I celebrate an anniversary of sorts this week. I won’t be throwing a party or even having cake or champagne, but it’s still a pretty special anniversary. I celebrate my third year as a blogger. For those of you who are counting, that’s churning out one to two blogs a week for a total of 320.
When I first created Writing From the Heart with Brian, I wrote that I was creating it to get my thoughts down on paper. “I write now to communicate and touch my reader, and even more important, figure out exactly what I think about life. I write too to figure out how I feel about the many different hats and roles that I play in my life: husband, father, son, friend, coworker and a million other roles.”
A lot of things have changed over the past three years, my oldest daughter and son have graduated high school; my youngest son has started high school; my wife and I seem to come up with new and imaginative things to worry about; and my hair seems to be thinning beyond all repair, but the blog has remained a constant.
A short list of a few of my favorite blogs over the past three years:
—How I carved out my own place in the world: How I became a writer.
—A different kind of love story: The love of my life.
—If heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the pearly gates?: I’m just hoping that when I die, God doesn’t say, ‘Send this one back.’
—Missing the Big Valley: My love poem to the rural community where I grew up. The same community that I couldn’t wait to leave when I was a kid.
—Goodbyes are the hardest: I write about the goodbyes in my life. None are easy.
—Through Mary’s eyes: The Day Christ died: A few simple thoughts on what I think must have been going through Mary’s mind watching her son, the savior of the universe, being taken away and crucified.
—A mother’s faith: My mother believed in me when no one else did. It went a long way in keeping me going through a challenging period in my life.
—An Amish girl leaves home to create a new way of life: And thank God she did!
—You can take the boy out of the country, but . . .: My country roots are showing.
—My life of Christmas crime: Think the TV show Law & Order mixed with the much loved animated TV special, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
—On the last day of school: The state of education and making the tough choices: Our experiences with public, parochial and private schools. Our opinion on what’s best?It’s not what you think.
—Turning 50!: Getting older is for the birds.
—The Thousand Steps Trail: My annual check-up: My own personal stress test.
—A parent’s message for his son’s teacher: Sometimes you need to stand up for your kids. This was my turn.
—Fiction: A father’s special gift: My attempt to write a short story documenting one father’s return in a moment of crisis and the power of redemption.
I figured I’d publish my blog for a while, maybe half a year or so, and then give it up to focus full-time on a novel or some other writing outlet. I viewed it as a chance to get back into the regular writing routine. I figured I would post a few short stories, fill-in with a few odds-and-ends, and see where it went. I’ve certainly taken advantage of the opportunity to show-off my fiction, but I’ve tended to write about things happening in my life. I certainly didn’t expect that.
No matter how it started and the new direction I’ve taken, I look forward each week to diving into some new subject from our lives. I start with a few general thoughts and usually end up walking down a path I never expected. My thoughts come to me at odd times: in line to pick up a cup of coffee at Wawa; when I’m out running; waiting for my son to finish up marching band practice; or even on my way home from work. There’s no rhyme or reason. The ideas come and I scramble to write them down before I lose them forever.
The blog and my small, but loyal blog readers have become cherished friends. I can’t imagine giving it up. Saying that, I probably should make a few changes. In particular, after three years, I’ve gotten a little long winded. My blog word counts have steadily increased from an average word count of 636 in 2015 to 798 today.
In addition, I keeping meaning to come up with a new blog name, one that’s not so wordy or so solemn, but it’s still been a blast. Where do I go from here? I have no idea, but I love the outcome. I hope you do too.