In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”
I first began blogging (hand-coded on my own web site, before blogging software) to share books that I enjoyed, building my own Barnes & Noble affiliate bookstore. That dropped by the wayside, however, as my business expanded, thanks to the Internet, beyond my own city, region and country. (I had dropped out of corporate IT in the mid-1980s to escape the corporate climate during its dramatic movement away from customer service, toward more self-serving structures. My interim survival strategy turned into 30+ years of freelance work, building on previous knowledge and skills.)
The added leisure time allowed more time for unstructured creative pursuits. I left behind performance music, for the most part, and abandoned my obsession with constructing crossword puzzles, and went back to writing song lyrics, poetry, short stories, articles and essays. I did lose interest in writing book reviews. Or time . . . on my list of priorities, book reviews and recommendations have turned up missing.
I blog, as it turns out, to quit losing what I write. I gradually, over the course of corporate and self-employment, experienced a worsening of my allergies to paper and inks (and fragrances, smoke, &c.). I have my original folder of poems that I wrote starting in my college years (1964-1980), but after that, pieces have been lost in gigantic boxes of materials to be sorted through when my allergies died down, which never happened. I am sorting through them bit by bit, while accumulating more junk along the way. So I have written on the Internet and uploaded things that I write to sites in the Internet, and Google and other search engines help me locate them, again. I do also download my sites and archive them on (v. large) external hard drives, having outrun any reasonable filing system with CDs, DVDs and memory sticks.
In the beginning, I sent out my work only for long enough to discover that what I sent out was marketable. I didn’t find the submissions process sustainable, and so I ceased sending it out, but I didn’t quit creating it. These days, having enjoyed writing some science fiction poetry, I have been happy to remember to submit some of those poems, once in a while.
Basically, blogging is itself a writing prompt. And, because my allergies/sensitivities have continued to worsen, forcing me to retire, I have many fewer opportunities to form acquaintanceships and friendships with people in the community in which I live. And my physical energy level has diminished; dropping off to sleep during a conversation can be … unnerving?
So I blog for my own purposes (tracking my creative works: the Internet as an Indexing System) and to maintain some sort of meaningful, ongoing, contiguous contact or conversation with other people (establishing, maintaining and expanding my international “neighborhood”).
This new laptop has a keyboard with backlighting, which is helping me to write with the lights off in my room, which is also extending the amount of time that I can write before my eyes start giving me trouble. For which I am quite happy, even though the old one’s dying has been a gross inconvenience.
(aka Liz, Eliza, Elizabeth, Lizzy, Bess, V.S. Wolf,
nickname of your own choice)