Happy One Year Anniversary

So today officially marks the one-year anniversary of this blog!!!!!!!!

How the time flies! I can’t believe it’s been a year already…

Thanks for your subscription, readership, and support! I might have quit if it weren’t for awesome people such as yourselves.

To treat yourselves I think this is a fabulous excuse for you to eat cake, not that one ever needs a reason beyond “cake is delicious.” If I get a cake solely to celebrate this occasion I will post a picture.

Best,

Ellen

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Writer’s Block

I admit openly to having a flair for the dramatic (you can’t justify owning the amount of scarves I own without attributing it to my artsy streak) but there are a lot of people like me in this world who call themselves writers. Yet there are so many people who make a bigger deal of it than it is. Heaven help you when you encounter a famous writer. I mean it’s really amazing when people resonate with something you wrote or connect with it in a special way. But you didn’t invent the wheel, you just wrote about it. (Perhaps eloquently, but still).

There is certainly a technique to writing, but overly inflated writers who talk about their craft and their struggles as they condescendingly share their secrets with us ordinary folk who aren’t as successful make me roll my eyes.

You should write when you have something to say. You should write when you’re trying to process something. You should write to chronicle your quest for answers. Your writing should be a reflection of who you are in your soul, the person that not everyone gets to see. You should write because you want to, not to change the world. Not to make money. Not to sell a million copies and become famous. (Although I wouldn’t argue with that as a nice side bonus of being a real writer!) I’m just saying there should be a distinction between people who write because they care about their audience and people who write because they want all the world to know their brilliance.

These days I wouldn’t even argue that a large audience denotes a talented writer (I know people with no discernable talent that still have millions of followers on Twitter) Writing should be something that you do for you, it’s a tool of the heart used to tell a story.

Because stories are perhaps the most perpetually binding aspect of the human experience, we are constantly surrounded by stories. When you write you are merely engaging in the unique revelation of something universal that you have observed about life, a glimpse of the truth revealed to you from the greatest Author of all.

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The Secret to Success

There really isn’t one.

But blogs who claim to have it get hundreds of thousands of views and shares. (which is just a touch more than I get, lol)

But fear not, I have a very different definition of success than most people and I’m very content with this blog and very flattered that even one person takes the time to read it, much less a few thousand- so thank you!

Because I think in our globally connected society we think just a little too big. You’re not a success unless you influence millions. You’re not wealthy unless you live like a Kardashian. Your political movement didn’t work unless it abolished everything you disagreed with by the next day and ended poverty to boot.

You may think I’m exaggerating, and maybe I was a little, but it was done to make a point.  The point that this train of thought breeds apathy and ingratitude. It hardens the heart to the world around us and the plight of others. It makes us think that unless we can do everything we shouldn’t do anything. And that’s just foolish because I can’t think of a better way to suck the joy out of living.

Instead, I would echo something closer to the theme of Schindler’s list, that “he who saves one man saves the world.”  Because while we’re so busy being big we forget to enjoy being small, and full of wonder like a child. We forget to smile at the stranger sitting next to us or be happy at the smallest act of kindness that someone does for us or that we do for someone else. We forget that sometimes life has a little bit of magic in it, and it sits in plain sight if we would only just remember to look for it.

And that’s why I really don’t care whether this blog gets a hundred views or a hundred thousand views in a day, because when I was little if the person next to me agreed to read one of my stories I would sit breathless with anticipation, not because I was looking to change the world, but because I was simply hoping that when they read it they would see the magic too.