I wrote the first very humble, very simple post for this blog one year ago today. Ah yes, friends, I remember that moment well. There I stood (I stand to write) in my darkened home office, the monitor lighting my face even as this new venture was about to light my way. I had set up the blog, it was ready to go, but I hadn’t written anything yet. There sat the blank page, as inviting as a freshly poured slab of cement begging for someone to scrape his initials into it. Most of what I write starts as a longhand draft or outline in my journal. Usually, my typing it on this page becomes the second draft. At that moment, I had no draft of nuthin’. Just the ocean of the new blog, stretching out before me. It seemed such a shame not to write anything at that moment, so I did what I recommend to anybody who isn’t sure what to write: put the pen to the paper and write anything. Start the ink flowing and see what happens. That post became the first of 418.
What I accomplished this year…
I collected ideas for ways anybody, especially the non-literary professional like me, can add a literary dimension to his or her life. From keeping a journal to writing photo captions or a daily sentence, to memorizing poems or hosting a literary event, I wrote about both simple and also more involved ways to live literarily, actual ideas a person could use. More than ever, I love words and passionately believe in their power to heal, to entertain, to ennoble, to deepen and broaden living. I also believe, more than ever, that anybody can find a way to deliberately, purposefully interact with words, that suits his or her time and ability.
Besides sharing ideas for how to live literarily, I also wrote some things of my own this past year:
From the Bride’s Father’s Notebook – Reactions and observations from the two weeks surrounding our daughter’s wedding.
Garden: A Love Story – Essays and pictures and notes from a season of gardening.
The Duck Series – Where would we be without a few duck puns? (22 and counting)
Notes on Life and Time – My wit and wisdom on some of the bigger realities.
The Rider Chronicles – A grandfather’s take on having and loving a grandson
Hitting Bottom and Sitting Alone on the Bus – My attempts to be funny.
Letters from When I Lived Abroad – In Jerusalem and Bombay
Among the Liberators – A walking tour of Virginia Avenue, Washington’s own Avenue of the Americas. (still in progress)
Fifteen Original Poems – Just some fun rhymes. Nothing that would ever make the New Yorker.
The Life Literary on Twitter – I wrote 290 tweets, mostly exercises in brevity or shamelessly advertising this blog.
Marigold Man – A novel over two-thirds finished. I only wrote a few tid-bits of the text in this blog, but I did write a few reflections on writing 50,000 words in one month.
And more. Look at the list of categories along the right-hand side of the blog page to see what I wrote. Click a few. Also, browse the tabs directly under the header (the picture across the top of the page) to get an idea of what this blog is all about.
…and what’s ahead for 2012
What’s next for The Life Literary? By April, I plan to have completed the second draft of Marigold Man. I’ll be looking for a few people to read it and comment. I’ll probably be writing a few less blog posts to make time for that. I will have completed Among the Liberators, as well as a year of garden notes. I’d like to figure out if either one is publishable. Speaking of that, I’d like to celebrate, one year from now, that 2012 was the first year I made money from something I wrote. I’ll be adding more ideas for living literarily, hoping to publish those in a collection someday as well. I’d also like to increase this blog’s readership. I haven’t tried much, yet, to become known. I think 2012 will be the year for that, too.
I wish for every and anyone reading this, joy in words, in sprinkling some nice ones in your daily living. In a way, our world, our lives, our environment are flooded with words, but so many are off-the-cuff, crass, shallow, repetitious, with little substance or durability. I’m advocating a more significant, thoughtful using of words, and giving ideas for how to do that. My hope is that in 2012 you will find a way to add a few deeper, more thoughtful, beautiful words to your life. This blog can give you ideas for how to do that in ways that suit your inclinations and ability.