A Year of Blogging

Snoopy writing

During high school and college, I tried to keep journals, because that’s what writers are supposed to do, but I never got too much traction writing only for myself.

Far more important were the letters I wrote to several close friends during that time.  You could say I learned to write because of them, for they really encouraged me, and an appreciative audience was all it took to turn on an incredible flow of words.  I wrote page after page, jotting down ideas as I tried them on for size, and things that just came to me in mid-sentence.  What kept me going was the thrill of knowing someone wanted to read what I had to say.

I think you can see where I am going with this…

Fast forward a few decades and in June, 2010, I signed up for a day long blogging workshop because these days, “building a platform,” is what writers are supposed to do.  I had and have some fairly cynical thoughts on that proposition (for writers of fiction that is), but that is beside the point.  I simply would not have kept at it if blogging was nothing more than a means to an end.

Almost immediately, this endeavor took on a life of its own.  It continues to surprise me.  If I had to sum up what blogging means to me, I would say, “discovery.”  Not only because of all the things I get to research and learn about, but because I continuously surprise myself by finding things in the psyche I don’t know are there until I see them on the screen.

So I want to sincerely thank everyone who stops here and reads a post, and maybe even takes a moment to leave a comment.  You keep me going and I appreciate you very much

I’ve learned many things this year, chief among them, the seemingly inexhaustible way the mind generates ideas.  I don’t know how many times I’ve posted something and gotten up thinking, “Well, that’s it.  It was a nice run while it lasted, but I’m finally out of things to say.”  The experience is so common, that I get to see, at least once or twice a week, that if I just go do something else, the next idea will appear in it’s own time.

Ideas are common – they come and go, but once in a while one sinks deep, resonates, and even changes some aspect of your life.  Something stated very simply this spring by Edward Espe Brown, who I posted about at the time, had that effect.  It crystalizing themes that had been on the back burner for a very long time:

Are you going to be a rule follower or are you just going to be you? – Edward Espe Brown

Brown made the comment in the context of spiritual practice, but it has a much wider scope.  It certainly does in the field of writing.  Here’s a confession:  some two years ago, a critique group buddy said, “I’ve heard that editors don’t like colons.”  I am ashamed to admit that I went home and rewrote several sentences.  Blogging has sharpened my perception of the absurdity of pronouncements like that, and something else that Brown said cuts at the very motive for heeding “advice” of that sort:

What is precious in us doesn’t come, doesn’t go, and it does not depend on performance.

Edward Espe Brown

I am very fortunate indeed to have a forum like this where I get to pass along things of value like that when I come upon them.  And as for what’s coming up in the next year – I promise I’ll let you know as soon as I do.  Meanwhile, I very much hope you will stay tuned.

187 thoughts on “A Year of Blogging

  1. You write well and thoughtfully, and I am pleased to number myself among your subscribers. This post made me realize I should say that to you directly.

    Please, keep writing!

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  2. Congratulations on your one year anniversary. That really is quite an accomplishment. Your blog has such a variety to it. It is always a pleasure and a surprise. By the way, if we took to heart everything we heard that editors had said, we would never write another word!

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  3. Congrats & I couldn’t agree more.
    I didn’t realize that i was still dealing with my parents death until I started blogging about it & feeling all these emotions I had pent up.

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  4. Your experience echoes mine in many ways. I could never keep a diary every day or draw just for myself, but now I feel guilty if I miss a post. What if someone was looking forward to it? A little accountability is a good thing!

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  5. “Ideas are common – they come and go, but once in a while one sinks deep, resonates, and even changes some aspect of your life.”

    Hello, Morgan! I am now what you were a year ago. I have never published anything for fear of not being good enough, but I just had this strong feeling that I can do something right with what I’ve been given. So here I am now, wishing you well and hoping that next year, I’ll be posting something like this. Good job!

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    • I am almost halfway through my first year and it has bee a life chaning experience. I love how I am journaling about everything in my life without trying. I love the photos that get saved with the blog. I love seeing new visitors and the thrill of having a consistant readership. I have always written, whether anyone would read it or not or even think it was good was never even a consideration to me. Blogging has allowed me to be able to give out the message I have been given to share. And The Best Thing is that every idea has blog potential. Some jsut grow faster! Congrats on Freshly Pressed and keep up the good work! AmberLena

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      • Hi Amber,
        Thanks for visting and thanks for your comment. This is life changing as you say. Recently someone posted about “The Velvetten Rabbit,” and how the rabbit became real – not all at once, but a little at a time, through wear and tear, and the resolve to “keep on keeping on.” I enjoyed my visit to your blog and hope you do keep on!

