Gathering at the Well: An Anniversary Post

I posted my first blog twelve months ago today and I’ve been pondering what to write for this occasion.  9QEVP5YHO3I considered describing the steep learning curve I experienced over the last twelve months and the mistakes I have made. I thought I might summarise the year’s posts, explain what I hoped to do and assess whether or not I achieved my goals. I considered celebrating what I see as my ‘coming of age’ (finally) as a writer and sharing what I’ve learned about myself as a result.

None of these ideas appealed.

I’ve decided, therefore, to resort to a tried a true blogging technique: a list. This list is, however, a bit different. I want to express my gratitude for the interest in and support of Elixir. It is my attempt to give back what twelve months of blogging has given me.

  • Thanks WordPress. You’ve been sensational. From creating my first blog, to Discover and BlogU, the support you offer and the hassle free connection with other bloggers has been exceptional. I am deeply grateful for your existence.
  • Thanks to my partner who patiently reads and edits my posts, who shares my enthusiasm and sympathises when the writing doesn’t go well and who has, for the last seven months, been my patron as well as my lover and friend. You are … astonishing.
  • To the friend who inspired the first post, when the blog’s main focus was therapeutic writing. It’s been ten years since your diagnosis and recover, but we missed the celebration this month because I’ve been busy writing. You have nevertheless been much in my thoughts. Thanks for your inspiration, for understanding writing takes up a lot of my time now and for being a steadfast friend. I owe you a champagne.
  • To the woman I met one June day in 1970 who is now a lifelong friend and confidante. On the day I published my first post you wrote, ‘I am so very proud’. Those words meant the world to me. You’re in the US right now, visiting family but I think of you every day and hope I can continue to make you proud.
  • To my many other friends who’ve read my posts, liked the posts via Facebook or commented on the posts in person, thank you. I am privileged to call you my friends. I’ve not seen as many of you in the last few months as I would have liked. I’ve become so focused on my writing since retiring but please know each and every one of you inspire me with your wisdom, intelligence, warmth and generosity. I may emerge from this self-devised writing intensive one day. When I do I hope we can catch up.
  • Special thanks to my first Guest Blogger, Barbara Brown. Thank you for writing something that inspired this and one other post. Not only are you a wonderful writer, your untiring work for refugees is an inspiration. I’m also grateful that you started a Book Club, Barb. Long may it live. cropped-80ryzdj8ue.jpg
  • Thanks to the members of my newly formed and growing-stronger-every-month writing group. We found each other by accident, but what a happy accident. We support and challenge each other and make the long hours at the computer worthwhile. You’re amazing writers; don’t ever stop writing.
  • Thanks also to my longtime Writing Buddy Louise. You’ve stuck with me through my various incarnations as a writer: dilettante; hopeful beginner; student. I love your poetry, admire your wit and am astounded by your wisdom.
  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my readers. Who are you guys? I want to invite you around for dinner! I particularly want to thank Calensariel Impromptu Promptings and peculiar ponderings. You have followed me almost from the start and I have learned a lot from reading your blog. I hope that, despite the kilometres of sea and land that separate us, we have become friends not only because we just ‘clicked’ somehow, but because you are a loving, compassionate, curious human being and you make me think. Raili over at Soul Gifts has also been a staunch follower, and … well I have 75 followers and I am rather gobsmacked by you all. Thank you for making it ‘real’ for me, for making me sit down at the computer and for the wisdom I read in your blogs.
  • Finally, thank you to my children. Your mother has always been a mite strange, but you’re accustomed to me now and you seem to cope exceptionally well with having a mother (and mother-in-law) who blogs. I promise I will continue to honour your privacy and share as little of your shenanigans as possible, unless you do something completely weird and then I promise nothing.

As I prepared my first blog post I remember feeling excited and uncertain. I worried that I would become caught up in a passing fad. I’ve since learned that blogging is not only about sharing my thoughts and ideas it’s about engaging with a variety of new and different thoughts and ideas. Blogging connects people.  Credit: Saved from images.search.yahoo.comIt is the equivalent of the village well, a meeting place where we draw sustenance from those also gathered at the well, where we offer succour to others, where we relate and  listen, where we strive to understand our lives and our world. I am honoured to be a part of this community.

What about you? How do you draw on the well that is blogging? What do you give and what have you gained since you started blogging?

10 thoughts on “Gathering at the Well: An Anniversary Post

  1. What a beautiful anniversary post, Janet. I am so honored to have gotten to know you. Not only have I been fascinated by your posts, but I’ve learned so much. It’s amazing to me that we can connect over such a distance. But then that inner spirit has no such limitations. Friends are the family you pick. And you’re part of mine. And I laughed at your paragraph about the kids. (Thank you, btw, for describing me as curious. I’ve always considered myself as weird! LOL I like your word better. 😀 )

    I know your writing has kept you busy this year, but it’s always such a treat to get my email notifications from your blog. Blessings on another enjoyable year! {{{<3Janet}}}

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    1. Oh, what a beautiful line Calen: ‘The inner spirit has no such limitations.’ thank you so much.
      One of my dear friends has a slightly different slant on family and friends. She told me (back in the 70s) that ‘friends are God’s apology for relatives’. If that is so I guess that makes you a ‘virtual apology’, or is it an ‘online apology’? The possibilities are endless and Her apologies are bounteous.
      Glad you like ‘curious’, but I would have no problem if you were weird because I am too. Maybe that’s another reason why we get on so well? I wonder if weird is what you and I are called you when we sit outside looking at the sunset while everyone else is inside watching television?
      My daughter-in-law loved the comment about my family too. My kids have been silent.
      Take care my friend.

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  2. Congratulations Janet! And thank you for the mention, much appreciated. We started around about the same time – my first post was on the 1st August. You’ve just given me pause for thought on how to acknowledge and celebrate my own milestone. It took a while before we connected, but I can remember the excitement of finding another blogger living in the same city as me!

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    1. Thanks Raili. I also remember the moment when I realised you and I came from the same part of the world. It was reassuring and odd at the same time; becoming a blogger in order to ‘meet’ a near neighbour.
      I’m looking forward to your 1st August Anniversary blog, enjoy writing it!
      Cheers, Janet

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  3. Congratulations on reaching another milestone in your life. You are inspirational.
    I still haven’t picked up the pen but have loads of stories coming out as I do mundane things like weeding or chopping up veggies for a stir fry.
    Your efforts give me encouragement. Love the list! In awe.

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I wish I was a gardener; my mother could grow anything but I have no success with green things. If (when) you manage to grow beautiful things as well as write, I will be the one who is inspired. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t do both, but I understand how hard it is to love doing one thing but want to fit in another activity. If I may offer a tip? I recently read about a writer who wrote something on an index card every day (as a librarian I’m sure you have heaps of index cards languishing in a draw somewhere). The cards are small so you don’t feel compelled to write a lot, and one card a day will build up surprisingly quickly. Once you have a pile of cards you can sort them however you want, chronologically, thematically, by character; the choice is yours. I thought it was a great idea. You can even put blank cards in your pocket (along with a pen) and jot down any thoughts that emerge while you’re in the garden! Seems like a win/win to me. If you decide to try it, let me know how it works. Cheers, Janet xx

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