A Patchwork Post: Quote-hunting, My Bloggling’s Birthday…and Cake!

by janice on March 29, 2010

cake (laptop shaped)

I logged on to post my final haiku instalment, then suddenly realised what the date was. It’s been a year exactly since the official launch of Sharing the Journey! And yes, that is a photo of a REAL cake, by someone called Zhanna in St Petersburg.

I’ve had a rich, gratifying year full of connection, friendship, learning and inspiration. Curiously, though, my stats declare that in some ways, it’s all been downhill since that first day; because I launched with a simultaneous guest post over at Write to Done, Zen Habits’ sister blog, I got hundreds of hits in a few hours, and have never had that many since! That was probably my first lesson in blogging – don’t get obsessed with statistics or you’ll get depressed and fry your brain!

Since then, I’ve learned that I am what  I call a “deciduous blogger”. I need periods of dormancy so I can grow and blossom. I also need frequent integrity checks, as there are aspects of the blogging world that don’t sit well with me. Here’s how I expressed it in my post Guest House:

Writing helps the soul breathe, but blogging is a different beast. It  makes me feel like a madwoman most days, swinging between highs of connection, learning, new friendships and self expression and lows of paranoia, frustration, exhaustion and queasiness at the underlying hypocrisy and unmentioned stalking and plunder that goes on in the shadows.

Some days I gush, full of the overflowing inspiration I feel the need to share, grateful for the gift of every single page view or subscription; some days I long  to lash out and rant.

I relish our humanity – mine, yours and that blogger over there’s, the one who bugs us both. But I know, from living every detail of my journey, that I’m not positive every day, that I’ve needed my darkness to make me reach out for better days, like a plant craving the sun’s embrace. The huge discrepancy between my subscriber numbers and the comments boxes makes me wonder if I’ll ever learn enough in the silence between the comments to know what you want to read, what you’d like me to share.

One thing I do know, I appreciate you, for taking the time to come here and read. It’s all a writer really needs, that one-to one connection. Everything else is a bonus. I’ve cut and saved the rest of this draft to post later – it started to sound embarrassingly like a weepy, grateful Oscar acceptance speech – but for now, here’s the piece that marked the beginning of my journey.

Quote-Hunting: How to Improve your Writing and your Life

Big claim. How on earth can capturing quotes in a notebook improve our lives? I’m guessing you’re a book lover as well as a wordsmith. Or an avid reader of other people’s blogs? If we use our skills as quote-hunters with integrity, we can sharpen our writing and invite presence, openness, connection, focus and inspiration into everything we do.

Being open to inspiration and guidance

As a writer, you should have a sticky soul; the act of continually taking things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color. ~ Elizabeth Berg

I never go out without a pen, a notebook and a book to read. When I read a book with a ‘quotebook’ and a pen handy, it’s a signal I send to myself and to the universe. It says “I’m open. I expect nothing, but I’m prepared to be moved, enlightened or entertained. I’m a student, ready and willing to learn from the lives and the wisdom of others.” In my Filofax, stuck on the fridge, pinned to my pinboard and incorporated into my art work, albums and blog, quotes serve as flashes of inspiration, mini mission statements and signposts to keep me on track. Dead poets become heroes, strangers become mentors.

Right in the middle of Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, I jotted down the words that became the header quote for a multi-threaded article I’d written about school decisions, coaching, my daughter and the new president, called Sharing the Journey. I’d been hunting for the right quote for hours and I felt like he was speaking to me directly when he said, “It is…the parent willing to nurture a child that will decide our fate.” It brought the whole piece together and set the tone.

Focus and attention

“You see, what catches our attention might be more than a coincidence – it might also be a potential incident of inspiration.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Using a quote by someone else can add freshness and a different perspective to what you’re expressing, like a photo used to illustrate a blog post. At the beginning of a piece, it can stimulate curiosity and provide a taste of
buttonswhat’s to come or it can highlight an important concept. In the middle of a piece, it can link sections or bind ideas like a ribbon around a bouquet.

Finding the perfect quote that illustrates several sentiments or pulls together a complex train of thought is similar to recognising one of life’s Aha! moments. It’s synchronicity’s way of helping us focus and pay attention. Highlighting sections of your own writing, either as a header or in a text box, can help clarify your aims, intensify your intention or mirror your message. We all have different ways of processing the world; it’s a sign of respect to others if we try and find a way to repackage what we’re saying in ways that resonate.

