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Prevent a Midlife Crisis — Blog!

I just had a essay published in the Gainesville (FL) Magazine about my recent career change from active duty Navy to travel writer.  One of the things I wrote about was coming to a juncture in midlife when you realize you probably won’t be president or a Nobel Prize winner, so now what? 

My decision at age 45 was to do what I love and strike out into the civilian world as a freelance writer….and as a writer, how can I NOT blog?  If my goal is to be a successful communicator in today’s world, then it must follow that my goal is also to be a successful blogger.  You have to build an online presence to reach the largest possible audience. Even if you are not a writer, surely you have some (secret?) passion that you’d like to write about and share with the world.

The great thing about blogging is that I am my own editor.  I write what I want, when I want, within the constraints of my family travel topic.  No one edits my stuff or tells me that I “have to cut it down to X number of words.”  That also means that one of my blogging goals is to write such dynamite stuff that no one ever says; “Gaak, that chick desperately needs an editor!”

Then again, if you read my Blog Herald post on “How I Blog,” you may wonder how I get any writing done at all. 

I also like the immediacy of blogging. I write it, I click “Publish” and it’s out there.

People like that immediacy, and that means they want fresh family travel content and they want it often.  My goal is to provide that, but not to get too trendy or write about something just because everyone else is doing it.  Let others do the “What to See in Germany During the 2006 World Cup” articles, for example.  There is also something to be said for not just throwing posts out there for the sake of posting frequently.

I can also write about all sorts of unexpected things online — my first paid freelance writing assignment was to blog.  The Edmunds.com blog The Driving Woman hired me to cover the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Gatornationals drag races from a new race enthusiast (and woman’s) perspective. For four full days I did interviews, took notes, watched races, took photos, blogged like a fiend and generally fell in love with the sport.

Thanks to that gig, I’m now a regular contributor to a motorsports blog, Fast Machines.  How cool is that? An obvious goal at this point is to keep finding and blogging about topics that pique my interest, even if I might not consider writing about them in print media.

My final blogging goal is to not lose interest in the topic of travel with kids.  I may not post quite as frequently in the future, particularly when my kids are grown, but as long as I’m a writer I’ll be a blogger. 

I have over a decade to go before my youngest is out of the house, so there are a lot of years left in the family travel topic.  Maybe then this site will morph into another sort of travel blog; I hope you’re around to see it.