Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dear 100th Post


Dear 100th Post,

You are a milestone that I had no idea that I'd reach when I started this blog 50 weeks ago.  Yes, it's been almost a year!  But I am ecstatic to meet you, as you are an affirmation to my newly found obsession passion.

I entered this world of blogging last summer when I started a fun kiddos blog about all the summer activities we were doing.  At the end of the summer, however, I realized that I wasn't thrilled about having the kiddos' pictures all over the internet.  I struggled with it, but I ended that blog.  But I also realized that I had a lot more to say.  So I started this one, and so it seems the words just started pouring out of my fingertips.  Here are the Top Ten things I have learned from my first 100 posts.

10.  Writing Letters.  I decided on writing letters for this blog because it puts a twist on adds a little flair to the blog.  Without explanations, readers who stuck with me would eventually see that the voice of the letters changes from second person point of view to first person--my voice, and then finally back to the second person recipient of the letter to close the letter.  This format certainly has its limitations, but it works.  I also allowed myself one picture per post that best represents the subject matter.  While I love blogs that have awesome illustrations and photos, I didn't go that route because I really wanted to focus on the writing part of it.  If I lost any readers because of that, it's okay with me.  #myfavoritewordisdear

9.  The beginning.  My very first post--Dear Missing--was short and sweet and a fitting first post.  It was a rant, and it was very me.  Since then, my posts have grown, both in depth and length.  I have written a few very long posts at the risk of losing readers' attention.  I really did try to cut down, but some things just had to be said.  I tried writing a few short poems, but they seemed stick out like sore thumbs and didn't belong here.  So then I really started to write about things that were dear and near to my heart.  Things I hoped people could relate to.  Things that resonated with moms and parents and kindred spirits.  #yeahitsallaboutme

8.  Parenting.  One year's worth of writing has taught me many things.  Because writing is an introspective process, it made me think much about my behaviors and their effects.  It made me a better parent in the process.  I discovered that I magically progressively grew more patience with the kiddos because I thought about their actions and my reactions and relived many Mommy Moments in my head in order to write about them.  But remember Zero-Sum?  Well, my extra patience has since been countered by all the time I spend ignoring the kiddos while I'm writing.  So, no, I'm not really patting myself on the back.  It all evens out.  #youwinsomeyoulosesome

7.  Filters.  Perhaps another recognizable plus for my Dear Husband is that he hears less of my yapping.  Instead of talking his head off when I have bouts of word diarrhea, I have since spent more time thinking about what and how to write.  I look at the world a little more closely and through different filters.  I notice the subtle changes in nature and tiny little nuances in everyday life.  I think about how to incorporate those things in writing to make my points more compelling or more relate-able.  It's like looking through different camera lenses: I'm always searching for the right frame of the perfect subject with which I can express a thought or paint a picture.  #musictoDHsears

6.  Routine.  Of course, practice makes improvement and growth.  I set a goal of two posts per week because I didn't want Life to take over and make excuses for me to stop writing.  I didn't want to lose momentum.  Even though this can easily result in posts that are meh, but I found it important to keep up the continuity.  After a year, it's gotten easier--since discovering my Writing Muscle, using it, and strengthening it.  Sure, it has had a Charlie horse every now and then, but it always bounced back and became more agile.  #ocdandroutinesgohandinhand

5.  Anonymity.  Shortly after I started this blog, I decided to go the 'anonymous route'.  I know that this can make my blog less personal/distinctive and more common/ordinary.  I follow many blogs that show beautiful pictures of children and husbands, and I've even become 'attached' to them because I see them and internalize their stories.  But privacy is important to me; my kiddos are young, and I don't want to ever put them in a position in the future that makes them uncomfortable in front of their peers or people in general.  So I just feel like it's better to cover my tracks now than try to undo them later.  Plus, my readers are pretty much exclusively my friends and acquaintances anyway, so they already know my family, everyone's names, and how freakin' adorable they are.  #akaDHDDDS

4.  My voice.  For me, the most important gain of writing this past year is that I found my voice.  There was a lot of searching involved.  A lot of squeezing my brain and mustering in the dark with a flashlight.  But it seems like I found it, and I'm pretty happy with it.  I do not expect or want it to be static, though, because it needs to grow and evolve.  It needs to keep getting better.  I hope that I am at least headed in that direction.  And I've realized that I may not be everyone's cuppa tea, and that has to be okay.  It's a harsh realization, but one I must accept, because writing styles really are so subjectively interpretive.  #do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do 

