What I've learned in three years of writing a blog

What I've learned in three years of writing a blog
Source: Reusableart.com

On July 14, 2014, I published the first three posts on this blog, starting three categories I still enjoy writing about: Words Worth Defending, Sustaining Books, and Browsing through Bartlett's. I haven't had quite as busy a writing day since then, or at least a publishing day -- but I wanted to get a sort of portfolio out into the world as soon as I started.

More than 260 posts and three years later, I'm proud of what I've accomplished -- not only the five times that I've finished in the top ten posts for a given month (pending June's contest!) and the two of those that were first- and second-prize winners among thousands posted, but also what blog-writing has, literally, done to my brain.

I love words -- the English language in particular, but also the Scots and French words I've picked up from family and teachers. But setting up particular categories among my loves has been educational. I find that when I'm thinking about a particular topic, I find things that fit a category, and -- ta da! -- here's a post for you. (For instance, talk of Bastille Day and just "mid-July" had me thinking of the anniversary, and here I am.)

I still pass the sign in a neighborhood parking lot which warns of "PERVIOUS CONCRETE PAVEMENT" and how to act if you want to put anything on it. That word "pervious" was my first Word Worth Defending, and it still catches my attention on the sign.

I still catch errors in printed texts, or even in spoken ones, and line up ideas about how to write about defending the correct usage of a word. But the rare words, the ones that "don't get out much," as I described "pervious," are still the ones I write about for fun.

The tension between "I need something for the blog" and "Oh, that'd be fun to write about" is a happy tension for me. I rarely "need" something to write as much as I want to narrow down my choices.

My imagination has developed well in these three years. From an early writing prompt in the series called This Blogger Life, I wrote about wanting to meet Robert Louis Stevenson. Thanks to a clever comment wondering what would happen if we met, I imagined visiting with him. He even showed up recently as a member of an imaginary committee which was examining my writing. (I owe you a cup of tea for that, folkloric!) All of that sort of imaginary visiting was beyond my imagination three years ago.

I'm usually more academic and, well, Serious. I love explaining the origins of things, whether they're terms from other languages or from pastimes not many people have (such as music). I still don't like getting upset about missed or misused words, but I find myself calmer about language now -- I have this forum in which to blow off steam, calm down, and set down what should be done to help out our language.

Thanks for reading, whether you've been here for three years now or just happened by today. You make me aware I'm not doing this just for my own pleasure, although that happens -- I hope I'm doing it to please you, too.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Want to give me a new year/anniversary present? Here's what I'd like: Just go to the top of this post, click the Subscribe by Email button, and follow the prompts. In return, I'll send you all my latest posts.







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  • Happy Anniversary! Your posts are so informative and entertaining. Here's to many more!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Thank you very much. I'd love to stay around -- I'm far from running out of ideas.

  • Thank you for promoting linguistic etiquette and for sharing your literary insights. I look forward to reading many more of your essays.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You're very welcome on both counts. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Happy third anniversary Margaret! I really enjoy your posts. I'm sometimes geeky about language too so it's nice to know this is a shared trait!

  • In reply to Friendly Curmudgeon:

    Thank you! I enjoy your posts, too -- I don't mind sharing such a special trait.

  • I liked reading about what you've learned. Congrats and happy anniversary. --The Urban Landlady

  • In reply to Rooted in Chicago:

    Thank you very much, The Urban Landlady. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed what you read.

  • Hello! I'm here to wish Margaret Serious a belated Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on writing prize-winning posts, and turning your word love into some great categories. I have thoroughly loved reading the Robert Louis Stevenson and imaginary committee posts; and let's not forget your brief fling with "Serious Questions."

    This observation resonates with me: "The tension between "I need something for the blog" and "Oh, that'd be fun to write about" is a happy tension for me. I rarely "need" something to write as much as I want to narrow down my choices."
    Wishing you continued success!

  • In reply to folkloric:

    Thank you very much for the kind words, folkloric. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the imaginary committee, because -- I'll tell you first -- they've had another meeting, and I just need to transcribe my notes. (It's a room in my own imagination, and I only wound up secretary!)

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