Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Retirement Blogging—It’s Tough Work

Blogging is not easy. First you need a topic with an angle that inspires you. Then there’s the writing itself. You want it to be interesting or amusing, preferably both, and you want it to flow freely in your own “voice.” I started blogging to document my transition into retirement, beginning with the convoluted Medicare process. At first I posted daily, but I couldn’t keep up that pace while still working.

There’s a big difference between speaking and writing. People cut you more slack when you speak; you can ramble a bit, be repetitive. Writing must be net, especially for a blog. That means lots of editing. My speech can be wordy. People I worked with used to say that if you asked me what time it was, I’d tell you how a watch was made. My writing is more precise because I edit ruthlessly. (It’s now 9:15 pm, by the way.)

When I get in the groove with a post, the process goes reasonably well. When I’m uninspired, I’d rather clean cat throw up from a wicker chair seat with an old toothbrush. Generally, I start each post by scribbling notes on a pad while I’m relaxing in our so-called family room. (It’s really more of a cat room.) My computer is in my basement office. There’s no ambient light and it’s not a place of inspiration. I head there only when I’m ready to refine the scribbles.

On a recent Sunday night, after two days of jotting down posting ideas, I developed a severe pain in my right wrist. Not the kind of carpal tunnel pain that goes up your forearm and gives you tingly fingers and makes you want to eat your pillow. No, this was sharp pain caused by more of a torquing motion—the kind of motion you create when you write by hand, lying on your back with a cat on your lap. Two ibuprofen took care of the pain, but it brought home the reality that blogging would be hard work physically, too.

I may have found something to help me deal with this problem. The October 4 Time magazine (my source for all sorts of tidbits) has an article on power bracelets. Athletes wear them to improve their performance or to help them recuperate from injuries and maybe to screw up tests to detect steroid use. I’m interested to read that they contain holograms whose internal frequencies “react positively to your body’s natural energy field.” I suspect that one person’s natural energy field is another person’s bad karma (and someone else’s body odor…) but I read on.

It seems the chips contain water soluble titanium that “helps regulate the user’s bioelectric body current.” That helps to improve their athletic performance, lets them recuperate faster and may increase their sexual stamina. (OK. I made up that last part.) This piques my curiosity. Water soluble titanium. Regulating bioelectric body current. Now we’re talking real science! I’m anxious to find out how I can get my hands on one.

But wait. “Water soluble” and “electric current” in the same breath? Isn’t that how people get electrocuted? Or at a very minimum, tingling fingers that are worse than the pillow-biting ones you get from carpal tunnel. I’m about to write off these bracelets as a crack pot idea and not at all suitable for my blogging torque when my eye catches something near the end of the article.

The developers are trying to get these devices into the hands of “thought leaders” as a way to have them go viral. You might as well have put catnip in front of a feline. Thought leader? I’m your gal! After all, the whole point of blogging is to establish oneself as someone who has ideas and opinions that other people value and want to follow mindlessly.

So, if you’ve been enjoying Retirement Sparks, be sure to post comments and forward the link to all your friends and relatives, or for that matter, your enemies, too. I’m going to need a lot more followers if I’m going to get my blogger’s wrist into a power bracelet.

In the meantime, I’ll just muddle along in excruciating pain. It’s the least I can do for my people. All ten of you.

No comments: