As Writers, Why Do We Blog? #nationalpoetryday #5years #blogging #poetry


 

Join me for a moment as I reflect on my 1600th post (on this blog alone) and the 5 year mile marker. I’ve come almost full circle on a colorful and interesting ride.

 

What I’ve learned about blogging as a poet:

When I first started blogging, I joined an on-line poetry community. It was supposedly very active for a poetry group. We would put our poetry directly on the site – this was before Linky came into being. I rarely got a comment. I finally met one other person who liked to discuss poetry – one person to give me scraps of insight. The one thing I gained was the “nerve” to post what I had written on a public wall. I’m pretty private about the stuff that comes from my heart and soul.

The next poetry community I found was growing quickly( obviously there was a vacuum when it came to creative sites.) It was a good place to meet people, the hostess was nice, and the number of comments you got each week grew exponentially. My skills as a script writer (or commentor) were unnecessary as the comments ranged from “nice poem” to “I like your poem.”

Poetry is an unusual form of creative writing as it evokes different feelings from people.

Consider this phrase:

he knocked on her door once

she was unable to answer

the next time he came

her bags were packed…

Depending on where you are standing, “He” and “it” can mean vastly different things. For one person, this can be romantic for another dark, and yet another person may think of the inevitability of change. I was thinking about death. If you tell me”you liked the poem”, I gather the poem said little or nothing to you.

Poets like to (at least occasionally) see what window they have opened for the viewer. “I like your poem” is a closed window.

The next poetry community was one I decided to form (after attending a writer’s conference.) I birthed the idea for two reasons: I was tired of 20 “I like your poem” comments and I wanted a pilot (practice) for writers in the special needs community. The pilot was called One Stop Poetry. The goal:  to inspire emerging poets to write and get feedback and give existing poets a place to get and give feedback. We (the 3 “ms” and a “D”) never expected to grow like a weed and did not have the plan in place to handle the massive numbers that we were gaining. In a matter of months, we went from one day of poets sharing their work to a week-long format with articles about form, articles about poets, photography, art, chat rooms on twitter… In 6 months, we had thousands of followers (which meant 100s of comments in any given day.) In 8 months, we had won an international award in the arts.  I had interviews and a meeting scheduled (with a financial backer) to discuss creating an on-line poetry (arts) program for children.

In 12 months – Too much too soon never ends well. I’m still not sure why the train was derailed (and a poetry community shut down). I did hear rumors that I was very sick. To anyone who was part of One Stop Poetry (who is reading this) I am grateful for the ride and the relationships with fine and talented individuals.  The next year was a hard year. I got the advice “stop blogging.” I almost did – I was stalked, hacked, someone had borrowed my identity…  I asked the proverbial question, ” What have I done wrong?” Looking back – nothing! What is the saying: “Imitation is the highest form of flattery…” There are other blog sites today that branched off with poets that had met at One Stop. How wonderful that people met through something I was part of.

Sadly, blogging does have its problems like piracy, identity theft, and other mean things that inhabit the real world, but it also has some truly fine people.

The next poetry community I entered into was a wonderful haiku community that was unobtrusive and challenging to my writing skills. I laugh because haiku, since I was 10, has been a daunting task. I’d offer to do the artwork if the teacher would let me off the hook, as I felt incapable of writing a poem in 17 syllables that said “something.” If you haven’t written haiku – and you want to be a serious writer- take some time in that pursuit. I read the most beautiful, full stories in 17 syllables. I’ve met gifted and kind people who deserve hugs and a huge  thanks.

Then I actually found myself bending back on myself. I’m a writer and I always have been. My blog started because I was sad about the closing of a independent(international) radio station that several of us had high hopes for. I wrote the sketches for the children’s hour. When we closed, I had a huge void.

And here I am looking at myself 5 years hence: The book I wrote (almost 5 years ago for special needs children) should be published soonish, I have returned to my study and pursuit of art after a long haitus, My stories with my favorite co-author are being published in other countries for education (I just sent off book 1 of 3), and I found a wonderful artist to illustrate two dragon series in the final development stages.

What did I gain?  A better look at myself, a deeper love for poetry and haiku, really amazing friends and co-writers, and so very much more…

After five years of blogging, I still get the occasional comment “nice poem.” Now I chuckle and remember back to the beginning.

In the next five years, I hope to still write poetry here. I also hope to get my little dragon book into the hands of boys and girls. We are excited to see what comes from this dragon with a big heart. If you want to see a piece of what we are doing visit Dragon Tales and Scales

smiling-pet

The artwork © moondust designs ’14

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17 thoughts on “As Writers, Why Do We Blog? #nationalpoetryday #5years #blogging #poetry

  1. I like your story. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Congratulations on 5 years!! Here’s to many many more. I am coming up in my one year anniversary blogging with WordPress. I can relate to many of the things you have pointed out in this post and I appreciate your insight on all of it. Again, congratulations!