Connection, magical moments and collages

“Cling to simplicity, sincerity and the power of truth.” ~ from the I Ching

Our first instincts are often the ones that bypass our censors and cruel inner critics which is why many quotes become deeply personal and precious to us. They’re like messages sent from our own souls.

Every time you choose a quote that resonates with you, don’t stop to ask why; just write it down and keep it safe. Quotes are like photographs, snapshots of who you are, who you were. They’re music that moves you, lyrics that leave you scarred. They’re memories of a moment when you came upon someone else’s words and felt connected, not only to another human being, but to the moment, the thought and the feeling that overflowed from them and cried out to be heard. The ‘Me too!!’ or ‘That’s it exactly!!’ moment.

As writers, isn’t that what we want to achieve in our own work?

Being open to connecting with others in this way makes us more grateful and humble, more open as human beings, more able to create this kind of connection in our own writing. It’s our unique life experience and how we channel, choose and arrange the moments, the music and the words that makes us writers, creating collages that turn our lives into works of art – living, breathing works of art that we want to share with others.

(This piece appeared as a guest post in Write to Done . It was was adapted from my Coaching Moments article Treasure Hunting, which was edited by Linda Dessau and appeared in the March 2009 issue of VOICE.)

Related Posts with Thumbnails
PrintFriendlyTwitterPinterestFacebookEmailGoogle+EvernoteShare

{ 36 comments }

Lori Hoeck March 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Happy Blog Birthday! Deciduous, eh? Nice way to describe it!

You wrote: “Quotes are like photographs, snapshots of who you are, who you were.” Funny how some resonate and some don’t. Wayne Dyer has one I like right now: “Excuses are just mis-alignments.”
.-= Lori Hoeck´s last blog ..Gaslighting, is someone using this trap on you? =-.

janice March 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Thank you, Lori! Love the quote; Wayne Dyer’s one of those folk whose books just cry out to be dissected and passed on in quote form. I feel the power of that one because when I’m in alignment with what I feel I’m meant to be doing with my life, I get laser focused.

Shirls March 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Happy birthday Janice’s blog – and many more. I like your observation about quotes resonating with you and giving you a snaphot of where you are a a point in time. Do you date them? Must start a quote book too.

janice March 29, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Thanks, Shirls!
I don’t actually date them, which is maybe daft, but I can tell when I go back through them which Coaching Moments pieces or blog posts they ended up in, and that anchors my memories in a month or year. It’s also a fantastic way to remember the best bits of books I enjoyed.

J.D. Meier March 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Happy Birthday!

Beautiful points on quote-hunting. I’m a regular hunter-and-gatherer of quotes. I’ve found that quotes are how we share the wisdom of the ages and modern day sages.
.-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..My Top Ten Lessons In Life – Ali Hale =-.

janice March 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Thank you, J.D! Nice to see you.
I suspect I’ve always been a quote-hunter. I can remember favourite lines from my schooldays, and lyrics from songs from decades ago. I must admit that for a while there, the internet made me feel a bit overwhelmed – so much wisdom from modern sages – but when I went back to writing quotes out by hand, I got the alchemy back. I find the handwritten ones easier to remember and draw on.

Cindy March 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Happy Birthday Sharing the Journey. We love your words and wisdom.
Life is better with your sprinklings of thoughts that you share so generously, genuinely and from the heart.
.-= Cindy´s last blog ..Read Across America – BOOYAH! =-.

janice March 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Thank you Cindy! I guess the baby bloggling’s more of a toddler now, but its heart’s still pure, even though my posts are still too long and my archives are as organised as a toddler’s conversation in the back of a car. :( What a rollercoaster year it’s been for both of us!

Hilary March 29, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Hi janice – congratulations on one year – it is a milestone worth celebrating .. and I can understand your need to be deciduous – what a lovely description .. hibernation period – to produce wonderful new leaves, fruits and flowers .. fodder for us all.

I love the way you roll the post and thoughts together – and isn’t that amazing to know that Sharing the Journey .. came about by one of those ah ah moments .. It is a wonderful title .. I too love quote – but am happy to read others .. though do not everything down as I go along .. paper for Africa here ..

