Monday, March 11, 2013

The Joy of Blogging

From Kate's Writing Crate…

            When Cheryl came up with the idea of this blog about eight months ago, I had no idea what we were really getting into. We spent weeks talking about it, researching how to set one up, studying other blogs, making decisions about the look of ours, naming it, and discussing timing and topics.
            Then the Big Day arrived—we started posting. Cheryl, working hard again, set up a Facebook page as well and we were off!
            After six months of blogging, here's what we have gotten into:
It's just plain fun to have the freedom to write about favorite topics. I love sharing experiences and highlighting books that have helped improve my writing in hopes they will help others do the same. As writers, we need all the support we can find. Writing is hard work, but it is a wonderful calling. This blog let's us celebrate writing and writers.
Expanding My Horizons
I'm always on the lookout for new topics for my posts. For example, I was pleased to find so many TV shows featuring writers and authors that I am working on my third list of ones to watch. Before this blog topic, I never would have guessed there were so many quality programs.
I am reading different genres for inspiration including poetry as poets use inventive language and imagery that inspire me to do the same. In the writing classes I recently attended, the teacher was a published poet. Her command of language, her turns of phrases, and her combinations of images illuminate moments in time or tell entire stories in powerful and memorable ways.

I also discovered The Art of Description: World into Word by the writing teacher's favorite poet Mark Doty. It's an intriguing and insightful guide to appreciating not only poetry, but language and "sonic texture". As an avid reader, I have an extensive vocabulary, but it isn't always apparent when I'm writing. This book reminds me to stretch for dynamic words, not settle for mundane ones.
Improving My Writing
My decision to have a hard word count of no more than 500 per post (except the Gift Book List) and the weekly deadline have made me a better writer. The truth is: the more you write, the better you write—and keeping things brief means making every word tell as prescribed in The Elements of Style by Strunk & White (page 23 of the Third Edition). Being accountable to a writing partner as well as our blog's readers has made me a more disciplined writer, too.
Becoming Braver
I will admit I was scared, terrified really, when I published my first few posts. What if no one read the blog? What if there were negative comments? What was I going to write about next?
Happily, we do have readers, especially on Facebook. The comments have been positive and/or helpful. And I'm not always sure what I am going to write about next, but that's part of the joy of blogging.
If you blog, let us know about your sites.

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