3.  Fears.  The biggest obstacle that I am still in the process of overcoming have encountered in writing is my own fear and anxiety.  That whisper--which has somewhat diminished over time--still voices before I hit the 'publish' button.  I can't help but ask myself, "Am I good enough?  Is this good enough?"  I guess the answer is I have grown some thicker skin over the last 99 posts, at the expense of my blood pressure, which has gone on many roller coaster rides, and of which my internist would not approve.  The fear and anxiety will probably never go away, but I call it a success when I can write and hit the 'publish' button in spite of it.  #whydoidothistomyself

2.  Promptly I Write.  Earlier this year, I came across a prompt-writing community, and decided to give creative writing a try.  Then I really got into Instagram and cameraphone photography, and started participating in some photo challenges.  Thus, my second blog, Promptly I Write, was born. It instantly gave a home to my creative writing pieces (poems and stories that would look odd here) and all the pictures I would have liked to post that I didn't place here.  My voice is here, and my creative outlet is there.  Voila, problem solved.  #promptlyiwriteandsnap

1.  Addiction.  During this one year of blogging, I've learned so much from other bloggers, writers, and storytellers in the vast blogosphere.  There are writers that are so damn good at what they do that they crush me with their awesomeness and make me feel like I will never be able to do what comes so easily to them.  But I keep coming back to this time-consuming hobby, this pay-less activity, this thing that is making me go blind.  Night after night, when everyone is asleep, you can find me sitting in my bed in the dark with an unnatural blue glow on my face, a humming machine atop my lap, and my fingers clicking away all the words inside my head that I must expel.  #mustjoinwritersanonymous

Apparently, I have a lot to say, and you readers suffer at my rantings week after week.  But the reason behind all this writing really remains in the simple fact that I really love doing it.  The fact that people are willing to follow my rants is beyond surprising and unbelievably flattering to me.  To readers that have been with me since the very beginning, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  To the friends that I have made during this period in the blogosphere, I so do appreciate your guidance and support. 

So, Dear 100th Post, I cannot believe that you are actually here.  As I click back to some of your predecessors, it truly surprises me to read all that is there.  I actually ask myself, I wrote that?  To some I think--hey, I must have been getting it on with my Writing Mojo, and to others--CODE RED, LOCK DOWN, and FIND THAT MISSING MOJO!  I can't say with certainty what the future holds for me and my blog, but I truly hope that there are many more of you to come.

Happy Milestone!

Sincerely,
Me

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the milestone! This post is a such lovely way to celebrate and honor the occasion. I hope the future holds all the wonderful things you want for your writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! Writing makes me feel as if my life is richer and more memorable. It really has been an awesome process.

      Delete
  2. Congrats on your milestone. That's awesome. I'm glad i found you and your blogs!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susi, and likewise your blog and Instagram Sundays! I've been enjoying your pictures and all your yummy dishes! =)

      Delete
  3. Congrats on number 100! I can relate to so many of your points here. Mainly, the privacy thing. I don't put the kiddos or hubby (or even a full view of me). I am completely addicted to blogging, and I see the world through a blogging filter (oh, how many times I see something and say "oh! That would be great for the blog.")

    I like your letter writing format and I'm glad I found this blog indirectly through the Trifecta challenges. Write on, Sandra!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Janna! Yes, the word 'blog' is thrown around our house so much that my kiddos act as if they know something about it. 'Blog this' or 'don't blog that' they like to command.

      I'm glad to have met you through Trifecta as well, and I'm so flattered that you've been following my posts, because I think the world of your writing (and photography as well)!!

      Delete
  4. Congratulations, Sandra! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wade! Wow! Thank you for being an inspiration in the first place, for the little notebook and pen you sent me a while back, and for all the great information you share about blogging. Your comment means a lot to me; thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. You've got to love the milestones like this, right? It is amazing how much a year changes things. I'm personally very impressed that this has made you more patient with your kiddos. That's awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unlike you, Michelle, this is only my first =), and I've learned more from you than you know, so thank you! And about the patience--a lot of it comes from feeling bad that I ignore them in order to write; but mostly, writing about them helps me see things more objectively, as if I'm not their mommy, but a third party observer. Then things just seem to be less emotional, less personal, and easier to handle. Does that make sense?

      Thank you for 'being there' for me during the last year!

      Delete
  6. Congrats... writing must be such a release!! I love writing but journaling covers all my mistakes both written and made in life!! U are brave and I'm proud of you!!!!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, my friend! Mistakes are our most valuable life experiences, in hindsight. We'll trade and share.

      Delete