Right now I’m working on several posts, and in one in particular I ran across an interesting diversion. So I’m not yet sure where that story will take me. Or you later once I post it. 🙂
I the mean time, I figured I should write a post about why I started blogging. Or just writing in general. I think this one came from a writing prompt a while back and I simply forgot to post my response.
So here goes . . .
Why I Started Blogging?
It’s a great question.
Back in the days of our undergrad studies, we were all required to write term papers. Most students disliked this, but I actually enjoyed it. So much so, I took a technical writing class, which helped me learn about how to focus topics and how to research. And post-grad, I took a course in how to research government documents.
I would use some of the skills I learned from this coursework marginally as a practicing RN.
But then one day, I read a book that was far from a skillful work. It was recounting various events in this person’s life and it was very poorly written, or so I thought anyway. I decided that I could certainly write as good as this guy, and I set off to write my own book. That book is still in draft form – LOL. I hope to finish it someday but I realized it would have to be long after I retired to avoid persecution.
You see, working on this project got me writing shorter articles or editorials, and following the advice of “write what you know,” I began writing health care editorials for the local papers. I then became a columnist for the journal, “Revolution: The Journal of Nurse Empowerment,” and I also conducted and published some original nursing research in the mainstream, peer-reviewed, nursing journals.
While the readers loved my editorials, my employer did not.
They tried multiple times to fabricate reasons to make me disappear. But, since they were a state entity, and they were government actors, the Constitution did apply, unlike with private employers. So, I was able to beat them back legally with First Amendment protections. That experience got me interested in law, and as I say now,
“I got mad and went to law school.”
In law school, and with my employment thereafter, I would really hone my research and writing skills. But this was highly technical and formatted writing, and it was writing works for other people.
It wasn’t my own stuff. It wasn’t creative.
And I knew from past experience, some of what I wanted to write about would never get published in the mainstream. Thus, a blog. Where I could speak freely and be my own editor.
BTW, as an attorney, I wrote ten and twenty-page legal briefs daily, which gave me a laugh about stressing over ten-page college term papers that we had 16 weeks to write. 😊
My first blog came about when my daughter, who was in the Army, was shipped overseas to fight in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Having inside contacts with her and her fellow soldiers, I learned just how poorly this war was being prosecuted and how badly our troops were being provided for. So, I blogged in a very hotheaded, unrestrained monologue against the powers-that-be. A frustrated parent, like so many others, who had a child in the war zone.
I eventually took down all my posts.
Ten years later, this blog would come back to haunt me with potential future employers. And when I finally landed my dream job, it was only on the promise that I would not be doing “anymore writing like that.”
We are free to speak, but there are consequences for doing so.
My exit from the dream job came earlier than planned. Forced out by internal and external politics, and while I was looking for work, I came across an ad for writers, but the candidate was required to have experience with “WordPress.” I had never heard of WordPress until this moment, and that’s how I ended up with my current blog.
I’ve shifted focus a bit now, having learned a number of lessons along the way. I try to write more positively. Try to creatively share my life experiences. And occasionally, I kick out something that is more editorial in nature. A bit stronger commentary. But I’ve learned to tone it down a bit, as I wish to keep the reader engaged.
Communication evaporates quickly in a room full of hostility.
I never did find another job. Age discrimination has played a role in that. But retirement has been liberating. I can write without fear of persecution from employers, and writing on my own forum frees me from the editorial constraints of publishers.
It’s a fun place to be in my life. 😊
Writers Challenge: So why do you blog? Please share your experiences.
Feature Photo: I found this image in the Public Domain on the Internet. I could find no other attribution for it. I liked it for a couple of reasons. Of course, it’s cute. But it serves as a reminder to me that I’m in my “run rabbit run” stage of life. If I want to accomplish certain things, or scratch things off of my bucket list, then I better get moving. I ain’t getting any younger. 🙂