Enjoy Easter and the holidays with the family – all the best Hilary
.-= Hilary´s last blog ..Chess, one of 100 objects, Northern Sea Trading Routes, India and Persia … =-.

janice March 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Thank you, Hilary.
This birthday, for some reason, seems to be more meaningful for me than my own birthday was last year. I had a huge coaching Aha! moment when I first thought of myself as a deciduous blogger. It instantly allowed me to take a load of pressure off myself. You’d be an evergreen, though!

I’m looking forward to the Easter holidays when the kids are off, but I’ll be treating myself to some flexible blogging time when they’re doing their stuff.

Randi March 29, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Happy Blogoversary or Happy Blirthday or JANICE,YOU ROCK!—take your pick. :) You’ve touched so many lives in the past year, mine included. I love the new term you invented: deciduous blogger! What a unique way to describe a blogging style. But then, it’s your unique way of stringing words together to make a worthwhile read that brings us all here to your corner to begin with. You’ve done well, my dear, and I hope to see many more blogging years to come!
.-= Randi´s last blog ..She’s Not Lucky—She’s Good! =-.

janice March 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Thank you, Randi. You were one of those special folk I mentioned in the section that got culled, the one that sounded like Gwyneth Paltrow blubbing at the Oscars. But we’ve come a long way since we met Marc and Tess over at Sean and Eric’s Blogopolis Blueprint, before my blog even launched, and since those days at Writer Dad when Sean teased us about the length of our comments!

I feel I’ve done well to get this far; as you know, I nearly went under, like so many other exhausted, dispirited new bloggers. It’s thanks to good people, like the ones in these boxes, that I’m still here and enjoying blogging, albeit at my own peculiar pace!

By the way, if I had a seaside blog, which I will some day when I get my home by the sea ;) I’d probably call myself a “tidal blogger” because of my ebbs and flows, but this blog’s so flowery, “deciduous” fitted better.

Tara Mohr March 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Happy, happy birthday!
Janice I can’t tell you how comforted I am to read your Guest House post. I’m often in that space of doubts, impatience, wanting a different or bigger reception to my pieces.
As for you, for me writing is something so fabulous and pure and wonderful….and blogging too can be wonderful because of the connections and the immediacy of sharing and the opportunity to write in conversation with other ideas…but it also can be crazy-making. Its such fertile ground for our egos to do compare and contrast, to decide “they like me” or “they hate me” etc.
Thank you for sharing your experience so candidly, and with your eloquent writing as always. It gives me a lot of momentum to just keep going and not take my blog-worries so seriously.
Warmly, Tara
p.s. LOVE your “deciduous blogger” term.
.-= Tara Mohr´s last blog ..Magic =-.

janice March 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Thank you so much, Tara. Guest House is one of my favourite posts. I remember it came out unedited and fully formed. Looking back over this year, there definitely has been a pattern, an ebbing and flowing, to the way I blog. When I write, ego never enters into it. It all happens in a place untouched by the havoc ego can wreak. But blogging’s different. The downside of all the connections that make blogging so enjoyable is that, under the influence of ego, those very connections can sneakily start making us competitive, disheartened or even jealous. That’s why I felt such huge relief when I started thinking of myself as a deciduous – or tidal – blogger. If I have to take frequent breaks and lose readers as a consequence, it doesn’t feel like a problem or a flaw or a worry any more; if that’s what I have to do to keep growing and flourishing, as a person and a writer, then that’s just how it has to be.

Your blog is lovely, and your words beautifully crafted and wise, in your posts and comments; strikes me, you’re not afraid of hard work either, something all the commenters here have in common. You will manifest the readers you need and want; I’m sure of it. I’m grateful you visit us here!

Connie Frey March 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm

And so many birthing days have followed, dear Janice!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Janice and Bloggling! (How soon a Blog Toddler?) :-)

Your grace, wisdom and relentless commitment gifted me and others in ways you’ve heard about and will never know…

I dedicate this ‘party’ (and thank you for cake, yum, too!) to the Mystery, you embrace and, I suppose, sometimes might feel you endure.

