general. Photography was definitely a major way I found and connected with other like-minded folk.

Motivation to Keep Blogging

A key to maintaining my motivation for blogging is to write about things I am passionate about.

If you really are passionate about something, your writing comes alive and your Blog will be interesting for others to read.

I like to use humour or satire in my posts, although I cannot claim to be any good at that. Keeping posts topical to some extent, seems to me, to be a way of starting and maintaining a conversation with readers.

An early criticism I received from another Blogger was that my Blog lacked focus. The comment was that I had, “a lot going on,” at StPA. Back then, travelling was something I posted frequently about, but I also wrote about craft painting, nutrition, mental health, traditional sayings, quotes and cooking. Given the current global situation for Travel Bloggers, I am very grateful my Blog was diversified in its focus.

Something to Ponder about. Blog about Arts, crafts, Cooking Travel and Photography
Denmark

So, somewhat embarrassingly, I am still here, ten years later, at Something to Ponder About, prattling away to anyone who will listen. Blogging still provides me with a great deal of satisfaction. As more Bloggers fall away or take an extended break due to Covid or Blogger fatigue, new Bloggers begin their journeys with WordPress, filling that void. That bodes well for WordPress and for Bloggers, in general.

I hope to still be around in another ten years, but who knows? What will WordPress and the world itself, be like then?

Start a Conversation

What about your Blogging journey?

How did you start Blogging?

Have you ever considered giving up, and if not, why did you perservere?

192 thoughts on “Maintaining a Blog”

  1. I started blogging photography on another site about 10 years ago and switched to this current one 4-5 years ago, if I remember right. Honestly, I’ve had a hard time making any lasting connections, but I tend not to write a ton of content with my photos so maybe that is why. I do comment on other people’s work and try to reach out, but it is often not reciprocated not that that is why I do it. But I love taking pictures and adding to the collective world of photography so I keep at it! It is neat to hear about your journey. Happy blogversary!

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    1. Sheila dearHeart – If ‘that is not why I do it’ be true . . . people do feel it . . . dare to open up yourself along with your photography and enjoy the wonderful hugs worldwide . . . .

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      1. Thanks for supporting Sheila in a encouraging comment to open herself up. I see that Sheila loves photography and doesn’t blog in order to get “likes.” It is by far more enjoyable for the blogger and reader, when someone takes the time to chat – and I tend to think that happens more with written posts than pictorial ones. Do you agree, Eha?

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        1. Yes, absolutely ! If one is not very knowledgeable about any subject, be it photography, cooking, politics, economics et al one just may feel hesitant about not knowing as much as the next person . . . but even just a few phrases, a verbal ‘smile’ ;, a small admission of not being an expert but could ‘they’ tell you will bring out responding words, a smile and a hug.= . . . and just someone somewhere remembering your name and saying ‘hi’ the next time around

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          1. I think remembering to use other people’s names is courtesy and being a respectful blogger. Another great pointer.
            Some of the names though….. one photo blogger in my community told me I should call her ‘Knickers!’ That felt strange at first. But then I do refer to my husband in my posts, as the Moth ( the Man Of the House). Readers might thought that was, or is, weird.
            Some bloggers do not want to reveal their name and so you end up calling them by their gravatar or blog name which can feel strange, as in, “Thank you for your comment, “bewitchedbythephantomghostofsalem.”
            Not a real blogger name but you get my drift?

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    2. Thank you for commenting, Sheila. I think you are right about the commenting when you are posting photos. The narrative accompanying a photo often makes it come alive to the reader and also gives your photography personality. They think about the blogger behind the photograph. If you remain nameless and shapeless apart from your photos, it will be more difficult to build lasting relationships with readers, imo. Keep at it and perhaps you would like to write a post for my Friendly Friday Photo Challenges? There are regulars there who may reciprocate more than the average bloggers. Sometimes though, you might write a lengthy comment and it is not reciprocated. Do you think as I do that it can feel worse to just make a generic non-specific comment, such as ” Nice post,” than not to leave a comment at all?

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      1. Thank you for the invite to your challenge. I will check it out. I don’t mind the generic comments such as nice post, I think it’s cool that they took the time to write anything at all. Thanks for the support!

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    1. Thanks ever so much, Alejandro. You have made a huge contribution to discussions over the last few years and I so appreciate that. I have learnt so much from you and look forward to continuing with further productive conversations in the future with you! Don’t give up blogging!

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  2. I entered blogosphere a decade ago as a cheat. I have never had a blog of my own. A genuine lack of time, ability to garner information I felt I needed, I suppose a desire not to bore people . . . I entered this world as a cuckoo in the nest . . . I still am ! Began as a food ‘blogger; moved to lifestyle and now even wider. At least I guess none has had to feel ‘nice’ towards me because I left an acceptable comment on their post !! Yet for me it slowly became part of my day . . . and I can honestly say I have made some of the very best friends of my lifetime in this medium. I have learnt so much. I have and do feel so close. And the world has become as small as the time differences twixt our domiciles. I live in countryside where many folk, especially at the present Covid lockdown stage, seem to feel ‘lonely’ and ‘depressed’ . . . if one has a pile of personal mails in the box opening oneself to the day . . . So I just say ‘thank you’ to each person I have met and the technology which has allowed us to share . . . 🙂 !

