September 28, 2010
1) it is my birthday
2) this is my 70th post and the one year anniversary of Letters to the World.
Let's start with my birthday. I am turning forty-one this week. While last year I celebrated my fortieth with a big party and plenty of fanfare, the celebrations are much more low-key this year. I have instructed my family not to make a fuss; I purchased a beautiful digital camera (a Canon Rebel) and a new bicycle this year and those seem like presents enough. In pondering my entry into my forty-second year of life, I have visualized a skating rink as representing my fourth decade. At thirty-nine I entered the arena and rented my skates. At forty I sat on the bench tying up my skate laces and wondering how the ice would feel. At forty-one I see myself as starting to glide around the perimiter of the rink, gradually getting more comfortable and adjusting my balance. Perhaps by forty-two I will be attempting some jumps and figure eights. Who knows? Please don't ask me why I see my forties as a skating rink - I have no idea. It was just an image that came to me.
Now on to the First Anniversary of my blog. While my good friend Tracey at http://unodostracey.blogspot.com/ is going for two hundred posts by her first blogiversary, and I wish her much success, I am truly blown away by the fact that I have actually written seventy in one year. The reason I am so pleased with myself is because in a good year, before I started my blog, I may write ten pieces and feel pretty good about that. But seventy? Utterly amazing, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, I know my posts haven't all been masterpieces, by any stretch of the imagination, but overall, I am extremely pleased with the fact that I have stuck to my goal of producing at least one piece every week. And I have had an increasingly good time doing it!
Once, when I was a teenager, my neighbour Vicky, a bookstore/cafe owner asked me what I would like to do when I grew up. I said, "I would like to write a newspaper column, one that would be, like, my take on things. It would be a bit serious sometimes, and, like, maybe funny sometimes, too." Vicky thought that sounded great. I had encouragement in writing from one of my high school English teachers and especially from my parents, but the idea of a newspaper column had by then been buried under new ambitions for a scholarly career. When I went to college, my English 101 teacher, Pauline Butling stopped me in the common room one day and suggested I take the Applied Writing course because I showed some talent in that area. I told her no, I had other ('bigger') plans, and off I went to pursue them. Those bigger plans materialized in my going off to the University of British Columbia, meeting my future husband, getting married, and starting a family directly. So much for the scholarly career, but I plugged away at the writing, producing a novel, several journals, and the odd poem or short essay.
When I joined the local arts council in 2003, I volunteered to write a monthly column in the local newspaper about our programs and events. I interviewed artists and wrote feature articles to promote their shows and workshops at our art gallery. I enjoyed the work and it helped me greatly in learning to edit and to get my point across quickly and with style. The monthly column was well received, but after a few years, it was time to move on when I became immersed in other things. The itch to write, however, never left me. From that, there was no 'moving on'. A friend suggested I start something called a weblog, which was a way of self-publishing my writing. My dad had started one the year before (he's the Kootenay Ranger on my blogroll), and I had found the whole concept of a blog fascinating, but for me? I wasn't sure. Last fall, after attending my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary family reunion, I became overwhelmingly inspired to create a blog of my own with the idea that it would be a weekly column of sorts. It would be my take on things, sometimes serious and sometimes a little humourous, and I would call it Letters to the World.
So here I am, now beginning the second year of my blog and on my seventieth post. I almost cannot believe how much more settled into the craft of writing I am, compared to a year ago. What the experts say is true: to be a writer, one must simply write. Once a post is finished to my satisfaction, I am already thinking about the next one. If this blog accomplishes nothing except for the increase in my confidence and belief in myself as a writer, then, in my view, it has been a success. I really do not know what this next year of blogging will bring - hopefully, at least seventy more posts written with immense enjoyment and hopefully received with some of the same.
A huge thank you to all my wonderful, loyal readers. Without you and your feedback, this blog would not be nearly as much fun!