Take this blog, for example. Last week, I looked at what went wrong. Today, I consider what went right.
At nearly a year old, I can report that a few things came together well: I had a plan that was based on a good idea of what I wanted, and why. I also had great tech and editorial support, and I found the hours to work. This is all good, but in addition to these basics, I received some gifts—three things I never expected, which helped me out and taught me a lot.
When I sit down to write a post, I think about what I’m trying to say and if I’ve achieved it. I’m not thinking of how it will play. So when something catches fire, it comes as a shock and it’s a chance to learn. What’s this? Was a particular theme involved? A tone? A story? Was it the one about the kiss, or one of the China posts? Was it the one about crashing a party through the alley? Keeping secrets? Creating illusion? When something flares, I learn and will use this information as I plan my next year.
I was unprepared for the spam. I visualize it as nasty robots tossing trash around cyber ground, and it turns out that’s exactly right. My garbage came largely from the Netherlands and Russia. It was only after I seized control of my mailbox that I could hear my real readers. Their remarks and questions held an honesty, even vulnerability, which I admired. I was grateful for the real deal. I took it as a gift, and of course, I always answer.
No matter what I write, I aim for clarity, illumination. It’s a direction, not a destination. When it comes to an art form, there is no final destination. There is only where you’re headed, your thumb stuck out and a pleasant look plastered on your face. And once in a while, if you’re lucky, someone stops and gives you a ride. That’s luck on top of luck, the bedrock being that you’re on the road at all, pointed in a well defined and chosen direction.
So, in this mini-series, as we wind up the year, my tally is that five things went wrong and three things came as gifts. All learning moments, but there’s still more. Next week, we look at what else came, the smaller packages, the penny candy.
Photo credits: both images: Stockvault.net