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    1. It is great to hear that blogging has made its way into your ‘domicile, Eha! Despite having a protected blog, you have managed to make friends via the internet and blogging! That is fantastic to hear that. I love that we can connect and find like minds! I have had some people such as you, they read my blog but don’t have one of their own. It matters not. The conversation and connection is the most important thing. After all, blogs can disappear in the blink of an eye, but friendship can remain.

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    1. Lovely to meet you, Lekker – may I call you that for short? Thank you for your warm wishes and I am happy that we meet via Ineke who is such a sweet and gentle lady! What do you mean when you say you are in a ‘making changes,’ blog phase? Do you mean the appearance of your blog?

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  3. It’s often been a thought of mine that we connect and find some amazing people through blogging. I continue to stumble around reading bits and pieces from lots of bloggers from all over the world and love the engagement I get. I sometimes take a break but always come back to it. I started blogging back in 2012 and have also diversified a great deal. I agree writing about what we are passionate about is the best way to go. It also rings true with readers, they can hear it in our words. Huge congrats ion this milestone!

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    1. Absolutely agree 100 percent, Debbie. You can hear whether someone is enthusiastic about what they write or not. At times I have gone to write a post and if my heart is not in it, I send it to drafts and take another look at a later time. Sometimes I trash them and other times, I pick them up when they seem more relevant. I am ashamed to say I have loads of drafts awaiting publishing. Some will never make it to StPA. Do you partially write up posts to be completed at a later time?

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  4. Wow! A decade is quite a long time. Congratulation on your 10. Blog Anniversary! Be healthy and keep up the good job! I think it’s your blog so you can write whatever you feel right. We don’t need to please everyone 🙂

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    1. Well said, Len! It is your own blank canvas on which to construct whatever and however a blogger wishes to express themselves. That is the liberating thing about blogging. There are no editors pushing a certain line and probably why some elements of the press think we are all lefties! I do like that we make our own rules, within reason, of course, Len.

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  5. Happy anniversary! My own experience is not that dissimilar to yours and the most important thing, apart from all those lovely connections with our fellow bloggers, is that we still enjoy blogging.

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    1. Lovely to hear that you have had a wholly satisfying blogging journey, Sheree! This repressed and amateurish writer is so grateful to this medium for being free and giving. (Albeit with the adverts!) Do you use a free WordPress plan?

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      1. No, and I’m probably going to have to either find a new host or upgrade to a Business Plan, which has tons of stuff I neither want nor need, to get more photographic capacity.

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            1. I use a site called Imgur oron my phone easy image resizer app. Then you can save and share to wordpress. With Imgur you share the site url. You can also do that with google photos if you have an account with them. That way you don’t have to chew through your upload quotas. Also delete any old irrelevant posts that take up space. Delete spam too – I am sitting on 70 percent of my storage and since I did these things it has not increased whereas it was increasing each week!

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  6. Congratulations on your 10 year blogging anniversary!! You should be proud of all the connections you made and the things you learned while blogging.
    I’m still making friends through the WP forum and have made a few. I am thankful for their support and friendship. It makes the blogging experience that much better when you know someone is reading what you wrote.
    Hope you keep blogging and making more connections!!

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    1. Thank you singlelikewildflowers! The connections are really on account of finding some eloquent wordsmiths in the blogging world who grace me with lovely comments. Where in the world are you situated and how long have you been blogging?

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      1. Hi Forestwood! Thank you for writing back. I agree with you that blogging is nice to read posts of live writers in different parts of the world with their varied interests. I didn’t know blogging provided this community when I first started, and to be honest, I shied away from it. But I’ve let go and just struck up conversations with other bloggers. Happy I did!
        I live in northern California and I’m a homeschooling mom to 2 kids. Been blogging for about 3 and 1/2 years; started the summer when my family was in waiting for my daughter to get heart surgery. It was a way to stay connected and share my fears. And from there, it’s developed into sharing my menagerie of interests.
        I hope you have a great weekend and keep on blogging! Cheers…

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        1. I like that you came to blogging by excellent and that it fulfilled a need for you at a time in your life when emotions were high. I think it was similar for me in the very first few days. Of course life changes, evolves and I’m glad that blogging has continued to provide joy to you as well.
          Do you connect with other homeschoolers?

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          1. Blogging started at a propitious time for me. It was easier to write when I had lots to process in my mind. I hesitated for years to start and couldn’t go through with it until a friend waited on the phone while I set up my blog. lol
            It hasn’t been easy connecting with other homeschoolers. I haven’t been actively searching though…I do have an unschooling friend and her posts are very good. She lives in Australia too. Here’s her link: https://www.storiesofanunschoolingfamily.com/
            Have a great weekend and happy to meet you. My name is Esther. 🙂

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            1. Hi Esther! It sounds like homeschoolers are not such avid bloggers, yet it is a medium that is not restricted by geographic boundaries so that is a little surprising.
              You were much more hesitant than me about starting a blog. But we were a household quite versed in computer gear and utilizing software so that most likely made it more comfortable for me, knowing that my family could help if I got stuck.
              Wishing you a joyous weekend! I will take a look at your Australian connection! Thanks for the link.

