I started my blog exactly one year ago, and it surprises me that I've been able to keep it up for a year. There are three things that have kept me writing. First, my sister-in-law Jill started her blog around the same time. The regularity with which she updates her blog shames me but at the same time inspires me to write more frequently. I also seem to have a small but faithful group of semi-regular readers. The fact that most of them are related to me is a side issue.
The final reason is this. When I started writing the blog, I sent the link to a friend of mine who is a "real" writer. I acknowledged that this blog writing would not be as creative, noble, uplifting, intellectual, etc., as writing a novel, magazine article or poem. Her reply was, "ALL writing is good!" I don't think she meant that in all senses. I've read a lot of bad writing and I've produced some myself. However, the process of writing is good for the soul. Like knitting. Her words have stuck with me, so I keep writing.
I enjoyed writing as a student. I loved writing reports, essays, and school newspaper articles. I even took a creative writing course as an undergraduate but quickly realized that the "creative" part was a lot tougher than I thought. I'm still not sure whether this aspect comes easily to most good writers or whether they really work at it. At one point in my life, I thought that a Harper's internship would be the ultimately cool summer job. Sense quickly prevailed after it occurred to me that I wouldn't stand much of a chance at getting this honour and also, having a paying job is a good thing. So for now, "Happy Anniversary" to me and my blog, and I'll try to keep going for another year.
I also had a birthday celebration yesterday. Thanks to all my friends and family who'd sent greetings and gifts and to my colleague John. I was the lucky recipient of one of his regular baking extravaganzas and shared a yummy pineapple upside-down cake with my co-workers. On Saturday, Todd took me out for an incredibly good meal of mostly raw seafood, and my kids tried exceptionally hard to be nice to me all weekend. Forty-one is looking pretty good.