Bless your perseverance and generosity, both,
Connie

janice March 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Thank you Connie, for being a dear friend an excellent coaching midwife. I’ll never forget sending you that email over a year ago saying I had a vision for a blog-coaching café where folk can just drop in and be, and chat, and share, and learn and teach, support and be supported, and swap music and recipes and quotes and magazine articles, and sketches of their families and homes and pets and projects and know there’s a barista who knows them by name and what they enjoy coming for. You’ve always believed in my vision for this wee café and that means a lot to me.

I also know what you mean about the Mystery, or at least I think I do. There are days when I keep writing and connecting because I feel I’m meant to even when I feel like I’m floundering in the dark not knowing who to reach or where I’m going. I have this deep need to support folk on their journeys and help them be who they were born to be; it runs through my parenting, my coaching and my writing but sometimes doesn’t let me rest. I hate the idea of anyone being left to fall through the cracks if there’s anything I can do about it, so I sometimes feel like I’m writing a quilt that can be used for life-art or warmth or as a safety net. But I’m rambling. Go, eat cake!

Catrien Ross March 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

Janice, hello, I am new here – dropping in to find a blog birthday being celebrated. Happy Blog Birthday! I have wandered through your blog, reading a number of your posts. Thank you for your wonderful writing, authentic presence and compassionate insights. A glass of clear, spring water, indeed. I will be visiting again from the mountains of Japan. Evening greetings to you – Catrien Ross.
.-= Catrien Ross´s last blog ..Catrien Ross on Stretching Your Potential Through the Real Power of Intention to Direct Your Energy Flow =-.

janice March 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Welcome to what I like to think of as our wee café! I think I saw you over at Barb’s place. It’s lovely to hear that you’ve been having a wander around the place. I do that myself sometimes and get a surprise when I stumble across posts I have little memory of writing! Thank you for such inspiring comments. If I’m ever down about blogging in the future, I think I’ll come back to this post to remind myself why it’s all worthwhile.

By the way, sometime in the next few days I’ll be publishing the second post about haiku. It would be great to have a Japanese mountain perspective, especially since all the seasonal words in traditional haiku are based on natural Japanese phenomena, like the blossom.

Nadia - Happy Lotus March 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Hi Janice,

Happy Blog Birthday! I remember your post at Write to Done and that is how our friendship began. Hard to believe it has been a year already. I guess we have been busy having fun.

Seriously, though, one of the things that makes you such an amazing blogger is that you write with such love and with all of your heart. Your authenticity shines through with each post. It is obvious that you mean what you write and that you are doing your best to share what you know. Reading your posts is like taking a deep breath of fresh air. You have helped me in more ways that you know…

As for quotes, like you, I am collector and lover of them too. I have books of quotes I have collected throughout the years. It is always nice to see how others shared their observations.

With love and blessings always,
Nadia
.-= Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog ..Wondering “If The Church Were Christian”? =-.

janice March 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I am so glad you dropped in, Nadia. As you say, it’s our friendship’s birthday, too, and what a rich year it’s been! Thank you so much, not just for your beautiful, uplifting words, here and in your own bloghome, but for the wonderful people I’ve come to know because of your blog. I first read Brenda’s words there, and Hilary’s and Chania Girl’s. I also suspect that a few of my silent, but valued readers from other continents came to me through your site, too.

I’m glad I’ve managed to stay true to myself this past year, although it has been hard at times. At various times I’ve caught myself being disappointed, disloyal, demanding, hypocritical, judgemental and torn between soul wisdom and ego; I’ve collapsed with head in hands at the table wondering who on earth I’m kidding, trying to contribute something in a blogosphere that’s already teaming with talent and full of subscribers who are already straining to visit everyone they want to visit; I’ve doubted the wisdom of trying to earn passive income from my blog when I have so many reservations about marketing to folk who are already bombarded by aggressive salesmanship every day, and I’ve been wracked with doubts about my decision to balance my coaching and my writing, when my coaching provided more income for my family.

But comments like yours, and everyone else’s above, make me want to keep going and make the coming year even better than last year was. I love writing, and this blog has become my writing home, a place to restore and recreate myself.

Thank you, and blessings, too, on your new venture. Have a great year!

Chania Girl March 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Happy Birthday to you, Sharing the Journey! What an amazing year it has been for you!

I am delighted that I found you not very long after you entered the blogging world. It seems like only yesterday we did that lovely interview, and I’ve enjoyed reading your writing (and staying in touch with you) ever since. Well … except for my five or six months away.

I, too, keep a notebook and pen with me at all times. Not always a book, though, ’cause that’s a lot for me to carry in Greece. But quotes, words, ideas, all of these thrill me to my bones. And one of the things I love about your blog is discovering more of them when I visit.

Xronia Polla, Janice!
.-= Chania Girl´s last blog ..The Poem That is You =-.

janice March 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Chronia polla – kai dimouryiká! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s glad you’re restored, refreshed and enjoying sharing your writing and window on the world again.

You’ve had a pretty amazing year, too – intercontinental travel, two weddings, a new home and a blog!

During this last year, I’ve had to turn down and let go of as many things as I’ve gained and added – an admin role over at Itty Biz’s forum, guest post slots, a coaching column, two other domains and the promise of a regular slot at Goodlife Zen. I was getting dangerously depleted and losing touch with myself, so I had to strip right back to basics.

About carrying books and quotebooks? I ruined my favourite leather bag the other day by cramming too much in. My husband reckons my bags should be classed as dangerous weapons. Air travel is a nightmare scenario for me! So many books and so little time, space and baggage allowance. I’m tempted to Kindle…watch this space…

Chania Girl March 31, 2010 at 6:15 am

Janice, I would gladly read any book suggestions you could make ANY DAY. From one reader to another, it would be like a little slice of heaven. Better yet, bring those books over and sit with me out under the lemon trees! :)
.-= Chania Girl´s last blog ..The Poem That is You =-.

janice March 31, 2010 at 9:34 am

I love doing book and album reviews, so that will be a pleasure. My only problem is that I seem to get through piles of books faster than I can upload all the technology and do the reviews. But that’s been on the to do list for ages, so watch this space after the Easter break…

Brenda March 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

“…makes me wonder if I’ll ever learn enough in the silence between the comments to know what you want to read, what you’d like me to share.”

For me, a couple of things — anything poetry related, and everything about what caused you to slip away in the winter, all the gorey details, including names, which would be totally gossipy and something you would never do, but maybe some version of the story, a narrative that could explain how bloggers may un/intentionally hurt others. You’re the only person I know who could write that story, but who wants to dig up crap from the past and focus on it? Certainly not me or you. So never mind. Still, I bet it was a really interesting story. I love stories.

Happy Blogday, Janice! :)
.-= Brenda´s last blog ..At 60 =-.

janice March 31, 2010 at 9:22 am

Hi, Brenda.

Thanks for telling me what you like to read about. I’ll do as much of that as I can.

So many things contributed to the ‘slipping away’ in the winter: health issues, a floorless living room in the week before Christmas, extended family issues, teenage troubles as well as real doubts about whether or not I was contributing anything of real value to an already overcrowded internet.

On the blogging front, there was disappointment last year as I watched ‘success’ feed the egos of some of my favourite bloggers (I visit many different comunities, not just our mutual friends) until they stopped commenting or responding with any authenticity or wrote quickly dashed off responses devoid of humanity or any real gratitude or connection… Some were simply victims of their own popularity; others made readers – not just me – feel as if we’d only ever been stepping stones on the way to fame-building, income-producing ‘bigger things’.

I was then faced with choices: do I stay and read silently, stop visiting completely, attempt shorter comments myself… In many cases, because of my own health and time restraints, I went silent but still enjoyed the reading, but that’s when I felt the inevitable sadness at watching my own comment boxes empty as I abandoned the boxes of others. But that’s blogging; it’s the nature of the beast. I’m lucky here, though; a high integrity and authenticity quotient is what a lot of my favourite bloggers have in common. That and a belief that bloggers can become friends.

The pain I referred to in a previous post? The mention of folk being mean to me that pricked your interest, because you’re a compassionate person?

I’m a lyrical writer. I can write short, informative pieces, as you know, but I do write from the heart. I believe in the power of musicality, prosody and mimesis; I believe in souls, and spirit, and the creative, loving power of the universe; I believe in angels, synchronicity and gifts. And I believe in the power of life coaching. I don’t often stand up for myself, Brenda, but I’m actually a very good life coach. I trained and gained experience for years, but I didn’t stop there. I went for certification to hone my skills, and then became a mentor. (Only 25% of candidates passed and I scored over 90% in one part of my practical exam.)

