Blogging is commonplace among many current and wannabe fulltimers. Even those that do not write themselves tend to follow others. There are many reasons why fulltimers blog. Some write for others; others write for themselves. Some post lots of pictures; others are far more introspective and share primarily through words. Some write daily; others write only when the mood strikes them. There’s no right or wrong and that’s the beauty of it.
My world of blogging has evolved greatly. I started out wanting to keep a journal of everything we had to go through to become fulltimers. I began writing in a Word document. Being a pretty private person, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to share my thoughts with anyone (except, of course, Tracy). As I started writing, I found it to be very therapeutic and as we became more serious about this lifestyle, I thought it might be helpful to be able to share my thoughts with close family and friends, especially those who I suspected might have difficulty understanding and accepting our decisions. So I created this blog, but initially I didn’t publicize it. It was still just for me.
In October, we attended the RV-Dreams Rally and during check-in, they asked if we had a blog. During a weakened moment, I said yes and provided the address. What was I thinking? I hadn’t written many posts at that point, but I also hadn’t shared my thoughts with anyone. I guess it was the immediate feeling of acceptance that allowed me to let down my guard. The next day Howard included the link in his journal and shortly thereafter, I had several people approach me and offer compliments on my writings. Wow, I didn’t expect that. I’m not sure I even expected anyone to really read it. What a confidence booster. I was glad I decided to share.
So now that I had followers, I felt the pressure to keep writing. I probably would have done so anyway, but this gave me even more incentive. My focus was still on topics for which I anticipated questions. When we would finally find the courage to tell our loved ones about our plans, I wanted it to be very obvious that this was well thought out. None of us has a crystal ball and there’s no way we can plan for everything that might happen, but I believe that if we can at least identify the risks, then we’ll be more prepared to deal with them if they should happen. I hoped that by showing that we weren’t going into this blindly, some comfort would be provided to those who were concerned for us. At least that’s what I was telling myself. I thought I was writing for others, but I really think that I was writing for myself. I was the one that had all of those concerns and I think I needed to convince myself that the ‘what ifs’ weren’t all that bad.
Once we are on the road, I expect our blog to evolve once again. We plan to use our blog as our primary means for keeping everyone updated on where we are and what we’re doing. I think it will be a little less introspective and a little more like a travelogue, with hopefully a lot more pictures. Although, I will still be the one writing most of it so I’m sure it will still contain many contemplative thoughts. We have an awful lot of people who will be living vicariously through us, and who knows, if all goes well, maybe even one or two of them will be converted! But I suspect that even as we grow into experienced fulltimers, I will still be writing primarily for me.
And it is with that that I would like to depart slightly and include a short rant…for me. I knew that when I publicized our blog, that it was open to everyone. And I am humbled by the number of followers that I have and am flattered that people find interest in my ramblings. I understand that nothing I write is copywrited and it is open to anyone to use as they choose. As fulltiimers, we share a lot of common thoughts and I will be the first to admit that I get a lot of ideas from reading other blogs. I’m sure that I have read things and then turned around and written similar viewpoints, but I hope that I at least have the creativity to put them in my own words. I recently ran across a blog that had used some of my writing, word for word. I'm familiar with the saying “imitation is the best form of flattery”, but I have to admit that I am a bit offended. I understand that they may share in the feelings I express; after all I suspect that many of us share in many similar feelings. But to use my words exactly? Am I wrong to feel victimized? I’ve been trying to figure out what to do. Do I share my feelings directly with them? Do I just let it slide and chalk it up to the risks of the world wide web? Well, I guess this is my way of dealing with it. I’m hoping that I can vent and then let it go. After all, there’s really nothing I can do about it and I don’t want to mire in the negative feelings. So I will take the high road and just let it be. Thanks for letting me vent and helping me move on.
Overall, blogging has been a wonderful tool for me and I have never regretted my decision in sharing. I still get tickled at every comment I receive. I read a lot of blogs, but am not very diligent about commenting. I will have to get better about that, knowing what the comments mean to me. For you bloggers out there, know that I am reading and appreciating everything you write. I love the diversity. I have learned so much from all of you and I have gained a lot of confidence in knowing that we share so much. Even though I have never met most of you in person, I feel like we are a community and I look forward to crossing paths with you each of you in the future. Thank you!
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