Thanks to all who commented on the previous post about retirement, depression, and blogging. You offered many wise suggestions and much encouragement. And all for free! Maybe blogging could put therapists out of business? Of course, full-fledged M.D. psychiatrists have nothing to fear. Their job is secure because they hold the pen that writes the coveted prescriptions. (Pills which we may or may not need. It’s so hard to know.)
After being an unpredictable (and often absent) blogger this past year, I intend to mend my ways. Since I know blogging is good therapy for me, and at least a few folks are reading, I’m going to pick up the pace. The goal, as always, is to post every day. I know from experience that it’s a hard goal to meet; I don’t expect to accomplish it immediately.
I’ll stay the course with this blog — the one you’re reading right now — even with its lack of focus, because it already has a ton of content. I’ve tried starting new blogs, and it doesn’t seem to help. WordPress informs me that I recently passed the 500-post mark here. Thanks WordPress! I already had 500 posts at Maryland On My Mind. If only I had 500 posts narrowly focused on one or a few subjects.
Since I’m such an unfocused writer, I need your help. What do you think I should write about? And what subjects do you think I should avoid? I’m also accepting questions, although I’m short on good answers. Your input is welcomed as comments below, or you can email me at BJohnHayden@icloud.com. Every suggestion is a good suggestion, whether I use it or not.
Again, thank you, friends! It’s good to have so many people caring about me. Keep the faith, fellow bloggers!
— John Hayden
Well John, You like ‘Reporting’ How about going undercover and discovering the GOOD NEWS to report.. Now that I would spread around and reblog.. there is lets face it lots of Bad news already.. So bring us that FEEL GOOD FACTOR.. and it will help uplift your own mood too 🙂
And good you are staying and getting back into blog land.. xx
Thank you, Sue!! As a newsman, that’s a suggestion I used to reject out of hand. The automatic response was “when an airplane lands safely, that’s not news. It’s only news if the airplane crashes.” But that worn-out point of view illustrates how much we take for granted. Adults lose the ability to be amazed and delighted by all the good things that are always happening, moment to moment. You’ve planted a fertile seed, Sue, and I’m going to think about how to water it.
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Brilliant John.. there are always Good things happening, Rescues, you could use some Youtube things too, such as animal rescues.. Not to mention Good deeds done in helping others.. You will be amazed when your reporter instinct starts digging… If we all started sharing the Good instead of the Bad, we could help turn around the vibration of our planet.. Keep watering that seed John.. 🙂 I look forward to seeing what you come up with x
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I’m the wrong person to ask – I really like to have the freedom to write whatever is on my mind at the time. I save structured writing for offline work. But your commenter above has a point. You are a reporter at heart. The thing about retirement is that you have the leisure of being able to take the time and really listen to people. When you listen, stories flow.
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Ha! Thanks, Michelle. I usually write what’s on my mind at the moment. That’s why my blog is all over the place. You’re exactly right: Listening (and watching) are the fundamental reporting skills. One really good reporter proudly said, “I’m a trained observer.” Didn’t I read somewhere about people who have eyes but do not see, and ears but do not hear. I tend to talk too much and listen too little. More good food for thought.
I would love to hear stories from your life in the newspaper world.
Be careful what you wish for. Here’s one thing that comes to mind: Both reporters and editors tend to be overly cynical. For example, “No good deed goes unpunished.” But perhaps I can think of some stories that have redeeming value.
No problem. I am as cynical as they get. I hate dogs and children and think most people are idiots. You will have to go far to outdo me.
Hmmm…I like reading about economic issues. Everybody seems interested in Pope Francis, no matter what religion they are. He might be a good topic. I’m glad your sticking with blogging, but don’t forget the walking two hours each day!
Do you have your tickets yet for the Pope’s visit to DC? This Pope is the best good news in the growing movement to reform the worldwide economic system, which fattens the rich and starves the poor.
See? A lot of fertile ground there for blog posts! No, I’ve thought about trying to get tickets, but I don’t like crowds like that.
I’m with you. Let energetic young people go and they can take pictures. I think I’ll watch on TV. Have you noticed, whenever the Pope goes anywhere, there’s always extended coverage about the stupendous crowds, and much comment about how popular the Pope (this Pope and previous ones) is among teenagers.) They camp out the night before just to be there. I think teenagers make up 75 percent of the crowds because we geezers can’t deal with the crowds and the sunburn.
Hi John, Thanks for following my blog. Not knowing you, I’ll pass on the suggestions. It seems you’ve found comfort and community in blogging as I and many others have.
All the best, Brad