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    • Hi Pia,

      Thanks for stopping by. This is a pretty amazing medium, when you think about it. Unlike other publishing ventures where you need to be “good” in somebody’s eyes to begin, here, if you just put yourself out there, you will (eventually) begin to find like minded readers, who encourage you to keep learing by doing.

      I wish you the very best!

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  6. I’m adding your site to my blogroll so that I can visit regularly. I like your writing and the way you share your thoughts. I too started out as a letter writer, morphing into a journal-keeper and then adding blogger to my writing activities, finally ending up also as an editor. The blogging aspect is addictive, as it’s one way to see our words in print, and also to reach out to others and enjoy it when they reach back.

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  7. I love blogging now – I’m new to it as well. I’ve just started to use it to reveal my personal thoughts – that scared the heck out of me at first. But, you know, it made me grow my writer legs.

    Dita

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  8. “I continuously surprise myself by finding things in the psyche I don’t know are there until I see them on the screen.”

    What an observation! I love reading things I inherently know, but would never even think to say aloud or jot down on paper.

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  9. I’m coming up on my blogoversary as well — and like you, I’ve added “self-discovery” to the long list of welcome but unexpected side effects of the venture!

    Another benefit: reaffirmation of my love of colons! 😉

    Congrats to you, and I wish you much writing success in the future.

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  10. Congratulations on your year of blogging, I’ll reach a year in a few weeks myself! I too have a collection of half finished journals, and I used to. write to people as well. Looking to do so again, because I miss it.

    Both letter-writing and lately blogging have made me look at my fiction in a new way, also very useful.

    Anyway, I’m rambling (as if in a letter)!

    I hope you keep going!

    Lorna

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  11. Glad to see I’m not the only one who feels more inspired for a reading audience. I know I could work articles out in private and unveil them when I think they’re perfect, but blogging is so much more fun and vibrant.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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  12. Thank you, I know you don’t know me, but what you have said perfectly summarizes what I have been at war with recently. The internal battle is one that only can be seen if you share a perspective.

    I will be adding you to my subscriptions and thank you for the inspiration!

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  13. Thanks for writing. In a month where ideas have been sluggish at best, it’s nice to hear that others have the same feeling from time to time. I hadn’t heard anyone saying that blogging is it’s own reward, though. Maybe you could start a blogverb collection…?

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    • Thanks for stopping by Damian. This was nice because July is sluggish for me too. Blogverbs? I don’t know – I still tend to shake my head when I find myself saying or writing, “blogosphere.”

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  14. you are a blogger in the true spirit. i started my blog just days ago and this post of yours inspires me to continue this activity passionately. my interest in blogging was waning as i didn’t have any comment on my post.but now i learned from you that it takes time and quality to be famous in this blogging environment.

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  15. Thank you for sharing! I am so glad that you were Freshly Pressed because I needed to hear this. I’m a screenwriter and started blogging because you’re “supposed to” and I recently started to enjoy myself in the process. Keep writing! Congratulations on your anniversary and on being FP’d 🙂

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    • Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you found something to spark you here. As I have said in various posts, I very much enjoy what screenwriters have to say about stories and bringing them to life.

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  16. This is a great post–I am grateful to Freshly Pressed for highlighting your blog and to you for writing it. 🙂 Love what you said about the next idea appearing in its own time. Taping that to my monitor now.

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  17. Okay – so here I am…lol…punctuation and all. I really wanted to tell you how much this post meant to me today. I have been feeling a bit downtrodden recently, and I have just begun to embark on my blogging adventure. There are days where I question whether what I have to say is of any great value to anyone else, and if I should just stop. Then when I came across this post through freshly pressed I felt renewed by your words especially about just being who I am meant to be. I have struggled with that concept most of my life because I spend a lot of time being who I think everyone else would like me to be. I guess I just want to say thanks for making me feel as tho what I am doing is worthwhile because it is leading me down the road of discovering who I really am. Insightful post – beautiful wording – and congrats on being freshly pressed – happy it gave me the opportunity to discover your blog =)

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  18. Pingback: A Year of Blogging (via The First Gates) / My Three Months « Broken NotePadz

