It was one of the friendliest, most convivial groups of almost strangers I've ever been around. So relaxed, so without an agenda. People were also encouraging and complimentary. I love that stuff. It embarrasses me like crazy, but I also love it. I love it because I need some confirmation, in flesh and blood, that I should keep blogging.
Never fear, I'm not lost on the blogging road, not at all. I've said many times how much I love it and how great it has been for me. But as I approach the one year mark, I wonder, what next? Will the blog grow or change or take a backseat to some other writing endeavor? And what would that endeavor be? This year, I decided I was a non-fiction writer, but recently someone said I should write a novel. He said, "All you need to do is write 500 words a day." My response, "I write at least that much every day." What I don't know is what the plot would be--the through-line--the story. The core. Of course, that should be obvious. It would be about dating.
The trick to this writing thing, I've learned, is letting go. Easing up the pressure and not thinking too much.
For example, when I wrote short stories, I used to agonize over the titles. I would wait until I finished the story and then come up with something. I never liked most of my titles--they were not linked closely enough to the stories. But with the blog, I come up with a title every day. Once or twice I have agonized. Once or twice in over 300 posts. Something that seemed to be a big issue in the past turned out to be a non-issue. Something that I thought I was bad at turned out to be something I was good at. I love my blog titles.
When it comes to writing the posts, it's the same thing. I stopped writing short stories because I ran out of ideas. That's not exactly true. I had lots of ideas, but few finished stories. I had lots of false starts; beginnings without endings. I used to say that I wanted to be a writer, but I wasn't prolific enough and it doesn't pay. The latter is still true. The former--it seems like kind of a joke now. Not prolific enough? Not at all! Not focused enough might be more like it. Some days I start with no idea at all. Or too many ideas. And yet, by the end of (almost) every day, there is a post.
The major impediments to my writing: quantity and ideas, were only impediments in my mind. I created those impediments and now they are gone.
What happens now? That is my question.
You know, this is not where I meant to go today. I was going to do a little blogger meetup recap. Really, I need to give a big THANK YOU to all my fellow bloggers who are readers. Thank you for reading. Thank you for telling me you like what I write. Thank you for encouraging me. It helps more than you know.
And thank you to all the non-blogging readers. All my friends, lurkers and most especially regular commenters. Without you I wouldn't enjoy writing nearly as much and I probably would have stopped long ago without the pressure of your expectations. I need those expectations, so please keep them high.
On to recap. These are the fellow-attendees who met me first through the blog:
Velvet (Now a real life friend.)
Velvet: You just gave away that Jamy isn't your real name! Jamy: I don't care if they know. I'm just not telling them what my real name is. And you better not either.Alwayswrite (Quiet, sure, but always thinking.)
AW: When I read your blog, I'm always thinking about who I can set you up with…Barbara (Great writer and great perspective.)
Jamy: Really? You should set me up. I'm totally open to that.
AW: I have this one friend you might like.
Jamy: You can't tell him about the blog.
Shannon (A bundle of energy.)
Reya (Calm, friendly and my future massage therapist (I hope).)
Reya: Isn't it remarkable that we all care about typos?And here is everyone else:
Jamy: But of course we care. We're all writers.
Michael (Big hug!)
Rob (Thanks for keeping the group alive.)
Pat (Thanks for not publishing my picture and for being an all-around great guy.)
Nicolas (Great to meet you, love the tech talk.)
Tony (He has plenty to say.)
Eddie (In town from SF! Let me play with his toys (video iPod, my precious). Can you believe work blocked me from his site--how rude is that?)
Velvet: How did you get the domain name "eddie.com"?Merujo (Sorry I missed the funny stories this time.)
Eddie: It was free and I registered it.
Velvet: No way! When did you get it?
Eddie: 1996. (We all laugh.)
Velvet: I don't even think I knew what the internet was in 1996!
Martin (The giver of roses.)
Keith (At least I said goodbye!)
My apologies to those of you I missed or did not meet. Next time! There always is a next time.
Grateful for: next time.