In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Recently Acquired.”
A professional colleague urged me to write an “author’s blog” if I want to get published. “You need this as part of your ‘platform.'” This wasn’t what I wanted to hear a few days before heading to Mexico. I will be busy teaching English in a pueblo.
Grumbling to myself (because my colleague is right and I respect her), I created a blog (‘Adventures in Midlife Spanish’), published a short post, packed my Android tablet, and set out. Once in Mexico, the blog didn’t feel like a chore, something that had to be done. I liked writing in Mexico. Blogging offered something more interesting and creative than a journal – which I usually keep in Mexico. A journal is something I write for myself but the blog I write for the world (or those who take the time of find and read it). This changed the tenor of my time in Mexico.
The subjects and material lay around me in profusion: Chance encounters with students, winding, cobbled streets in colonial neighborhoods, celebrating Dia de los Muertos with my host family, an evening’s conversation with a Tutunaku poet on the preservation of indigenous languages, and the protests over the 43 missing students followed by the revelation of a luxurious house for the President’s wife built by questionable means. Every day the world presented things I might never cover in a journal. Living once more in a country steeped in traditions and indigenous cultures yet wracked with political, social and economic turmoil, I felt like a foreign correspondent, a journalist, a fly on the wall, an observer writing in ‘real time.’ I was asking different questions. Instead of asking what was interesting to only to me, I focused on things others might find illuminating, or interesting. Blogging is liberating if not addictive. That’s a surprise.