  19. An extraordinary blog post! I believe you’ve summed up every important aspect of the blogging. I used to write with more flair and poetic enthusiasm until I went to a Creative Writing class. Suddenly I found myself pausing and negatively judging every sentence because my class partner had strongly advised against certain phrasing, my teacher had told me to be more ‘creatively realistic’ (to this day I have no idea what she meant) and stop rambling. Only when I gave myself permission to be ‘incorrect’ did I find the freedom in writing I had before I was instructed on how to write. Sometimes I’ll be writing and a thought occurs about a topic or story that had been in the back of my mind all week, and next thing I know I’ve written an entire post, writing and envisioning in ways I could never do with speaking.
    Again – extraordinary post.
    -Classic

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    • Thank you, and I’m glad the post made a difference to you. Your comment that “Only when I gave myself permission to be ‘incorrect’ did I find the freedom in writing I had before I was instructed on how to write,” is wonderful.

      Some survival mechanism caused me to keep the few drafts of my first novel to myself and a few friends who I knew would be appreciative. In retrospect, the plot was DOA but the process was magical.

      Now my plotting far more solid, but often the process is “heavy,” as in “fiction is serious stuff.” Not so with blogging. In part it is still like recreation. A post of a few hundred words is not such a weighty undertaking. If no one reads it or comments, oh well – what will I write about next?

      But when a post like this strikes a chord with so many people, the feeling is marvelous. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment.

      Like

  20. I have to agree with the vast majority of the comments and say that I am also glad you were one of the “Pressed” blogs this week. Your posts are insightful, thoughtful and the topics are varied (which keeps it interesting!). Congratulations on being featured this week, as I will definitely be back for more!

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  21. Very well said. Blogging is discovering ourselves and that of others. It’s getting to know ourselves again , finding new meanings in life, meeting other writers and experiencing their thoughts. congrats. stay passionate in what you do.

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  22. Well done. Certainly you are a motivator. I have started and stopped but this time I have got the zeal to move forward and I am not turning back. I am progressing well though I still have a long way to go.

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  23. I completely understand where you are coming from. I have been tossing the idea of writing a book for some time now but I didn’t start until recently. The people who I pitched my ideas to were really excited and made me excited to share my story with them.

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  24. I just passed my two-year mark of blogging. It opened up other avenues of writing for me that were quite unexpected. You know what they say: “writers write.” Great post.

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  25. Thanks for finding the right arrangement of words to help me understand why I enjoy writing for audiences more than myself.

    Cheers from this side of the 365 day divide. 🙂

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  26. Wow! That was such an inspiring blog to read. Talk about reading something that resonates! I started my blog 47 days ago. It’s a “song of the day” blog. I write about how songs trigger memories. For me, pretty much every occasion has a song that accompanies it, and I like to write about it. I have just a small audience that reads my blog, but still…you’re right…I’m being heard and people are relating. Thanks for sharing this awesome post. So glad “Freshly Pressed” thought it worthy to highlight! 🙂

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  27. I am just starting to blog and am very impressed by your words of wisdom here and furthermore stating one of the reasons I started this journey in the first place. I do not consider my self well spoken, however I do have alot to say which I hope will not only be therapeautic for myself but hopefully for someone else. Thanks again.

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by. I just tried to get to your blog, but it was marked “private.” I don’t know i that is the setting you want if you are just starting out and want to attract readers. I suggest you check the protections.

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  28. I enjoyed reading your blog. I liked the way you shared your one year experience of blogging. I see a great future, a great unfolding of your talent ahead of you. Many of your thoughts resonated in me and I saw many parallels. I too have started blogging since a year or so after much postponing and apprehensions. But after my blogs were published I found very good responses and feedback from readers and friends that have renewed, reinvigorated and fulled my interest. Blogging is essentially sharing, so it keeps one’s aliveness, ideas and experiences circulating. It is the opposite of hoarding and stagnating. You shared so well. Keep sharing. Kudos to you !

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  29. “I’ve learned many things this year, chief among them, the seemingly inexhaustible way the mind generates ideas.”

    Well said. Equally amazing to me is the realization that people are seemingly inexhaustibly interested in those ideas–that we can blog about the most seemingly mundane things and have people not only relate to them, but think about them in a whole new way. That’s what I love about reading blogs, and it’s such fun to be a writer and give that to other people too.

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    • Thank you for your comment, and for stopping by here, and for your own blog. What a powerful tribute to Abbie. It’s remarkable how people with shared affinities connect through this medium. We have three dogs, and at 15, you can see oldest getting ready to leave. Your post is a great reminder to enjoy all the days we have with her – as well as the others.

