Prawn and Quartered 1st Anniversarypalooza, Part 1!


Who are these people, and why are they reading my blog? ~The author

We hired this guy for the P&Q anniversary party

It’s been almost a year since I started Prawn and Quartered…which seems like an eternity ago. August 1, 2010, to be exact. And what better way to celebrate than with a 3-part special? At a friend’s suggestion, I decided to create three separate posts: what I’ve learned from blogging, what I hope to accomplish either because of or through my writing, and a grand finale involving chocolate cake, fireworks, a special appearance by Tom Jones, and an *ahem* entertained dressed up like H.M. Murdock.

But first things first…a little bit of retrospective….

I love it when a blog comes together

When I first began writing P&Q, I was struggling. I’d lost a job I’d had for over five years and I wasn’t sure what my future held. Since there were only so many job applications I could fill out, and so many crappy movies I could check out from the library, I decided something else was in order. I’d always been a writer. I’ve kept journals almost as long as I could write and found them to be a positive way to deal with the many slings and arrows of life. I knew a *little* about the blogosphere…I’d heard it mentioned in the same way someone might talk about their close encounter with men from Venus. I investigated further and found that anyone could start a blog. So, that’s just what I did. I never knew how rewarding it would be or how much thought I’d have to put into it.

So, after a year writing words that at least 70 people have since signed up to read, what have I learned? As an old teacher of mine once told me, it’s not always about the finished product, but the process it takes to get that product.

No matter what you write about, the act of writing is helpful. This is a staple of so many creative writing seminars I’ve done. My drafts may be complete crap, but if I can glean even one small seed to use later, that’s great. In some ways that’s what my blog has become: a sounding board for different ideas. Which leads me to…

The strangest things can be good subjects for writing. Regulars to P&Q will know I don’t really have a “theme,” though I do often write about my memories of the ’80s and my love of pop culture. I’ve covered the bases from movie reviews to why I hate cheerleaders, and even scientific inquiries into the paranormal. The only rule I stick to is that nothing is out of bounds, nor too weird to write about here.

Karaoke: it just brings friends together

Blogging is a terrific way to meet others with similar interests. Admittedly I still haven’t quite got the hang of social media promotion (Clay, I swear, I’m gonna get on Twitter one of these days), but I have met a whole host of other bloggers, fellow ’80s children, and pop culture junkies whom I’d never have met if I hadn’t started my blog. One tip: if you like someone else’s writing, always say so. It’s a great way to network and get to know others with the same interests as you.

Don’t worry about being perfect. It’s that whole thing of drafts again. Two of my posts which I thought were pretty average were featured on Freshly Pressed this year. Put your heart into it, and it will show. It doesn’t have to be shiny and perfect. Some of the best blogs I’ve come across have been, like mine, strictly blue-collar at heart. The same could be said of myself as a whole. I’m not worried about looking model-beautiful anymore. I just try my best and let everything else fall into place.

Success is temporary, and so is failure. When I got on FP, I was pleased to see my hit counter go up a few thousand. It went back down to the low hundreds after a few days. But, the temporary moment in the spotlight gave me even more incentive to keep writing and come up with new and interesting topics. If I didn’t try at all, or neglected my blog, I knew it would just dry up and disappear.

Writing takes discipline, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s like any other form of exercise. It takes committment and practice. I didn’t sign up for the WordPress Post a Day challenge this year (may give it a shot next year,) but I have made a promise to go no longer than three days without posting. The more you write, the more you will want to write.

Spend time in the blogosphere, but don’t forget your close friends. I admit, the ‘net is the first place I go whenever I’m feeling down and want to chill. But I have to remember that there are a lot of people, especially from my previous job, who helped me out when I needed it most. In fact, a few of them have given me great ideas for my blog. One has even started a blog of her own.

Blog for you. Not for anyone else. This one is maybe the most important of all. Since I don’t follow a theme (photography, humor, music, etc.,) P&Q is an Anything Goes sort of place. I know that when I post, I’m writing about a subject that’s important to me. Maybe, if I’m lucky, it’ll be important to someone else too. But that’s not why I blog. I do it to sharpen my skills as a writer and share what I’m writing with the world. I’m not going to get famous doing it, and certainly not rich…but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

A real artist can take criticism, too!

Coming next: my hopes and aspirations for this year and beyond! Twitter! Facebook! Drama! Fireworks! Clowns! (OK, no clowns.) Special thanks to Lisa for her suggestion.

As always, comments and questions are welcome at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com! If you liked this post, be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to P&Q!

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on July 27, 2011.

4 Responses to “Prawn and Quartered 1st Anniversarypalooza, Part 1!”

  1. Happy anniversary! (Still readin’ as always)

    ~A.J.

  2. Happy almost Anniversary with your blog! As a writer myself, I always appreciate good writing, and I am definitely glad you found your way into the blogging world! Keep writing! 🙂

  3. Heather, you have accomplished so much in the past year! This post reminds me that not only have you survived; you have thrived. Devoting time to your passion for writing clearly has enhanced your life and has fostered new insights and perspectives. You inspire me. Congratulations on your blog’s first anniversary!!!

  4. Congratulations on doing the blogging for a year!

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