Celebrating a Great Big Blogging Milestone

I'm quietly easing headlong into my 10th year of blogging.  

You and I've been hanging out together and talking life over for quite some time.  I hear that there's still a few of you around from way back in the day, 1500+ posts later.

I'm grateful that since that first little post, blogging around here has slowly evolved from a very tentative one-woman-show into an interactive iron-sharpening-iron dialogue with other like-minded souls, that's always laced with encouragement and grace.

I just love what God has nurtured and grown.  

Back and forth we've chatted, weaving a tapestry of stories, some fairly inspirational, others more than a bit unsettling.  We've been nudged forward, gently soothed .. and shaken up a bit.  We've reverently cradled surprising outcomes, unexpected disasters and over-the-top blessings.  We've offered each other desperately needed hope, more than a few virtual hugs ... and tons of links and resources.

Tears have spilled onto virtual pages.  And other times, we've laughed til our bellies ached.

Community.  Relationship.  Encouragement.  Accountability.  Love.

And while we're talking, if you read these posts via email and aren't an active part of this ongoing dialogue, I would love it if you'd come by often and check out the comment section at the end of each post.  The icing on the cake is the conversation that spills forth from whatever subject's on the table.  A number of interesting savvy creatives and a few wise-guys gather to share their unique observations and humor-laced wisdom.  It's usually a discussion worth checking out ... and jumping on into!

a few blogging tidbits I've embraced ...

#1.  Write when the Spirit stirs.
Not because it's a self-assigned day of the week or because there's a weekly link-up or because some expert somewhere told you to hit the publish button every three days.

Pick up that pen when you're compelled to.  Write when you can't not write.  Tap away on that keyboard when there's a fire in your bones. Speak when you're bursting forth with words that you believe will deeply impact your reader.

#2.  Relationship is just as important than content ... maybe more so.
You can have the sharpest writing skills and style in the world, but if you're not choosing to cultivate relationships, your readers might not be with you for the long haul unless your content is spectacular in some way.  Responding to comments, visiting your reader's websites and cheering each other on are lovely blogging graces.  

And it's not a you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours scenario.  Over time, the actions we take in growing our blogs end up giving us something much richer and more significant than we imagined ... supportive kindred spirit friendships that somehow span the miles.

#3.  Simpler is a huge gift.
Technology gone amok freaks me out.  White space works.

There's absolutely nothing flashy or trendy around here.  No bells and whistles, no widgets and gizmos.  Just a safe place for you to land, a gentle pause in the busyness of your online travels, a calm haven where you might catch your breath and be refilled.

Along the way,  I've cut out the sidebar and updated up the pages.  The photos I choose are usually large and unhindered by words stamped atop their beauty.  Tons of white space works for me.  It reflects who I am ... and it becomes a gift of quiet stillness to those who drop by.

#4.  Don't be afraid to take a breather.
Let's face it, some of us bloggers are a bit hesitant about taking time off even when our creative energies are waning or we're feeling a bit crispy around the edges.

Will our stats drop while we're gone?  {Yes, they will.}

Will our readers return?  {Most likely, especially if the relationship and encouragement you offer resonates deeply ... and if they've subscribed.  You can do so here.}

Is there life away from our laptops?  {Most certainly.  And our writing will most likely reflect that reality when we return refreshed, revitalized, renewed.}

Who am I when I'm unplugged?  {If we're asking ourselves that question, it's most likely past time to discover what that looks like.}

All that said, I'm off for a bit of an early spring break.  

I'll be continuing the launch of my counseling practice here on the Cape even as my husband is jumping into what looks to be a productive retirement {he's a big Habitat for Humanity fan}.  We're in the home stretch of putting final touches on The Nest over the garage ... and I can't wait to show you what it looks like!  And we'll be doing a bit of traveling as we jaunt here and there, wrapping up a damp gray winter and welcoming spring in all its warm radiant glory.

Meanwhile, I dug around the archives and am resurrecting The Blog Forum ~ A Creative Little Series for all you blog aficionados.  It's filled with all kinds of goodies that I'm guessing you might find helpful as you continue to design and refine your craft.

Now, it's your turn ... I'd love to glean from all your blogging tidbits, wisdom, and secrets!

Missing you already ~