To blog or not to blog, that was the question

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I was in my forties when I started my blog for a number of reasons. The dreaded fear of being technologically left behind (well, if the youngins’ can do it, then so can I!) was a key motivation. I still smile to think that I bought a ”how to book” on blogging to hold my hand along the way. I chose VOX first up because the lovely lady authors stated it was the easiest for novices. Whether that was true or they were just sponsored to write it, I won’t ever know, but what followed was a sharp learning curve and soon I had a blog and a couple brave bloggers who linked with me (I think Margy and Emjay were near first starters from the VOX family). I was so proud of me, blogging with friends!

A second reason for writing a blog is that I adore the written word. I am a far better communicator with the written word, rather than the spoken word. Perhaps it is being given the time to think, edit, proof read (sometimes I proof read!), ponder and revisit that suits my brain.  I do not perform well for thinking quickly, except for humour when I am razor fast and exceptionally witty, so putting thoughts and ideas into a verbal context is not always my forte. And me a teacher! Though remember, I was a librarian before I was a teacher, so the written came before the spoken!

There was another element to my blogging decision; the need to be creative that just wouldn’t be silenced. Like every other literate person, I dream of writing a book, and the fantasy ricochets between fiction and memoir. So far, I just haven’t committed enough to achieve it. Freudian followers might surmise there is an aspect of low self-esteem and self-doubt. I pretend it is the need for a day job and family life that prevents me. Fodder for another post when the monkey voices in my head are released, perhaps!

So the need for a creative outlet was followed. Scrapbooking holiday photos just wasn’t cutting it, folks! Behind the Flamingo Dancer banner, I get to be whoever, or whatever I want. Basically, I really am me, pearls and all, feet firmly mired in the trenches of what passes for my human existence.

I had plenty of material in the early days, as I was working in the Basement of Discontent, along with She Who Will Kill Me With Kindness, and my sidekick, The Assistant. Then we all got thrown out with the bath water, the victims of takeover and the very technology I was trying so hard to stay up with. The irony has not been lost on me, or the life lesson.

Then it was a trip into redundancy, unemployment, returning to university as a full time mature student (very mature; I was older than some of the parents of fellow class mates, and a couple lecturers!) and a career as a high school teacher, then teacher librarian. The search for that elusive permanent position, oh my!

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On the days I wanted to cry, my online friends came with open virtual arms. They have been there to cry with me, laugh with me, chide me when I needed to pick myself up, bring me back to earth when I got carried away with myself (something GOF, Snowy, DDerbyDave and GOM are particularly fond of doing – keep up the good work, guys, you might best me one day!) Sickness and in health, deaths and births, they have walked beside me.  To be honest this element surprised me more than anything- the camaraderie and support, the honesty and abundance of opinions, can never be imagined, but it has been a priceless gift.

For an introvert, who finds being nice exhausting it has been the perfect place for me. The book may never be written, and my blog may never (it won’t, so no bets!) rival The Bloggess or Dooce, but I know that in some ways I have touched lives, and those lives have touched mine. No writer, creator, person, woman can ask for more.


Would a Flamingo Dancer by any other name be as unique?

1689. One thousand, six hundred and eighty-nine. Don’t get excited for it isn’t my four digit bank account password! Not that it would benefit you in any way if it was, for my current account balance doesn’t total the sum of the individual digits of that number added together! It  is actually the number of posts I have written on WordPress.

It has been my habit to post several times a week, sometimes even daily over the years and so a mass of Flamingo Dancer information is available to the serious reader. I was going to use the adjective “committed” reader, but that might actually be a more apt description of the individual after they have rifled through my archives! Indeed, a padded cell and some medication might be just the remedy after a walk through Flamingo Dancer land!

I chose the name Flamingo Dancer after very little thought, as one viewing of the mating dance of the flamingo and I knew it was the moniker for me.

Have you ever watched a flock of flamingos performing their mating dance? They bunch together, heads held high, each individual bird lost in their own moment, but at the same time in total unison with their flock. First they dance in one uniform direction, and then by some unseen form of communication they sense that it is time to turn and dance back in the opposite direction; perfect, beautiful, graceful symmetry. Breathtaking.

The flamingos and their dance represent my perception of the human condition. I am alone, singular, and at the same moment I am part of something larger: family, community, world. Hence, I am Flamingo Dancer.

Come sway, spin, whirl, twirl, pirouette as you desire in your singularity and your plurality. Will you dance with me?



You, Me and the Zero to Hero WordPress Challenge

I am in participating in a process of blog renewal after several years of blogging, here and on Vox, and so I have committed to undertaking the daily tasks in the Zero to Hero WordPress Challenge.


This image with appear on all the posts that I write as part of the Zero to Hero 30 Day Challenge. A little hands up as to why I might be a little out of my usual writing comfort zone.