As I am prone to mentioning with regularity, I consider blogging to be an almost perfect pastime for elders. It keeps our minds active and exercised, promotes both critical and intuitive thinking, and it is a good combination of solitary reflection and social interaction.
On that last point, we make blog friends who become as close and important as “real world” friends and sometimes in our travels, we get to meet one another in person. After more than five years of blogging, about half the people who are most important to me have been met through blogging.
Now, have I got a deal for you.
Typepad, which is the blog platform and host for Time Goes By and The Elder Storytelling Place, has given me a one-year, free membership to give away. It is a “Plus” account which sells for $8.95 per month or $89.50 per year. Click here to see the features that are included.
The Plus account offers a wide variety of designs and ease of use even for beginners. The email support has been excellent over the six years I have been a member, and the Knowledge Base is written in clear, concise language anyone can understand. You can find out more about Typepad blogs here.
It's been a struggle to decide how to give this away and none of the ideas I devised charm me as much as one of Typepad's – a haiku. In this case, about why you want to start a blog. You need to comply with the three-line haiku format of five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables, but beyond that we'll ignore the classic haiku requirements.
Here is a blog post from, of all places, the Wall Street Journal, with some non-traditional haiku to help you out. Scroll down to the comments for many examples.
I will select (yes, it's subjective) the three semi-finalists and next Monday 28 September, Time Goes By readers will vote for the winner. Here are the rules:
- You must be 50 or older
- You must NOT be a current member of Typepad
- Your haiku must be about why you want a blog
- Submit your haiku by using the “Contact” link in the upper left corner of this page
- The deadline for submission of your haiku is Friday 25 September 2009 at 6PM eastern U.S. time.
As an added incentive, I will throw in two, hour-long telephone chats with me if you need some in-person help getting started. We can do it by phone or Skype.
Since I can't very well ask you to write a haiku without doing it myself, here is my not-so-great attempt:
a new blog springs forth
a contest to get started
elder hearts are warmed
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mark Sherman: The Worst Date I Ever Had