Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blogging: the Magic, the Mystery, the Power

Yesterday I was honored to participate in a four-woman panel at the Illinois Woman's Press Association's Fall Kickoff Breakfast. The topic was "Blogging: the Magic and the Mystery."

About a month ago, when I was asked to speak, my first reaction was, "Who, me?" My last public speech was my Wright College commencement address in 1996, and my life since retirement has been rather solitary. However, this chance to speak about my blogs and Elderblogging and writing in general gave me a much-needed lift to help me forget my coming knee replacement surgery.

One of the best parts of this well-attended event was listening to my fellow panelists and the lively discussion that followed our presentations. The able moderator was Barbara Iverson, of the journalism faculty at Chicago's Columbia College. She is the Vice President of Technology for the Association of Women Journalists and a very knowoledgeable blogger at

Kurman Barrie is CEO of Kurman Communications, a public relations agency. She was named to the today's Chicago Woman Hall of Fame in 2003. Her blog is mainly about her firm's clients. A sidebar contains links to Kurman Clients in the News.

Mary T. Wagner is Assistant District Attorney for Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, but her first love is journalism. Her blog,, is a collection of essays about family and many other things. She descrubes the bliog as an archive of her essays, her legacy for her family. She has published many of her essays in her book Running With Stillettos: Living a Balanced Life in Dangerous Shoes.

I welcomed this occasion not only to speak, but to discover the wide variety of and interest in blogs in the writing community. Whether commercial or personal, blogs offer a wonderful way to record our thoughts. As Anna Quindlen wrote, "Bloggers old and young know that we are on the bleeding edge of a renaissance in personal writing. Our blogs will become as important to our current and future loved ones as handwritten letters were to people of another era."

Here is the conclusion of my speech: "If and when the time comes when you are bored, isolated, or physically unable to pursue many actiities, blogging can provide a connection to the world. That's what it is for me. If you are too young and busy to worry about such things now, at least you already understand the power of writing. Share that idea with your older relatives and friends. Blogging is satisfying fun for everyone. Happy blogging!"

Thanks, IWPA, for helping me improve my connection to the world.

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Lydia said...

Congratulations on being a part of that important conference. Your closing words were true and inspiring. I bet you were inspiring indeed to many in attendance.

One Woman's Journey said...

Your closing words are so true and inspiring. My journal is only 6 months old and bringing so much pleasure. Over 70 entries and a dozen I have written to enter later.
My oldest granddaughter at a local university has already written to say how much she enjoys reading them and is learning things she did not know about her grandma.
Hopefully my 3 and 5 year old will say the same in the future.

Pat's Place said...

That is a wonderful piece you wrote about blogging. Hope you don't mind if I point my readers your way.

Darlene said...

I resisted blogging for a year because I didn't think I needed additional pressure. I had no idea what I would write about.

One morning I woke up with a thought that I believed would be interesting and wished I had a blog to vent on.

Needless to say, I now have that blog and find I have more to say than I have space for. It is very therapeutic and rewarding to have an outlet.

An unexpected reward was the people who replied and who I know regard as friends.

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