“Be not the slave of your own past- plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience, that shall explain and overlook the old.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
On September 13, 2010 Gardens Eye View was born, and my life was changed forever. It was a Monday morning and I had finally decided to write a post and publish it. How hard could it be? Apparently for me very hard. My friend Steven, who is a techie by trade, set up the blog for me a month earlier, but I was too afraid to put my writing out there. After all what if it was awful? But I took the plunge and wrote the first post in 30 minutes on the 13th and published it. Thanks to the social media giant, Facebook, I was able to announce that I had started the blog. Friends read that first post and the feedback was wonderful.
Of course that is what friends and family do. They support you in your endeavors. They help in whatever way they can. And I must say my friends and family have been so wonderful. My husband was the first to actually read the blog because he is my editor. He has to read it and approve it or it doesn’t get published. He is a wonderful editor not because he likes what I write, but because if it wasn’t good enough to publish he would say so. That is also what friends and family do. They tell you the bad stuff too because they love you and care.
Little did I know what was in store as the year of the blog unfolded. I found my voice quickly and knew I wanted to share lessons I had learned about life. I wasn’t sure the way I connected them to the garden would resonate with readers. And yes the readership was small at first. But that was OK. I was still establishing my style. I continued to blog once a week on Mondays and I started adding quotes I liked in November. And I obsessed about my readership. Who was reading, how many, where did they live…I eventually gave that up because it wasn’t who I was. I find it interesting from time to time to see what the readership is, but the stats aren’t the most important part of my blog; people are.
In November/December I found myself taking more chances and writing more. I wrote 2 memoirs and both were well received; one was even a finalist. The other I turned into a blog post on Perseverance. About this same time, I discovered a group called Reflections from Women through a high school friend, Katrina. On a lark I decided to enter 2 poems for consideration for publication in their upcoming book. One I had discovered recently that I had written 40 years ago, and another I wrote quickly before the deadline. They are now both published in the newly released book, The Moment I Knew.
Three amazing women entered my life during this time; Janet Riehl, Matilda Butler and Terri Spahr Nelson. Each giving me feedback and encouraging me to continue to write. Recently Terri wrote a beautiful note she enclosed with my copy of the book, The Moment I Knew. She said, “They (the poems) will undoubtedly call out to many women as they did for me. Keep on writing. Your writing is healing.” Such amazing support has allowed me to find the right path as I have continued on this journey.
And Katrina my high school friend, well she also entered her writing to the same book, The Moment I Knew. We were encouraged by the feedback we had been receiving and I was so excited because I really hoped we both would be published. How great would that be? When Katrina found her work did not make it into the book she still was so incredibly supportive of me. It brought tears to my eyes. She remains a strong voice who encourages me onward.
In December, I was accepted to Blotanical, a wonderful garden blogging community. I started off slow and began to get my feet wet finding new blogs, new bloggers. In early January I received an email from one of these bloggers, Jean. She said she was featuring me in her January Blogs of the Month post.
To say Jean single handedly launched my blog out there is putting it mildly. Her wonderful review of my blog introduced me to so many more readers. Jean completely understood my blog too. In a comment to me she said, “Donna, I was really delighted to discover your blog. I think you’ll find the garden blogging community at Blotanical enfolds you with warmth and friendship. The trick is to figure out how to develop all those wonderful blogging relationships while still continuing to write, to garden — oh yeah, and to deal with the rest of life’s responsibilities!”
And that has been a challenge of late. I have had to slow down my reading of all the wonderful blogs I have come to love. But this happens as our lives ebb and flow. These wonderful bloggers understand and continue to support me all the more. Thank you!!
And that takes me to this past spring. Wonderful friends Liane and Steven (my techie friend) created an exciting new blog, Walkabout Chronicles. They blog about life, loves, trips, inspirations and reflections. And they asked me to contribute. I didn’t hesitate to accept, and my first post was a reflection of my blog after 7 months. I knew adding another post into my busy schedule would mean I had to really discipline myself, but I was so honored and loved that I could branch out with my writing.
The support from Liane and Steven has been tremendous. They never hesitate to promote my writing and I count them amongst my special friends. Another recent blogging friend who is a wonderful supporter is Marcia Richards of Marcia Richards’ Blog. She has a great blog that I love to follow. She writes about life and the craft of writing. Marcia is writing on a historical fiction novel. I learn so much from Marcia and she recently asked me to participate in a fun blogging activity. I promise to get to it soon Marcia. And most recently I discovered fellow garden blogger, Grace of Gardening With Grace also had her work published in the same book as me. It is a very moving memoir not to be missed.
And fellow bloggers Donna at Garden Walk Garden Talk and Alistair at Aberdeen Gardening have encouraged me to show more of my photos. I have been finding my way with photography and hope to continue to learn and improve. Donna is an inspiration with her beautiful photographs.
So as the summer has waned and fall is upon us my blog enters its second year. More life’s lessons; more garden posts. I am undecided if there will be any big changes in the design or format. I like how the posts have evolved from life lessons to adding garden journals posts. And I love sharing my different gardens, my critter stories.
So to all who have been reading my blog this past year, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support. You are such an important part of my life now; friends who have joined me on this wonderful adventure.
“Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to-letting a person be what he really is.”– Jim Morrison
Book Update-For those that have asked, you can order the book, The Moment I Knew, from the publisher Sugati Publications where more of the proceeds go to the womens’ groups. Free shipping from the publisher as well. You can also order it from Amazon. I hope you enjoy the book and I would love to hear your feedback on my poems.
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