Only in the blogging community can you find a blogging challenge which advertises itself as follows:
" It starts Monday, June 1. Get ready to blog daily for a month. It's an opportunity to flex your writing muscle, experiment with approaches that could fail, and share weird ideas with people who will understand."
Yes, this month, I must fail.
For new readers discovering me for the first time, let me introduce yourself, so you know why I must fail.
I started my blog in April of 2009 after a mass shooting in my upstate New York community, in an adult education classroom, that left 14 people dead and a community traumatized. For the first two years, I blogged on, here and there, with no set schedule, and with almost no readers. I was ready to quit. Then, on April 30, 2011, everything changed. The then-significant other of a cousin, a writer, told me about what was then called the WordCount Blogathon. I signed up hours before the deadline.
My first Blogathon post, on May 1, 2011, talked about the flooding of a favorite nursery of mine - a precurser to what would become a summer of flooding for a lot of upstate New York (and other parts of the Northeast). That included the flooding of my community and my neighborhood (I was luckier than many). My neighborhood ended up on the cover of a commemorative book published by our local newspaper, a fifteen minutes of fame none of us living in Westover, near Johnson City, New York, would have wanted.
I would sooner forget parts of 2011, but not the Blogathon.
Now, in 2015, I face another time of decision. If I think back on that first Blogathon, I remember how challenging it was to post something for 31 consecutive days. More than once, I almost gave up.
The Blogathon had special theme days. One day, I had to write a haiku. I found I enjoyed that. Another day was devoted to learning a software called Wordle, which makes word clouds. I made my first word cloud for this challenge. I even was challenged to have a guest blogger, something I never would have tried. I succeeded.
The following year, I was challenged to join Twitter, which I did. I am still active on Twitter.
Now, I am not growing as a blogger the way I would like.
I enjoy sharing my life in upstate New York with my readers, with pictures of flowers during our growing season and snow the rest of the time. Farmers markets. Discoveries during my exercise walks. I have a seasonal feature on Wednesdays, a Local Saturday on Saturdays and Civil War Sunday on Sunday. The 15th of the month, I join garden bloggers from around the world in a Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme.
So now what? I want to be able to retire in a few years (I am 62) and pursue a dream-the dream of snowbirding so I can avoid future harsh upstate New York winters. But I need post-retirement income to do that. I do not consider myself an entrepreneur, even though my grandfather was a businessowner, and my father was self employed for a year or two after he returned, a vet with a service connected disability, after World War II.
If they could do it, I can do it. I can step out of my comfort zone and write. I have several unfinished and unedited NaNoWriMo manuscripts on my computer. The time for talk is over. Intentions are nice, but only actions count. So, follow me as I step out of my comfort zone in June.
As Yoda in the Star Wars series once said, "Do, or do not. There is no try."
|Rhododendron, May 31, 2015|
This is my first post for this year's Freelance Success/WordCount Blogathon. If you would like to see me grow, please either follow me on my blog, or