Friday, August 17, 2012

Finding my voice: three years of blogging

Today marks the third anniversary of my blog--the "leather" anniversary, according to my friend Jayne, who celebrated hers last week.

This is a welcome time for an anniversary. I have been posting only every couple of weeks, and lately when I begin a draft it turns out to be about the weather. Granted, weather has been a worthy topic this summer, but my drafts weren't contributing to the discussion.

Checking my early posts, I found a bit of inspiration. Three years ago, I was writing without readers, hence without conversation. At least a few posts from back then are clamoring to be reintroduced, this time to a group of lovely people whose opinions and contributions I value greatly.

This blog has been an exercise in finding my own voice after a long career of writing in other people's voices. I wrote endlessly in the "institutional" voice on behalf of three colleges and universities. I wrote letters and speeches for college presidents, and a book in the voice of a long-time baseball player, and they all said I captured them well. But what about me?

Before I could start blogging, I had to persuade myself that I had something to share, and then I had to develop a writing style that conveyed what I wanted to say. I wanted to speak directly, from me to you, and before long I began to incorporate a bit of my casual conversational style. Briefly, I also tried out some of the sarcasm I enjoy when other folks do it, but I couldn't make it work for me. I learned to keep things short (sort of) and to write about more topics than just my grandchildren. I still work on my posts, but I no longer labor over them. Blogging feels much more comfortable now.

This summer, while recuperating from a broken leg, I was feeling that the best thing about blogging is reading others, not writing my own. But I think it's only fair to give back by writing and commenting, and I feel the energy returning. Thank you for everything that you share--ideas, comments, encouragement, wonderful bits of thought that make life richer.



26 comments:

Miss Dazey said...

I enjoy your blogs. I must confess to not commenting often.

btw, I write mainly for myself. However, I so appreciate readers.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Nancy, congratulations on the anniversary! I know what you mean about finding a voice. I was determined to find mine, and did, along with a cast of unlikely characters. We are both blessed! Indigo x

Teresa Evangeline said...

Nancy, I'm so glad we found each other's blogs. Having you as part of the conversation adds a great deal to my own blogging experience. I'm so grateful you've taken the time to read my posts and leave such thoughtful comments. There's been an ebb and flow to my own posts, but I always come back for more. I so appreciate the friendships I've formed here. I'm glad you're among them.

DJan said...

Happy blogaversary, Nancy. I too know how hard it was for me to learn to write in my own voice, and how I still find it difficult to cut loose and just, well, WRITE. I've been so fortunate to have developed a conversation with like-minded bloggers. It's expanded my universe, and your blog is one I always look forward to, whether it's about the weather or your grandkids, I look for them. Of course, if you want to get all philosophic on me, I'm okay with that, too. :-)

Red said...

I know the feeling of writing and thinking I had readers when I didn't. Reworking some old posts that weren't read or read by few people is very worthwhile. Go for it.

Stephen Hayes said...

Three years of blogging is a long time and you are certainly to be congratulated. I've only been at it a year and it is a lot of work and requires sacrifices in other areas of your life. But I've always enjoyed what you have to say and I'm no doubt one of those who have missed out on many of your earlier posts. Please share them with us once more.

Paula Wooters said...

Congratulations, Nancy! I, too, enjoy reading other people's blogs as much or more than writing my own... as well as the friendly banter that goes back and forth in the comments. There are so many clever and thoughtful people out there. I hope to keep reading your thoughts for a long time to come!

Deb Shucka said...

Happy Anniversary! It sounds like blogging has been life changing for you in many different ways, all good. I always enjoy reading your posts, and I'm glad to know I'll get to continue to for some time to come.

injaynesworld said...

Three cheers for leather! Happy Anniversary,my friend. Summer seems to bring with it a slow down of posts from me, too. It's been a jolly good time visiting with you these past three years and I look forward to much more from your lovely voice.

Ms Sparrow said...

