In more ways than you might think, getting old is a huge relief. Stepping off the up elevator of professional life is one of them.
Just about every day I get an email or two promising to show me how I can increase my income by growing my blog audience on Twitter or Facebook.
Almost as often, emails arrive from website service companies offering “free” articles or infographics that are certain to grow my audience and of course, they all link back to a commercial enterprise. In the real world, this is called advertising, although they never mention that word.
A variation on that theme are those who offer to write the friendlier-sounding “guest post” for TGB that, they say, will grow the audience while requiring a link back to their website that sells something or another.
Mostly, I hit the “delete” key. If the sender has made the effort to track down my name (most don't), I might hit “reply” and send a polite no-thank-you note.
Not too long ago, an interviewer asked what my future plans are for Time Goes By, how it will change and how I will – all together now, that same phrase: grow my audience.
In that case, I was was stunned into silence for a few moments and then confessed that I had no idea, that I have never thought of Time Goes By as a business that would require making the effort to find more readers.
Lots of people make a living with their blogs (or podcasts or Facebook pages, etc.) – some modestly, others moreso. But when I began TGB back in 2004, no one was doing that yet and it wasn't the point. It still is not my point.
And, anyway, I'm way too lazy. It would be more work and take more time than producing the blog itself to market, market, market it – because once you start, it never ends.
My goals are different. Somehow, I am still fascinated with the subject of growing old. There is always more to discover, more to learn and think about and, importantly, to reassess previous stands I've taken as the years pass and I come to see things differently.
I like the need to keep up, to do the necessary research and especially I like writing – putting together what I want to say in what is, I hope, readable, interesting form.
And I always look forward to reading comments because somehow, without my planning it or working at it much, many of you, dear readers, are apparently as interested in what this growing old stuff is all about as I am and are willing to share your thoughts and experience.
What I am NOT interested in and am so relieved not to be required to think about it, is how to grow the audience. It is gratifyingly large now without being anywhere near – oh, say Huffington Post size. Actually, it is minuscule compared to HuffPo and that's fine.
There was a time in my life when I had to weigh everything that went into a website I worked on or a television show I produced in relation to ratings which, of course, translated into revenue.
It was important to be able to do that back then, to balance creativity with business. But I never, ever liked the business part – still don't – and it is such a relief to have left that behind. I can't be the only one who is happy to be old enough to give up the pressures of business and to measure success by something other than numbers of dollars.