      Like

  30. Congratulations 1st Year!

    November 2011 will be 3 years blogging for me. I’m just beginning to think of blogs as platforms.

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  31. I started my blog because I wanted to keep people up to date on my summer in South America, but I’ve also always wanted to blog but just never did, and I love it! I don’t think I’ll quit once I go back home 🙂

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  32. thank you for a good post. for me each day is a new test: if i will seat still and keep writing. i try to remember the difference between amateur and profesional writer. the first one keeps writing when there’s inspiration (words are writing themselves). the second one is in charge in words, they serves him.
    all the best!

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  33. wonderful post! Here’s something I read from another blogger (Christopher Foster – The Happy Seeker) that really resonated and was so vivid, it reminds me why I write, especially the last part:
    “I find blogging is a happy medium. You write a post. It takes a couple of hours let’s say. Then all you have to do is hit a button, and immediately a little bit of you sets off to roam the world.”
    I started my blog a few months ago and told myself I was doing it for myself. But, you are absolutely right, I get such deep pleasure and satisfaction if just one new reader appears. I guess I was just fooling myself about “doing it for myself”.

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  34. I am at 1.5 years of blogging. It is definitely nice to find out if someone reads it. But because I’m a Master’s graduate looking for a publishing job, this works as a writing portfolio as well so that motivates me too. Given my focus, I usually find I have more content and ideas for them than I can produce.

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  35. Congrats on one year of blogging, Morgan! I’m hoping I’ll be able to celebrate the same thing a little less than a year from now. Blogging is rewarding in so many ways… but it’s also a conscious commitment. Kudos to you for sticking with it, and cheers to years to come!

    ~Elli

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  36. Loved this post, you expressed my thoughts on blogging so well, especially how it felt so natural after all the letter-writing! I know exactly what you mean. I’m one of those who loves writing long descriptive letters….couldn’t quite fathom why I got such short replies from friends. I used to take that personally but now I just think maybe they don’t like writing so much.
    Congrats on your bloggoversary, I’m sure you won’t stop anytime soon 🙂
    Let the ideas flow!

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  37. Nice post. I’ve always had a problem updating my blog, but funnily enough, I’ve never had a problem keeping a very dedicated diary… Maybe cyberspace isn’t my thing.

    Anyway, great post and thanks for sharing! You write well. 🙂

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  38. I always had a lot of things to say, to tell, to share..but when i’m in front of the computer, I’m running out of ideas and words. So i end up post nothing on my blog.

    So kudos to those who not only has ideas to write, but also able to maintain the ‘momentum’ ..

    congrats for the freshly pressed 🙂

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  39. Your blog and especially blogging at frequent intervals makes a difference…I too have realized this a month or two back. It started showing off its colors ever since I joined WordPress. But with each new post, I am able to feel the world that is getting created due to this. I wish that while completing one year, I also be able to write something substantial and grow much more…
    I never knew before this how important writing and expressing was for me. I too tried maintaining journals, but may be it’s the feeling of getting bored or the guilt of being overly self-obsessed that doesn’t let it continue. I am happy this is continuing and now I am intending to move on with this.
    I must say thanks to WordPress, because had they not freshly pressed your post, I could not have found such a wonderful blog to visit regularly…

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  40. Hi Morgan,
    Congratulations on your first anniversary of blogging and being Freshly Pressed!

    Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post. It is wonderfully written 🙂 and has boosted my passion to write more and better, as I am a new kid on the blog – still unconfidently keeping my blog for myself (and my husband once in a while, just to show off! Lol).

    Before this, I was never successfull in keeping any kind of journals or diaries. But blogging is different – I find myself creating my own world, and it’s exciting! I feel like being surrounded by mentors all around (without them knowing). I learn a lot from posts like yours, more than just about writing.
    Wait for my first anniversary post next year! – Fanny

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  41. hello Morgan,

    Well, you definitely have a writers name that should be on a book cover : )
    I like what you said in the beginning of the post: ‘What kept me going was the thrill of knowing someone wanted to read what I had to say’

    I know the feeling. It sure motivates. Maybe humans are social animals after all who want to make a contribution, no matter how big or small. It’s that feeling to belong to the human race and feel needed and appreciated that counts!

    Thanks and keep up the good work!
    Manu
    Rancilio Silvia

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  42. You pretty much summed up a lot of what I’ve been thinking about today! I just finished writing a post about what blogging has done for me mentally. I haven’t been blogging for very long, but already I’ve been amazed by how much I have to say on some topics and some of the random tangents I can go on inspired by one sentence.