I tell you this because I got heart weary of all the bloggers banging on about qualifications being meaningless and pillorying the coaching field because of the charlatans who bring my profession into disrepute.

I got tired of folk laughing at lyrical writing, long sentences and personal expression, citing the use of the passive voice and adjectives as tools of the devil. (And yes, I could name names, but I won’t.) My best writing has no ego; I just write and edit, and know in my heart if it’s a ‘good’ piece. I’ve been a writer for years, but I’m a new blogger, a baby blogger, and it saddened me to realise that I’d made a fool of myself, believing in folk who turned out to be snide hypocrites. (Great thing about blogging: most gossip gets back to you in the end, as do comments folk leave in other blogs that contradict what’s been said elsewhere.)

I know that’s not a story, Brenda, but at least you can understand why I’m so happy to be back to being my old serene, middle-aged, wiser self again. It’s not my true nature to judge folk or blame, set myself apart and feel sorry for myself. I usually just shrug and remind myself that what other folk think or say about me is their business, not mine. Blogging’s been an education and I learned some unpleasant home truths about what I could become if I didn’t stay watchful and wary.

That’s one of the reasons I went AWOL in the winter, to get grounded in my real family life again after too many hours spent in cyberspace, losing touch with reality and all sense of proportion.

Thank you for asking, and for caring. Others have done too, in emails, but you’ve given me the unexpected chance to do it spontaneously here.

Barbara Swafford April 1, 2010 at 1:48 am

Hi Janice,

WooHoo! Happy Blog Birthday! I’m so happy you shared this day with us. Completing one year of blogging is a milestone many don’t see.

Like you, I also enjoy quotes. In just a few words, so much is said.

I also like the part where you said,

“But I know, from living every detail of my journey, that I’m not positive every day, that I’ve needed my darkness to make me reach out for better days, like a plant craving the sun’s embrace.

There’s such eloquence in your words. Such beauty.
.-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..No One Put A Gun To My Head =-.

janice April 1, 2010 at 8:30 am

Thank you, Barbara! You’ve helped me get this far more than you’ll ever know, and not just because you’ve always supported me through the dips. You’re so professional and consistent, yet you never lose your authenticity, humanity and friendliness. The continuing pleasure you get from blogging and supporting others is inspiring.

You also inspire me because you have this amazing talent for seeing the best in my writing, for selecting bits and making them look….goooood! I re-read that quote a couple of days ago, just before posting this birthday piece, and I remember thinking wow, I like that bit! That often happened when I wrote Coaching Moments pieces for the newsletter. I used to get really into it and lose myself for a day, writing and editing and losing track of time.

That’s my biggest fear with blogging, that I’ll spend too long on the not-writing part and lose that pleasure.

(PS I’m really looking forward to you creating an advatar for me – I was as thrilled as a lottery winner when I found out I was one of the winners in your prize draw!)
.-= janice´s last blog ..Some Haiku How to’s =-.

Davina April 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Janice.
Happy blog birthday! One year is a milestone birthday in the blogosphere and you’ve made it :-) Love the photo of the cake — brilliant. I enjoy reading quotes and what is interesting is that different meanings can be taken from quotes, depending on the type of day you’re having or the mood you’re in.
.-= Davina´s last blog ..Beyond the Dysfunctional Family =-.

janice April 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Thanks, Davina! Your post about your first year in blogging was really useful and inspired me to keep going. It’s also why I didn’t write a list of what I’d learned after my first year. So many others have done that so well already!

I know what you mean about moods affecting quote-taking. Some of my quotebooks have quite a distinct tone to them; during dark times, every quote seemed sent to help me through a situation or reflected it.

Barb Hartsook April 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Good morning, Janice. Happy Blirthday! I’m later along than most guests, but I see a bit of cake left — the moist crumbs that stick to the platter after most of the damage has been done. I’ll grab a fork and scrape that up — it’s my favorite part of the cake anyway. :) Thanks…

I came, coffee mug just filled, to catch up on some morning inspirational reading, and have enjoyed the whole mug-ful while pouring over your post and comments. I felt I was reading from my own journals, pieces from different days, different years even — but pulled out spontaneously and organized and so beautifully written by a word-artist. How well I relate!

