Life in the Fear-Free Lane

Posted on May 17, 2011


I hadn’t intended to start a blog.  What I had intended to do was to write articles for women over 50, and to use humor to get my point across.  When the opportunity to write for, came up, this gave me a framework within which to write. I wrote my pieces, and after awhile, I had about 40 subscribers.  Readers commented.  I didn’t answer.  (Someone told me that journalists don’t address themselves to readers’ comments.) 

After having written almost 100 articles, I thought: Hey, why not throw my pieces onto a blog?  It won’t involve any new writing.  It won’t take up more time than I already spend.  So I started Life in the Boomer Lane and I did exactly that. Easy. 

But then, a combination of several factors converged to give blogging the edge over writing my Examiner pieces: Examiner wouldn’t publish my pieces that didn’t adhere to their format.  I felt constricted.  And I was beginning to appreciate the sense of community that blogging afforded.  

I didn’t stop writing for Examiner.  But I did tell many of my subscribers to switch to my blog.  I added non-Examiner-type posts for my blog.  I spent a lot of time looking at other blogs and subscribing and reading and commenting.  I built up my stats on WordPress, and my stats went down to almost nothing on Examiner.  

Here’s where I am now:  I spend way more time blogging than doing almost anything else.  I check the email account that includes all my blogging comments and bloggers I subscribe to before I check my real estate business email.  I keep subscribing to new blogs and then don’t have the time to read the posts.  Each time I open my email, I’m afraid to see the dark type of all those unread posts.  What started as a fun activity, a diversion, feels more like a chore. 

I’ve been wrestling with this for awhile now.  And here is my secret fear: If I don’t post regularly, people will stop reading.  If I don’t respond to everyone’s blogs, people will stop reading mine.  I don’t want any of my actions in life to be fear-based, let alone something that should be a joy. 

So, I’m declaring a fear-free zone.  I’m going to go back to writing regularly for Examiner.  Those pieces will be about Boomer life, written in the third person.  I will also continue to blog.  Those pieces will be my rants, my personal experiences, my serious pieces.  In other words,the nonsense and the wisdom of whatever is in my head atthe moment.  I will post links to my Examiner pieces on my blog posts. 

And I will both reduce the time I spend reading other blogs and will add even more blogs to my list.  There is a lot of amazing stuff outthere and I want to see it.  How will I do that?  By not commenting on other people’s posts nearly as much as I have been doing.  I will usethe“Like” button more, instead of commenting.  Or I will read fewer posts of the bloggers I follow. And I will dispel the notion that I must respond to every single comment I get on my blog posts. 

If all this means that people will stop reading my posts, so be it.  I want to write for the sheer joy of writing, not for thestats.  I want to read other people’s posts for thesheer joy of reading and not because I am afraid not to read their posts.  

A fear-free zone.  Gulp.

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