Why Baby Boomer will Survive The Blog Contest

Surviving the blog

Biting off more than he can chew!

There is an expression “biting off more than he can chew”, I hope that won’t be the case for me in the Surviving The Blog Reality Contest: Out Rank; Out Shine competition organised by Kiesha Easley of WeBlogBetter fame.

Here is Kiesha’s explanation of the contest:

This contest will be like no other in the blogosphere.  I will recruit two teams of 5 bloggers.  Each team will be confronted with the difficult task of building a successful blog together.  They will receive training and will face many blogging challenges together.

This contest will run for about 10 weeks. At the end of each week, one team will outrank the other and the losing team will have to vote off one of their precious team mates, reducing their team’s effectiveness and reach.

By the end of the “Surviving the Blog” competition only one successful blogger will remain.

One blogger will take home the Grand Prize:  winning blog and some amazing prizes, including cash!  A runner-up will get the remaining blog and some prizes – additional prizes may also be given throughout the contest for winning various challenges.

This is my “Why We Blog Better Should Choose Me” blog post, so I ask my regular readers to please bear with me and understand why the subject of this post is a little different from my normal writing. If it appears to you that the post is an exercise in self promotion, you are absolutely correct, it is.

Why should We Blog Better choose me as an entrant for the competition?

Four reasons:

  • Survival skills.
  • Age and experience.
  • Education.
  • Proven blogging ability.

Survival skills

The first word in the name of the competition is “Surviving”, I am the ultimate survivor.

The things I have survived include, bankruptcy, divorce, starting again in three different countries, a terrorist war, three years of intimidation and death threats during the violent farm takeovers in Zimbabwe, illegal detention and interrogation by the Zimbabwe police, the unlawful confiscation of our farm with the loss of our home, our business and all our assets. (More details here) 

Other things that I have survived are many ultra marathons, moving to North America and a heart attack. Is there a cause and effect relationship between the first two and the third? I have no idea.

Age and experience

There are blogs about all and any subjects, serious blogs, funny blogs, political blogs, health blogs, the list is endless. But all good blogs have something that differentiates them, elevates them above the cloud of mediocrity that is all too common with millions of blogs on the web.

They all reflect the bloggers experiences, experiences that give colour and tone to the blog, experiences that make the writing come alive so that the reader is involved, even engrossed in the story.

Your experiences are different from mine, ask us each to write on the same topic and we will produce quite different results. The facts might be the same, the reading experience will not be.

My 61 years probably makes me one of the older entrants. That is why I have been fortunate to enjoy a tremendous range of experiences. My travels have taken me to places few Westerners have ever seen.

How many people have stood naked under a cold shower in the stern of a boat watching a majestic bull elephant silhouetted by the sun setting like a great ball of fire over Lake Kariba?

How many have felt the acute pangs of heart stopping anxiety on seeing truckloads of  political thugs arriving on their farm?

How many have sat quietly in the African bush while a warthog approached to within touching distance, seen a leopard kill a monkey a few yards away or seen baby puff adders being born.

There can be few greater adrenalin rushes than thundering down a polo field at a full gallop on a good thoroughbred. The sound of your own and the other seven player’s horse’s hooves in harmony with the sensation of your racing heartbeats. How many people celebrate their 50th birthday doing that?

I write about these experiences not to boast, but out of gratitude.

Gratitude that I have had a rich, full and exciting life. Ups and downs, good parts and bad, but all important parts  of who I am and what I bring to my writing.

Education

The third reason that should qualify me as competitor is my education, an education not crowned in academic glory by a string of university degrees, but a sound education that gave me the gifts of a love of reading and a curious mind.

My generation was fortunate to be educated when schools were very strict by today’s standards. It may be difficult for younger readers to imagine a world without computers, smart phones, iPods or even TV. That is what my generation grew up with. In my home country of Rhodesia, TV did not arrive until I was about 10 years old.

Soon after that my parents moved to a farm in a remote area where there was no TV signal and no electricity.

What did this mean? It meant that as kids, we had to make our own entertainment and we read.

We read voraciously, books, magazines, newspapers even farm equipment catalogues if there was nothing else.

