One Year Gone

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Then as it was, then again it will be
Though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Flyin' the skies of fortune, each our separate ways
On the wings of maybe, downing birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it's got so far to go

                           ~~Led Zeppelin
It's impossible to believe, but one year ago yesterday, I started this blog.  Have a look at my first post and you'll see it was a pretty humble beginning--blathering on about nothing to no one.  I chuckle now realizing, in some sense, that is how all things begin.

One year and 142 posts later, it feels like one hell of a journey, one I never would have predicted when I began to write that first post.  At the time I struggled with my creative future.  Who was I anyway?  Who was I going to be?  I certainly didn't know, but somehow I understood there was only one way to find out: get out there and write, see where it takes me.  And this blog was born out of that simple desire.

I stumbled around a lot, trying to figure out what I was doing.  That first month was all bluster and excitement.  I received my very first comment (thanks Emily!) on this short post, which I am still kinda proud of:
One last note before the day fails.  The path to writing has taken me far from my original course.  Not too long ago, I felt like a lighthouse keeper in a fog, caught out in a storm.

That's changed.  I can't remember the turns, the places where I might have paused to reflect, the dead-ends and the jaunts and the switchbacks.  But it seems like this spot is a pretty nice one.

I think I'll stay awhile.

Other posts followed with dispatch.  It felt good to struggle with the writing and share thoughts on my trouble in this forum--especially because the fight to stay focused was real and tangible and something I knew I couldn't talk my way out of or ignore (actually, I feared my motivation would leave me more than anything).  Along the way, I interviewed myself, posted some of my fiction and talked about the Moment.

I also began to discover a great community of writers out there who blogged and who I felt akin to--writers like Liza and Postie and Heather and Elana and Brian and Roz and Schmidty--and the day to day interactions helped keep the fire in my belly burning and kept me focused on the writing at hand.  There were dark days when I would have packed it in for good without their encouragement.

February and March flew by.  I started my Friday Link Love series (which I plan to resurrect in 2011), mourned the tragic loss of a family of seamonkeys, hosted my first blogfest, and celebrated my return home from Iraq.

In April and May, I shared the worst poem ever written (by yours truly!) and continued to be introduced to awesome writers who blogged, like Claire and Donna and Lydia and DL and Lola and Summer and Tara and SJS and Courtney and Portia and Valerie and G. G. (an old friend, new blogger) and Meghan and so many more!--and stumbled into an awesome Critique Group, a fact which still blows my mind every time I think about it.  Love you guys!

In June I moved to Sicily, where this blog fell silent for a few months, chiefly because of a drastic and unanticipated lack of internet access.  September and October found me pondering steps.  November and NaNo was a total blast, and everything since has been icing on the cake.  It truly is a wonderful life, and worth fighting for!

To tell the truth, I am surprised to still be standing after 365 days.  I didn't think I'd make it this far--so I need to remind myself of that fact the next time I'm looking at a short story I don't know how to finish or find myself knee-deep in a novel, having no clue where the exit door is located.  The lesson is stick with it and know that you can count on someone to give you a hand when the going gets rough.  You just have to say it's possible.

If you're reading this now, you're a part of this writing life of mine, and for that--and everything else you do!--I thank you.  Now here's to making Year Two as brilliant as Year One!  Who's with me?!?!

15 bolts from the blue:

Misha said...

Congrats on one year of blogging! I don't think I've ever commented her before, but now I think I'll stick around for a bit.

Good luck with year two. :-)

Liza said...

I'm with you JP! Congratulations! Fantastic accomplishment! I had, and still have, so many of the same questions...and I'm a month off from year two of blogging! If it feels right deep down I said in my first post of the year...just keep plugging. Now, about that critique group...any suggestions how to best find one? I might be almost ready...

Yvonne Osborne said...

Happy New Year Jon. Yes, I've met a lot of writers via blogging and while I'm not the most frequent blogger, I wouldn't keep plugging if I didn't think it would help me make connections and hone my craft. The writing life is a wonderful life and worth fighting for. Well said.

Summer Frey said...

You posted that at 11:11 in 1/11. If that's not a sign of good fortune, then I don't know what is... :)

glnroz said...

congrats and the next will be fun too. thnx for your future input and your past duties.

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, JP, you know I adore you and am grateful for your friendship, positive energy (and thorough critiques in our Crit Group), in my life and in the blogosphere.

Here's to a spectacular 2011! Cheers! *clink*

Now get back to writing.


SM Schmidt said...

Pop open some bubbly JP! Congrats! You deserve it for keeping it going through thick and thin. The hardest hurdle is keeping a blog going the first year.

untitlement said...

Congratulations, JP! Sounds like an amazing year, and you've done so much with your blog. I hope to have even a fraction of your success, and stumbling into a critique group would be nice, too.

-Caroline (found you through Show Me Yours blogfest)

sue said...

I'm usually more your lurker reader - but hey the man has Calvin and Hobbes just there, how could I not say 'Hi'.

I'm still at the stumbling about, trying to work out what I'm doing stage, but it's fun learning to allow what happens to happen in it's own good time.

BTW, I found you through Liza.

Donna Hole said...

Pretty good for a first post; progress (ahead of schedule!), self critique (not overly critical) and goals. Awesome goals. Did you enter the short story contest? And DAISY, that story finally plant roots?

You've been fun to hang out with over the last year - wow has it been that long. And I'm looking forward to more posts from you. Perhaps even another blogfest?

Thanks for the shout out - and for the sweet things you said in my comments.

Have a great weekend. If you do any traveling around Italy, be sure to post some pictures for us to enjoy.


Emily Cross said...

Thanks for dropping by the blog!

Huge congrats on reaching the 1 year mark :)

Delighted that you're blog is still going strong, may it continue well into the future :)

Postman said...

I'm with you! YEAH!

And I LIKED that poem. I think we've all had missiles in the silos of our souls at some point. Sha-boom!

Thanks for the shout-out, pal. And best of luck with the writing game in 2011. I've resolved to prepare my novel for publication this year. And break into the short fiction market. Hold me to it, please.

Claire Dawn said...

Has it onlhy been a year! I feel like I've been lurking around here forever. lol.

Thanks for the love. I'm glad to have you in my writing family too.

Claire Dawn said...

PS, loved the zombie analogy in your first post.

DL Hammons said...

Dude's of the blogosphere united in 2010!! It was a banner year indeed, and I'm still counting my blessings that the two of us found our way to one another (I know that sounds gay...but screw it!)

Let 2011 be the year of ROCK!!!

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