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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The Long Haul - IWSG April 2024

Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of our fearless ninja leader Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to the April co-hosts:  Janet Alcorn, T. Powell Coltrin, Natalie Aguirre, and Pat Garcia! To read other contributors, click here.

April question - How long have you been blogging? (Or on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram?) What do you like about it and how has it changed?

Fifteen years ago, the day after a surprise layoff, I sat at the computer fashioning an essay about how it felt to be suddenly unemployed. I had no plan to create Middle Passages but on a whim, I looked up how to start a blog. Google made it so easy, before the day was over that essay became my first live post. Publishing it was life-changing because in it I revealed my closeted writing passion and announced my intention to make sure no matter what I did next, writing would be a part of it. Talk about making myself accountable.

For the first several months I published in a vacuum, unaware I needed to follow and earn followers, otherwise my words disappeared into a vast black hole. My first (non-family) comment appeared the same day I joined a LinkedIn writing group. After that we were off to the races. I joined a world in which bloggers hosted writing contests and blog hops and bestowed blog awards. I wrote five days a week and the whole process was so encouraging that quite frankly, I loved it. This blog eased me through much soul searching and self-discovery. It gave me purpose. It made me dare to try new things.

That said, even early in my blogging “career,” writers I admired stopped posting and/or moved on to other communication vehicles. Many had blogged to enhance their author brands and found quicker/different ways to market themselves. My life morphed too. I worked part-time and freelanced for a period before accepting full-time employment again, and yes, I write as a part of my job. I also write my own fiction and with less time to myself, eventually something had to give. I’m still here, but now I blog once a month for IWSG. 

So many bloggers from those beginning days have moved on. There are many I still miss. Sadly, a few  have passed away. Some have stopped writing. Others write but don’t blog. Who's to say how life will morph for any of us? But for me, regardless of all that has changed, there's one thing that never will. I'll remain ever grateful that on my first unexpected, unemployed day, I wrote a heartfelt essay and dared myself to press "publish."

What do you like best about blogging?