Launching Into the Blogosphere

I’m unemployed. This is something new for me, after having been at my last job for 15 years. I’m a writer. This is not new; I’ve been a writer ever since I submitted a story about the arrival of our rambunctious Irish terrier puppy to one of my mother’s magazines (probably Ladies’ Home Journal or McCalls) and received a sweetly encouraging rejection letter. (Did they know I was a teenager? I had not yet learned most rejection letters were perfunctory.)

Last summer, shortly after I had dragged my bruised and bloodied ego into a Five O’Clock Club meeting, my career coach, Renee Lee Rosenberg, suggested that I blog. But about what? I was still smarting, and wasn’t sure I wanted every twist and turn of my job search exposed. I briefly considered blogging about having adopted a new cat, my first in 15 years … but worried that would have branded me as a crazy cat lady. Billy was about as much newness as I could let into my life just then; rescued rail-thin and scruffy from the streets of the Bronx, he turned around and proceeded to rescue me.

As the months wore on and the job applications went unanswered, I let leads slide away from me. Job-hunting, I had heard over and over again, is a full-time job itself. But I was used to having something to show for a day’s work: an issue planned, writers lined up, articles edited, an interview transcribed, a profile written. You know, accomplishments. This felt like one of those ineffectual dreams where your feet keep churning up the stairs but you aren’t actually going anywhere. I kept on slogging; I had to. At least I got satisfaction from adding contacts to my LinkedIn profile.

Then I got an e-mail from a contact: “Couldn’t find you on Twitter; would you please request to follow me and I’ll reciprocate?” I had set up but never used an account; now, realizing I could actually protect my tweets while I got started, I began to explore. My first weeks on Twitter, I shared my activities, got safety updates on the muggings in Inwood, marveled at Ruth Reichl’s breakfasts, and snared a special ticket offer at Symphony Space … and I was hooked.

Things began to happen. After I found a Metrocard on the sidewalk with a single word on the back: optimism (and three dollars on it, no less!), I got a job interview. Joked about the Metrocard in an elevator and met a headhunter. Joked about that at the Five O’Clock Club and, after I was asked to share my “elevator pitch,” got a job lead. Enthused about Twitter to someone at a concert who turned out to be the author of a book about Twitter as a job-search tool and the organizer of a Meetup group, which I joined.

In addition to my own Twitter account, I set up one for a music ensemble on whose board I serve. They were thrilled, having heard at every conference that Twitter is a necessity; I was delighted to expand my skills and knowledge. Explaining Twitter to a couple of 30-somethings at a party, I suddenly felt … well, cool. I realized I no longer felt like an anachronism, tossed aside while the rest of the world marched on.

There was one last step to take: unprotecting my tweets. Once I did, I was ready to be found. I was nervous. I was excited. And then it hit me: all it takes to move forward is something new: one new thing. The next one would be a blog.

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19 Comments on “Launching Into the Blogosphere”

  1. Carole Says:

    Brava! Good for you for venturing into social media.

    Cheers!

  2. Ralph Says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. You are a great “storyteller”!


  3. Hi Jane,

    It was nice meeting you tonight at the The Twitter book event. You were born to write; I enjoyed your blog.

    I have become one of your twitter follower.

  4. Regina Says:

    Hi Jane,
    Life is filled with these marvelous miracles. It looks like a job may be just around the next corner.
    Regina

  5. Charlotte Says:

    Congratulations, Jane. I’ll keep reading and maybe you can convert me to Twitter. Won’t see you this Wed. – celebrating my Irish ancestors -but will catch you next week.

  6. Zelma Says:

    Congratulations, Jane, on your new blog! You do tell a good story – all the best to you.

  7. Christina Says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog – great story to share with others! Keep hope alive.

  8. Helene Says:

    Hi Jane –
    Loved your blog. I’ve been thinking of creating one myself but don’t feel I have interesting content. By reading blogs, I am starting to feel I have something to contribute. I have a feeling you might be employed very soon!


    • Thanks, Helene. If you’ve been thinking about blogging, go for it! You’ve got so much to say. Reading other people’s blogs is a great way to get a sense of the range of topics people “out there” cover, and where you might fit into the blogosphere. It’s also interesting to observe how good writing can turn the most inconsequential topic into a post that’s enlightening or just plain fun.

  9. Sean Jackson Says:

    Hi Jane,
    Thanks so much for your encouraging comments regarding my music. All the best to you with the new blog!

    Sean

  10. Maria Millar Says:

    Jane,

    Great first entry! With your sunny and kind nature, good things are bound to happen for you. I’m rooting for you and the blog!! Hope to see you soon, Maria

  11. Gwen Says:

    Such a good blog, Jane. Keep up the good stories. We need your kind in this crazy world.


  12. Jane,

    Love the blog. So glad you are sharing your thoughts. Wonderful things will happen when you least expect them. Keep on trucken. Can’t wait to read more.
    Renee Rosenberg

  13. Steffi Says:

    Jane, you have indeed a great sense of humor! Enjoyed reading your blogs! Please keep writing. I needed something to “pick me up” this evening, and your amazing descriptions and stories DID IT! I will keep checking your blog for MORE. With best wishes and hope to see you sometimes (maybe at Tea Time?)Steffi


  14. Great stuff Jane – you should be a writer! 😉

    Lord Michael of England.


  15. Better hope you’re not Lady Jane Grey.

    Nah, you’re not the type to lose your head!

    Anyway, you’ve lasted more than 9 days already.

  16. Katie Gates Says:

    Beautiful introduction to all that follows.


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