Today is Labor Day in the United States, a holiday created to honor those whose labor enabled a pretty nice life for many and, for the country, enormous economic advantage. The day got me thinking about my own current labor. For the last sixteen months, during what otherwise would be described as “retirement”, I have labored at creating content for this travel-focused blog, 3 Score & More, the one that you’re reading now. It’s unpaid labor; I’ve made nary a dime. It is sometimes very frustrating. In the end, it is definitely a labor of love and here’s why….
Meaning and purpose
In a nutshell, that’s what I really love about blogging – it provides me with a reason to engage, to investigate, to scratch that itch of curiosity that has been a lifelong companion, and to share it with others. Combining all that with a penchant (and now the time) for travel, I often feel as though I’ve won some kind of lottery of late-life. Very lucky kid, I can tell you that.
I like to write
I’ve always done it: endless journals, award-winning slogans, PR writing, professional communications. I toy with a book or short story but like so many of us (you know who you are), it stays in my head. What better forum than a blog; it’s a gift of our technological age. Call it “professional” or not, but a blog is an outlet for one’s creativity, with pixels as the proxy for the pen.
Blogging is a different kind of writing in an altogether different medium, read in a different way. Blogging’s handmaidens, social media, is yet another animal. Learning these styles, never mind mastering them, is the fun. My old pal writing and I have a new playing field. Game on.
Traveling and sharing
Learning the new rules of communication
Let’s face it – I’m a digital immigrant, most definitely NOT a digital native. We Boomers have (sort of) learned how to navigate social media (well, one of our generation certainly has), and use it with varying degrees of success. We can find and stay in touch with friends and family acquired over decades, share the latest news of grandbabies of all stripes. Facebook is a godsend.
For me, a former advertising and marketing person, with skills hewed in an entirely different universe, social media has proven the most challenging. That said, it has also been the most fascinating to learn. I don’t want to get too techy (ha! as if…) but for me, a real understanding of the power of today’s communication channels – both social and digital platforms such as WordPress – could have only come about through my baptism-by-fire introduction with blogging. And it’s been worth it. Curiosity hasn’t killed this cat.
Opening new horizons; people, places, and opportunities
Blogging “labor” has opened new doors, albeit not sources of income. I’ve joined blogging groups, travel blogging groups “met” interesting and successful entrepreneurial folks I would have never known otherwise. I’ve learned from peers and pros alike. I was incentivized to attend industry conferences, taken online courses to understand the underpinning of successful blogging and been helped along the way by friends and colleagues. Friendships have deepened with collaborations and guest posts, a benefit I couldn’t have imagined but hold dearest of all.
There are more destinations, more experiences and more learning to share. I hope you’ll continue the journey with me.
In the meanwhile, please share your most favorite travel experience or destination in the comments section way down below this post – we can all learn with this blogging thing!!
Happy Labor Day!
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