Yep, as of two days ago, March 26th, it’s been ten years since I began this blog. I can’t believe it, either. There’s now nearly 1500 posts on this blog, which is stunning to me also. While I now do my best to blog twice a week, there was a time back in the day when I managed a post every day. God only knows how I did that.
But this blog has been the centerpiece of my writing career for those ten years and I’m proud of it. I’ve gotten countless clients and tons of new friends from it. And I continue to learn as much from writing it as I hope you do from reading it. Some of you have actually been reading me since the beginning, and I thank you for that. It truly means the world to me.
I often tell clients this story to encourage them: when I first started this blog, I remember telling my son about it. But then I quickly said, “But don’t go read it.” I was too uncertain about it, too nervous to have my words out in the world, not sure it would amount to anything. And here I am, ten years later, still putting words out there. So I mean it when I say that if I can do it, you can, too. And that applies to any aspect of writing.
Over those ten years, I’ve worked with dozens of writers one-on-one, taught numerous classes, started and maintained a business hosting workshops in France, published a novel, gotten an agent, written more fiction which will soon see the light of day, written articles, had stories published in anthologies, and scribbled lord knows how many pages in my journals. I’ve traveled regularly to Nashville, L.A.,the Oregon Coast, and France, been to New York City and Barcelona once, and Seattle numerous times. I’ve said goodbye to three good pugs, managed to live with two very fat and opinionated cats, and I’ve stayed married to the same very patient man. I lost my mother, but gained a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law, and fast on their heels, four grandchildren.
It’s been a busy ten years, and I am a lucky woman.
I thought it would be fun to include my very first post in this anniversary, so here it is:
First paragraphs in articles are hard, too. Usually (okay, always) I must have my first paragraph set before the rest of an article will flow, and its for the same reason–all the words that follow depend on the firm foundation of the first paragraph.
So, too, with first entries in a blog, like this one. It logically (though logic is not my strong suit, despite my love of Sudoku) follows that the premiere post should be a strong basis for all the missives to come. It should delineate the themes of the blog, be witty and erudite, and make people want to keep coming back for more. Which makes it really hard, just like writing the first chapter of a novel. The difference being that by the time a novel gets published, that first chapter will have been rewritten a gazillion times, and the essence of a blog is daily communication. So, to heck with it. I’ll forget about strong foundations and all that and just dive right in.
After all, one of my fondly held beliefs is that process is more important than product, at least while one is the middle of the process of creating a product. Its so easy to get caught up in thoughts of the product–does it sound right? will people like it? is it good?–that it can paralyze you while you are trying to be engrossed in the process. And conversely, there’s nothing better in the whole world than those times when you are so caught up in the writing process that two hours pass like two minutes.
This blog will focus on process, and words, and how to produce a lot of them, and a whole lot more. After all, the word strumpet means prostitute and the word prostitute means, according to Webster’s, a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, especially for money. As a word strumpet, I engage in promiscuous writing activity, especially, but certainly not solely, for money. Strumpet that I am, I can’t get enough of words, can’t get enough of writing.
Hence, the blog, which will not only serve as a forum to produce more words but hopefully provoke comment. Because another one of my firmly held beliefs is that writing is communication, and communication is a loop. If any part of the loop is broken, something is missing, which is why writers whine a lot about how hard it is to get published. So I am casting my words into the circle and you can keep the circle unbroken by writing back with comments.
Until then, as always, I’ll just be here writing.
And I gotta say, for all the other changes in my life, one thing has remained the same: I’m still just here, writing.