In Personal Reflections About Writing, I am intimately sharing a chapter of my blogging journey. Always wired for words, it has been 10 years since I felt compelled to write a few of them down…
This will be a glance back, and truth be told, I feel as though I am only getting started!
Personal Reflections About Writing
For 10 years, I have been writing a little each day. My words have found their way into more than a hundred articles and thousands of blog posts. What a blessing to reach souls across the miles willing to read my thoughts. Writing can be lonely indeed and almost exclusively un-glamorous. So the recent blog award nomination is a sweet change of pace indeed and just the dopest excuse to take a trip.
Anyone still reading? I just said “dopest.”
Hello Lovely made the shortlist of nominees for Best Written Blog (Amara Interior Blog Awards 2018) so I will travel to London next week for the ceremony. It will be my first trip to that fair city, and my three best friends are coming too…what a triple blessing! Until a few days ago, my beloved (a busy Chicago litigator) could not join us due to a trial, but the case just settled…YIPPEEEE!
Have you considered writing or embarking upon something new in spite of nagging doubts? I am here to remind you to kick your chronological age and negative self-talk to the curb! You are never too old to dream another dream!
Here I am, well beyond midlife…a fresh young writer.
Before I ever created one, I adored reading blogs, and this has played to my advantage. Also, I may not have stuck with the medium in the beginning were it not for the supreme confidence boost of seeing Hello Lovely on a major design icon’s daily read list. At the time, I thought, “my frackin life has been made.” (I still think that.)
The Path to Blogging
If you are fairly new to these parts, I began blogging in 2008 on two other sites before HL was born in January of 2010. Blogging functioned to store inspiring images (in a pre-Pinterest era) and to practice my new job, freelance writing. Before the blog, I worked as an academic tutor writing a steady inventory of parenting, education, and humor pieces for magazines. I was also raising teens, losing my marbles, and reading mainly humor as medicine. (The phrase “I wanna be sedated” was spoken daily at the time!)
Me Talk Pretty
Anne Lamott’s work influenced me back then (oh, her raw honesty and cranky humor…read Traveling Mercies!). During my early foray into writing, I thought, “She sounds a lot like me. I just need to learn to write bravely, with a voice as delicious as Anne’s!” Another edgy humor essayist whose writing style resonated? The one-off, naughty and hilarious, David Sedaris. Years ago, I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day, and it was truly…GAAAAAAME OVER.
I told a friend: “You’ve GOT to help me write humor like David.”
Turns out, I can only write like me.
And that girl is moody.
Which means (as I confessed on Facebook today) depending on the day, I may sound like my Southern grandmas, a 16-year-old valley girl, a trippy Jesus Jedi or a spiritually awakened, over the hill, Elle Woods.
They are all flowing freely inside me.
Texas & Utah Like Me
Blogging provides writing practice and helps to give expression to the uniquely fluid voice belonging to me within a blog sea of millions.
Even though it was my intent to blog purely for daily writing practice, it became a source for connection and immediacy. With magazine writing, you rarely receive feedback. While fortunate to win accolades for my freelance work from respected places (school board associations in Utah and Texas, for example), I rarely heard from those parents for whom I was writing.
A Prerequisite is Being Off Your Rocker
Blogging is a rollercoaster ride. Doubt inevitably creeps in if you foolishly play the comparison game or read social media headlines. A few years ago, blogging was presumably dead. That was fine with me me since I remained a hobby blogger until more recently. Living life will inevitably interfere with blogging too. A major health crisis led me to fast from all social media (save an occasional blog post) for three whole years just before blogging grew en vogue (again) for its profitability due to changing consumer habits.
What have I learned? Every time you turn around, there will lurking whispers of ‘instagram decimated the blogosphere’ or ‘youTube is the ONLY place to be.’ It’s true that plenty of folks stopped blogging and blog readers increasingly turned to microblogging (à la expressing their opinions via Facebook and IG posts). Insta-gratification is hard to resist. However, there remain more than 164 million blogs out there!
One in 164 Million
There are so many blogs now that just as Forbes predicted a couple years ago, blogs and brands (as influencers) have become nearly indistinguishable. Branding. Social media promotion. Virtual assistants (people or robots hired to handle your social media channels). Things keep growing more complex and frequently, more impersonal. Who can be sure the someone liking your post is the actual account owner or possibly someone’s assistant on a different continent?
The media landscape, publishing, and internet platforms keep shifting, and I am sorry to say the climate online is too often unfriendly and grossly competitive.
I’m still a one-woman-show. Learning as I go. Learning as I grow.
Still Blogging Imperfectly & Still a Flawed Me
I like the idea–even if it’s terribly naive–that writing conversationally in a deeply personal and flawed way from the heart…still has value.
Because I am still…the imaginative 6th grade sugarplum fairy in ballet slippers…the timeless and tranquil renovator within a cozy European country style home…the daydreamer in men’s style pajamas…the budding writer stringing together pretty words for beauty seekers.
Relationships Are Healing
Hello Lovely gathers all sorts of kindred spirits from diverse backgrounds and has become an ongoing conversation where we can all find a pocket of peace.
Thank you for reading this blog with kindness and for your loyalty as I muddle through…there’s no guidebook for the blogging journey.
You have truly helped me in beautifully mysterious ways.
Me Write Pretty Someday
Sharing and snapping pretty images is gratifying; sharing the words between them, far more.
I keep returning to this rather old fashioned notion:
Write a little each day as a small act of great love, as a gentle work of peace, for souls seeking light amid the shadows.
Peace to you right where you are.
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