This morning I was reading through past blog posts, when I came upon this one titled:
It was written seven years ago to the very day.
Reading it, I realized three things:
- Just how much blogging and my blogging community has changed;
- How much I still love writing – blogging in particular; and,
- Good grief! I am heading into my eighth year of blogging.
1. In 2005, I received 18 comments for that blog post, from a steady and constant group of fellow bloggers. We were, indeed, a community of pioneers, supporting one another through all kinds of writing challenges as well as life experiences. Sadly, I am reminded that at least one of those people, commenting on that piece, has since died. In blogging, I discovered a place for self expression, where I could try out all my writing skills to share immediately with a group of cyberspace friends. I even dabbled in Haiku! Eight years later, most of my companions from that time have either moved on, or joined a much wider community through Facebook. Nowadays, if one or two of the old guard stop by to read a post on my blog, which they found announced on Facebook, they make their comments directly to my Facebook page – if at all.
2. From time to time I wrote about the experience of writer's block; here; and here. Nothing new in that, as so many writers are blocked from time to time for all kinds of reasons. Mostly, though, I love writing. In fact, recently I realized that not only do I not want to stop writing, I really do need it! For, through writing I am able to explore and uncover pieces of myself that I did not realize were lurking in the crevices of my mind. In addition, it helps me clarify feelings that are confusing and uncomfortable. Just a few days ago my sister and I were chatting about our childhoods. She described playing with a kitchen set when she was a child, which excited her for future cooking experiences. Suddenly I remembered that I had played at being a teacher when I was a young child. In fact, the idea of grading or, rather, "editing" someones work had appealed to me at a very young age. I had taken some of my story books and written all over them making corrections and comments, like, "Well done," or, "Try and do better next time." It was not so much the imparting of knowledge that engaged me in the role of teacher, but rather, the ability to edit someones writing! Blogging seems like the perfect venue for me. While I love writing books and articles, columns or letters, and even personal journals, blogging seems like the perfect balance of journaling, self reflection, and sharing with the public my written expressions of things as I perceive them. Feedback used to be immediate, and, more often than not, supportive, thus helping me build confidence as a writer, as well as practically supporting me to improve my writing skills. I suppose that is why I continue to blog while writing books, and even with the waning of readers and feedback. It is the act of writing out loud in the blogosphere that gives me so much satisfaction and joy.
3. And so, here it is. Eight years later. In a few days time it will be my eighth blogging anniversary. And whether people stop by to read this post or not, I have enjoyed looking back on my writer's blog. Most likely I will continue to tap away at the keys of my trusty computer companion – usually early in the morning, but sometimes at different times of the day when the urge to write a post just bubbles up spontaneously from hidden corners of my brain. In a way I miss the old blogging community, whose members were spread out all over the world discovering a brilliant new way to hook up, communicate, and share our stories. But recently I discovered that I have always been a kind of loner, a type of introvert, and suspicious of any club that would have me, even though, at the same time, I yearn to belong to a loving and supportive community. Such is the complexity of being human! Indeed, blogging, for me, is a wonderful way of combining all those worlds together. I can still be a loner, while at the same time, share my stories and writing expression with the entire world community – mostly, without ever seeing or even hearing from anyone out there!
Alone in our library on this bright, cold, winter morning I look out through large, wide windows at a white blanket of snow covering bare trees, bushes, and Ada's little grave under a withered chrysanthemum nestled up close to the garage. Silently, I raise my coffee cup and make a toast to eight years of blogging – and still going strong.