My pally, Chuck, wrote the other day about his bloggy beginnings and it made me think of my own. I wrote my 500th post this past week and I didn't even realize that I had done it--it has just sort of become my life all this writing and taking of photos. I never even knew what a blog was 2 years ago, nor did I ever read one--well, I don't think I did anyway. I'd heard the word before, but like so many others, I just pretended to know what it was and hoped the conversation shifted to something like butterflies and rainbows.
After years of being a stay-at-home-mom, I was slowly becoming obsolete at home. Everyone was growing up and didn't need me anymore--well, not until around 2:30 or so when someone needed a ride home from school. I had tried some silly retail jobs, but I was quickly bored and sick of idiot customers--retail was not for me. I was sad a lot and felt that I was lost--I was needed by the kids, but not really. I wanted to work, but not full-time. It was a sort of mid-life crisis, I guess.
Always a creative person, I dabbled in sewing, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, stenciling--anything that was tactile and artsy. I have always had the need to create and when that isn't a part of my life, I am miserable. After years of neglecting my writing, I ventured into a creative writing class and continued a love that I had since I was a child. My class was a very powerful experience, both meeting some new creative friends and opening a part of me that had been shut for a very long time, and it made me happy again.
My class facilitator opened a blog that was for our class to post their stories, poems, and photos on. It was meant to be a place to "publish" our works, to find positive reinforcement, and to overcome the fear of having others read our work. It took guts to make those first few posts--but once I did, I was addicted. You can find this blog on my profile--it is sort of stagnant now, and I don't post there anymore, but it is interesting to see my feeble blog beginnings there.
So, the Reader's Digest version is that I learned very quickly how to blog by this group of people, helped a ton by the ease of Blogger, and progressed as I went along. I have met the most incredible people along the way and have made friendships from one end of the good green Earth to the other. I feel loved, encouraged, creative, and most of all, happy again. My writing soul came alive with that first blog and the fire continues here--as puny as it may be.
My blog began in early April 2008 albeit very tentatively. Those first posts were things that I wrote for my writing class. They were well thought out, written in Word, edited, modified and proofed before ever being copied and pasted onto the blog format. I was afraid of being hated, debated, or possibly told that I couldn't write very well. It was me and so putting "me" out there was quite a frightening thing.
There were two major factors that have changed my writing and blogging: 1) NaBloPoMo and 2) author Jon Katz.
NaBloPoMo is a blogger site that encourages daily posting and has a monthly challenge of posting every single day. I never wrote every day until last November when I took the challenge. That was incredible for me and it forced me to make my writing a discipline. Okay, some days are better than others, but I do it everyday. I may not post due to logistics here at home with the family, but I do write. And because of this, I have earned a fab part-time job where I write constantly, edit, and publish a corporate monthly newsletter for a nationwide company.
Author Jon Katz, through his writing, his blog, and some truly inspiring emails to me, encouraged me to make that leap and blog freely. I save his emails that pushed me to climb on that rickety limb of doom and to expose myself and my heart to the world--or whoever is listening that day. Have you ever heard that there are people that you are just supposed to meet? Jon was my writing angel at the time--I believe I was being given a very important message and he was the vessel.
I love how Chuck made me think of my blog beginnings and how I got where I am today. I'd be curious to hear your stories as well---either in my comments or on your own blog. What makes us do this? How does it begin?
Oh! The name??? Go here for the true story behind Duck and Wheel with String.
As for the photo--Nancy sent me a Major Award for being a dedicated commentor (commentator??) at her place. Gees, this little coin purse is cool--a colorful hand-knitted dream with a snappy 3-button accent. The lining is hand-sewn with the most incredible tiny stitches. Go on over and check her out--she's one of the great blog pallies of the Duck and Wheel. Have I mentioned how lucky I am to be a blogger??