    Great post, I love reading things that people are passionate about.

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  43. Congrats on one year of blogging and also on getting onto Freshly Pressed page. I’m in my beginning phase of blogging, just 3 days and it really feels good when someone reads my posts(or will read it in future) . 🙂

    “I’ve learned many things this year, chief among them, the seemingly inexhaustible way the mind generates ideas.”
    I agree!

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  44. I feel somewhat a kindred yearning for writing – though have kept a journal selfishly for the past couple of years and am now just venturing into the mine field of blogging. My journey is early and I’m still feeling my way – it was enjoyable to gain an insight into someone farther along the field.

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  45. I completely agree with your feeling of ‘thats it, I’m out of things to say’ shortly before inspiration strikes! I am a serial journal starter (but not finisher) and I do a blog about old newspaper articles. I often get to the point where I think I have exhausted all the ideas I think people will find interesting, then five minutes later new thoughts have just leapt out of my head and I am scribbling in my notebook so they wont get away. Well done on a year of blogging and congrats on being freshly pressed.

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  46. For someone who started blogging while sitting in a clinic trying to get out of having an operation (herniated disk) what you say resonates deeply. I am a writer and film-maker but I never thought to blog. When I began I thought ‘why would anyone want to read what I have to say about me’ (as opposed to the writing I do for my job). Congratulations on your first birthday. Here’s looking at you kid.

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  47. Nice post and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed. This just motivated me to keep on going when I was slowing down, thank you.

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  48. This is a wonderful post! My best friend’s New Year’s Resolution this year was to blog every day for a whole year, and so far she’s kept it up. She’s kept it up despite many of the same “why would anyone want to read this?” issues and has finally started finding her own voice.

    (She’s at http://picnicspensandplaygrounds.blogspot.com/ in case anyone’s interested.)

    Congratulations on your first anniversary! A very inspiring milestone, I must say!

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  49. I have to agree with you when you say that blogging is a way of “building a platform.” As a writer myself, that is exactly one of the reasons why I started a blog, so people will know my name when my book comes out. Congrats on your first year. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts.

    I’ll appreciate it if you checked out my blog http://janachantel1.wordpress.com/ it’s about me trying to become a successful published author. And please feel free to subscribe!

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  50. I loved this post because as a new blogger and an aspiring writer I am always in need of motivation – and that’s what your post provided. My blogging experience has been challenging and yet rewarding because everyday I am able to share and relate to people who are doing what they truly love – writing! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  51. Loved it.

    So much of your experiences with writing strike a chord in me. I too wrote (and still sometimes write) long letters to those of my family and friends who enjoyed reading them. It was through those letters, the shared experience of life, books, lessons that I first learnt to appreciate the power of words, their gift of allowing you to transcend space and time to share or be part of an experience that in actual fact may have been solitary.

    I am not very good with words, but writing gives me a pleasure that I am unable to keep away from for too long. It helps me reflect, put things in perspective. Like you’ve said, I’m often surprised by what I write – it’s like the words have a life of their own that I’m not even aware of, till they’re out on paper or on a screen and staring at me….which led me to realize that whether of not someone reads what I write about, I wouldn’t want to stop. My writing is less for others and more to help me experience the person I am, the changes that happen every moment, and that I am not aware of because like many other things, I tend to take myself for granted. Writing creates the space I need to observe myself…

    So, thank you for reminding me of all the reasons that make writing special. I really enjoyed reading your post!

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  52. You are very expressive in your writing. I hope I can do the same. sometime i run out of words to express what i really want to convey. Congrats for being freshly pressed! and yes i will subscribe. cheers!

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  53. I am pretty new to this blogging thing..n this post of yours is a true inspiration for young n bubbling writers..i guess you found one more regular reader for your blog
    🙂

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  54. Hi! I am new to blogging and I recently signed up for WordPress’s challenge of post a day. Congratulations in making it one year! I strive to be like you. I agree about finding blogging enlightening and a journey of discovery.

    Cheers,
    Louise

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  55. Good blog article.I just started my own blog,and if you have the time come take a look at what little I have so far and give me some advice,if you want.

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  56. Keep up the good work! I’ve been blogging a year and a half about my dad’s sinking into Alzheimer’s. We lost him May 8. I assumed I’d be writing for years. . . goodness.
    Even though I have published books, I have to tell you, I have learned so much from blogging. So, keep up the good work!
    And congrats on being freshly pressed.

