deaths, work, play. . . I've been through more than sixty such years, so I know the routine by now. But of course, each of those years had its own variation on the theme and 2013 was no different in that respect, either.
The major difference from my point of view is this right here, this blog. I began in February, on a whim really. Truth be told, I didn't think I could actually do it. But everywhere a writer turned, it seemed, blogging was deemed essential to building that mysterious thing called a "platform." I'd already taken on Facebook and survived, so the next frontier was apparently to start a blog. Right. So what does one do, precisely, on one's blog? Well, blog, of course. About your life, your work, about yourself. Sounds simple, but I couldn't picture myself ever doing such a thing.
But something prompted me to try. Before I knew it, I had set up something titled "Lost in the Plains" and could actually write and post pictures and links and hit "publish" as if I understood how it all worked. And lo, and behold, other souls out there in cyberland could see what I'd just "published" and even comment on it! Cool! Kind of. Or maybe not so cool?
Without trying to sound mysterious or dramatic, I'm a very private person for a very good reason. Initially, when I decided to self-publish my first book, the idea of putting my name and face on the Internet seemed contrary to everything I'd done to protect myself for a number of years. Sure, I could use a pen name, but that seemed pretentious, or as if I were ashamed of what I'd written. My name and face are my own, after all. I refuse to be afraid to use them. Step by cautious step, as this writing thing progressed, I became braver and bolder. By the time I got around to blogging, I knew I was already just a Google away from anyone who wanted to find me. So why not take the next step and talk about myself, my life and my work, on a blog? Yes, it's a risk, but life's too short to hide under a rock and quake, when there's the possibility something you have to share might be . . .well, worth sharing.
So I've shared, I hope not too much. But I've been myself here, no hiding, just me. And even if no one had read my posts, I think this would have been a rewarding pastime. Like keeping a diary or journal, this blog has allowed me to mark the highs and lows of my year. I can look back over the posts and recall what prompted me to write them, where I was at the time and what has come to pass since then. The fact that thousands of people, from down the road to across the world, have viewed those posts is hard to wrap my mind around. But cool. Very cool, I must admit.
2013 will be a year to remember for a number of reasons, just like every year. But it will have particular significance as the year I, Karen Welch, took a giant step out of my comfort zone to talk with unseen strangers in faraway places about what is most familiar to me--myself. Rather than scary, that's actually kind of a relief, like throwing open the windows to enjoy the view without worrying about who might be looking in.
So if you're reading this, thank you! I hope you'll stop in again to share the view with me in 2014.