I was surprised this week, when I found my blog had attained the distinction of acquiring more readers than I could possibly have imagined. From all over the world! And all this since I started the blog last August. For this, I want to say thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read what I have written, and for some, to have taken a moment to make a comment or send a private message.
As I come closer to the end of the first year of my “grand experiment,” I am pleased that I made promises to myself and kept them. When I started the blog, it was to make myself write. As with pilots, baseball and football players, pianists, surgeons, and others involved in any endeavor, to stay on top of your game requires practicing. Many times, life came in between my research & writing tools and me.
This is just another way of saying I lost my discipline.
So last August, when I sat next to Ardis as she (we) watched the movie, Julie & Julia, I started thinking. I found myself feeling guilty for not writing the way I should have been writing all along. I got to thinking about dying–not that I am going to do that anytime soon, but no one can tell–without accomplishing everything I wanted to finish before it was my time. One of the things that kept coming back was my writing.
I learned a long time ago that it is easy to write if you are in practice. If you are not, however, it takes a long time first, to get started, secondly to write well, and third, to finish.
That was my first intent of the blog—to write. What happened beyond keeping myself in the writing game were the surprises I did not expect.
For one, when I wrote about my Cuban grandfathers, I was surprised to find that one of my readers turned out to be a long lost cousin living in Switzerland. She wrote me a couple of weeks later and by way of the magic of the Internet, exchanged photos and stories about our lives.
Another surprise is the number of pilots reading the blog who let me know they learned a lot from what I explained about flying. One in particular is Dave, from Australia (MidLifePilot’s Flying Blog). As he read my blog, I read his as he wrote about the trials and tribulations of learning to fly. It was a very fine opportunity to remember how much fun and sometimes how difficult learning to fly is from the perspective of a beginner. Thank you, Dave, for the insight.
There is also the satisfaction of knowing I have helped many writers take those first important steps in their own writing careers. Additionally, I have enjoyed dealing with other professional writers and journalists through this electronic forum. Each new contact with essayists, both old and new, has proved to be a wonderful experience.
There are pilots and writers from all over the world who have taken a moment to write or comment. From Russia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Rim, and South America. The more who write and comment, the more I appreciate this blue marble sitting out and spinning around in space.
The Internet truly has made this a small world.
© 2011 J. Clark