Blogging Today: How Old is Too Old to Blog?

    blogging

    I’ve been a writer all my life and one of the things I love about this ancient activity is that you can do it at any age.  The forms you use to express yourself as a writer may change – writing, blogging, poetry – but the opportunity to let your own authentic spirit and imagination be set free through you via the written word remains the same.

    I wrote my first story in an old scrapbook when I was a seven year old kid in the early days of the bombing in London in World War II.  I still remember the magic I knew as I let my imagination roam while writing an enthralling tale about three young people on a journey of exploration.

    I’m 79 now.  I’ve been a reporter and weekly newspaper editor.  I’ve written six books (the last, a story of a young Raven of remarkable integrity, was translated into 11 languages).  And now for the last two years — with a lot of help, incidentally, from my friend Mary Jaksch and others — I’ve been a blogger. I took part in the fantastic  A-List Blogging Bootcamps run by Leo Babauta and Mary Jaksch and I’m a member of the A-List Blogger Club.

    What have I learned as a blogger?

    What have I learned in this wild new adventure called blogging?  Let me count the ways.

    1.  Blogging gives me a focus

    We need something useful and productive to do as we age — something we really enjoy, and that gives us a sense of purpose.  My wife, JoAnn, who is a few months older than me and will be reaching the big 80 ahead of me, loves quilting.  It’s her joy and her passion.

    Blogging fulfills this need for me.  I do it in the morning, for the most part — then I can goof off in the afternoon in the gym or coffee shop or on the trail with a clear conscience.

    2. Blogging helps me stay young 🙂

    Blogging not only helps me stay young, it demands it.  It’s unrelenting.  Just when I think I’ve got things figured out, I realize I haven’t really begun yet.  And what’s wrong with that?

    In a time when more and more people are aging, what better than to have an activity that helps you stay young? (presuming it doesn’t drive you crazy first — but then almost anything can do that if we let itJ.)

    3.  Blogging helps me meet wonderful people all over the world

    Not much more needs to be said about this aspect.  But meeting brave spirits, kindred spirits whom I would otherwise never have met is surely one of the special joys of being a blogger

    4.  Blogging gives me an opportunity to grow

    I’m quite sure that I have grown as a person since I started blogging.  I’m not going to try to recount all the reasons for this.  But perhaps the essential thing here is this: blogging helps me open my mind and heart to new dimensions of myself and the sublime mystery we call life.

    5.  Blogging has the potential to create an income

    Blogging can also create an income.  I had a taste of it recently when I created a home-study course on “The True Promise and Potential of Aging” that earned about $1500. Following a suggestion by Mary Jaksch, I’ve now started a coaching program for writers and bloggers.

    A happy medium

    I don’t seem to have the inclination or the desire anymore to write a book.  So much work.  So much time.  I find blogging is a happy medium.  You write a post.  It takes a couple of hours let’s say.  Then all you have to do is hit a button, and immediately a little bit of you sets off to roam the world.

    What will happen? Who will you meet? What new friends will you find? It’s a new adventure every time.

    What are your stories about getting started with blogging or writing? Please share in the comments.

     

    About the author

      Christopher Foster

      Christopher Foster is an author and writing coach living in Colorado.  Enjoy more posts by Chris at his blog The Happy Seeker>/a> and check out his consulting services.

    • Am so inspired…if a 79 year old man can be this fulfilling in writing and blogging then all i need do is to tighten my belt to do more

    • Hi Christopher! I’ve been saving this to read because it looks so interesting and inspiring to keep on blogging. One of the reasons I blog is to get inspiration for my books. Thanks!
      Betsy

      PS I think we live near each other in Colorado!