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              1. Another reason may be that homeschooling moms with young kids are busy. I really need to find others on this forum; the support and encouragement would be great for our spirits!
                Getting started with WP took much longer than I anticipated and incorporating new things took much longer. My kids know when I am on the computer…suddenly they need this and that.
                I hope you have a great weekend too, and if you have time check out Sue’s blog!

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  7. Congratters, old bean ! – 10 years without once actually signing out ! Pretty commendable.
    Blogging has changed, over-all, I feel – speaking as one who blogged enthusiastically around the time ATLMD came out, in hopes of generating interest (which worked, as I was a far more popular blogger then than I am now). I left the field because I was unable to respond to the then volume of followers’ own blogs; and I felt it unfair of me not to do so.
    As to why I returned .. it was a sudden wish to be writing posts about knitting and crochet, to both of which I’d since turned on a much heightened level. And then, being me, I added various categories of personal raves.
    No wonder I have a tiny fraction of the followers of yore ! [grin]

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    1. Stats and blog followers are interesting phenomena, M-R as we have discussed in the past. I know you were widely popular back in the day so I was surprised when you gave it all away, yet I know that you had immense frustrations with the technicalities of blogging with WordPress. And helped me discover a few gremlins with my blog. I never looked at it, just wrote on it. After you pointed out formatting problems when my theme was discontinued, and I stubbornly refused to update, I began to check how it presented on the internet. That was enlightening.
      So after years of being without Margaret Rose to poke me in the ribs, I was thrilled to discover you writing again, albeit in a phoenix like form! Please continue developing the personal raves. I knew that you couldn’t resist speaking out against some injustic, for too long! If your blog becomes too unwieldy I dont’ think you have to feel guilty. Look at Christian M. I remember when he had but a handful of followers, never commented on hardly any, just keep liking everything. Possibly he didn’t read half of those that he liked. Some bloggers get addicted to getting more followers and they may become popular but usually their content takes a dive. Imo….

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      1. You have no worries at all: you have 4.5K followers, which is damned good but misleading. But the real thing is that your posts get responded to, and that’s the real test.
        So going on doing what you’re doing can’t be anything but pleasing.

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        1. Over ten years, that isn’t so remarkable. But I take your point – some bloggers with 10K or 40 K followers have no commenters or very few. I am not going away any time soon, unless something drastic happens.

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  8. Congratulations and just keep going. You are doing very well. Writing down words is very healthy and exciting too when the replies come in. It becomes part of daily living and now with the Covid-19 a very beneficial way of keeping in touch while maintaining distance.
    Just keep going.

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    1. Thank you, Gerard. It means a lot to me for you to write that. I admire your blog and its incisive wit enormously. I do hope I have the inclination to continue blogging when I reach your current age! Have you ever felt like giving up?

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  9. I blogged 10 years ago on a South AFrican site with international people for about 2 years.. I did mainly travel related subjects talking about my travels when I was younger. My sister died at 50 of cancer and I felf deflated and stopped blogging.. not that she read my blogs.. I started to pick it up again. Changed to WordPress. I don’t seem to have the time for long stories now and I am erratic but try at least a post a week.. Mainly different challenges and sometimes just a photo.. How people post 5 times a day I have no idea;-). You engage people, that’s great.. 😉

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    1. I appreciate the comment about engagement, Lisa! That is good to highlight. Engaging and interacting with other bloggers, through this written form is important. Isn’t it amazing that we are able to form quite long lasting friendship via just words on a internet page?
      I didn’t know you blogged before and I can understand how it must have been difficult to carry on about your sister’s passing. With a new chapter comes a new opportunity. Well done for getting on the horse again. Blogging for me at times, was cathartic during a period of personal difficulty.
      One post a week is perfectly fine if that is what you want to do. Posting five times a day seems a tad excessive, but if it floats your boat, well and good. Although on very rare occasions, I have posted three times, in one day, that was mainly with contributing to a certain few photographic challenges. Generally, a post takes me time to write and I do want to do a good job, so I have to re-check a number of times to find those pesky errors that continue to crop up when my head races ahead of what my fingers are doing!

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  10. I’ve been blogging for 5 years about my travels and posting a sort of monthly life recaps too. I’ve never had a break but I used to publish between 6 and 10 posts per month then dropped to 3 or 4 and tbis year it was mostly just one boring life post per month. I got children so that’s why I blog less (and travel less) and feel often whether I should quit or blog on. I’d like to spend more time on my blog but I have less time and more importantly less energetic so I’ll see how it goes…

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    1. Of course, the constraints of family life can dull our spontaneity and time for blogging. Do what you can, Tanja. Take breaks when you want and need to do so.
      When I can’t think of anything interesting to write, I read other people’s blogs and try to find interesting new ones to follow. In doing so, I am always inspired to write again. Good luck. I started blogging with three children aged from 20 to 10 years, and kind of migrated here when my penfriend writing started drying up. It was a great way to escape from doing the mopping and meals!

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  11. Happy Anniversary Amanda! I love the way you write. I’m 6 months into my blogging journey and also started out with the idea that I’d be a travel blogger but have made the decision to try to diversify. I feel like even though blogging should be a creative outlet free from constraints- there’s still this notion of trying to put people into boxes. Funny that you experienced that also at the start of your journey!

