I have blogged now for over eleven years. The picture at the left is from a trip to the beach shortly before we restarted our homeschool adventure within a month after I started writing. I wrote because I wanted a record of the things we did and it helped me order my thoughts.
We had very specific goals and it was easy to find blog topics because we were very interested in doing things well, so we studied, shopped, traveled, worked and thought about very specific things that had to do with those goals. Frankly, though, I have struggled some since the kids went off to graduate school with finding topics about which to write.
The funny deal is that the blog following continues to grow. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have moved up to the top of the Google search results for certain categories of questions like Why Not Skip High School, which math program to use, CLEP testing and several other topics. We are starting to get more and more hits on the series I am doing on Our Homeschool Story, too.
I am more encouraged than ever about continuing to blog. When we finished homeschool I got a little discouraged because I was so used to writing about homeschool and I struggled finding topics about which to write. We succeed beyond anything we might have imagined after making a ten year plan. Our specific goals were abruptly over. So abruptly that we were caught unaware. We have struggled to know what to do next. That has diminished somewhat now for a several of reasons. My parents’ entry into memory care and our need to return to Oregon to help gave us some sense of mission, but we know (or at least hope) that will be short term for everyones’ sakes.
While this was all going on, it dawned on me that I had learned, over these years, what kinds of blog posts and content works best to drive up page hits and unique visitors. That would be very important if I had not decided I wanted to write for other reasons than to have a large readership. I know how to link to the right news articles and blog posts, use the right words and do a few other things to gives myself spikes in readership. I do that some times just to see if it still works, but have decided that is not my reason for writing.
I am sure I will have the urge to write something every now and then to drive traffic to the site. It is fun, but not the motivation behind the bulk of my efforts. The biggest thing that helps me continue to write is that I like it now and it is part of my daily routine. We DO have a few specific goals. Lorena has been accepted at the local community college and plans to start classes as early as this summer. We have a few fun trips planned. Our kids continue to advance their careers. We plan to move someplace closer to Mexico to retire when your current responsibilities here in Oregon end. It is all good.
Life has currently put us into circumstances where it is very difficult to plan to achieve longer term stuff. That is not a bad thing, but it is not my comfort zone. I like to have something specific to do. Now we have an indeterminate period of time in front of us where we need to be available to help care for my parents (Grandpa Milo and Grandma Sarah) who are in memory care. I think it is very good for me. Lorena is much better at living in the moment than I. Maybe this will help me. I think, going forward, that will be more and more important in our lives. I surely do not plan to bore anyone with that, but I do plan to learn to enjoy the indeterminate.
Betty Blonde #334 – 10/27/2009
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