If you have enjoyed any of my writing, blog posts, or doodles over the last seven years, you have a special group of people to thank.
When I got started in blogging, I didn’t know who I was as a writer. I didn’t have a voice. I didn’t know how to share a story. I wasn’t able to open up and show myself to the world.
I was floundering. I only knew I was angry, lonely, and desperate for attention. I thought if I put my words out into the universe, everyone would see how amazing my ideas were.
Money, prestige, power and adoration would follow immediately behind.
The world would recognize my genius and I’d never struggle with self-doubt or depression again.
When immediate gratification didn’t explode forth from the bottomless well of cyberspace, I died a little inside.
After a few months of quiet isolation and bearing witness to more than one rage-filled argument spawned from my words, I almost gave up.
I would never be Locke or Demosthenes, taking over the world through blogging and forum arguments.
My writing wasn’t making me happy. I was slumping along paths so well-trodden my feet stuck deep in the mud. I needed something different. I needed a space I could use to connect.
And I found it.
I started over as a blogger on December 1, 2010. I joined the Reverb10 month of blogging. 31 blog posts—one post for each day in December. Each prompt helped bring 2010 to an end and spring 2011 in a better way.
There are still plenty of truths in that first Reverb post, short as it is.
As the year sped along, I found myself in a larger and larger pile of projects, with less and less fulfillment from what I had.
Lessons I should have long since learned and didn’t.
I tackled the reverb blog prompts with the same completionist dedication I gave writing assignments in high school. Hell, I even thought of them as homework.
Then, because it was what all the blogging sites told me to do, I read other Reverb posts.
I commented. I twittered. I connected.
By the end of the first week of prompts, I was opening up. Reading back through those 31 posts, I can see the veneer cracking on day three.
On day 5, I did as the prompt told me and let go.
That blog post was the first time I got a comment from someone I’ve never met in person.
A lot of what you write about really hits home for me as well. Guilt and Ego… I’m definitely feeling you there. Thanks for sharing.
Well, Brad, your comment was the sausage I got for jumping through hoop of emotional honesty.
It was a hard lesson to learn. I still forget.
By the end of the second week, I learned the other lesson about writing I need to remind myself more often:
I started the project working under the assumption there was a right or wrong way to do it. I got a tiny taste of encouragement for opening some emotional wounds and thought I was on the right track.
But, then I got nothing for a few days until a prompt struck me the wrong way. So I set out to write a post that subverted what I perceived was the intention.
It was the most commented on blog post of the month.
A few days later, I did something similar. Again, more comments.
I’ve been looking for ways to keep doing that ever since.
Even as I wrote fiction and blogging fell away from my life, I was still looking for it.
2017 has been a year for me to reconnect to those roots of who I am as a writer. I dedicated time every day to writing a blog post again because I needed those reminders. I needed to remember where my voice was.
The voice Reverb10 helped me find.
Which is why I believe synchronicity has had a hand in the last couple of days.
Out of the blue, one of the many wonderful people I met in that first reverb just posted on Facebook, tagging a bunch of us from the community.
We responded. People I hadn’t talked to in years popped in and reconnected. It only took a couple of hours for some of us to talk about how much we missed being a blogging community.
Less than a day later, one was formed. Writers who’d been out of the blogging game for a long time talked about relaunching their blogs.
Naturally—inevitably—we have prompts.
I’m proud to be part of this group again. I’ve missed all of you and am grateful to have you back in my life.
It might have been melodramatic when I said it seven years ago, but it is true in many ways.
You all saved my life.