Schools were very strict, boys were caned for fairly minor transgressions, corporal punishment for girls had ended, but “detention” and “manual labor” were effective penalties for such misdemeanours as failing to do homework.

Writing was with “real” pens, either fountain pens or the old-fashioned nib type. School desks still had ink wells. Ball point pens were not permitted, roller ball and felt tip pens had not been invented. “White-out” was still a distant dream, erasers for ink did not work and pens did not come with “delete” keys. Most teachers demanded work without corrections, a misspelling could result in a whole page being re-written.

There were no calculators so we had to learn our multiplication tables and develop good mental arithmetic skills. Pounds, shillings and pence for currency made any calculation of prices a nightmare.

The results of this type of education were that we learned our lessons well. The consequences of not paying attention could be painful. We developed good literacy and numeracy skills. We became comfortable using extensive vocabularies.

Successful Blogger

My first attempt at blogging was in 2007 when I set up a Blogger blog as part of an automated marketing system that promised to make me a millionaire through blogging. I soon realised  that it was not going to live up to its claims, and was not something with which I wished to be associated. I distanced myself from the system but became fascinated with the idea of a blog, so I set up a self hosted WordPress blog.

Now I publish three blogs in different niches, averaging five posts a week.

Let’s summarise the gifts I bring to the Surviving Blogging competition:

  • Proven Survivor.
  • A life full of rich and varied experiences.
  • An “old style” education.
  • A successful publisher of multiple blogs.
How does this all qualify me to be selected for the competition?

The best way to answer that is to ask you to imagine that you were planning a banquet with a guest list comprised of some of the most famous and important people in the world. You would devote particular care and attention to the wine selection. You might flirt with the idea of some newer, younger, unproven wines from both old and new cellars. You may even have some of them in the final list.

But eventually you would choose  a well-respected, good wine with an impeccable reputation from an established world-class vineyard as the crowning glory that would make the banquet a success.

This competition is the banquet and I am that wine.
Peter Wright

 

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  8 comments for “Why Baby Boomer will Survive The Blog Contest

  1. Anonymous
    September 25, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Hello, Peter! It’s nice to meet you. I must say, you have a much more interesting profile than that faker on Dos Equis commercials. I hope you get selected!

    Cheers,

    Mitch

  2. September 25, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I really hope you make the cut, and I would love to be on a team with you – you are the ultimate survivor, for sure. I wish you all the best!

  3. September 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Thank you Holly and Mitchell, hope you both get through too, this should be fun.

  4. September 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Peter, what an adventure you have had. I hope to get to know you more through the Blog Fest or afterward. I think I could listen to your stories for days.
    I was once privileged to design a new home in NZ for a Rhodesian who’d fled as you did to South Africa, and then again to NZ. Extraordinary times.

  5. Anonymous
    October 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Peter, I hope you’re not too disappointed. Let’s keep in touch!

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • October 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      Congratulations Mitch, I am glad to see you and Holly with the 2nd and 4th best Alexa ratings got through. Interestingly, no’s 1, 4 and 6 (myself) did not make it.

      Not complaining, I entered very late, did not do much canvassing for support and just didn’t have time to get involved in the comments over the weekend. I was No. 11 on votes so I expected to be out.

      Good luck and yes let’s stay in touch.

      Regards

      Peter

      • Anonymous
        October 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm

        Peter,

        I didn’t even know I was on Alexa’s radar. Thanks for noticing and pointing that out.
        I’m glad your partner’s going to be okay.

        Cheers,

        Mitch

  6. October 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Hi Peter,

    I’ll keep following your adventures. I hope as Mitch says, you’re not too disappointed. This wasn’t about votes, clearly, as number 13 made it in. So who knows who will win? Keeps it exciting. The one with the big list isn’t necessarily the winner – and that’s good of course, as it was supposed to be for beginners too.

    You know I looked at lots of things, but I never thought to look at alexa – but then Keisha said a guest post would suffice to enter, we didn’t even need our own blog (!) Who knows. It will be a ride.

    I have something you may be interested in outside all of this- (health related), and no I’m not selling anything… email me. Your ‘contact me’ page throws up an error.

    Best wishes.

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