I published my first post on this blog a year ago today. In thinking about how to mark the day, I thought about doing something like what I did when I hit 10,000 all-time view, reviewing the numbers and stats, but I really wanted to do something with more meaning.
I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started blogging, but I was told it was the next step in becoming a writer, so I did it. There were a lot of other things I didn’t know, too. I didn’t know how exciting (and addicting) it was to watch the number of hits climb and how disappointing when the hits didn’t come. I didn’t know how erratic the inspiration was with days when the ideas come faster than I can write and other day when I sit in front of the computer with my mind as blank as the screen. The thing that was most unexpected, though, was the feeling of connection that came with the interaction with you, my readers. As I thought about that today, I clicked on the “comments” section of my blog where WordPress stores all the messages you have sent me and those that I have sent back to you. (I try to reply to all comments. There is a box below the comment area where you can indicate that you want to be notified of follow-up comments.) I marveled at the 27 pages of interactions, and as I read through the first few pages, I noticed recurring themes. Following are some of my favorites.
10. Many of the comments affirmed me as a writer. As a late bloomer, and one with a fragile ego, I appreciate the positive strokes:Love this! Nice (wonderful, excellent) post. Nicely (beautifully) written. Very thought provoking! What a beautiful tribute. You are awesome.
9. Some affirmed me as a person and offered support for what I was doing: I think writing things down is good therapy for you and also us the readers as we know we are not alone. I’m always amazed at your ongoing strength that not only takes you into your place of caregiver anxiety but more importantly brings you out. It continuously represents your close walk with God who is our all inclusive strength. Bless your heart. I’m praying for you.
8. Some offered gratitude: Thanks for this. There were many variations of this sentiment.
7. Some of my favorite comments were those offered when I wrote about my grandchildren: What smart grandchildren you have! Smart kiddos!
6. Readers responded to my photos, especially those we took with Mom on New Year’s Eve: This is awesome, Linda!! Made me smile. Great pictures, Loved your Mom’s happy face. This is so sweet! What a special family you guys have. What beautiful memories forever caught in photos.
5. My memories evoked similar memories for my readers: This brings back sweet memories, wonderful memories, bittersweet memories of Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, other loved ones.
4. Many readers reacted emotionally: Your posts are so touching. This brings a tear to my eye. This put a lump in my throat. So heart-wrenching. You moved me once again. This is the kind of stuff that stirs the soul.
3. Caregivers and others seemed encouraged by reading my stories and by sharing theirs: Your post connected to me. I can relate to your stories. I feel like your writings reflect my experiences. I know what you mean. I feel that way, too. It’s good to know I’m not alone. I’m working through some similar issues myself. I feel your pain. We are going through that, too.
2. Some posts amused those who read them: Made me laugh, but at the same time appreciated what you went through with your parents. Priceless laughter.
1. Finally, some readers were inspired and strengthened: Thanks, Linda, for helping me straighten my shoulders today. I dread the day when I have to face these types of difficult decisions but so thankful I will have wonderful people like you to read and rely on during that crucial phase. Your thoughts are up lifting.
I am humbled by and grateful for your faithful encouragement and support this last year. In both my book and my “About Linda” bio, I wrote that I hope my writings encourage, amuse, or possibly even inspire my readers. Based on my review of your comments, it seems like I’m accomplishing that goal. What I didn’t expect was that my readers would encourage, amuse, and inspire me. Thank you all so very much. You are all awesome!