    • What a great post! I feel the exact same way about blogging, and am currently reworking my schedule (the benefit of being a self-employed web designer) so that I can become a part of the A-List Blogger Club to benefit from all it has to offer. It’s hard work, but when you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work at all. 🙂

      • Very happy to connect with you Krissy. You’re so right, when you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work, you’d almost pay to do it, which as a matter of fact, is what I’m doing at the moment. But let’s trust that is beginning to change:-)

    • Lori says:

      Good post and a great reminder that at any age of life, we can and do need to step outside our comfort zones to truly grow. This post prompted an idea for a story and a post on my blog. If anyone is needing an idea for a story, you’re welcome to visit me at http://www.lostinthewriting.net and run with the idea.
      I’m always inspired by older and younger people who are willing to go that extra mile. At the middle of life, we are often too focused on just paying the bills to really see the big picture. Thanks Chris for the inspiration.

    • Excellent, inspiring post, Chris. You’ve enlightened and challenged me. Best wishes and keep at it!

      Joanna Aislinn
      Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
      NO MATTER WHY
      The Wild Rose Press
      http://www.joannaaislinn.com
      http://www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

    • Well, preaching to the choir here 🙂 I’m with you on all points, but I think the growth factor has been the biggest for me. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Christopher!

    • Hi Christopher,

      You are such an inspiration to us all. It’s wonderful to remember that we can continue our passions throughout our lives and there is no set age when work stops. We learn so much from those who have gone before us. I’m relatively new at blogging and also new at writing in this format. My main career was teaching, but I always loved teaching writing to my students and now enjoy blogging. It feels like the right place for me.

      I love your comment about meeting new people. This is one of the things that I have always found fascinating about technology. I remember when my students had pen pals from Australia. It was such fun and opened the world for them. Thanks for your wonderful post. A-List Bloggers Club has changed the course of my blog and I will always be grateful.

      • Love your enthusiasm Cathy. Thanks so much for your comment. You mention the thrill when your students found pen pals in Australia and it reminded me of a very exciting time in my own life.

        I lived in a spiritual community in the interior of British Columbia and had the idea one day to write a letter to newspaper editors all over the world about the importance of spiritual values such as integrity and personal responsibility.

        No internet back then. The letters were sent out snail mail from the small local post office and then I waited. Waited. Waited some more. Nothing was going to happen, I thought. Then one day about 50 letters showed up from all over the world picking up on the idea of the importance of integrity…it’s a big world we’re part of isn’t it. Of course now it would be such an easier proposition:-)

    • Victoria says:

      I so agree with your ideas in this post! It is never too late to start something that enriches your life. My mom went back to finish college when her kids were in high school. I’m an empty nester looking to buy a farm after living in/near cities for over 20 years.

      I love blogging for all the reaons you’ve mentioned. It makes me feel like an accomplished writer to put a piece of myself out there “to roam the world” every week. It takes discipline to keep writing new stories week after week after week. And, I think it has made me a better writer.

      The benefits really are diverse and endless!

      Thanks for sharing!

      • Victoria, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you. I especially love your firm, uncompromising and clearcut confirmation that “it’s never too late to start something that enriches your life.”

        So glad you’re following your mom’s excellent example and I’ll be with you in spirit, as they say, as you keep on thinking up new ideas for stories and writing them down for others to share. I’m sure you are becoming a better writer every time you do put a piece of yourself out there.

    • doug_eike says:

      Writers used to have to submit their work to third parties in order to have it published. Those third parties, at least in the U.S., have done poor jobs of evaluating the quality of the writing and have tended to focus on profitability. The Internet is helping to bring those publishers and book sellers down, and it’s just in the nick of time. Blogging truly gives writers unique opportunities to freely express their views as well as pursue their artistic sides. Thanks for your list!

      • Thanks for your comments here Doug. Absolutely. There’s a ton of change going on isn’t there, and blogging does open up unique opportunities for us as writers, just as you say.

    • Steve says:

      This is great! This is exactly what I have been saying. It seems so many think that blogging and online entrepreneurship is only for those under the age of forty. It isn’t!

      Working online gives those of us of a more mature age an outlet for our years of learning, and a possible way to supplement our incomes!

      The Pew Foundation says we are the fastest growing demographic on internet users. I think Mr. Foster proves that to be true!

      • Good on you Steve. I’m really excited by your comment and I can’t tell you how happy I am to make your acquaintance and share your thoughts in this way. Where do you live, may I ask?

