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One Year Gone

Then as it was, then again it will be
Though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Flyin’ the skies of fortune, each our separate ways
On the wings of maybe, downing birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn’t have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it’s got so far to go

                           ~~Led Zeppelin
It’s impossible to believe, but one year ago yesterday, I started this blog.  Have a look at my first post and you’ll see it was a pretty humble beginning–blathering on about nothing to no one.  I chuckle now realizing, in some sense, that is how all things begin.
One year and 142 posts later, it feels like one hell of a journey, one I never would have predicted when I began to write that first post.  At the time I struggled with my creative future.  Who was I anyway?  Who was I going to be?  I certainly didn’t know, but somehow I understood there was only one way to find out: get out there and write, see where it takes me.  And this blog was born out of that simple desire.
I stumbled around a lot, trying to figure out what I was doing.  That first month was all bluster and excitement.  I received my very first comment (thanks Emily!) on this short post, which I am still kinda proud of:

One last note before the day fails.  The path to writing has taken me far from my original course.  Not too long ago, I felt like a lighthouse keeper in a fog, caught out in a storm.

That’s changed.  I can’t remember the turns, the places where I might have paused to reflect, the dead-ends and the jaunts and the switchbacks.  But it seems like this spot is a pretty nice one.

I think I’ll stay awhile.

Other posts followed with dispatch.  It felt good to struggle with the writing and share thoughts on my trouble in this forum–especially because the fight to stay focused was real and tangible and something I knew I couldn’t talk my way out of or ignore (actually, I feared my motivation would leave me more than anything).  Along the way, I interviewed myself, posted some of my fiction and talked about the Moment.
I also began to discover a great community of writers out there who blogged and who I felt akin to–writers like Liza and Postie and Heather and Elana and Brian and Roz and Schmidty–and the day to day interactions helped keep the fire in my belly burning and kept me focused on the writing at hand.  There were dark days when I would have packed it in for good without their encouragement.

 

February and March flew by.  I started my Friday Link Love series (which I plan to resurrect in 2011), mourned the tragic loss of a family of seamonkeys, hosted my first blogfest, and celebrated my return home from Iraq.
In April and May, I shared the worst poem ever written (by yours truly!) and continued to be introduced to awesome writers who blogged, like Claire and Donna and Lydia and DL and Lola and Summer and Tara and SJS and Courtney and Portia and Valerie and G. G. (an old friend, new blogger) and Meghan and so many more!–and stumbled into an awesome Critique Group, a fact which still blows my mind every time I think about it.  Love you guys!

In June I moved to Sicily, where this blog fell silent for a few months, chiefly because of a drastic and unanticipated lack of internet access.  September and October found me pondering steps.  November and NaNo was a total blast, and everything since has been icing on the cake.  It truly is a wonderful life, and worth fighting for!

To tell the truth, I am surprised to still be standing after 365 days.  I didn’t think I’d make it this far–so I need to remind myself of that fact the next time I’m looking at a short story I don’t know how to finish or find myself knee-deep in a novel, having no clue where the exit door is located.  The lesson is stick with it and know that you can count on someone to give you a hand when the going gets rough.  You just have to say it’s possible.

If you’re reading this now, you’re a part of this writing life of mine, and for that–and everything else you do!–I thank you.  Now here’s to making Year Two as brilliant as Year One!  Who’s with me?!?!