Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2nd Blogiversary

Two years ago today, I took the step. I know the archives suggest that I began in october 2005, but that was just a pretend-post to fix my profile picture or something like that. No, it was 11th January when I posted my first proper post. Ok. There was one on 10th January, which consisted of the immortal words "A test to see whether this will work... Out there... ???", to which three kind souls replied, and so began the adventure that was/is this blog. The impetus to start a blog came from the urge to join the online group following The Artist's Way, led by Leah, who is now leading the Creative Every Day 2008 group.

I'm a fairly boring blogger, stuck in my ways. I haven't changed the design (template?) in any way in all this time. Only recently, I went in to change the words on my profile which described me as "heading towards fifty" to the more correct (now) "just past fifty". The rest of that description still holds true, though. I love the new paths and alleyways I get to explore through blogging. Last week, and this, I've encountered new-to-me blogs (I know - among the thousands, millions maybe... that are out there) which thrilled me, encouraged me, inspired me, humbled me, and which I've had to add to my list of blogs to check in with whenever I have a chance. I've never acquired the technical skill to allow me to make big changes, and I'm still at a total loss as to how to do what I see other people do regarding "feeds" and "subscribing". It's all a mystery to me. But that's a side-track there - right there!

My first post was about slaying (no, not slaying... reassuring!) my Creative Monsters. They still come to visit from time to time, telling me my blog is a pointless exercise, that it's sheer self-indulgence, blah-blah-blah, but these days, they don't stay long, and I usually manage to simply turn them around and say "Come back when you've something useful to tell me!" In that post too, I finished with this quote:

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. ---Thich Nhat Hanh

The blog-world has been one of the most powerful instruments to convince me of how un-separate, how connected we all are. People do come and go here. I wonder about some of the people who have disappeared. Did they start other blogs elsewhere? I realise there are blogs I've lost my connection to. When I changed computers I lost a lot of my links, and some just never re-emerged for me.

In working The Artist's Way, in meeting others along the same path, I found such community, such a sense of being held and welcomed, cheered along, understood, it became possible to really envision things I would have previously dismissed. This is how I took the step of booking to travel to the US for the first time, to take SoulCollage(R) facilitator training, to travel at times alone, and to discover - for myself - a whole new world.

This was not the only new venture for me since I began the blog. I've qualified as a Bach Flower Remedy Practitioner, I've graduated from university. I've become a member of the regular workforce. I've written ad nauseum about many of those things. I've written for Sunday Scribblings and for Poetry Thursday. While I haven't gotten into a regular habit of writing for Writers' Island, and my weekly Haiku have all-but fallen by the wayside, I keep their buttons on my sidebar, because I love such ventures. I love that, all over blogland there are groups and communities forming, melding, shifting, evolving, opening to receive new members, and that there is such goodwill, such kindness, such genuine positive energy being shared with no agenda, for the most part. Most of the blogs I visit have no advertising. There is no gain other than connection, nothing I experience other than the open-heartedness of one human being for others who pass their way.

I've read back over my archives during the past couple of weeks. I've surprised myself that there are insights and pieces of writing here and there of which I could say "I like that a lot". This blog has been a companion and a friend to me, a home and an open door, through which have come so many wonderful people, with your questions and comments.

I'm looking forward to the next two years. I don't know what they will hold. I know some of the plans and intentions I have for them, but I don't know how they will manifest exactly. I do know that I would like to still be here, still turning up, still doing my disappearing-act now and then, and still returning refreshed and re-energised.

This blog has become my home. You are my neighbours. I love when you pop in for a cup of coffee. I really value the deep, important things you say, and the "How's it going? Nice day!" shout-outs. I'm not naming anyone, because the list is too, too long, and I don't want to leave anyone out, but I hope you all know that I value you more than any words can say.

Blessings to you all, my friends.

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At 11/1/08 6:47 pm, Blogger Kara said...

Happy Blogiversary! I enjoyed reading your reflection. I especially like this sentence - "There is no gain other than connection, nothing I experience other than the open-heartedness of one human being for others who pass their way."
I look forward to your continued blogging dance with words, images, and stories. I raise my glass and toast to you - for connection!"

At 11/1/08 8:29 pm, Blogger Laura said...

Happy Blogiversary! I am sorry I fell so far behind / so far out of contact. I am still out here, I just got overwhelmed and have recently been picking up again.

I'm amused that you mention feeds and syndication and RSS, because I not too long ago added you to my LJ friends list (using your feed) so that I wouldn't forget to keep up again, hopefully!

I'm at these days, mostly.

As for feeds, they can be atom or RSS. Blogger comes with atom by default (yours is at for example). Some sites (such as LJ, but also sites just dedicated to handling feeds) can provide the feed data as posts/links for you, but I also use (for things I don't want to read in my LJ friends feed but do want to keep up on) a little program called Snarfer (Windows only, not sure what you use). You just put in the feed URLs (often found as links labelled Atom, Rss, Syndicate, or Feed, and blogger is always at the site/atom.xml), and then it will show you when there are any new posts that you haven't looked at (through the program) yet, as well as providing you part or all of the post (depends on how the feed is set up, you can't control that) and a link to the post.

Anyway, I sort of digressed. I am glad you are still around and blogging, and yay for your Blogiversary!

At 12/1/08 5:04 am, Blogger Amber said...

I feel JUST the same. And I am not a very good tech person, either. And I am also stuck in my ways, so not much changes at my place, either. lol

Happy Blogiversary to you. I am happy we "met" here...I don't even remember how, now! Isn't that funny? But you are a friend to me, and so that makes me happy we did.

ox :)

At 12/1/08 6:04 am, Blogger Deirdre said...

Happy Blog Birthday to you! I'm so glad I found you. I feel the same way about this blog community - what a gift it's been. I haven't made many changes on my blog either, but I'm working up it(if I can figure it out).

At 12/1/08 2:41 pm, Blogger Caroline said...

Happy bloggy birthday to you!

I don't think you are a boring blogger - I like the simplicity of your blog's layout.

I've got a lot of synchronicity around that quote:

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness

But I'm finding it too hard to put into words here...

At 12/1/08 6:41 pm, Blogger Becca said...

You've perfectly summarized all the benefits I feel I've received from the blogging experience too. At my age and stage, I never would have imagined when I began almost two years ago, that I could care so much for people I'd never met in person.

With my "book blog" I'm finding all kinds of interesting reading groups and book challenges. A whole new world to explore!

I look forward to sharing our cyber connection in the future :)

At 13/1/08 4:16 am, Blogger Leah said...

happy blogiversary!! what a wonderful post. it made me smile. :-) xoxo

At 22/1/08 1:25 am, Blogger daringtowrite said...

Hmmm? Feels like I've known you a lot longer than two years. In another live perhaps. Belated Blogiversary wishes.


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