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    • Thanks for posting here Sandra. I am always amazed at some of the unexpected similarities that emerge through people’s comments. My father moved up here to be with us after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1999, and we lost him in 2007.

      Mary and I also loved New Mexico and were married in Santa Fe. We had our reception at Bandolier and put up our guests and ourselves in the little adobe cabins that are now used to house park workers. On several later trips back we experienced that sense of shift too – that the land and the cities did not seem like home anymore.

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  57. Really good read. I’m fairly new to blogging, but really enjoy it. As you say, the excitement of someone wanting to read what we want to write is motivation in itself. I shall be keeping an eye on what you say from time to time.

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  58. I really enjoyed your post. I’m a little over a month and a half into the post-a-day challenge and your post captured the essence of why I can’t give up this practice. I started it because I want to write more, but I keep doing it because of the things I discover, the ideas that stick, and the forum it presents for sharing the things I love. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Genevieve

    p.s. congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

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  59. I came to this blog by chance looking for another. I am glad I read yours as it confirmed my search for a blog to get others to read mine thought. I shall move my weekly blogging to this site where people are active. Thanks for showing me the way; and keep up another year of good thoughts/wisdoms from the mind

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  60. Hi Morgan,
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and on completing your first year of blogging. Your opening sentences really hit home with me. ” What kept me going was the thrill of knowing someone wanted to read what I had to say.” Back in the 80s, before the word “email” was in popular use, I learned to do “electronic exchanges”. I think it had a fancier name, but I can’t remember what it was. I was a teacher at a high school that drew from a NYC ghetto. At any rate, I set up exchanges between my English classes and English classes in various parts of the world. The students would write about themselves, their lives, hobbies, music they loved; sometimes we would all read the same book and discuss it.

    The point I’m getting at is that they were not writing for the teacher. None of this was “graded” or commented upon. No red marks in the margins of papers. I can’t begin to tell you the thrill of discovering that when they were writing for someone their own age eagerly awaiting what they had to say, they became interested in writing. Students would call me over to their computers to ask if they had expressed themselves clearly. Sometimes they would even ask about correct punctuation!

    You’re so right. Having interested readers makes all the difference in the world..

    Like

    • Do you mean the old Usenet groups and list servers? I remember them too. What a great story about the students. That kind of experience and the whole phenomenon of blogging really seem to dismantle the myth that there are just a few special people with something to say and the skill to say it.

      Thanks for telling this story.

      Like

  61. Congratulations my friend. I hope you have many more years to come. I too enjoy writing and I too love it when people read my work. Its all about self discovery for me. Pe@ce

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  62. I’m 11, I just read your post, and I have to agree.
    I just restarted blogging constantly again. I had the same thing going on, about not knowing what to blog about. But yes, ideas come and go.

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  63. I can totally relate. I have been trying to get myself blogging for just over a year now. Its so hard to get that engine going but I’m slowly but surely chugging along with a few posts a month. However, I wish it were several per week. I’ll get there!

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    • I stopped by your blog and would not have known you were timid if you hadn’t said so. I left a comment and subscribed so I can see where your quest takes you. Just keep at it and see what happens!

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  64. Blogging can help you tune up your writing skills, but I find it to be a huge temptation to do with reading other people’s blogs instead of writing in my own or working on my fictional stuff. Blogging is definitely about discovery and it’s great coming across other writers and what they’ve experienced through their writing. And discovering ourselves through it too.

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  65. makes me think about my writing/blogging and what it would be like to post once a week. hard enough right now to post once a month! so maybe 2012 I can be part of post a week–you are inspiring me to think big things. thanks!

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  66. What a treat to your first year in the blogosphere! First anniversary that you will sure remember because of making it in the freshly pressed. Congratulations and I wish you more years of blogging! 🙂

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  67. Pingback: A Year of Blogging | Travel to Johor

  68. Pingback: Thank You | The First Gates

  69. Greetings from Russia!:)
    I also write letters to my friends, it very fascinated and helps to develop informal style. It is a useful exercise because I want to be a journalist, too.
    Sufficiently rare to find an interesting blog, but I did it.I will continue to read your writing.

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  70. You’re going to find it almost impossible to stop blogging. It’s addictive. I’m well over 500 blogs for the year and half the time don’t know where my mind comes up with the stuff that I write. Other than the fact that I may be borderline insane and haven’t been committed to a facility for the absolutely nuts yet. Keep at it. I’ll need all the friends I can muster up when my mind finally overloads and I’m in the loony bin.