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  2. Nice story.

    Aahh, couldn’t help it, lol! I love your tone of, not sure what the right word would be, irony perhaps? It made me smile.
    And what a remarkable story, truly! You created your way, picked up learning all along the way, and the smile and the shrug for what doesn’t deserve your energy, you have more important things to do, like spreading moondust by writing your way through life, inspiring without a doubt countless of people.
    Inspiring me, while I’m right on the brink of considering to take my photo and writing further. Somehow. There’s still doubt in me (quite a lot in fact, however that often seems to be the case when we are closing in on a dream, at least in my experience. But as I saw somewhere; ” you doubt everything but your doubt”
    Well done you, Leslie!
    p.s. and thank you for re-tweeting one of my poems!

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  3. Congratulations on five years, Leslie. I think we have to forget about what other people think of us and concentrate on what we think about ourselves. We all gain from interaction with each other, and even the ‘nice poem’ people. At least, perhaps, they have read?

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  4. Oh wow- enjoyed this post and congrats on the 5 years and 1600 posts! I am sure your blog presence has been a present.

    and just one thing to share about the “nice poem” comment – please just keep in mind that sometimes we just do not know what to say – and while it may feel like a closed door or a thoughtless comment – many times it still comes from the heart – and even though it is simple – many folks do not always have the words to describe what or why they liked something – and especially poems.

    My friend Christine was in town and we were falling about everything and anything – and we both shared how we do not love “all” poetry. And then she said, “well some of it I just don;t understand” and we laughed – and I said me too – and then I also shared how sometimes I just don’t like certain types and patterns. And then we shared the kind we do like – and my point is that I think this is how a lot of folks feel. They do not always get all poems – they do not prefer that style or they may just not like it.

    And so sometimes when someone says “like your poem” it may have more depth and meaning than you will ever know.
    It is not easy to critique or share succinct thoughts – and sometimes one has to a different mental gear – and move from soaking up the poem as a reader to then find the words to spill out what was liked. And so moving too quickly into this mode can take away the experience of being the reader – at least for me. But I really think that a bit of grace should be given to the “like” button and the 3 word comments because sometimes they have more weight than appears on the surface.
    Oh – and your dragon with the big heart sounds awesome. 🙂 ❤

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    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. And I agree with the “I like your poem” there are times that we dont have time to think of a great comment, we dont know what to say or… I hope I have grown up a bit over these 5 years.
      Cheers!

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  5. Thanks for opening yourself up with your story. I know how hard it can be sometimes to push that ‘publish’ button. You have shown strength, passion and endurance. And you are a good writer with an exceptional creativity. Keep going and wishing you the best of fortune…

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  6. Moondustwriter,
    This was a very inspiring and eye opening entry. I knew of some of your struggles but not all. You are a fantastic writer and a good person. I’m glad everything is starting to fall in place for you. My time at One Stop has taught me many things. One thing in particular: never give up, that you are as good as you feel you are, and that while it’s nice to receive feedback poetry is your voice and not everyone will like your voice but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good voice. Thank you for everything you have done.
    Sincerely,
    Corbie Sinclair

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  7. I always thought and still do someone who writes poetry has a special gift, I love reading and even memorizing poems but am not confident enough to write it. You have that gift when I read your poems it seems so effortless, I always wish I could do that.

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  8. HAHAHA! I was just kidding. Of COURSE I liked your story, I was even there for some of it, writing a little, lurking a lot. As we became friends, I realized that you are a
    down-and-deep
    type of Peep…
    …and your writings come from inside
    where creative surging emanates
    from Creator’s urging…

    Nice to “see” you again, Leslie, thank you for stopping by Fourth Dimension with such nice words…What did you write? Oh YEAH, “Nice poem”! –grinning!
    –steveroni

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  9. Feedback is tricky business. I think for some of us who’ve been taught to be polite, it is difficult to find the language for helpful critique. Others of us gawp in wonder at how someone else has so elegantly or forcefully wrestled words into a meaningful form. And then there’s the fear factor. What if that’s not what the author meant at all? What if I got it wrong?
    Blogging is a two-way learning curve. First is how to produce our own best content, but second and just as important (or more so) is how to interact with our fellow bloggers, how to lend support and how to recognize potential for improvement and present those ideas with care and gentility.

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    • Linda I think you described well the plight of the blogger. Take it down to artistic expression and it can be a dicey business. I must say tho that I have learned so much through comments (even of my own work.)
      It really can be a full time job this blogging stuff…

      Liked by 1 person

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