Earlier this week, I promised I’d write about some recent milestones. Today, I am writing my 1800th post on my WordPress blog, The Apples in My Orchard! Eighteen hundred posts! Wow!
Since I’ve been writing daily since the end of February 2017, it’s been almost five and a half years of posting. It’s not quite that long, since August has just started, but to be fair I used five and a half to divide 1800. This number gives me the average number of posts I’ve written per year for the last 5.5 years. And it’s 327 posts per year! You do know there are 365 days per year, right?
Without question, that is a lot of writing. I got into the daily writing habit years ago and it’s persisted through busy times in my life like when I worked at the local land trust, was giving community presentations on a variety of subjects, and had kids graduating from high school and college, health crises with my elderly parents, went on vacation, finished grad school, and even had a life-changing retirement move. If I don’t write daily, there is a damn good reason. None of the above qualified to make me stop for any extended period. If I don’t write, something serious must be up.
And, yes, I have taken breaks. A break from writing for me means a day or two (at the most) here or there. The one thing I’ve learned along the way is if you stop writing, people will stop reading. So, I keep writing to keep my readers engaged! And I still get new followers!
Have I experienced Writer’s Block?
I know some will hate me for this answer, but no, I have not had writer’s block. If anything, it’s the opposite! My brain is overflowing with ideas that have yet to hit the page. The Apples in my Orchard has been a reflective blog, for the most part. So, I write about what I know, or what is pissing me off, or what I think about a variety of subjects. You’ll find posts on education, healthcare, art, gardening, photography, the environment, travel and more. I have many varied interests and that gives me a lot to write about.
There are days when it is hard for me to choose what to write about, however. Some days, the words just flow out of my brain onto the keyboard. (I’m so glad I took typing in high school. It’s served me well to be able to type fast!) And, as with any writer, some posts flow faster and better than others. It’s just how it is. I do know that the easiest posts for me to write are subjects on which I feel passionate. The investment in the topic has already occurred and emotions get the ball rolling.
Have I ever hit a nerve with one of my posts?
Oh, yes! I have most definitely hit some nerves with my posts. Back in the early fall of 2017, I wrote a post about the services provided in our district to the talented and gifted students (TAG). It hit a nerve with the TAG teacher (a former friend) at our middle school, who alerted the new TAG teacher at our high school. The latter called me saying that he’d heard I wrote something on my blog about our system and wanted to talk to me about it. He was upset. And so was I. We met and cleared the air, but it did not excuse what happened nor the possible maliciousness of the person who set the process in motion by not passing on appropriate information. I lost a friend over that post, but so be it.
Do I ever write to vent?
Yes, writing is cathartic. I write better than I speak, especially when I am passionate about the topic or my internal sense of justice has been abused, such as in the above story about TAG services. I’ve written things other than my blog when my dander is up. I’ve written letters to the school board and our past superintendent of education. I wrote to a bank, back in the 90s when after being pre-approved for a mortgage, they then required me to get a job. We got our mortgage elsewhere. I was honest about our situation (my husband would have a job, but I would not seek one until after the move) and they (the bank) changed the rules. Their loss and I let them know it.
Are there topics I avoid?
Yes, I tend to avoid the topics of religion and politics. Words can hurt. Words can be misinterpreted. So, unless, I have a clear reason to write on those topics, I won’t. I believe that many of our “systems” are broken – healthcare, education, and politics. – but I also believe that people have a right to think what they want without editorializing by me. I am not an expert on any of those topics, so I stay away from them.
Does everyone like my writing?
No. It is not a realistic goal to have “everyone” like what I write. Truly, some of my family members do not read my writing, nor some of my close friends. But I do have friends that read me regularly and comment on my pieces. I enjoy that immensely.
Over the years, I’ve tried to grow my network by participating in some online writing groups, but they come with their own set of problems. I’m trying to train myself to write what I like to write about or like to inform about (if I have enough knowledge on the subject) and not worry about those who do not read my posts or do not like what I have to say.
What other writing plans do I have?
This year, my writing life grew immensely! I became a published author! This is something I’ve wanted to do for the last thirty-five years! I had a poem accepted in an anthology for preschool children and wrote/published a chapbook of poetry as an indie author. Both were great learning experiences!
Recently, I wrote a short story and submitted it to an online magazine. I also continue to write poetry and have an idea for an anthology. I’d like to get into work for hire and have prepared a query letter and intro packet for a children’s magazine. I have so many ideas and so little time (it seems).
I recently was accepted into the Medium Partner Program so I can try to make some revenue from my blogging. We’ll see. The last time I tried to get paid for my time related to writing, it didn’t work out.
In short, I have no lack of imagination for future blog posts. Therefore, I expect to have more writing milestones in the future!
As with any milestone, one must be grateful for reaching it. Writing fills a place in my soul like nothing else has. Writing is a doorway to let people into my thoughts and dreams if they choose to enter. I can revisit favorite places, ponder about the future, incite action for our environment and pollinators, and explore new interests all by tapping on my keyboard for an hour or two a day! Thanks for reading! I hope you stick with me far into the future!