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    1. Thank you for the Anniversary wishes, Sophie. I am happy to hear that you are diversifying your blog. There are so many topics that are interesting to write about, even if your readers started following you because they wanted to hear about travel. Some bloggers fit nicely into boxes and that may be okay with them, but creativity rarely fits into just one. With blogging we can easily change!

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  12. Congratulations Amanda on your 10 years of blogging and here’s to many more! Coincidentally WordPress has just informed me that it’s my five year anniversary today and like you, how grateful I am that I opened my laptop that day and started my WordPress journey. I agree that our writing wouldn’t be the same without all the interactions with others and the friends we’ve met on the way! Marion

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    1. Five years, Marion. You have done really well in the blogging sphere and it is all well deserved. Thanks for visiting so often despite your busy schedule. I always enjoy your posts. I can imagine you would have always jotted down travel thoughts in a diary form? Would that be right?

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      1. Thanks Amanda for your kind words. I nearly always kept a holiday diary of my travels long before blogging and internet days. We’ve also some really lovely big scrapbooks that our sons created on our long haul holidays when they were small. They are so nice to look back on as they included paragraphs on what they’d been doing each day along with tickets, boarding passes, menus, postcards etc. They are stored in boxes in our attic and we got some of them out a few months ago recalling the days when the likes of Cathay Pacific handed out posh menus adorned with tassels in economy class. It sounds like a different world but they’re only in their late 20’s so it’s not decades ago! One day when all this is over we can hopefully meet up somewhere, that would be so nice! Marion

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        1. Tassels on a menu! Wow! I was a little floored when Thai airlines still used stainless steel cutlery in 2008!
          You sound a bit like me keeping travel diary with souvenirs. When I go on holiday, I end up with part of my suitcase filled with souvenir pamphletts, flyers and tickets stubs. Although the time where information is on paper format is passing now, with the advent of e-tickets.
          If you are ever in my corner of the world, or I go to Europe again, we could definitely meet! That would be fun!

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  13. Glückwunsch! (to add an international flavour) I have two sides to blogging, my photographic blogging with few words and mainly responding to challenges (a very satisfying way to look at my photos which would otherwise be relegated to an archive on the computer).. And five years ago, when Germany took on roughly 1 million refugees I chucked my amateur English teaching to teaching German and I started blogging about that. I write less and less, these days, partly because I feel that now that I take the fourth lot of students from learning our script to being able to communicate in German many things become repetitive, partly because I find it time consuming (not least because I always blogged simultaneously in two languages. I really enjoy reading your pieces as they add a unique p.o.v. to my world. Thank you – and hoping you’ll go from strength to strength!.

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    1. Your comment is touching, Knickers and I can only be encouraged by compliments like that. Similarly, your comments have been invaluable in presenting a different perspective to me, in this far-flung corner of the world which sometimes feels as though we are removed from much of the world’s action. (Which can be a good and a bad thing). Teaching refugees and bi-lingual posting is admirable. I don’t know how you find time to do both! Now that I have retired it is tempting to sit at the keyboard for an extended period. I have already gained a kilo or two! Eek! Not good for the hips or knees either.
      I like how you contribute to Friendly Friday on a regular basis too. Sometimes I feel like that challenge is repetitious – and then lovely bloggers like you respond with enthusiasm. Sandy and I try to come up with interesting prompts for our readers and add to the photo prompt with some kind of narrative to make it a little more interesting. Do you follow my other blog, Home by the Sea? I am struggling a bit to avoid repitition there now that my home is finished, so I have turned it into a cooking blog, more or less. I hope you decide to continue with blogging, but can understand that you need to take a break when time is short.

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      1. Thanks, Amanda. I haven’t checked out your other blog but I will do so. The thing is – if I start reading other bloggers, so many interesting ones, and time just disappears. Next week, classes start again and I definitely have to look at my time management!

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        1. Priorities are important aren’t they. Whenever and if you do plan to retire, you will get to enjoy all those things you don’t have time for. I feel that when life is busy, it passes in a blur, then we are prone to look back fondly lamenting those days that passed by too quickly.

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      1. It’s true Amanda, I started blogging with the weekly photographic challenges of WordPress, as I like photography a lot and I have respect for my followers, and that’s my motivation.
        It is a marvel to be able to share and learn from the many facets of bloggers around the world!!!

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        1. Some of us oldies remember those wonderful challenges hey, Paulo? You could travel around the world just visiting the few bloggers that pingbacked/commented prior to oneself. An easy way to find other bloggers who were like-minded.

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  14. Happy 10th anniversary! I think I found your blog years ago when my blog was about photography only. To me, before social media entered our lives, it was normal to have a blog – and I’ve had many iterations of it. Initially, it was all about personal stuff, then photography. But I’ve abandoned all of them, up until this year, when I started a blog where I talk about design and photography. Talking about my passions and my job as well feels natural, whereas restricting my focus never worked.

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    1. It is a big compliment to hear that you found my blog years ago, Silvia and I do appreciate you taking the time to comment today.
      I feel that it is extremely fortunate to have been able to combine work with the pleasure of writing a blog. That is fantastic!
      Silvia, you are correct in saying that blogging was natural before social media exploded into the mainstream. Facebook is a highly contracted version of a blog I think, People, telling stories and spreading information, but does not serve the same purpose. It sounds like your reason for blogging always has a strong sense of purpose and when you fulfil that, it is done and you move on. Restrictions do tend to stifle creativity.

