To Write or Not to Write

To write or not to write?  The question itself is no longer under consideration, it's just a catchy title that captures a bit of the story of Life by the Swake.  A year ago we posted the first blog, with some fear and anxiety.  We were venturing into a very public forum with our own stories, and while they might be riveting for a few family members we had a hard time imagining that anyone else would find the stories amusing or encouraging.

51 posts later we are celebrating the first anniversary with one hundred and twenty to one hundred fifty readers per week from all over the world.  3581 page views in year one.  So far beyond expectations that it is humbling.  I had no expectations apart from that our parents and our children might be regular readers and that even they might become bored.  Those expectations were too small, too limiting.  Apparently there are others who are enjoying their Saturday morning fix of Life by the Swake, and writing the blog has helped me to accomplish a goal I set for myself a year ago.

The irony is that I had forgotten I had set a goal last January of 'being an author'.  Further irony is that I failed to see this blog as a legitimate means of publishing.  Yes, some of you are shaking your heads and rethinking reading the blog because the writer is a bit foggy.  Be patient and I'll explain!

I did set the author-goal, along with nine other goals.  Goal setting is an exercise I've gone through the last two years that has proven to be really enlightening.  I also wanted to make a gazillion dollars in 2012 but it turns out that was a fantasy not a goal according to a business guru who's material I was reading this week.  However the writing thing stuck and the evidence is in the 51 posts - some better than others.  Even with all that writing I still didn't realize that I was a published author according to the definition.  Did any of you know that posting a blog makes you a published author?

Before Christmas, I was driving back to the Swake listening to CBC radio.  Just for the record, we have radio station preferences in our house and someone else prefers to have it on talk radio.  I tend to switch back and forth between three stations depending on my mood and level of boredom.  For this particular drive, it was a CBC mood, and I heard about a contest called Canada Writes that was looking for entries of creative non-fiction.  I did a little research, discovered there was prize money involved, read the material of last year's winner and figured I could do at least as well.  Then I read the rules, and that's when I discovered that I was a published author.  Now technically, that's not a problem, but I wanted to use some of my Life by the Swake material and craft it into a piece that fit the contest requirements but that was not allowed, because the material had been published in a blog already.  That's when I sat up and took notice that I had accomplished another goal.  Somewhere along the journey of life in 2012, I became a published author.  Thanks to all of you who read the blog regularly for contributing to that accomplishment!  Thanks for letting me practice on you and for your feedback that helps me to shape my craft.

Kanti is insistently pushing her gigantic head between my arm and the desk top at this moment, reminding me that without her antics I'd be scrambling for material.  Just to satisfy those of you who hate hanging story lines, I did not enter the contest at least not this year.  Here's to next year, to next year's goals, to Kanti, and to many more blogs of Life by the Swake -