WRITING FOR THE RIGHT REASONS

I wrote a lot of posts before getting Freshly Pressed.

In the beginning, I didn’t think about it because I didn’t know about it. After I became aware that such a thing existed, I figured I’d get noticed eventually. My turn would come. I’m insecure about a lot of things, but not about writing, probably the result of doing it every day for 50 years. Eventually you become comfortable and know you’re really a writer. You have proved it to everyone, even yourself.

freshly-pressed-circle3x3So I waited for that email to come. As almost everyone I knew seemed to be getting awarded — except me — I started to get worried. Then hurt. And I started to brood on injustice which is always a bad sign for me … a very bad sign.

Finally, after airing my grievance — mostly in comments on other peoples blogs about how bad they felt about being overlooked … I took a deep breath and realized I was being stupid and self-destructive. I was letting this thing get to me. It was sucking the fun out of blogging. I’d become focused on winning a prize rather than enjoying writing.

I don’t even remember when I knew I was I writer. It wasn’t something I decided. Writing was part of me as long as I can remember. It has been my therapy. Catharsis. My hobby, my profession, my dreams. The best part of me has always come through when I write. I was letting this thing … this award I didn’t get … take that away from me.

I went cold turkey on expecting recognition. I didn’t stop wanting it. I can’t help wanting recognition. It’s part of that type A personality thing, the competitive piece of me. And I’m sure a little teensy part of my brain nurtured an itsy bitsy hope it might yet happen, but to the degree I could control my feelings, I quit thinking about it, hoping for it, expecting it.

Most important, I gave up being angry. Because holding on to anger is bad for me. It messes with my head while leaving the object of my anger unscathed. It’s one of the few life lessons I’ve learned and accepted. I can’t go there.

I’m glad I kept writing. Most of all, I’m glad I didn’t keep writing only to win a prize, but because I love to write.

A thousand or so posts later, I got the letter.

There is a moral to my tale. Do what you love. Maybe the rest will follow. Maybe not. But when you’re doing what you love, you areΒ a winner.

And the post that finally did it is: GONZO GEORDI HAD AN AX

41 thoughts on “WRITING FOR THE RIGHT REASONS

  1. Pingback: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SERENDITY – TWO YEARS OF BLOGGING | Serendipity

  2. I’ve heard about writers who are extremely disciplined. They force themselves to sit down every day and write. I think I finally figured out why that works. Because at some point they ‘tune in’ and it starts to flow. Probably not every day but …
    It’s just a theory.
    I don’t have that discipline.

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  3. I really like what you’ve said here. For the most part, I blog because I want to keep track of how I’m doing. In all honesty, I’d be struck dumb if I was ever awarded FP. It’s just not what I’m going for, and I don’t really consider myself a writer. I consider myself a blogger, a journal-er, a diary-keeper. But that’s about it. But you, my friend, are wonderful and this is a great follow-up post to your first “I’m FP’d!” πŸ˜€

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    • Thank you. I wanted to share not just the winning, but the process I went through before it happened … the long wait, the resentment and anger and eventually, dealing with the emotional fallout. This IS a blogging award, so anyone who blogs has a chance of getting it, sooner (or in my case), later. I dont’ know why they choose what the choose — I never understood it. I still don’t!

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  4. What a great post! I couldn’t agree more. I had to seriously get out of my own ego’s way, take a step back, and reevaluate my deepest intentions re:blogging. For example, I don’t follow anyone who isn’t positive or makes a great point. No haters, marketers or bullies. The thing I’ve realized by Guapo’s post is that sometimes the energy and posts change because people change or their true colors come out. “Unfollow!!” Too much anger and rudeness under the guise of being “funny” and “Unfollow!!” πŸ™‚

    By the way, I love the title of your blog: Serendipity. I have a friend named Laurie who is on WP under “TuesdaysWithLaurie” and I think you’ll really enjoy her writing. Her word for 2014 is…guess what? Serendipity. πŸ™‚

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    • Guapo is a frequent visitor here — and vice versa but honestly, I never heard of “le Clown,” though I apparenty have read at least 1 post on one of his sites (was there more than one?). I do hate bullies — cyber or otherwise. I have been bullied often enough in the real and cyber world to want to steer far clear of them. It’s hard enough for me to keep my balance without getting involved in online warfare. I run away at the first sign of battle.

      We all have hot buttons. I think every blogger I know has (as my granddaughter puts it so well) ISSUES Gramma, ISSUES. That’s probably what gives us the drive to keep putting ourselves out there. It’s always risky when you expose you feelings in a public way, always a chance of blowback. I avoid exposing my deepest feeling anywhere — and never on someone else’s site. I fled to WordPress after a few incidents on forums because here, at least, I have control of my own territory. Anyone who gets too far up my nose is gone, banned and that’s that. I have control. If you are on someone else’s virtual turf, you have no control. So I’m very careful where I go. I have a temper — slow to trigger, but hard to stop. Once it gets rolling and gathers momentum my commonsense goes bye bye.