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  15. Thanks for sharing your experience. I enjoyed the journey through your early years up to today. You stress the importance of motivation. For me, staying sufficiently motivated is not easy. Do you have any tips on how to stay focused and motivated?

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    1. I think the biggest tip to staying motivated when you feel a lack of inspiration is to read other blogs, Paul. For me, a conversation with another blogger might inspire a whole new post. Or something they said, I would like to add to, or rebutt possibly? Will that work for you?

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      1. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Your suggestion makes sense. When motivation is a problem, I will seek it by reading other blogs. Besides, it should be a relaxing experience. I had not thought about this solution.

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  16. Congratulations Amanda and happy anniversary and blogging continuously for 10 yrs is not a small achievement.I enjoy reading your posts and you articulate so well. You inspire other bloggers without fail responding to each and every comment.The photograph themes you and your group bring out are fantastic,interesting and challenging.we are thankful to you all.The fact is that you keep us busy.Thank you.In WP we are lucky to have wonderful friends.

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    1. Aww. Thanks ever so much Pthrough P for that genuine and thoughtful comment. I think I feel an obligation to respond to all comments. If someone has taken the time to write to you, you should write back, even if it is a brief answer. The comments on blog add a whole extra dimension to blogging dont you think?

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        1. Thanks for saying so, Philo. I really like the quotes you include on our blog, especially this one: “The ordinary thinks inside of the box, the extraordinary think outside of the box, but genius thinks inside, outside, below and above the box.”
          Matshona Dhliwayo

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  17. A beautiful read! I started blogging only recently, biggest reason being that because of the lockdown I got a lot of time in my hands. I hope I can manage even when life gets back to normal. It’s great to know you have been writing since the past 10 years or so. Very inspiring!

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    1. Writing for ten years but big chunks of break – say three months here and there when I haven’t written. I have posted much more consistently the large four years. You will blog when the universe calls you to do so!

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  18. A friend mentioned to me to start a website. I was using Yahoo to write till they changed. I saw WordPress. Looked at others, and the name was sensible. Started building a couple of sites and wasn’t comfortable
    WordPress was easier. Since childhood I have been a writer. Diarys, school assignments, and when my parents had health issues, I sat waiting at rehabs, therapy sessions, doctor appointments, with paper and pen writing poems, short storys. Being a musician, the paths I built coordinated with songs. WordPress has helped. Now my next step is printing professionally content collections.

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  19. Happy anniversary. One of the great things about blogging is that everyone can do what the heck they like, as often as they like – or not. People can build an audience or a business, change the focus of the blog, do whatever. Other people can follow it or not. It’s a very open process.
    I started my blog as a way to share photos about this new place I’d moved to and I wanted a break from writing, which I’d been doing, in one form or another, for more than 15 years. In the process of doing this, I’ve learned a lot about my new home, the wildlife, geography, history. I’ve also connected with people from different parts of the world, learned a little about them and where they live, what they see and enjoy. It’s been a lot of fun.
    I doubt I’ll ever have an army of followers, which is just as well since I don’t know how I’d keep up with them all. You certainly do a great job with that, especially through the challenge, which looks like a lot of work.
    Anyway, keep up the good work and, most important, keep enjoying it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Graham, I agree and think that is the best part about WordPress blogging. It IS an open process!
      It sounds like you are on a creative journey too, and the photographic blog is an excellent way for you to keep in touch with others, yet take a break from writing.
      Followers are not and should not be the main goal, although it does help to start conversation if new poeple visit once in a while.
      Friendly Fridays aren’t a lot of work when you have a great colleague to share the load. 🙂 The biggest problem now is coming up with unique prompts that haven’t been replicated in another of WordPress many photographic challenges. I usually check that noone else has posted the same prompt recently for their challenge and you would be surprised at the number of times I have had to change the prompt before hitting publish because someone has posted a similar prompt for their own style of challenge.
      You said you had been writing for 15 years, was that via a blog or professionally?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I started to blog in order to have an avenue to continue to write after I left the work world. I still enjoy writing (although I’ve been “hit and miss” recently too) but I now mostly blog for the wonderful friendships I’ve made over the years. I’ve been lucky to have met many fellow bloggers in real life, but I also feel as if I have friends all over the world. Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Incredible isn’t it, Janis? How one can feel a friendship with someone they have only exchanged words with, over the internet. I am astounded by this when I meet other bloggers. Prior to blogging, I had many penfriends who lived at the other end of the earth to me, and the same thing applied. When we met up – either in their country or mine, we were like old friends. We had bypassed that first stage of getting to know each other and had moved straight ahead to a deep friendship. We are blessed to be bloggers!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Congrats on your blog-aversary! Interesting to read where it started and where you are now 🙂 Here’s to ten more years! 🙂

    I started my blog 6,5 years ago as a new year’s resolution to bring my travel life more into my daily life. Because travelling makes me happy. 2014 turned out to be a terrible year but blogging brought some positivity into it. And if I can’t go to NZ, for example, I’ll write about it to keep those happy feelings alive. Right? 😉
    That still holds true. I also still love blogging so much! Sometimes work gets overwhelming and I don’t have much ‘brainspace’ or time to blog but I decided to accept that that’s just what it is. My blog is an awesome hobby and I have no intention to stop! I have so much more to share and I’m excited for all of it! 🙂

