Whenever I’ve gone on job interviews over the years, there has always been one question that I’ve always dreaded – where do you see yourself in five/ten years’ time. I’ve never known how to respond, since I was always fairly certain that any answer I gave was not going to be the right one for them. I was never looking to climb the corporate ladder; I’ve never been interested in managing a team. There were several factors that came into play, but when it came down to it, I suppose I simply wasn’t prepared to offer any kind of verbal commitment for the long-term because I didn’t really know what direction I wanted my life to take. I’ve rarely been in a position of being able to admit to being so passionate about my work that I could see myself continuing with it far into the future.
Of course, there have always been fantasies about writing, but for many years, it wasn’t something I took seriously. It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable enough to call myself a writer without feeling like a fraud, and admittedly, when I am in the company (either real or virtual) of other writers, there’s still a part of me that’s always surprised when they see me as an equal. After all, it’s one thing when you’re father tells you that you can write (which always reminds me of those poor, untalented souls on American Idol who lament that “their mothers always told them they could sing”), and quite another when people with little to no vested interest in your professional well-being and no obvious reason to stroke your ego are telling you that you’re a pretty good writer.
So when you realize just how frustrated you are with your current profession and feel a burning need to test the waters to see if there’s actually any truth to what your father said, what do you do? Easy. You start a blog, which is what I did (with the fabulous Anglosaxy) – five years ago today. There have been 372 posts (this one makes it 373) about everything from politics and current events to parenting and loss, from Israeli life to literature. And hey! Do you remember 80s Music Video Sundays? Posts from this blog have been reprinted on other websites and in foreign journals (translated into Italian, no less), I’ve been interviewed for different publications, written articles for different websites and print publications and been “discovered” by the BBC World Service (and didn’t actually believe the email was real at first). I’ve even managed get writing gigs that pay – proof that you CAN use a blog to jumpstart a writing career.
I’ve been vilified (I think the best insult I ever received was when someone wrote in a comment that I was spreading ideological AIDS and that the Israeli government needed to decide whether or not I should be locked up for treason) and called everything from stupid to naïve (for having the audacity to think that I live a normal life, when I actually live in a war zone and should be teaching my son how to use an Uzi, and perhaps carrying a weapon of my own and wearing a bullet-proof vest when I go out for cappuccino). I’ve been praised and received some pretty impressive compliments (including one from last week a website called Tripbase that absolutely blew me away – “Liza Rosenberg’s writing is breezy, innovative and pithy – applied to the subject of Israeli living, we are treated to one of the most unique journals to come out of the country.”) I’ve dialogued with and earned respect from those who disagree with my beliefs, and alongside that, I’ve also made quite a few people pretty angry. I’ve learned that I can write myself into an emotional crash and burn, and I’ve learned that I can also write myself out of it.
So, how can I possibly sum up five years of blogging? This blog has changed my life in so many ways – it’s brought me new friends and it’s helped me to forge a new professional path. It’s also allowed me to find the voice I never knew I had, a voice that only really comes out through my writing. It’s helped me to guide me along the journey of trying to figure out who I am (still trying to solve that constantly evolving riddle). Blogging has brought me joy, anger and sorrow, not to mention more than a little excitement. I don’t know what the next five years will bring, but if you’ve been enjoying the ride so far, I hope you’ll continue to do so. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your interest and your feedback, how overwhelmed I am by the fact that people actually care to read the things I write. Thank you.