Year One

cakeOne year ago today I wrote my first blog post. The post stunk, mainly because I was trying too hard to be something I’m not: a writer who, on a first draft, can write brilliant online fiction. The experience taught me that like most mortals, I must spend hours and hours writing and editing and redo-ing to produce a good piece of fiction. After the first few horrible posts, I was like, now what? 

The gigantor lesson I learned this year was to write REAL. Dive into life, capture a tiny bit of the everyday–YOUR everyday–and reveal what it’s like to be you.

And guess what? I love doing it.

Each time I write about an event or opinion or whatever in my life, I learn something. And another cool thing: I get to instantly share what I’ve learned with other (awesome) people (who read blogs).

I’m still writing fiction and non-fiction in addition to the more personal writing I do here. But what has surprised me this year is how much blogging has improved my other writing.

This is largely a thank you post.

To the amazing bloggers I follow and learn from, you all have BIG and FASCINATING and (mostly) NORMAL lives. To the readers, especially those who comment, you all make me think a TON about what and how I write. Thank you. To the WordPress folks, who I imagine as little fairies who live in cubicles and answer my emails, uh…keep being magic and thanks for helping me with the techno stuff.

45 = total posts this year.

I’m proud of that. I haven’t done a word count, but I bet it’s close to 50,000, which by the way, is about the length of a novel. That gives me GREAT inspiration, since I’m currently working on a novel.

I’ve never kept a journal, so being able to retrace the last year of my life is CRAZY. This is no biggie to the journalers or diary-keepers, but it blows my mind. For example in June, I know I watched the movie Another Earth and attempted to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. In September, I only posted once, but that’s because I was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center and in October, for the first time I posted an actual scene from a fictional story I was working on.

The event that changed my life, and by extension, my writing, happened in December 2012. I lost a dear friend and mentor to cancer. I was thrown out of my normal orbit and I turned to blogging as a way to cope with something I couldn’t understand. That post, When A Person Dies, was the most authentic writing I had dared to share on the blog. I poured all my grief and anger and confusion into that post. Writing helped me process and move through a very difficult life event. For that, I was grateful.

I was shocked when, about a week later, the post was Freshly Pressed. Getting Freshly Pressed was an honor, but the best part was the hundreds of comments from other bloggers who took the time to share their own experiences with loss and give words of encouragement.

Y’all, that meant the world to me. Thank you.

I answered every comment. Even the mean one. And I did it from my parent’s house because I’d gone “home” for the holidays–my first winter trip to Alaska in more than a decade. When I returned to Washington, I wrote Home Is An Ocean in response to my own confusion about what home means.

Blogging helps put life in perspective for me, whether I’m wondering about the nature of God or feeling sad, reminiscing about my travels or freaking out about a prank phone stalker.

Hugs to all my fellow bloggers, to my followers and likers and commenters, and sneaky anonymous readers. You all have taught me so much. I want to return the favor.

I’m committed to keep on posting this year, but in addition, I’m going to try to do a better job keeping up with the bloggers I follow, meeting new bloggers, and leaving useful comments. That’s how this community works. And I, FO SHO, want to be part of this fabulous community.

Bloggers change the world! (t least you changed MY world…so thanks.

31 thoughts on “Year One

  1. Well, happy one-year-in the ocean of your online home! I’ve so enjoyed reading your blogs and having you part of my blogging experience.
    Blogging is definitely helping and has surely helped my writing too–it’s given me the authentic experience of writing and receiving response from readers, and, so long as I wasn’t already off the rails (there are a few crazy posts I should probably take down), that really tempers my tendency to slide off into the abstract and lose everyone. I’m sure you’re finding tendencies of your own that are being curbed in the same way.

    • Thanks, Ela! What an adventure year one has been! And I have so enjoyed having you along on my journey, too. How long have you been at it? Do you celebrate when you pass blogging milestones?

      Like you, I think my writing benefits from knowing readers are so immediate. I concentrate harder on the act of communicating, rather than my dreamy acts of language-making 🙂

      You are great, Ela. And I have enjoyed all the posts I’ve read! The human experience is unavoidably crazy, right?

      Missing you…

      • Meagan, what perfect timing! Literally the last few days I had been thinking about you, thinking how I miss you. Yes, amid the craziness of human experience; yes amid communicative dreamy language-making enactments and ordure bespattering walls to make flower patterns.