I discovered a name for my writing here — lyrical. I think I am too. I’m in love with the language and how beautifully it can flow. Or punch. Or send you away for a bit and bring you right back. Or how, by sparsing it down, it can make you wonder…

I think this should be a sticky-post, one to find easily when needed, comments intact. It’s cathartic almost — it eloquently says to me, I’m not alone. Someone else (several among us, it seems) carry all the stuff of an observer who wants to catch the moment, the emotions, the fun, the brilliant, the unexpected, the insights of the day, in journal form. I go nowhere without pen (fine-point rollerball), pretty paper (at least it has to have a certain feel as my pen draws the words across its surface), and a book to read. (A camera if I think of it, and it has active battery life. But it’s not a must. My pen usually works to draw the takeaway.)

I love quotes — and I love Elizabeth Berg! I bought Escaping into the Open just for the title. Somewhere in my journals I wrote what that escape would be, for me, in September of ’99 — when I found the book.

I could quote your entire section Connections, Magical Moments, and Collages. Yes!!! to all of it.

Your response to Brenda, however, is the most sticky of all for me. That’s where I refilled my cup, figuratively as well, and settled in as you enlightened and I related and empathized.

My own personal ‘sticky’ that gets me through a lot of winters, Janice: My dad never argued. He was a powerful man, loving and smart and highly successful and well-loved in his field. But he wouldn’t argue… he told me people don’t know what they don’t know. Him included. Just listen, he’d say. And go with what’s right. He may have disliked people who hurt him, but we didn’t hear of it. He’d just shrug and say in the privacy of family, “You’ll never win an argument with ignorance. And we’re all ignorant…”

I’m so glad I met you…….
.-= Barb Hartsook´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning and New Beginnings =-.

janice April 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Thank you, Barb – I’m glad we met, too. You and everyone else in the comments boxes of this post have reminded me why I wanted to blog in the first place. This is one of the things I love most about our café-bistro regulars; the comments are often mini posts in their own right! Oh, and I hope you’ll wash the cake plate now that you’ve licked it clean!

I wrote my reply to Brenda from the heart, then didn’t delete it, despite reservations when I read it, because I thought someone, somewhere might read and resonate with it. It heartens me that folk read the comments here as well as the posts themselves.

I’m glad you liked the piece; it’s one of my absolute favourites. It came about after a coaching buddy wrote to me saying my words, in a previous email to her, had inspired her so much she’d printed them off and posted them above her computer. It was an amazing thrill; I felt like a proper writer!

I re-read the Connections, Magical moments and Collages section after you mentioned it, and I liked it so much it’s inspired me to stop wasting so much of my energy doing stuff half heartedly and to get writing again, I mean really, properly writing.

PS I have favourite pens too, and my favourite paper is airmail grade thin, so it leaves indentations on the reverse side. I like to run my fingers over those.

vered - blogger for hire April 3, 2010 at 2:25 am

Happy blog birthday! Quite an accomplishment.
.-= vered – blogger for hire´s last blog ..Keeping My Daughters Healthy While Keeping Their Body Image Positive =-.

janice April 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Thank you, Vered. I feared I wouldn’t make it. You’re one of those folk who’ve inspired me, not just with the bravery of your content, but with your resilience, determination and professional consistency, as well as the community building you’ve gradually done in your boxes and other people’s.

Marc April 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Happy birthday bloggling!

Uhm, yeah… Sorry for being late Janice. Deciduous doesn’t really describe me; more an endangered species. I am the Ozzlum bird of the blogging world, regularly disappearing up my own…

janice April 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Hi Ozzlum bird,
Better disappearing up your own…than someone else’s!

The bloggling says thank you! Please don’t forget that blogging doesn’t just mean posting your own stuff. Long before I had a blog or visited yours, I respected you for the encouragement and support you gave others in their comment boxes and enjoyed your gentle humour. Without commenters, there would be no blogging. I know you’ve been busy earning a living and working on other stuff, but it’s lovely to see you wherever and whenever your wee alcoholic gravatar pops up.
.-= janice´s last blog ..Easter Flowers, Greek Feasts, Seaside Candles and Poetry… =-.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: