Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One year ago . . .

. . . I started this blog. I was surfing the Internet, coming across these things called “Blogs,” and had absolutely no idea what they were for or how to begin one. Then I clicked on a little icon at the bottom of the sidebar for a site I visited. It took me to a dark blue screen with a gigantic orange B. There, I learned what blogging was all about. I learned there was no secret code to start one and that a person could use it for anything they wanted to write about - sports, entertainment, wrangling wild ferrets.

I learned it was for free.

So on Monday, November 12, 2007, I typed in my information to start a blog. The hardest part was coming up with a name. The second hardest part was coming up with something to post. The third hardest part was getting over my EXTREME SHYNESS to l et other Web surfers know of my existence.

What was I thinking?

For the first time in my entire life, I had a severe case of writers’ block. I picked up my handy thesaurus and flipped through for a name. I was going to go with, “The Misanthropic Writer.” Yet this just didn’t suit me. “The Churlish Writer” was the name I chose for about two months. Then “The Surly Writer” came into existence. One problem was solved.

Now I had to decide what to write about. Wait. Let me come back to this one later. Instead, let me discuss my EXTREME SHYNESS and how long it took me to get away from my lurker status to start leaving comments on other people’s blogs.

Three months. That’s right. It took me three months to get my courage to make a comment. I was visiting Agent Nathan Bransford’s blog where he held a first paragraph contest. Writers had the opportunity to submit the first 500 words of a story and he would have prizes for the best five. I am a sucker for writing contests. I submitted a story. I lost. I had fun.

I thanked him for having the contest. I believe my comment was, “I am one of the new people to your blog . . . blah, blah. Thank you for the contest . . . blah, blah. I was always a little nervous about leaving comments here because everyone seemed so highbrow and way out of my league. Sometimes I feel like putting on a waitress uniform and serving virtual drinks to everyone . . . blah, blah. Would you like a martini, Mr. Bransford? Blah . . . blah. I’m going back into my dark corner now. Sigh, if only I had a cute bartender to talk with . . . blah, blah.”

His response (if I remember correctly): “Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have a brandy.”

Ha! And I thought I was the wacky one in the blogosphere.

From then on I started fighting against my introvert self to leave comments on blogs. What I discovered most about blogging was how to discover new people. I clicked on an icon in the comment’s section, followed the person back to their home, and peeked through their windows at what they were doing for the day. Then I would see someone had stopped by for a chat and I would follow this new person home with no one the wiser. In essence, I stalked people for harmless fun. And I was stalked in return.

For some readers here, I left comments to let you know of my presence. For a few people, you checked through your various trackers and discovered a lurker called MLH (I was sooo busted!) And for the rest of my readers, you came here leaving comments and I followed your bread crumb trail back to your ginger bread houses and totally fattened myself up on the goodies you posted.

I am grateful to know all of you! And I am sure I might have a few lurkers who visit. Although you have never left a comment, I am grateful to have you too! I am grateful for having my 13 followers . . .

13? Lucky number 13? I hear thunder rumbling.

Anyway, I’m grateful to have my followers and grateful to have my 17 subscribers. Oops! 20 subscribers. 20? That can’t be right. Those have to be fake. Maybe computer bots trolling over my blog for the various Internet search engines. Whatever. I’m grateful nonetheless and it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet - in the USA.

Leaving comments and being social - another problem I have overcome.

And now for my last problem: What to write about? As for my posts, I still have NO IDEA WHY YOU PEOPLE READ MY BLOG! I offer no nutritional value to your daily vitamin allowance. I write about anything and nothing, which is no mean feat - I’m telling yah. Who knows what I will write about next? My next post could involve spitting camels on roller skates playing banjos. I could write about a fictional sleuth who discovers his baby’s mama’s uncle Billy Joe Bob was murdered for telling the police it was the butler’s cat hopped up on catnip who committed the crime of feeding pennies laced with arsenic to the neighbor’s plastic flamingo. Heck, one of these days I might even write about something sane.

*shudder*

Oh well, I still have one last problem to overcome by my next blogoversary. The Surly Writer is a year old. I have burped it, given it three feedings a week, and tucked it in every night with a goodnight kiss. In return, it has given me headaches from its growing pains (various blogger problems), temper tantrums (more blogging problems), and giggles during its precocious times (readers’ comments.) I look forward to another year of posting.

But I’m shuddering at the thought of when we reach its Terrible Twos.

HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO ME!

27 comments:

  1. Happy blogoversary to you! I enjoyed your confessions about your first year as a blogger very much. I am blogging for half a year now and I also remember that I was very shy at the beginning. What should I blog? Would it be "good enough"? The first blogs were very difficult for me, but slowly I got more and more relaxed!
    My stalking history: I am coming over from laughingwolf's blog where I found you! *LOL*

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  2. Maria: Thank you kindly and thanks for stopping by!

    It does get easier the more you blog and comment. I was so nervous about saying something inappropriate that I felt like sticking the mousepad into my mouth. Now I just let it all hang out - figuratively speaking, of course...

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  3. Yes, that's right! Have a nice week! :)

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  4. Maria: You have a nice week too!

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  5. I visit your blog in the hopes of someday learning how to wrangle wild ferrets.

    Oh, and I like your voice, too.

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  6. Stephen: In the future I plan to do a step-by-step guide on ferret wrangling with color photos and emergency room numbers and the whole spiel.

    Voice? Is that kinda like Style? I think I'm lacking in both departments. My clothes are still retro grunge and I speak in a high-raspy tone. Who could possibly like that?

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  7. Aww happy blogoversary! I'm one of the ones that busted you. And I'm sure glad I did. You're always a fun read.. here's to many more.

    I'll be answering your question (the one you left in the comments on my blog post from yesterday) in a mini post shortly. Stand by. :)

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  8. Hello.:)) I found your site through Hilary.;) What a wonderful post; I am somewhat new to the world of blogging my self and recognize so all the sentiments in your post.
    Despite being so shy for so long, you are a very talented writer.
    Happy 1 year anniversary!:))

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  9. HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO ME!

    Yes. Most definitely. And MANY happy returns, Michelle!

    I hear ya about all the hoops one jumps through in deciding to blog, and the many issues we have with our platform (Blogger). I'm glad ya jumped into it... and you are a most enjoyable read.

    OT: Did you watch the game last night? Your Pens exacted some revenge on my Wings, in Deetroit, too. The final score wasn't to my liking, but ya gotta love a game with 13 goals, eh?

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  10. Congrats. You write well. I'll drop by again. :)

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  11. My Lighter Gray Friend:

    I've been trying to catch up, so I've printed some blog entries for later reading, yours here included. In the meantime, Happy Anniversary! I'm very glad that we found each other :-)

    Jim

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  12. Happy Blogiversary! You're a very talented writer. Keep up the good work!

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  13. Happy blogging anniversary/birthday! Glad I've met you, and even gladder you're setting your fears up like bowling pins and knockin' 'em down one at a time! Yay!

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  14. grats, michelle...

    now you're an 'old hand', so to speak, you've found your voice, and it's a good one

    so glad you decided to stay :)

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  15. Hilary: Thanks! You so busted me and I'm glad you did. I love your comments.

    Teena: Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

    Protege: Thank you kindly!

    Buck: Thanks. I know you've gone through your share of blogger problems. And I did listen to the game partly (I never watch it because I can't stand the commentators on Versus.) 7-6. I never thought the Pens would win. Detroit seemed a shoe-in. But the teams will meet again, in Jan. or Feb.

    Frank: Thanks for coming by! I love sharing in my madness!

    Angie: Thanks!

    Suldog: My dear light gray friend, I'm so glad to have found you through Sandra Ree's blog.

    Blunoz: Thank you for the kind words!

    Angie L: Thanks. I'm hope to make tons of strikes (even though I never played the actual game.)

    Laughingwolf: Old hand? No, I'm still taking baby steps. But thanks for you kind words.

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  16. Happy Blogiversary! Many bloggie returns, but remember the famous words of Donald Maass - about how blogging satifies the itch to write.....

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  17. Happy blogoversary!! :-) Hey, I've seen you around. You visit some of my friends, but I haven't seen you on MY blog yet, leaving a comment. What's up with that? ;-)

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  18. Josephine: Thanks. And I promise not to forget Donald's words. You'll always be around to remind me. lol! :)

    Demon hunter: Thanks for stopping by!

    Ahem...well, I...ahem have been to your blog.

    Dang! Why am I getting busted like this. My lurker status is dwindling. lol!

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  19. Hah! I just noticed I called YOU "my lighter gray friend." Maybe we're really reaching that point of not caring you dreamed about. Either that, or I was just tremendously careless. Probably the latter, alas.

    Anyway, really nice piece, and I hope I get to read many, many more - and some books and stuff, too :-)

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  20. Woo Hoo! Your first anniversary, huh? Well, here's hoping you have many more anniversaries in your future.
    I giggled as I read your description of how you got into blogging and the trials and tribulations that come with the effort. Been there, done that, still doing that as a matter of fact -mainly on the "trials" aspect.
    It's funny how we all find each other's blog though isn't it and your blog is one that I definitely know how I found you -through Suldog's place. But I can not for the life of me now remember how I found his blog! Whatever methods were employed, I'm really happy I found his blog and from there, found yours as I really enjoy visiting and learning bits and pieces from both of you!

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  21. Happy blogoversary, Michelle...you are such an honest and compelling writer!

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  22. Suldog: I can only hope society keeps heading in this direction. As for the books, I'm working on it.

    Jeni: Thanks! It is incredible how we all meet each other. And there are just so many new people to go visit now, from all walks of life and all over the world.

    Brenda: Thank you!

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  23. call it: story :P lol

    btw - see my page for your award

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  24. Happy Blogaversary! Let's see, what is the traditional first blogaversary gift? Paper? No... after all, we have eschewed paper for the pixels. A mouse pad? No... that seems a bit personal for our first blogaversary...

    So I guess it will have to be this: I'm really, really glad you stuck with it! It's all downhill from here! :)

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