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  71. This whole blogging thing is interesting, and sometimes I wonder why it has taken on such a life of its own. These days I blog more than write in a journal. Somehow it seems easier, and I love having it be a venue for some of the thousands of photos I take. Glad you made it through your first year, and I’ll look forward to what happens in the second.
    By the way, the quote about following rules or being you is perfect.

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  72. Pingback: A Year of Blogging | Travel to Sabah

    • Passion, or curiosity, or even aversion (I’ve written at least one review of a book with an ending that felt like a ripoff) – some kind of real response seems to satisfy self and others.

      I’ve hit the delete key more than once on posts that didn’t get beyond being academic.

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  73. Thank you for your post. I enjoyed reading it.

    I just started updating my blog. I studied creative writing and publishing and stuff, but having a blog is the most fun. Mine isn’t inspiring like yours though.

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    • My wife has pointed out several times recently that I have more fun with my blog than my fiction recently. She’s right, and as a result, often I thing the writing is fresher and livelier I haven’t quite figured out what to do with that yet, however.

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  74. Congrats on the FP and what a nice post, very thoughtful and thought provoking.

    I started blogging as an outlet for thoughts with a hope it may turn into something but I am still not sure where it will take me!

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  75. I just found this and I’m very encouraged by it. I had not formally committed to a blog a day this year, probably because I didn’t think I could do it. Much to my amazement so far, I am doing it. I’ll likely miss a day or more in the coming months because of my hectic schedule (or my beliefs about it?), but your post about a year of blogging is inspiring. Many thanks and congratulations!

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    • Thanks Jim, but let’s be clear – this was a one year anniversary but not a post a day for a year. I am formally doing a post a week, though most times it is 3-5 posts a week. Congratulations to you if you’re doing one a day most days!

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  76. “I tried to keep journals, because that’s what writers are supposed to do…”

    I kept journals, though not nearly as much of one as I claimed to. Even when writing for myself I wrote as if someone would one day read it….you know, when I became famous and stuck my head in an oven. I think that the best stuff I ever wrote in a journal was lost in an airport somewhere between here and Aalesund, Norway.

    I like your comment about thoughts and ideas coming to you mid-sentence. That is the reason that I now keep true, private, hand-written journals. The more I write in a free-flow sort of way, writing down thoughts as they come to me, whether random nonsense or focused treasures…the more ideas come to me. It’s as if by writing, I open up the channel of communication from the creative side. In that private space I just write, as only a writer can understand – colons and all.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

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  77. I can completely relate to everything you say here! About ‘things you should do’ as a writer, about feeling like you have no more to say…Good to know that it is not only my well of creativity which I sometimes feels runs dry. And is so true that writing sometimes shows us ideas and things about ourselves we were never aware of.
    http://ideasofawanderingmind.wordpress.com/

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  78. Good read here. I just started my blog as well. And aside from picking one topic I am using one main theory, or idea and branching off of it. I picked up some good ideas from you thanks so much..

    Matt Mass

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  79. “If I had to sum up what blogging means to me, I would say, ‘discovery.'”

    I definitely feel that every time I post a new article. And since I’m in grad school and post my annotations on the blog, the “discovery,” for me, is in seeing how much of a close reader I am of other people’s work. Re-reading those annotations, I’m both surprised and proud of what I’ve written, and happy that my readers appreciate them enough to read them.

    “…all the things I get to research and learn about…”

    I love doing research. I did it as a reporter and now as a blogger. I started my blog nearly two years ago (I can’t wait to do a “Two Years of Blogging” post. Of course, I’d shout you out for the idea! Congrats on making that year!), after being laid off from my job as a staff writer at a black-owned newspaper in Baltimore.

    I started blogging because of a friend, who after hearing of the news, suggested that I keep myself in practice and create a platform for my thoughts. “Build your own archive, yo,” he told me then, and I’m still thanking him for that suggestion.

    “…I continuously surprise myself by finding things in the psyche I don’t know are there until I see them on the screen.”

    Yeah. I can’t relate to you there, again. It’s amazing how some of our best conversations are inside our heads. Thanks for putting yours out there. Peace!

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  80. I was in the middle of my writings and then i got stumped on what else to add, which doesn’t happen often. So i browsed around and i came to your post and everything just connected, thank you so much for sharing your post.

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  81. “[…]an appreciative audience was all it took to turn on an incredible flow of words”.

