Really, Why Do This?
What gives me meaning?
By Paul Vogelzang
Why do this?
I’ve asked myself this for a few years now.
What’s the point of writing, blogging, even podcasting?
In my own mind, there’s a deadline. That deadline, of course, is self imposed. No editor looms, or, in some cases, is even really interested. The deadline is to share my voice. Maybe, egotistically, I feel what I have to say is important to you.
But really, the point of Not Old Better is to have a presence online, to be sure, but to post often enough so as to create an interest.
What to post has been the question?
You can see thus far that I’m writing about careers for us 55+ age folks, technology for seniors, health, fitness, and other subjects.
But, mainly, at least initially, I’ve ended up writing about myself, since I am a relatively fixed point in the constant interaction with the ideas and facts of my world. The world of a 58 year old man.
And in this sense, the historic form closest to blogs is the diary. But with this difference: a diary is almost always a private matter. Its raw honesty, its dedication to marking life as it happens and remembering life as it was, makes it a terrestrial log. It’s storytelling.
A few diaries are meant to be read by others, of course, just as correspondence could be — but usually posthumously, or as a way to compile facts for a more considered autobiographical rendering.
But a blog, unlike a diary, is instantly public. It transforms this most personal and retrospective of forms into a painfully public and immediate one. It combines the confessional genre with the log form and exposes the author in a manner no author has ever been exposed before.
Of course, I’ve written online for years, now. But, this is different, as it’s my own writing, in my voice, and represents my own version of mainstream media, combined with other inspiration as essays, in the first person. Mixing genres is something I’ve always done :)
I’m not so egotistical to believe that I’m the first to discover this publishing broadcast method.
So, you’ll get my version of events, interviews, and meanderings.
Hopefully, some of you will respond, and hopefully some of what I have to say will be worth your time.
I truly believe the community I serve will be interested, and that the really insights and brilliance may often come from you.
The atmosphere created will invetibly be formed by my personality. That “blogosphere” will contain my daring, or not so daring, expressions of myself. In those moments that I reveal more about myself in a few unguarded sentences, before hitting the “delete” key, I’ll be doing so with some humor, self awareness, and humility. There’ll be no hiding.
We’ll experience this journey of aging together, in real time.
You’ll hear from me in my voice, and hear from others, too, about their own views, comments, tips, and reporting on aging, and together we’ll expand the knowledge base of what it means to move forward in life, with all our experience, balance and our own take on the world.
For example, the points of my essays, will appear in written and verbal form. In other words, I’ll describe in my own voice, what’s going on, and why the subject appealed to me in the first place. You’ll be getting two distinct expressions, clearly identifying the messages, but also explaining the insights, ideas, and arguments, turning the entire experience into something more solid, and lasting and rewarding.
And, it’s my hope, again, that the essays you read and listen to, and soon “see” in my video posts, will spawn discussion best handled in a blog. The conversation, our conversation, in other words, is the point, and the different idioms used by the conversationalists all contribute something of value to it. And so, if the defenders of the old media once regarded blogging as some kind of “junior effort,” they will see it now as our portal, and a spur.
In fact, for all the intense gloom surrounding the subject of aging, this is actually a golden age for us. Writing, speaking, using our voice has never been easier, and the blogosphere has added a whole new idiom to the act of writing and introduced our active, newly identified generation to the means of publishing. It has enabled “writers” to write out loud in ways never seen or understood before. And yet it has exposed a hunger and need for communication that, in the age of television’s dominance, had seemed on the wane.
Words, of all sorts, have never seemed so now.
Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook, spoke at Georgia State University commencement in 2013, and said, and I love this passage: “All too often, those big ideas run up against the challenge of the everyday: in particular, how to find work that pays the bills. A lot of the time, meaningful work becomes necessary work, and passions are forced to fade. The easy part is knowing that you should follow your heart and do something important; the hard part is coping with the world as it is today at the same time as you invent how it should be in the future.”
This, then, the notion of Not Old, but Better, is my “human brand.”