A Bit of My Website History:
The last time I blogged on this site was June 29, 2016. Today is January 1, 2021. So 4 1/2 years have gone by. Okay, I have posted a few other things on this site between times, but I have done most of my blogging on my other “specific topic” aka “niche” sites. I first started blogging in 2009, though I’d been experimenting with websites since about 1995 or so, with the initial incarnation of my “Conversations, Reflections, and Meditations” site which was on the Geocities platform—which required knowledge of HTML, so it wasn’t a “platform” in the way we think of them today. Later, Yahoo acquired the Geocities platform, but it still required HTML skills. And then in 2009, it closed down, too. Still, you can see some of the Yahoo version (2006-2008) here! Cool!
And a Bit of my Blogging History:
Meanwhile, “blogging” was becoming a thing, as platforms like Blogger and WordPress became available for non-techie folks who wanted to share their thoughts online without having to do all that coding. My daughter, who had strong coding skills, got kind of tired of me contacting her frequently for help on my website and talked me into trying first a Blogspot blog (to which, surprisingly enough, nearly a thousand posts later, I still occasionally add items) to get a feel for the blogging format. Then she pointed me to WordPress, and over the years I’ve had several WordPress blogs/sites (this one was one of the first, starting about 2011). At one point I also had a blog on a platform operated by Shaw, our local internet provider, but that was eventually closed down, as were other small blog platforms run by various companies.
A Jill of all Blogs …
When I was first blogging, most blogs were sort of online journals, and people wrote pretty much whatever they felt like. But it didn’t take long before bloggers were being urged to find a “niche” and focus on a particular topic—and ideally, try to make money with their blogs. Being a “Jill of all trades, master of none,” and wanting to write on a variety of topics, I created a “hub site,” PenAndPaperMama.com, which was my business site, focusing on tutoring and education. From that site, I created other blog sites that reflected my various interests: HaidaGwaiiBuildingBridges, PentictonPedestrian, BlogBasicsForTotalBeginners, NormaJHill.com, which focuses on my editing and writing businesses, and of course this site, Conversations, Reflections, and Meditations, which became a kind of catch-all for various bits and pieces that didn’t fit elsewhere. Guess what? Surprise, surprise, having so many sites became a real chore trying to keep up with, and I ended up hardly blogging at all. My business had also been getting busier, and I became involved in a lot of other activities as well, including an ever-growing family, all of which distracted me from blogging.
But Following Blogging Rules Really Isn’t Me …
But I’ve missed it. I love writing “just for the fun of it.” I look back fondly to the time when I could blog about whatever I wanted. I’ve actually felt somewhat resentful about having to “follow the blogging rules” — which I made a genuine effort to do for a long time. I took courses and even created that “blog basics” site to help the seniors in our local writing group who were finding the whole idea of online writing to be quite overwhelming. I helped several writers in our group set up their own “author” blogs and websites. I even did some “webmaster” work for a while. But you know what? It really wasn’t me. I’m not one of those people who can focus on one topic and make a million bucks off it. I just want to explore ideas, do lots of lifelong learning, try out different things and share my thoughts.
So … Time for Some Changes!
This summer I turned 65 and decided I have earned the right to “be me.” I’m still doing some tutoring (though I’ve scaled back from 5 days a week to 3) and am still editing for other writers (though I’m becoming more particular about the genres I’ll accept), and when this Covid-19 thing clears up, I’m looking forward to getting back into doing in-person coaching of writers, plus facilitating writing workshops and events.
And Off to a Blogging Adventure—Done My Way!
And I’ve decided that I am going to blog however I want, about whatever I want, and whenever I want. I suppose that might make me sound a bit like a rebellious teenager instead of a mature older woman—but hey, I’m really not interested in that whole “mature older woman” scene. So here I am, setting off on my wild blogging adventure! If you’d like to join me, check out the links above and see if any of my blogs interest you, and “follow” any you like (oh! I see I need to add a “follow” button to this one, too…). I’m looking forward to a blog road trip that will travel down some less-travelled trails and see where it takes me! Off we go!