Wow. I can’t believe it’s been a year already! If you had asked me when I first started this blog, where I saw myself in one year with it, I would have told you, “Nowhere.”
That’s just how I am. I usually have this great idea and get all fired up about it and then it slowly dies away with a lot of other great ideas and somewhere I just know there’s a virtual landfill of all these awesome brainstorms somewhere out there. I imagine them wandering around aimlessly like broken souls looking for love. I bet all the socks that come up missing are out there as well. At least those broken thoughts have warm feet.
Writing has always been my passion; since I was old enough to form a written sentence on paper to be exact. My earliest memory of dabbling in writing was when I was six-years-old. I would write out different words on paper and cut them out afterwards, throw them in a shoebox and scramble them, then one by one I would pick them out and form paragraphs. Of course in my brain at the time it seemed like thousands of words but in reality it was probably only a couple of hundred. And that’s OK. I mean look at the books about Dick and Jane.
Looking back on my first entry here at Rustic, my writing style a year ago closely resembles the simplicity of those early childhood books. Minus the big name publisher and all the freaking money made off of them. (All in due time, Misty, all in due time.)
My love for books began the moment I was old enough to grab them for my dad to read them to me, but my true passion for classic Literature and real writing was ignited by my beloved high school English teacher Mrs. Ermel. I won’t lie and say I read every single book she threw at me, such as, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World. Actually I vividly remember refusing to read Grapes of Wrath. It just didn’t look interesting!
However, now I own the first three books and have read them multiple times and hold on to each one like a great friend. (I still haven’t read Grapes of Wrath. Please tell me that I’m missing out and I will totally read it!)
It’s my opinion that if you don’t enjoy reading then you will never enjoy writing. At least not for money and certainly not for fun.
I owe Mrs. Ermel my sanity for introducing me to writing and the passion I have for it. She will never know how grateful I am no matter how many times I tell her. I think all great teachers are like that. They do their life’s work, their calling, without expecting accolade.
Thank you Mrs. Ermel. You deserve that. Again.
My first few months here on the blog were mainly just ramblings about random stuff going on in my life. I really didn’t know where I wanted to go with the blog. Was it just going to be a place for me to write down my thoughts as they came? Would I actually write about anything important? Did I even want to?
You see that’s the part when great ideas begin to die. The moment you start thinking about the exact reason you want to do something that you feel so passionate about. The point in time when you begin to analyze, and I mean really get down to where you are just thinking non-stop about why you’re following a dream.
Sometimes you don’t have to know the precise reason. Just a general idea of why and knowing that it just makes you happy. Completes you. Yeah, sometimes that’s all you need to know. That you’re whole just doing what you’re doing.
So I kept writing and guess what? People started to read what I was saying. Then they started “liking” my blog posts and then the unthinkable happened. Somebody left a comment. That’s right. They left their thoughts on my writing.
Love it!!!! You nailed it, go Misty!
There it was. The blood to my heart. The oxygen to my fire. The kindling to this huge bonfire that had been building inside of me. Imagine the most important person in the world to you, patting you on the back and telling you what a good job you have done! That’s the feeling, right there.
I did go!
I began putting more thought into what I wrote. I began to see that it really was OK to talk about taboo subjects such as mental illness. I learned that it made other people feel better when I wrote about my own journey with mental health. It made me feel better which in turn spurred me on.
I began writing about my son, my ex-husband and some days those pieces were deep and hurtful and other days they were lighthearted. I wrote about being a nurse. I wrote about so many things and people liked it. They enjoyed reading the words I put to paper so to speak. They weren’t always happy with me but I made them think. I forced them to think about their own feelings and that to me is what a good writer does.
A great writer forces their reader to fall in love with the words; laugh, cry, bemoan, and curse.
Six months ago I found out that I could reach even more people with my words. I learned the art of writing for other writers. That sounds odd right? Why would I do that if I have my own virtual story book right here? Well, I’m not that great at writing yet. I have so much yet to learn and by typing out a story for another blogger or a website and submitting that to an editor, I open myself up for criticism, rejection, but also acceptance.
All three of those things are crucial to developing who I am as an artist of words. It all boils down to confidence and when you put your story in other writers hands, writers who have been following their dreams for much longer than you, you’re essentially telling yourself it’s OK to not be as great as you thought you were, or better yet, it’s OK to realize you are more exceptional than you thought.
That last part sounds like I could use a dose of humility, I realize that. Believe me when I say the past month has taught me more humility than I ever thought possible. I’ve been rejected, ignored, and criticized by some of the best out there and I’m GLAD. I’m glad I’ve been told, “No.” I’ve also been told “Yes! We’d love to publish your article!”
I work so very hard for this blog. I work every day to make it better. Recently I’ve decided to torture myself by self-hosting, which in essence means building my blog into a website and that’s no easy feat. Thank GOD for WordPress! Thank GOD for tech support and thank GOD for so many people who have helped me over the past year.
Take the editor over at Sammiches. She was the first person I ever handed one of my stories to. She nurtured it and she tamed it and she put it out there for all the world to see. She also continues doing so and I will forever be grateful for that. She believes in me even on my worst days.
There is so much more I could say about Rustic turning a year old. I had a lot of things to say and honestly I’m ecstatic if you’ve stuck around this long to read what I’ve said here.
I’ve been wanting to write a new post but it wouldn’t come to me. That’s the fickle nature of the bitch called creativity. She takes my muse some days and won’t give it back. There is one thing she can’t take from me though and that’s my home here on my blog. No matter what happens, no matter how many rejection emails I get or how many drafts I type up that will never see the light of day, I’ll always have this blog and you, my reader.
If you ask me right now where do I see myself with this blog in the next year, I’ll tell you.
Right here with you. Giving you my very best. I hope you’ll still be here too.