I'm so glad you are able to get back in the swing of things. I love your butterflies and flowers and all of your posts!

Jeanie said...

I think it will be interesting for you (and us) to go back and see what you were thinking 3 years ago. I still blog mostly to record family activities for myself, but I really cherish those who have shared their thoughts about what I have to say and have shared what is going on in their lives with me.

Terra said...

Happy Leather Anniversary. I enjoy blogging too, and reading and leaving comments as we get to know each other.

Retired English Teacher said...

Congratulation on three years of blogging. That is an accomplishment. I so enjoyed reading this post about finding your voice after writing in a voice that was superimposed upon you by others as a necessity of employment. I was struck by how much I could relate with what you had to say.

Reflecting about why we write a blog, and what we have to say, is an important exercise I think. I find myself struggling to keep up with blogging. It is a two way street. We must be readers, writers, and contributors to the conversation if we are to gain all there is to gain from blogging. This takes time and thought.

I have so enjoyed getting to know you via the blog. I think of you when i use the washer I hate. The new one that cost so much money. I feel less alone when I bend over to get out the clothes out of the front loader that I really don't like.

I think of you when I get out of the chair at the beauty shop. I am very careful not to catch my leg in the footrest.

I think of you when I try to be a grandmother who fosters growth and nurturing in the lives of my grandchildren. You are such a gifted grandmother.

I hope you continue to discover your voice as you share it with us your readers and friends.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Anniversary Nancy! Three years! I always enjoy your posts whether is is about the Minnesota Weather or your Grands..it is all good:)

Grandmother said...

I, for one, am glad you speak your voice in our blog-o-sphere. I enjoy reading you, feel kinship with you and appreciate your point of view. Of course, I also love all the stories about your grands. In what my husband calls the "would you bring her home for dinner?" test, you're in! So, hooray for new energy and congrats on your anniversary. I'll be back!

Sharon Longworth said...

Three years - that's a lot of time, a lot of words and a lot to be proud of. Congratulations and here's to the next three.

laurie said...

glad you're regaining your voice.

The Loerzels said...

Happy Anniversary. Is the 3rd year of blogging paper or toilet paper. Cause I would so tp your house (er....blog) in celebration.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how thousands can be inspired with their
" boredom"?
When they get " bored"?
Take for instance " PssedBr 59".
He took up AK'S and so did " Nstasy 164".
And it 's all about " Billy Gunn".
On the run.
In the sun.
With Bundesland.
Bunn- Bunn V.
MD 5.
MP 3.
With " Mr. Giggles".

Linda Myers said...

Three years and still writing. Thank you!

Mr London Street said...

Congratulations. It's interesting, isn't it, the way how you write changes over time. I guess you work harder at it but, if you do it right, it feels less like hard work. Very happy that our paths crossed, and looking forward to what you write next.

troutbirder said...

Happy anniversary. I've enjoyed reading your posts and also knowing their from a fellow St. Paulite. Remembering particularly your connection to the famous Merry Go Round at the Como Zoo!

WhisperingWriter said...

Happy anniversary!!

I love the pictures.

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Congratulations on your leather anniversary! So funny! I, too, just passed three years blogging (a few weeks ago). I didn't recognize it in any way, as I had hoped to launch a new completely redesigned blog for the special occasion...then ran into problems. So my leather anniversary is on hold for now.

Glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you! Happy Wednesday!

Chartreuse said...

I've only recently discovered your blog through cross-referencing from some other blogs I read. I enjoy your writing very much - especially your joys in grandparenting. I'm a relative newcomer myself to that wonderful world, though I have had good practice with my husband's grandchildren, all of whom I've known since birth. But now that my own daughter has (finally) given me my own little bundle of love to share, I'm gobsmacked by the joy of it. Look forward to reading more of your posts in future.

Zena said...

Congrats! I´ve found your blog via "best post of the week" and I´ve enjoyed it. I will follow you

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