    Happy blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 6.5 years, San? Well done! Blogging has been a good distraction for me in tough times as well, and yet I also know what you mean when you spend all day at a computer and have to publish a post. The last thing you want to do is sit at the computer some more! And then this lack of desire comes through in the writing.
      I am glad to hear that you are not going to stop so we can both toast to your ten year anniversary is a few years!
      Whilst we are waiting to travel, we can always plan and reminisce.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I agree, when you’re not into it, it shows in the post. And I don’t ever want to come across as disingenuous! I truly love blogging and interacting with fellow bloggers. But sometimes the bucket’s full. Now that I have my holidays, I did some catching upon blogging and it felt so good!
        Haha, I’ll get there. Wow, ten years would be really something.
        Again, congrats on hitting that milestone! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  22. We’ve met several blogging friends and even had some amazing holidays thanks to the friendships born out of blogging. It’s a wonderful way to find kindred spirits and shared passions, as well as learning about the world beyond our borders.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I never would have imagined when I wrote my first post and tentatively clicked on Publish that, not only I would make life long friends, but we would travel to visit them and they would come to us as well. It’s such a special and treasured connection.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. True, although I did have an inkling that it was a possibility as I had done that with penfriends. However, blogging conversations were very much clipped, so I didn’t even think there was any chance of that happening. Now I know differently! Aside from the friendship, the freedom to write whatever might pop into our heads, is liberating. (tempered with some restraint, of course). Lol!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Join the “lots going on,” blogger group, Jen! Haha! Seriously, though it seems to me to be quite a natural thing to do. Then again, if you want to have a focused blog that is fine too. We are all different and it doesn’t have to be one way or the other. My second blog was about building a new home – a very narrow focus, but now that the home is complete, I post recipes and the occasional interest story – such as a book review. Whatever feels right for you, is Okay and anyway, we are constantly evolving along with the changes life bringes each and every day!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This was very inspiring to read. So often I wonder, “Would anyone be interested in the stories I have to tell?” but then I get caught up in the low self-esteem and end up becoming my own worst enemy. It’s truly hard separating the little girl in the library, reading old diaries of people I’ll never meet, and the adult woman who has such a wistful attachment to life.

    I’m often stepping away from social media because it rankles and upsets me 80% of the time. I’m too impatient to sit down and look for material to read in the big ass, unfathomably never-ending database that is the Internet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ashley, I can understand your reluctance, as to start with, new blogs gain very little traction and visits. The biggest tip I can say to you is to hang in there for at least 12 months and participate in the various challenges around on WordPress as that will help you to make connections and get people visiting your blog. They WILL be interested in your stories, they just have to be able to find them and that takes a lot of persistance. Hang in there. If I can help, please ask.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful post and congrats on 10 whole years!!! Wow! I’m sure you know my thoughts on blogging. It’s a lifesaver and the bane of my day. I can never keep up with reading all the wonderful posts and still finding time for all the other things that need or are wanting to be done. I have made wonderful long time friendships here even though many of those friends have stopped blogging. I so understand and every time I want to quite, someone throws the towel back at me. I like that you have diverse interest and your blog has many focus points. We would be quite boring being one dimensional. How much can you say about the weather after all. Day after day, year after year. You are artistic and creative so why be placed in a box with a label. That’s why we have categories. I like your blogs, I just can’t get them all read so I have to pick and choose. I always learn something. Keep going. You are doing wonderfully.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Marlene, and please don’t ever feel the pressure to read and respond to all of my posts. I would have you to feel that way. I like some blogs but I didn’t like it when a blogger hassled me to read every one of their posts. It isn’t possible. You might follow many blogs but you cannot respond to every single blog and every single post. We do what we can and what feels comfortable for us.
      Blogging satisfies some fundamental but half baked urge to write within me! If I didn’t have any readers maybe I would not write so much, but I feel I would still write something. The conversation and friendship are wonderful and incidental bonuses. I feel like you think similarly.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I am so glad I happened upon you blog, Amanda. This is a great post and it’s nice how you mentioned people you have contacted with etc. I still struggle to get it with blogging but think that the single biggest mistake I have been making is lack of consistency in posting. While my blog is a travel blog I try to do much more then relate what I see so it is as much about history and trivia as it is about the place. I am a slow writer or perhaps it is I spend an inordinate amount of time researching .. but for me the detail must be correct. As such I can spend full days on a single entry as I enjoy the research. Writing about North Korea is a particular challenge on a number of counts.. finding reliable sources in English, adhering to a declaration I signed re publishing prior to entering and knowing that most readers will not have read the terms / logic I apply to what is included and what’s not and can thus get offended. While I enjoy blogging for my own interest / benefit I,of course, am delighted when people read , like and especially comment.. otherwise why hit the publish button. I do wonder how people get thousands of followers often within weeks .. and likewise follow thousands. I find it hard to write and actively follow a dozen or so real writers together with a few more who do very short posts or pictures. I am still trying to work out what people like most.. in the past month my most liked entry was a short one with pictures of roses .. one I wasn’t going to write thinking it to trivial. I do not like without reading just to get recripicol likes.. obviously many people do. I don’t want to over think it but any advice/feedback gratefully received-:) And Yes I am prone to rambling !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No wonder you are called Rambling Wombat, but your rambles are interesting. (especially as I love history too).
      You have already identified a few points that contribute to an active blog if you want an active blog that is. Some are happy to post and do not want the social connections that comments provide. I find I can learn so much and am kick-started to think more deeply about something from comments. Hearing other perspectives is so important when the press is so syndicated you get re-hashed versions of the same opinion.
      Yes, people don’t like to read long posts. They are time-poor. They like pithy, clever and funny posts. It is a shame when you have exerted so much effort. I think it might even be called blogger fatigue. If the subject does not grab them passionately they switch off and scroll quickly through. I admit to doing this myself sometimes when I have a lot of blog posts to read. Some people never visit other blogs or comment on the people’s blog who take the time to comment on theirs. It doesn’t help to build connections and people don’t always return – some expect a visit if they leave a comment!!
      Getting reciprocal likes is pointless, but comment conversation isn’t.
      Don’t go by the number of followers either, they can be bought if you want to spend money on it. I don’t and I don’t see the value in it either – it might encourage others to follow your blog if they see a high number of followers, but what will that mean? More likes? Not necessarily more comments.
      Keep going with what you are doing. See if there are others who blog about your subject area- history. Visit their blog and see if there are particular stories that attract interest. Tag your post with tags that people might search on in the reader. Good luck and keep up the hard work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a comprehensive and useful reply. It is interesting that you identify my subject area as history. I have always identified it as travel but on reflection it has shifted (without any deliberate attempt on my part) to perhaps being more history! At the end of the day I have to do what I am happy with and hope that others like it! This does not mean that I don’t keep my current or potential readers interests in mind, as I do like the interaction. I will keep aiming for the happy spot. Thank you for the encouragement and also for your own interesting blog entries 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  26. Yes, R.W. (for short). Aim for the sweet spot that gives you the most satisfaction. I will be posting a follow up post about blogging, with tips in coming weeks. You might find that worthwhile. I see that travel is also your subject focus, but not many folks are furiously reading travel blogs atm. Unsurprisingly. Having said that, I also post about past tourist visits.

    Like

  27. Congratulations on your ten year milestone Amanda. I’m still on a bit of a blogging break, but I think motivation to re-connect with my writing and with the blogging community is ‘just around the corner’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Chris, and I quite understand the need for a blogging break. One year I had an extended holiday and I didn’t write over that time, even though I fully intended to. I was just far too busy, getting into bed late at night and a full day sightseeing to follow. Why would I sit in a hotel room when I am in a foreign city with much to explore?
      When I got home, I was tired and the inclination to write didn’t come. But slowly, I got back into it and have never looked back. Like anything, the longer you stay away from it, the less likely it is that you will pick up the threads again. Life takes another turn. I hope you find the path that leads back to blogging! In the meantime, take care.
      Are you back from Broome, now?

      Like

  28. Enjoyed reading about how far you have come. I began my blog to express different opinions on topics which I am interested in, and feel that more needs to be said on them back at the start of this year. I have met some pretty cool people on here,, though nothing yet has really clicked if that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I’m also celebrating my 10 yrs of blogging. I started out with an academic blog for my graduate studies. When my husband proposed, I decided to keep a private blog to remember all the details of the wedding preparations. We were eloping, so I had no one to share these exciting days with. After the wedding, I started working towards doing a teaching exchange in Australia. I realized the blog was the perfect way to keep my family and friends informed on my activities while away for a year. From then on, I started recording, in great detail, our summer road trips. So in a sense, my blog has been me writing an illustrated journal to look back on in future years. I’ve thought of monetizing it, but hate all the ads and pop-ups. And like you, I can’t say I’ve had a specific focus and therefore may not appeal to companies as an influencer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The beauty of our style of blogging is that it really doesn’t matter what form the blog takes, does it Catherine? We can switch it up at a whim, as the WordPress changes sometimes do to us!
      Blogging is so similar to journalling but offers more flexibility, retains portability, (except where there is no wi-fi), and offers feedback and a large community. I am glad to hear the blogging bug has grabbed you and that your blog has been able to multi-task the way you wanted. Turning blogs into money-making schemes sounds like the act of writing might then become a job, a chore instead of a creative outlet, or pleasure. I believe some folks have received pitiful amounts for ‘monetizing’ and others become so commercial they lose their individuality in the process. And congratulations on the ten years! I wonder why we haven’t crossed paths earlier?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve also thought that writing for magazines would be wonderful. It was actually quite exhausting to meet a weekly deadline. My role as editor for an Association newsletter is a much better fit. I curate articles and write a monthly editorial that has received so much positive feedback. This is truly the best use of my writing skills.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Deadlines are useful to get us motivated but can otherwise be a pain, or at least a pressure hanging over our head. I have written for many community group newsletters and I agree it is more relaxed which fosters creativity. I am happy you found your writing niche.

