If there’s one thing I plan to do more of in my second retirement, it is to get back to my blog.
From last October through May,* I’ve averaged a measly two blog posts per month, a far cry from when I used to post seemingly every other day.
* I invited friends and family to contribute to a “Voices of April” idea intended to share stories about how we all were dealing with the first few weeks of coronavirus quarantining. Eighteen people contributed guest blogs to that effort, which not only sparked some great conversations but also expanded the network of people who’ve written for this blog over the years.
It’s exactly that kind of experience which keeps me going after several years of managing the original Rough and Rede on Blogspot and its successor, Rough and Rede II, on WordPress.
When I dipped my toes into the ocean of blogging, it was March 1, 2009. Barack Obama had been inaugurated as our 44th president just two months earlier. I was still at The Oregonian, working as Sunday Opinion Editor, and I’d been hired by Portland State University to teach a two-credit class over a single weekend called “Opinion and the Blogosphere.”
I figured I should have a blog myself, my own virtual space to serve as a personal diary to record thoughts, ideas, experiences, emotions, etc.
Little did I imagine I’d still be at it 11 years later, writing about everything under the sun — our children’s weddings and college graduations; travel to Europe and Mexico; career and work; family pets and family reunions; favorite books, movies and concerts; and everyday scenes and moments all around Portland.
A highlight, surely, has been seven years of hosting Voices of August, the annual guest blog project that has pretty much taken on a life of its own. VOA has become a platform for friends, family, co-workers and even some people I’ve never even met in person to come together in the digital space and then meet up afterwards over food and drink at a local brewpub. Some terrific friendships have developed because of VOA.
Thanks to Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, anyone can become a blogger without even having to set up their own website. We are all publishers now, free to share original posts, photos or videos, poetry or rants, or whatever strikes our fancy.
In my case, Rough and Rede II is one of an estimated 500 million blogs out of 1.7 billion websites in the world. Their authors account for over 2 million blog posts daily, according to hostingtribunal.com.
I’ve posted relatively little since last fall, owing to the amount of time and energy I’ve devoted to my college courses. But now that I’m officially retired as an adjunct instructor, I’d like to get back in the rhythm of regular posting, maybe three to four times a week.
For those of you who’ve been along for some or most of the ride over the past decade-plus, I thank you for reading and commenting and contributing.
Although this is an election year, I have no plans to flood R&R II with political content. I’ll share whatever comes to mind and I’ll make a point of dusting off some of my favorite blog posts from time to time.
And if anyone’s got an itch to scratch, you know I’ll be happy to publish a guest blog anytime.