Closing in on 2.5 million views, Satisfying Retirement appears to have filled a need in the crowded retirement preparation field. June will mark our 7th anniversary, probably 5 or 6 years longer than I expected when I first started.
Writing 650 words every 3 or 4 days is actually not as difficult as I thought it might be. Just keeping my eyes open, writing about life as I live it, and having the best blog readers in the world to keep me honest and on target means I rarely struggle to find something to write about.
That said, there are five things I couldn't blog without. I haven't put them in order of importance, just trust me that each one keeps me here.
A good spellchecker. If I am not the worst speller you have ever met, I am certainly on the team. My hidden secret? Every sentence contains at least one mistake. Typing is a two finger hunt and peck, though after all this time I am pretty quick. But accuracy is not my strong suit. Most readers would have given up long ago if it weren't for that red underline that urges me to stop and correct.
I use the Internet to research facts, ideas, and a fresh perspective virtually every time I write a post. Unless I am dealing with a personal memory or expressing an opinion, research is essential. I may need some statistics to buttress an argument. It might be helpful to see what others have said on a particular subject. I may feel I have been down a particular path too many times and want a fresh take on something. Whatever the case, The Internet (remember when it was called the World Wide Web?) is a must.
An on-line thesaurus is very important as a place to turn for synonyms. I still have a red-covered Roget's Thesaurus in the office, but the on-line version is quicker and has more possibilities when I am stuck for a better word. Did you realize there are almost 50 different words or phrases for retire, and that is just as a noun.
Inspiration from other blogs and social media. There are some fine bloggers adding valuable content day after day, and not just in the retirement arena. Everything from inventive life hacks, to political insights, financial traps to avoid, relationship improvement suggestions, feel-good stories, movies to see (and to avoid!).....there is a lot of excellent material to read. I am inspired by good writing, well-crafted articles, persuasive opinions, and anyone who is dedicated to being good at something.
Comments from readers. I have saved the most important factor for last. Without the support of this blog's readers, there would be little reason to continue. While many blogs have a lot more readers, I would put the quality of satisfying retirement's audience on par with anyone. The comments are rarely off-target or inappropriate. In fact, I am surprised when one pops up that must be deleted, it happens that infrequently.
The insights, ideas, support, and degrees of caring concern for others that are expressed on these pages makes blogging a treat. This active participation is a necessary element to blogging.