        My blog has been going three years, I think. Close to my own birthday; I definitely celebrated the first year, but otherwise they’ve slid on by. I think when I have a presentation/format I’m happier with, it might come more to my notice.

  2. Happy anniversary! I blog to help myself process too. Not sure it improves my writing. But I love it, so I keep doing it. I love your blog and your posts. I can relate to many of them and they inspire me to think about my own life. Which in turn inspires my blog. Looking forward to reading more in year 2 🙂

    • Thank you, foreverstartingyoga! I’m super glad you found me so that I could find YOU, too. Already I’ve enjoyed reading your Momventures, which hit close to home. So glad we can mutually inspire!

    • Props to you, Carrie, for setting a superior example with your fabulous blog, microblogs, tweets, and lively social media goings-ons. Thanks for the anniversary love!

  3. Have been wondering where you (blog) have been. Happy Anniversary! What a year of beautiful posts you’ve given us! And I could not agree more, it’s amazing how my personal writing has grown, through my blog writing, and how much I learn in doing this. Truly a journey! Glad to know you Meagan; I’m a big Fan!

    • Hey Dawn! My mom’s been visiting for the past couple weeks, so I’ve been completely blog-distracted by real life. Mom left this morning (which i’m sad about) and now I’ve got a pile of need-to-do’s crowding me. I have stuff due for school and my office is a DUMP! I’m trying to keep my one-year resolution to do a better job leaving comments for other bloggers and not only am I already falling off the wagon, I’m barely keeping up with posting and responding to comments on my own blog. How do YOU do it? You are so GREAT at regularly blogging and commenting. You’re such a pro!

      • It helps if you don’t really have a life. 😉 Or, you’re semi-retired… AKA kids nearly grown, and much less to do! Even then, I fall behind! Good for you, being in the moment and enjoying the things that actually matter!

  4. Happy One Year Blog Birthday, Megan! I love your blog and find it SO inspiring. Thank YOU for being here! 🙂 I can’t wait to read more of your writing!! 🙂

    • Hi Amy! Thank you for the happy wishes! I love your blog, too, and am striving to do a better job with commenting and all that. You always leave such fabulous comments. Any advice?

      • Wow. Thank you Megan! I always worry that my comments are plain and boring…and maybe a little over-the-top with the positive sometimes, but I feel some weird need to let people know how much they matter in the world 😛 It feels like an honor to be asked about that by you. I love your writing so much!

  5. Hi – I read your blog When a person Dies – it touched me in many ways. I commented and you commented back. I very much appreciated your/our dialogue at a time I really needed to have one with someone and you were the someone. I returned to blogging after having taken almost a year off and now I am approaching the one year anniversary of my friends death. I am still writing:)

    Thank you and I wish you many many more blogaversaries!

    • Hi Kimberly,
      I’m so glad we met in December via the FP post. I know this month has significant meaning to you, and I send you hugs and strength to help carry you through next week and the difficult anniversary.of your friend’s passing. Looking forward to reading how you express/process the emotions through your writing.

  6. I felt like I was floundering with my blog for the longest time. I finally hit my stride around last fall and to my surprise, one of my posts was chosen for Freshly Pressed in December too, which led me to find your blog and your post on dealing with your grief. I was so moved by your words, they made me cry but it was so life affirming at the end. I won’t ever forget that. Thanks for sharing your words.

    Love your blog!

  7. Congrats to you! I have had this blog for about two years, only recently keeping active on it. I lived in Seoul, Korea teaching English and now that I am about to move to Nepal, I have been spewing everything I have learned about Seoul into my blog. I really love sharing my experiences and I loved this post as it reassured me that I was doing this whole writing/blogging thing correctly.

    As I transition into a full-time travel blogger (6-12 months), I will continue to follow your blog for your creative writing and inspiration. Thank you!! ❤

    • Hi Jack! I look forward to reading about all your travel adventures and will try to do a better job following you than I have lately been either following or posting. I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus, you see, because sometimes I don’t want to tell people what I’m doing. And also I’m boring and lazy. You likely have neither of these afflictions, so you will be an excellent full-time travel blogger. Have fun!

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