Our shared love of words

The way I’ve been feted over the last couple of days here at Roamin’ Gnomials makes me feel kinda special, like maybe my blog has finally come of age. It’s been a little like having a quinceanera, but without the benefit of being a teenage girl . . . or even Hispanic.

I also feel a little perplexed.

While I’m thankful to WordPress Discover — and to Cheri Lucas Rowlands in particular — for anointing my blog with the holy chrism, I have to ask myself, why now? You see, I’ve been blogging for two and a half years, and I thought I had better stuff than this!

Writers should be keenly aware of their own self-worth, and I always felt I had a pretty good sense of my own: On good days I don’t suck. And that’s why I’m constantly amazed when the  posts I put the least amount of work into invariably bring the most success. All My Children — for which I received my nifty WordPress Discover badge — was absolutely an afterthought, something I threw together on a whim because I knew I hadn’t posted anything in awhile. It took me about 15 minutes to write, and was meant both as a mea culpa and a blatant advertisement for my other blogs. But thanks to its discovery, it has brought a ton of new readers to Roamin’ Gnomials.

Before that, my most popular post here was Regretting the Error: A Life in Newspapers, which went viral after some web service picked it up and plastered it all over the internet without so much as a thank you. Again, that post was just meant as a quick response after I saw that some poor sucker was taking a lot of grief over a bad headline he’d written in some newspaper. I thought I’d try to explain how embarrassing stuff like that can happen, so I hammered something together in about 15-20 minutes, and it proved shockingly popular.

Contrast those posts with the times I’ve spent agonizing hours writing something I thought would be special, only to watch as it swirled down the toilet and into oblivion with barely a gurgle of recognition.

It all makes me think that I don’t have a clue about my own talent or what readers really want. Or it could be that where writing is concerned, there’s a whole lot more luck involved than I ever imagined.

Whether it’s luck or skill, I’m very grateful to all of my new readers for taking a little time to explore my work. I really enjoy looking at my readership map and seeing how so many of you live in other parts of the world — Europe, Asia, Africa — and it makes me realize that a love for the written word makes us all closer than we could ever be otherwise.

I haven’t been able to visit all your blogs yet, but over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll explore as much as I can. Again, thanks for stopping by!

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8 Comments

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  1. Back in the day when they “Freshly Pressed” folks, one of mine was chosen and it was a similar circumstance. I wrote an off the cuff piece about how well it worked that I would kill the spiders he was terrified of and he would kill the cockroaches I was terrified of. Go figure! In the end, though, good writing is good writing and that’s a skill you obviously have.

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  2. From my own experience on both sides — as a blogger who has been discovered/promoted as well as an editor who has discovered/promoted writers — I feel that much of it has to do with timing and what someone simply happens to stumble upon at any given moment. If I identify with something in a post in some small way or am moved by even just a single line, that is often all I need. And I think that’s what I enjoy about blogging/writing online the most: being inspired by and able to latch on to bits of people’s minds here and there.

    Regarding your post, I’ve written and thought a lot about blogs as extensions of us, about compartmentalizing my life via my online space, etc., so your post — which may have been an afterthought — still totally spoke to me. But featuring it doesn’t imply, of course, that the past pieces you’ve agonized over or took the time to write weren’t better! This might be a long way of saying it’s all very random, I think. I can pour my heart out in a piece that I really love but it’s read by five people; in another post, I’ll write something that was meant to be a joke, formatted in listicle form, and it somehow blows up. I just shrug my shoulders.

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    • Well, I couldn’t be more pleased. I quit the word business something like six years ago, and writing for pleasure instead of for money has opened up new vistas. This is the first time I’ve truly been able to write for myself first and foremost, so that when some reader then happens to appreciate my words, it can come as a surprise, and is also immensely gratifying to be able to touch someone in some unexpected way. Of course money is also nice, but in lieu of a fat wad of greenbacks, occasional recognition for a job well done is payment enough. Thanks again, Cheri.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s truly about time you got discovered! I’ve always enjoyed your writing! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i didn’t read much of the RG . The Year in the Life got my attention. i love when you just ramble on. Not a gnome fan, guess that’s why I didn’t read it. Ya can’t please everybody every day.

    Liked by 1 person

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