        What you say is exactly true. I’m with you on your journey. Doesn’t that report from the Pew Foundation say something about how charming and witty and intelligent all us mature folk are?

    • Hi Christopher,
      Thank you for showing us all what ‘never giving up’ is all about. It’s been a joy getting to know you. I appreciate the words of love and wisdom you share on your blog. I’ll see you around the forum in the A-List Blogger Club! xoxo

      • Oh Tess, what a pleasure to run into you again. You do a lot of traveling in the ‘internet’ don’t you? and I’m so glad you do. Meeting good friends like you is one of the special joys that makes blogging the wonderful adventure it is for me.

        Thankyou for your words and for the reminder re the A-List Blogger Club, yes, I’ve got to get back there later today. All the best dear friend.

    • Jeff Goins says:

      I blogged for six years, with very little engagement or impact. I recently launched a new blog about a subject I was particularly passionate about and have seen incredible lift in a matter of months. I’ve found that for those who really dig in and try to provide resourceful, high-quality content to their readers, that a blog can be an incredible way to spread a message and connect with a lot of people.

      • This is a great report Jeff. Congratulations. I’m so happy to share it. Look, what subject are we talking about here by the way?

        What you say is so true and important. When we are passionate about what we are writing, what we have to share, we almost sprout wings don’t we. Stay with it buddy.

    • As always it’s too late to get getting blogging…but NOW is the right time to get started!!

      • At any point of starting anything, it will seem ‘too late’ – because there are always people who got in long before are so far ahead you think you’ll never make it. But, the funny thing is that there is something we can’t see – and that is that the key thing is keeping going. Here is an example:

        When I first started, I found a great blogger who blogged about blogging (that’s a bit of a tongue twister…). Anyhow, when she had about 4000 subscribers, I was stuck on 500 with my blog Goodlife ZEN and I paid her for some mentoring (which was money well spent). She then all but stopped updating her blog. Now I’m just coming up to 15,000 subscribers, and she is on 8,000. I would never have imagined that when asked her to be my mentor 🙂

        • Thanks for this example Mary, it’s a great example. It reminds me of the old story of the tortoise and the hare was it? The hare thought he was so smark, so obviously going to win….

          I had a very good friend who has passed on now, lived until 92 and loved to write. Her name was Grace. She used to say to her students and friends who looked to her for help, “Keep on keeping on.”

          You are a wonderful example of this attitude Mary. Thanks for all you offer to me and many others.

      • Yeah, you’re right Carey. “Now is always the accepted time,” my mentor used to say.There’s magic in simply get started right now pronto while it’s still the present moment. Good luck.

    • lammy says:

      Am so inspired…if a 79 year old man can be this fulfilling in writing and blogging then all i need do is to tighten my belt to do more

      • Hey Lammy I’m really glad you’re inspired and I look forward to reading some great stuff from you before long. Lots of good wishes on your writing journey but don’t tighten your belt too much, it’s not supposed to be too painful. Just a little bit painful. So you feel the joy when you break thru and have a victory. I’m sure you have a lot of beauty and truth in you to share.

    • Hi Christopher,

      Loved this thought on hitting the publish button: “immediately a little bit of you sets off to roam the world.” That’s so true.

      A lot of your points really resonated with me. Especially how blogging can help give a focus and an opportunity to grow. Blogging is a great vehicle for building up skills and knowledge, and I love the learning process. The trick is to plan ahead and work out what you most want spend your time learning through your blog 🙂

      Thanks for a great post!

      • Good to hear from you Dave. Love the name of your blog. Yes. I detect a little irony in your last sentence, don’t I? No lack of stuff to learn, for sure, but do you find like me that whatever you do there’s more to learn than you figured? But look, keeps us flexible and properly humble doesn’t it.

    • Mary, thank you so much for your kind invitation to write a guest post for WTD. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure. You have a large family of readers, who I am sure all love you, as I do. I’m so happy to have a chance to speak to them directly.

      To all your readers, Bon Chance, as I think the French say, and good writing:-).


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