July Ultimate Blog Challenge – Day 2

The Ultimate Blog Challenge is in full swing and I’m loving it! It is only Day 2 and already I’ve fixed a major problem on my website – a problem that I didn’t even know existed. I was wondering why I wasn’t getting any feedback on my Blogs prior to the Blog Challenge. If you want to get comments, you have to have a Comments button that is easy to use. And that’s what makes the Challenge so valuable; fellow-bloggers tried to leave comments on my blog. For some, it was easy – they had a WordPress (WP) account and could sign in and leave a comment. But for those who didn’t have a WP account, and didn’t want one, the process was flawed. Because of the valuable feedback, I was able to fix the problem.

Why Would Anyone Want to do the Ultimate Blog Challenge!?

For me, it was an easy decision. I love a challenge, and I wanted to flex my creative muscles. Writing a blog about a given topic is a good way to test my creative mettle. When I write about topics of interest, I already have the information I need, based on an experience, place or memory. I only have to gather the photos, and write about them. The text grows, and before long, I have published another blog.

When I’m given a topic and have to conform to it, my thinking and creative muscles are stretched. I liken it to the effect of physical activity on the body – the more we stretch – the more agile and flexible we become. The effect of stretching the mind is the same; thinking out of our thought comfort-zones provides the mental workout we need to extend our learning. The Ultimate Blog Challenge provides the opportunity to gain intensified learning, and I’m excited about the possible outcomes from engaging in the challenge for July.

Day 2 Challenge

Rather than a formal topic, Day 2 is about letting people know why we do what we do. For some people, it’s all about a product or service that fills their niche or market. My blog-existence is a lot more personal.  There is no product or service – I just blog.

When I retired from teaching a little over two years ago, I needed something to fill the void. While teaching, I loved learning – from my students; from their parents; from my colleagues; from the people I networked with; from presenters at conferences. It was all about learning, and it was where I was happiest. That all slipped away from the day of retirement, and I was left wondering what a future without learning would look like. So, learning had to be a central point in my post-career life, and I had to figure out what I was passionate about, apart from teaching.

If you love what you do, it isn’t work!

Initially, I thought my learning journey would be all about websites, but I quickly discovered that writing was going to feature heavily in my web-presence. You can’t just have an empty website. Yes, you can have a page full of photos, but unless you are a very accomplished photographer, and I’m not, you need to explain the photos you post. And in explaining my travel photos – I wrote!

Writing creatively didn’t come easy. Years of report writing had taken their toll and my creative instincts had been held hostage in the process. At first it was a struggle, but I pushed on, regardless. At some point there was a cross over, from the hard-core, no-nonsense – just give me the facts – writing, to the creative – let’s have a bit of fun – writing. The more I wrote, the more my creative reflexes limbered up, until I was able to put together some half-decent travel tales. You could say I fell into my niche, the place where I’m happiest, rather than landing there through any conscious intent.

The Training Ground

When my creative muscles are up to it, I’m going to write a book. Like everything else in my life, I know it will just evolve. But the key element right now, is completing the Ultimate Blog Challenge in July. Practicing writing from a given topic is stretching my mental reflexes in preparation for conjuring up bigger ideas, on a much larger scale. Day 2 of the July Ultimate Blog Challenge is one of the stepping stones on the path to my ultimate destination.

Have I found my niche?

I hope so! Maybe I’ll have a definite answer at the end of July, so be sure to ask me.

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