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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?


25 comments:

Pat Garcia said...

I love what you have shared. I started out blogging by sending an encouraging email to one of my friends back home. Her son and daughter-in-law had been stationed in the Gulf War but were separated because of their job duties. She sent my email to her son. He sent it to his wife, and the next thing I knew was that my friend was asking me if could I email his company and her company encouraging words. So every Monday I was sending out a blog post. I wrote those blog posts until both companies were back in the U.S.
I agree with you. One never knows where the writing path will take you. For sure, writing helps us to discover ourselves and how deep we really go.
Have a lovely day.
Shalom shalom

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's when I began blogging and I believe we found each other in the first couple years. It has changed, with many moving on to other platforms. I'm glad many of us can still connect once a month through the IWSG.

jabblog said...

I have blogged since 2009. Like you, I have seen bloggers disappear, often without notice, and others have died. Some familiar faces remain but it's always nice to connect with someone new.

Se├▒orida Anastasia said...

Great things happen unexpectedly I guesse. You were one of the first non-family to comment on my blog­čśŐ

Leigh Caron said...

I started blogging in 2009 to feel connected. It did, but I've slowed down because I'm writing novels , but I sure do love IWSG blog day to see those familiar bloggers .

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Blogging fulfilled another writing "thing" inside me. I write every day but have fallen back on blogging. I need to change that.

Teresa

Nick Wilford said...

I started a couple of years behind you. It was definitely exciting in those early days with so much happening in blogging. I feel like many connections become lifelong friends even if a particular person doesn't blog any more.

Jan Morrison said...

Can't remember what year I started but for the first couple of years I was a maniac - blogging almost daily. It was like morning pages and I am grateful, for although I've always written, there is something different about having someone (or several someones) reading what you are putting down. It made me want to get better. Now I write a post once a month, like you, for IWSG. I've started a substack newsletter that is called Dispatches, and I write that once a week. It doesn't have the cozy feeling of a blog post but there are other attributes. As Natalie Goldberg says "just move your hand across the page" (or keyboard in my case). I'm forever grateful to the blogosphere for being able to connect to wonderful humans like you!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I remember being nervous to start a blog, to put myself and my writing out there. And, like you, I'm very glad and grateful I did. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think we all started blogging in a vacuum. I do remember those fun days of awards and stuff.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've been blogging since 2011. I'd already been reading many blogs for a few years so had followers. Also, it helped that I joined Literary Rambles, which already had a following.

I've seen many people stop blogging too and miss their friendships. I'm very grateful for the friendships, like yours, that I've made through blogging. I'm still very committed to my blog and blogging.

Loni Townsend said...

"I published in a vacuum, unaware I needed to follow and earn followers" - I totally identify with this. I still have my old hidden blog with its zero comments.

emaginette said...

As I met new people, the world became smaller. The internet changed that for all of us. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for sharing your blogging journey, Liza! I'm glad that you pushed publish that first time! I published my first post and then couldn't figure out how to get back to it for a couple of months. Duh! Talk about technically challenged ~ lol! I never expected to blog during my retirement, but here I am almost 12 years later. Happy creating!

Joyana Peters said...

I've had a couple of different blogs over the years. My first was about my gluten-free lifestyle soon after I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Now it's about my author lifestyle and communicating with other authors and readers. I believe what I like most is exactly was occurred with both of my blogs. Building community. Finding like minds who share a common experience with me.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Bravo, Liza! Yes, you were very brave to write and post your first heartfelt essay. I, too, published my blog posts in a vacuum in the beginning. Who did I think I was? Who was interested in what Victoria Marie Lees had to say. But I stuck with it and joined IWSG. Now all of you give me courage each month to say something intelligent. Or at least I hope so. All best to you!

Joanne said...

I've enjoyed your blog and our writing "friendship". It's cool. I've enjoyed blogging, just for my own sake. I write some book or movie reviews, more to remind myself later what I saw or read. (I forget plots quickly). I know I've gone to more filler these days, but I try to stay amusing and exercise a tiny bit of vocabulary. Cheers to you!

Sandra Cox said...

Glad you started blogging and stuck with it. Yes, sadly a lot of our blogging friends have moved on to other social media outlets, among other things.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Like you, I love best the people I've met here, including you. I miss many of the people I was saw so often.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Reading and following writers like you!!!
I've been blogging since 2008 and like you, didn't know what the heck I was doing but got excited when I suddenly had a follower! It still takes courage to hit that "publish" button, but I'm sure glad you did.
Best of luck Lisa.

J.Q. Rose said...

I love your beginning to blogging story. That is an excellent way to make yourself accountable for your writing. Congratulations on your success!

Kate Larkindale said...

I've seen so many amazing blogs and bloggers disappear from the blogosphere. I miss those days when everyone was hosting contests and blog hops all the time. But at least there are a few of us still here after all these years!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm glad I was blogging during the days they were flourishing. I learned a lot and made some fabulous digital friends.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liza - I've loved blogging since I started and am very grateful for the opportunity to have joined this great group of bloggers ... it's good to read your thoughts - I've been going since 2009 and am happy when I see friends and new ones pop up - cheers Hilary

Janet Alcorn said...

This might be the best blogger origin story I've ever read. I'm so glad you found blogging at just the right time in your life and that you found work that involved writing.

I miss they heyday of blogging but I still enjoy doing it--and if I'm honest, I don't have time to keep up with tons of blog hops and other communities anyway. I do love the IWSG, though.