Happy Birthday to me and here I am – I made it one year as a blogger.
I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in, and I did not burn out or run out of things to write about. It felt somewhat like a floodgate that was opened, spilling out all the things I’ve ever wanted to write about but didn’t for so long.
I liked the idea of pairing my actual birthday and what would become my blogging anniversary and that is just what I’ve done.
I never could have imagined, when I wrote my
very first post – Bucket List,
that I would have come so much farther than I dared believe I could and that I would have so much to show for it.
I thought a lot about how I wanted to mark this occasion and I decided to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made this, creatively, one of the best years of my life.
One of my biggest supporters, almost from the very beginning, has been Candace at:
Change It Up Editing and Writing Services
She gets the first spot in my list of thank you mentions – well deserved. The tagline from her website reads: “I love words. Especially yours.” This clearly shows her dedication to helping others.
When I was only debating and throwing around the idea of starting a blog in the first place I discovered her
You can tell, or I soon learned how to, when someone genuinely wants to help you and to give you a moment of their time. I recognized, right away, that she was and is someone who is happy to help whenever, wherever, and however she possibly can.
Not everyone is willing to listen and do what they can, but when I reached out to Candace because I was, with my iPhone and its VoiceOver, unable to click on her Facebook links, she made a point of listening to what my issue was and doing what she could for me.
Ever since then, she has repeatedly put an extra copy of each link in the comments, where my VoiceOver recognizes it and allows me to read all the interesting articles and blog posts she shares on writing and editing.
I have learned so much from her. She granted me an interview, my first on Her Headache, and generously gave me the exposure, allowing me to write a guest post to explain to her readers some of the particular issues with technology that I face.
Since then she has continued to read and share my blog posts whenever she can. I will never forget her kindness and her support, the belief she has shown in my writing ever since.
I guess you could say that the bloggers and writers I have discovered and who have come to mean something to me, showing me kindness and assistance along the way, fall into a handful of different categories.
MAXWELL IVEY JR.
There’s the first blind seller of carnival rides I’ve ever met, who started a website to help advertise his business:
He is the friendliest person I have ever come across and he has done so much to show me how to open up, online and off.
He has introduced me to places for my blog and my writing to fit in, all while introducing me to other bloggers and writers, always there to answer any blogging or social media questions I might have.
Since I’ve begun talking with him he has started a second site (The Blind Blogger) and published his first ebook (Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light), which can be found here:
Then there’s the lady who has lost a lot of sight later in life, but who has not let that stop her. Instead, she has come out with this incredible resource for all women who are visually impaired and blind, but who still wish to be fashionable and stylish:
Stephanae has again been someone willing to offer me support and an exchange of interviews. She has a site where she discusses things like makeup, shoes, and other accessories all girls like to indulge in from time to time. She includes not only photographs of these items, but the descriptions necessary for all women, even those who can not see, to be able to enjoy the things she recommends.
Sure, I may not wear makeup, but I still love to visit her website and especially I love to read about the interesting women she highlights on her Fierce Friday posts.
She draws me in with the alliteration her blog name possesses.
I have met some wonderful authors and writers along the way too:
and writer, activist, and feminist:
Julie Zeilinger, from The FBomb.
The blogosphere is an amazing place; however, I sometimes feel like I stand out or I don’t quite fit into any particular niche. I guess this isn’t the worst thing in the world because I enjoy a number of areas of the blogging world and its many varied subjects.
I am in my early thirties, for those unfamiliar with me and my blog, but I am not a mother.
Parenting blogs are one of the most commonly found on the internet.
I have grown quite comfortable sandwiched between two groups in the blogging universe, all of which I do read for the array of different perspectives offered.
The second group are those twenty-something writers and bloggers, writing about the decade of exploration and self-discovery that the twenties has become. I guess I continue to return to blogs like these because, in some ways, I feel I am living some part of my twenties over again in my thirties, learning and growing and still so easily able to relate to the struggles these ladies are experiencing.
These bloggers include brilliant and insightful young women such as:
Other blogs I love to follow include a Canadian writer and mother, a French blogger now living in the US, an Australian visually impaired travel blogger, a wizard with words, and a guy who lives with his illness and disability as best he can and who is a tireless activist for others with rare and debilitating conditions:
Carrie the Obscure CanLit Mama,
French writer and life coach Sylviane Nuccio,
Maribel of Touching Landscapes,
Michael at Migraine Discussions.
What have I learned from one year of blogging and what advice would I give to those just starting out, who are where I was one year ago at this time? Hmmm.
I think this post from Scarlet Wonderland says it better than I ever could:
The best and only thing I have learned, think I knew all along, and would advise would be to remain authentic. I only know how to be me and that is all. If I ever did have those moments of watching what another blogger was doing, and the thought to emulate them crossed my mind, I soon realized that I have to stick on my own path and do things my own way.
Thank you to every one of my loyal family who read this blog and any friends and family, those who I know are reading, even if I sometimes don’t realize it.
Also, I want to take this time to thank everyone else. If I forgot you, I apologize. Just know I am grateful for your collective presence here and for each and every time you return to read one of my posts.
Whether it’s 100 or 1000 followers – I’m lucky to have you reading this. I appreciate every comment made, good or bad, because they’ve all taught me some powerful lessons, being able to hear other’s thoughts on what I write helps me to grow my voice.
This blog has sustained me through the hard times of the past year, gotten me through multiple rejections in love and in writing, and captured some new experiences and some lasting memories.
Half-way through this past year I got the crazy notion of starting a second one.
What was I thinking, right?
Kidding. I may have come a long way since I published my first post here, but I still have a long ways to go when it comes to the blogging side of things.
Now it’s each year of this blog that marks my life, more than New Year’s Eve does for most people.
I have goals I’d like to have reached this time next year.
I have a stubborn streak with the publications I was turned down from this past year. Maybe those serve to make me work even harder or, perhaps they are meant to be lessons, serving to teach me that not everything is meant to be.
I have a few exciting things in the works at this very moment. I hesitate to say anymore than that.
I know, I know – don’t you hate when people do that?
I will say as much as I believe I can, without jinxing myself completely. Yes, it’s happened before.
I hope to continue to write about new, different, and interesting subjects here and share even more fascinating people with you through the interviews I love so much to do.
Currently, what I can say is that I am in the midst of participating in two things, specifically:
The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion
Both are causes I believe deeply in.
Finally, I couldn’t end this post without thanking the one who first got this blog up and running for me and who encouraged me, helping me get passed the tricky and the technical.
Now that I’ve come full circle.
Love and life are scary sometimes. I am scared a lot of the time frankly, but this blog is one of the greatest rewards for all that fear.
Jennifer from Young and Twenty sums up fear best in this way:
**I truly believe that where I am right now, at this moment in time, is where I was always supposed to be.**
This line from my very first post (February, 2014) was true then and, hey – it’s just as true today.
What do you know?
Through all the hard times and the struggles – I still believe it and I can’t tell you how comforting that thought is.
An so – one year and counting and here’s to many more.
Natalie Merchant, Kind and Generous, on YouTube
I want to dedicate this anniversary post and this song to you all.