Today is the third last day of the year in a row. This time it is the last day of my first year of blogging. Yes tomorrow is my/its birthday:
Happy Birthday, Blog!
A quote from that first post one year ago tomorrow:
This is my life now. I am a mom. I am a teacher. I am a traveler. I am a writer. I have 50+ years’ worth of stories that I have told and retold and retold. I have experienced a plethora of aha moments in classrooms and at tables. My students have taught me so much and my kids have raised me well. I have tried and erred and rewritten the rules of English grammar. I want to get it all down on paper before it fades into darkness.
And I want to let the words travel.
To see where they take me.
And where I have been.
Looking back over the year, I think I stuck to my original idea fairly well. Out of “mom” came the adoption and parenting stuff, out of “teacher” came the “My Years of Montessori” series and few odd memories from university courses, and out of “traveler” came experiences in foreign countries and my life in Austria as an expatriate American. So far, so good. Unplanned were my frequent thoughts on Cheetos, dying houseplants, ironing and Donald Trump.
And then there is “writer”. I started with the intention of doing three posts a week, a goal I slightly overshot, in fact. My second intention was to consistently combine current events/thoughts with past experiences – omit the word “consistently” and we can give a passing grade to that goal. The third was to tell my stories and have fun doing it. The first is work-in-progress and the second is definitely happening. Finally, my words are traveling – far if not wide – taking me along for the ride. Sometimes they arrive at cool new places.
Now about that elephant in the room . . .
How long can a person keep writing without mass recognition, reviews, fame, laurels, book jackets, signing tours, speaking gigs, interviews, Amazon author pages . . .? Does that all have to be the ultimate goal? Do I have to strike away three parts of myself and syphon things down to “one thing” in order to find “my” audience? Do I have to self-promote (an exercise I find extremely tedious)? John Steinbeck helped me out here (and thanks, “writeforthemasses” for posting his advice to writers). Steinbeck said:
It turns out that I chanced upon the same philosophy this year – except that it is two or three people I picture myself writing to. One of them is, of course, my mom, who prints out each post and shows me how thick her file is getting each time we skype. It’s not only so sweet, but I think that would keep every blogger going!
So I begin my second year of Trek* with no new intentions or resolutions. I think I will just keep plodding along until the day I write “So that was it. That was my last story. I’m done.”
So that was it. That was my first year. I am nowhere near done.