    This is the epitome of why I started and have kept a blog. I started out believing that nobody would ever read it, that I’d just be tossing text into the lonely abyss of the internet with all of the other desperate hopefuls. Thank God for site stats and the people kind enough to leave comments and ratings, or I’d probably still think that.

    Writing, for me, isn’t about getting famous. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme to avoid the real world. It’s not even about surpassing the endless challenges of getting published. Quite simply, I write because I love to imagine and I strive to create stories deserving of a reader’s time.

    WordPress is a community of people reaching out for one another. It uplifts me to support other bloggers as well. Every reader is a precious commodity. I am so thankful for them. And I am so hopeful for other writers like us.

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  82. “[…]an appreciative audience was all it took to turn on an incredible flow of words”.

    This is the epitome of why I started and have kept a blog. I started out believing that nobody would ever read it, that I’d just be tossing text into the lonely abyss of the internet. Thank God for site stats and the people kind enough to leave comments and ratings, or I’d probably still think that.

    Writing, for me, isn’t about getting famous. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme to avoid the real world. It’s not even about surpassing the endless challenges of getting published. Quite simply, I write because I love to imagine and I strive to create stories deserving of a reader’s time.

    WordPress is a community of people reaching out for one another. It uplifts me to support other bloggers as well. Every reader is a precious commodity. I am so thankful for them. And I am so hopeful for other writers like us.

    Like

    • Thanks for posting this comment. I really appreciate your sentiment – “I write because I love to imagine and I strive to create stories deserving of a reader’s time.”

      What is so incredible about blogging is that up until this medium, you pretty much had to “be somebody,” or have some credentials or some clips to get into print at all, even in the local community news weekly.

      Here we get to learn by doing and support each other in the process, and discover that there are a lot of people with a lot of interesting things to say.

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      • Yes, the internet truly makes a level platform for anybody to become somebody. It’s just a bit harder if everyone is trying to be heard, but few want to listen to others. But it’s really so rewarding when you do manage to be both a blogger and an avid reader of blogs. Like you said, we really learn and experience so much more.

        Thanks for your post, Morgan.

        Fellow writers and readers, keep lighting the way.

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    • Amber it would be nice to have people like you read my weeklybiteofjoy blog. I will be changing over to this site. Thanks for your kind thoughts for the rest of us bloggers.

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  83. hi Morgan,
    thanx for sharing your insights on writing. I also have the feeling that I discover new ideas and insights when writing them down. Only when writing them down I get to a deeper lever. Nice quote about the rule followers.
    I would suggest: don’t follow rules, follow your own thoughts and be surprised where you’ll end up!

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  84. Hi Morgan!
    Wow! I came across your blog just by accident. I love READING and I just might be a closet-writer. I just started my blog today and I hope that my passion to write is as cathartic and rewarding as so many people have recorded here. I plan to visit a number of times to read what you have said in the past. Congratulations on one year of blogging!

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  85. I too have struggled in keeping a journal over the years, and found myself writing letters to express my thoughts. The funny thing is most of the time thought the letters never went to the intended recipient. In my case it was more a way to work out something I was angry or upset about and just could not bring myself to approach the issue, or person head on. When I would write it all out, I would find a release for the anger and anxiety. I highly recommend this to anyone. It helps put things into perspective and has probably helped my sanity in the process.

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  86. An inspiring post! I just started a blog of my own (after years of rejecting the idea and friends’ suggestions) and glad to see the deep-rooted value and effect your journey has had on you. Keep writing!

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  87. Hi there! I stumbled across your blog on the writing site and I’m so glad I did! I’ve just started blogging about 7 weeks ago and I am enjoying it but I can SO agree with much of what you’ve said. I’m blogging to keep myself WRITING and some days I think: Yep. That’s it. I’m out. I’m done. So thank you for sharing something I can relate to. Your post is an encouragement! Take care and keep writing!!

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  88. Very interesting. Do you think that emails have turned into the new letter writing? Or that because of how instantaneous emails are that they differ significantly? Has anything then replaced the art of letter writing? I miss those days.

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  89. Every year I handwrite a letter with flowers pasted to the stationery to my most special friends and their birthdays. There is nothing to replace the personal touch of letter writing, NOTHING.

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    • I’m really glad you stopped by and thanks for your comment. Thinking “a year” makes it sound massive, like climbing a mountain. Better to paraphrase the common saying and thing, “one post a time!” Have fun with your blog!

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