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  30. I’m so happy I ran across and found you and this amazing article about blogging! So inspirational! I am new to the blogging world and am just starting out. It’s really always been a dream of mine sorta to just start one and talk about whatever! I learned a lot from this article. It gives me a lot of confidence about everything. I’m always worried about how to start a post for a day or what to talk about or how to keep the audience attention! So with this article it’s very inspirational and so are you and I cannot wait to share my blogging with you and the rest of the people .. but thank you for your inspiration and I can’t wait to see more!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Congratulations on starting your blogging journey. I love that you have are enthusiastic and were able to gain a lot from my post. Feel free to ask if you need help with anything. I tried to visit your blog but cannot see the url. Have you published it yet?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t really published anything yet I’m still trying to learn a lil bit more before I do any of that .. but soon I will be doing a lot of that..

        Liked by 2 people

  31. Congratulations Amanda! What can I say…you have always been an inspiration and your encouragement has hugely helped me in my blogging that is still probably as shaky as when I first started. I always enjoy reading your posts and though I have been somewhat behind recently, I keep an eye out always for your writing. Your Sunday Sayings have been my favorite, though to be honest, I love whatever you write! FFPC has made me want to take more pictures and I cannot thank you enough for that. I agree when you say that blogging becomes easier when we write what we are passionate about and not just for the sake of posting something. I used to do the latter but I am trying to find some sort of a focus area and hopefully will do so sooner than later! As you know, I did very recently take a break from this though it lasted lot lesser than I was initially aiming for and I am in way glad that I did not take a longer break. My break was because I was finding it difficult to post on a regular basis and I was trying to post/participate in a lot (for me at the time) of challenges and that was leaving very little time for myself and my blog. I have realized it is okay to not post every other day but to take the time. Posting on a more or less regular manner is still a struggle but I will get there. This world has been a wonderful revelation and your words, likes and our little chats have been an intricate part of that. Thank you so much and I wish you all the very best ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your heartfelt comment, Moon. It never ceases to amaze me the kind of connection one feels with certain bloggers, such as yourself. That is, despite only having a few words exchanged here and there to go on. That is where the Internet is the most wondrous thing. It has given us this privilege of immediate connection to others from another part of the world. I do believe it breaks down barriers that separate us. For you and I have totally different worlds, yet here in the blogosphere we find a commality that is certainly deep friendship. I think this is why when bloggers do meet up irl, they are surprised at how closely they feel the bond to each other!
      IT was very kind of you to mention my Sunday Sayings post which are less frequent now, but still hovering in the background. Blogging challenges do take up so much of our time but are important to discover new connections, I think. And it is fun too!
      Re the blogging break. You must follow your gut here. Blogging can be a long term project and the blessing of open software is that it is free and we can return to it when the urge to publish something hits us! Enjoy your time away from the blogger world, and we will be here when you decide you are ready to write again! Take care, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have been way too late in my replies…catching up just now. I couldn’t agree more about the connection that is established and in spite of few exchanges, bonds are formed and they continue to strengthen in their own way as in we find out more about each other through our writings. Bloggers influence each other in their own ways often unknowingly and that to me is quite remarkable. They help each other reflect on and explore ideas and ideals that influence who they are. My blogging break was short lived than I was anticipating and I am glad! I have been back for some time now and posted a few times and am working on a couple of more thoughts. I am still not as active as before but am getting there! Stay safe, dear Amanda:)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t seen these posts, Moon, but I am so happy to hear that you are writing again. I will pop over and read as soon as I can. Most of us who post regularly find taking a break is not so long. Blogging can be addictive but in a good way.

          Like

  32. When on sick leave recovering from concussion in 2016, I played around with several blogging options. Back in the early 2000s I had run a site called Project Managment Central which was full of good content but also jokey. A reader had mentioned that the new thing was blogging. Finally, I started looking into it. WordPress seemed the best option, and I picked my ‘moniker’ then cut and pasted some stuff from the old site. Other posts chatted about this and that etc. After a while I screwed up my courage and posted some of my poetry (I was very nervous about this). And I found an audience. Wow!
    One of my followers nagged me about getting some poems published ‘for real’ . And I did! . My sort of poetry is not fashionable in the big wide world of UK poetry publishing, but who cares? I am mostly published in the USA and Canada and Australia. Although next month two of my poems are published in an anthology by Wild Pressed books in the UK. I’ve spent most of today recording a video of me reading my poems for the virtual launch party.
    ALSO, I set up a private blog to share my family history research with my brothers and cousins. After a while, they got fed up of logging in and so I made the blog public. Lo and behold, over the last 6 months I have been contacted via the comments section by two different sets of distant cousins. Wonderful! The Maltese set are 80 year old party animals. I am looking forward to (eventually) meeting up with them. Their emails during lockdown were priceless.
    I have never considered giving up my blogs. They have enriched my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rebecca.
      Your memoir is a work in progress, Rebecca and that is totally okay. I write to improve my writing and hope to publish a book one day. I keep getting distracted by writing here! It is a nice distration though! So I don’t mind. I guess we have to be disciplined about spending a little time each day on writing for purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Forestwood,
        I finished my memoir 3 years ago. I have gone to conferences to pitch. No takers yet. Once conferences are running, I’ll try again.
        Yes, writing aside from blogging has taken a back seat for me too. Maybe when school’s back in session for my child?
        Thanks, R

        Liked by 2 people

  33. Great post with lots of food for thought. Thanks! I’m new to blogging. And I agree with you in that I love to blog about things I’m passionate about. That makes blogging so much fun and gives me great satisfaction ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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