      I don’t see unfollowing as a big deal. I unfollow people all the time. I can’t follow everyone and only have so many brain cells left. At my age, I have to use them wisely. I unfollow people for all kinds of reasons, mostly because they aren’t writing stuff I want to read. Or they spend all their time complaining about having been abused when they were kids. We were ALL abused as kids and many of us as adults too. Eventually, it’s time to lay a voodoo curse on the doers and move on.

      There are people who are too intense for me to be around a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, but they exhaust me. Guapo can be exhausting … he is very high energy. Usually I like it since I’m kind of sluggish, but I can’t live at that pitch all the time.

      And there’s the “I’m old” thing. I am not ancient, but I’m no kid, either. I know that storms pass and we often don’t even remember what they were about. Unless I’m directly part of the main event, I’m better off bowing out. I’ve got ISSUES Gramma, ISSUES πŸ™‚

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  5. Congratulations Marilyn! It sure took them long enough and I agree, I cannot understand the logic (if there is any) in some of the posts which they choose to honor. Well done, Author, Author!

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  6. congratulations Marilyn. You are exactly right, The best thing is to keep on doing what you love the best way you possibly can and before you know it success will follow. I think when you worry to much about numbers and what everyone else is doing, you will not be as successful.

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    • Mainly, if you focus on outcome, you lose the joy of the moment. Maybe success WON’T follow. There’s no guarantee, but if you are enjoying it, you don’t NEED a guarantee. You’re already getting the prize.

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  7. I’m being a jerk here, but I wasn’t a fan of the fp experience.
    I think they highlight a lot of good work, but even so, there is so much more out there! I’m much more interested in the insights and comments on my posts from those I interact with regularly than from an editor who stumbled across my page.

    That being said, belated CONGRATULATIONs!!! And your writing is superb. It’s a good, thoughtful time every time I stop by. Thank you.

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    • I think they also select a lot of stuff that is not particularly good and even more that is of little interest to anyone. I’m at a loss to figure out what criteria — if any — they use other than whatever grabs their attention. Be that as it may, thank you. I’m not about to turn it down, it being so late in coming … 1850 posts before being “chosen.” I will take whatever honor comes my way. It is rare enough, for whatever reason.

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  8. Last year, I was in the writing Dead Zone. I couldn’t think of anything to write about, and it was becoming a chore. I almost stopped, but, when I started the blog, I promised myself that this was one thing I wouldn’t quit on. Slowly, writing ideas returned. A few weeks later, I got Freshly Pressed. It’s almost like the blogging gods realized I needed a push.

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    • The timing certainly was interesting for us. For me, I had to force myself to try this writing style. It was way out of my comfort zone. I guess I got affirmation where I apparently needed it πŸ™‚ Those writing gods have a real sense of humor!

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  9. So happy you got the honor of Freshly Pressed. I always look with a bit of envy on that Freshly Pressed badge that I see on other’s blogs and think–maybe someday. Some of my posts are drivel, some are mediocre and some, IMHO, are great . But I have decided that what I write is for me and my own growth and as long as I am fueling that growth in myself I don’t need accolades. Although it is nice to be noticed, isn’ t it?? Congrats. I read often but don’t always comment . Today I needed to. Thanks for a wonderful post. And congrats. You deserve it.

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  10. Generally speaking praise and recognition come from someone else. In the case of photography the highest praise comes from peers, those that have equal or greater talent. Writing, like photography, has its own rewards without outside comment. You know when your work is good and if it pleases you isn’t that reward enough? With maturity comes the wisdom of contentment.

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    • Yes, that is true. But a few compliments and a nice plaque to hang on the wall wouldn’t be too much either. As they said of Alfred Eisenstadt at his furneral: “He never met an award he didn’t like.”

      He didn’t lack confidence (far from it!).He just liked recognition πŸ™‚

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  11. I love this, Marilyn. πŸ™‚ The letting go of anger was an especially timely reminder for me. I’m so glad you finally got this recognition, and even more glad that you realized how little you needed it to prove what we already know– that you are an excellent writer. xo!

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    • Thanks. I learned an important lesson in the process of waiting — I have a LOT of trouble letting go of anger. I’m a brooder. I harbor grudges but never tell the object of my brooding about it. I internalize. The more I brood, the more miserable I become. Learning to let got of that … really doing it and not just talking about it took a big effort of will for me. Next to quitting smoking, my proudest personal achievement πŸ™‚

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