Saturday, July 12, 2014

Five Things Learned From Blogger Friends

(photo credit Jamie Bagley)
1. One of the first blogs I read several years ago was that of Trina Holden. I was intrigued by her story of living in a tipi in upstate NY during her teenage years . I'm convinced that the hardships she endured then helped prepare her for the life she is living now. Her passion is to help people learn to eat "real" food and find easy ways to prepare it. I can't say enough good things about her book Real{Fast}Food. In it I found a recipe for mayonnaise that actually worked for me, when none of the others I had tried turned out very well. I learned an easy way to make chicken stock and cultured refried beans, and much more. I use her tips almost every day.

2.  In her post titled Back to Writing {For Writing's Sake}, Trina began with the question, "Are you a blogger or a writer?"  She was not really trying to separate the two but show that probably before becoming bloggers we really were writers. She encouraged me to write for the joy of it, to not get so caught up in trying to make money, trying to make a name, trying to get likes and sponsorships that I forget why I am writing/blogging in the first place. She said, "Focus on your calling as a writer and leave the increase to God." The whole post was really a gem and helped me focus on just why I write.

3.  Jennifer Upton taught me how to slow down and really look at things. She showed me how ordinary things can have beauty, too. All we need to do is look for it. When I do take the time to really see I am inspired and sometimes able to write a short poem on the spot. She encourages us to take pictures and then come up with a story about the picture. She has opened up a whole new world for me. She is phenomenal with her photography skills and is not afraid to try new things. Her enthusiasm overflows into the lives of many people with much encouragement. You can see some of her work here.

4.  Elora Ramirez in Story 101 helped me to see that I have a voice and that my words matter. She also said we should never throw our words away, even those we don't use at a particular time in our writing, and also those that no one hears. We should let them sit and come back to them. She likened those unused words as "compost, the soil that our writing comes out of."  I thought that was a good analogy.

5.  No list would be complete without my daughter, Jamie Bagley, who encourages me almost daily. She is the one who got me into writing with that first guest post she asked me to do before I even started blogging. She then helped me with setting up the blog and getting started. In this post she is talking about wholeheartedly trying things. She says, "So we want to be artists, poets, photographers, writers? Let's take some steps." Then she proceeds to give five steps to help us on our way. She helps me see that we don't worry about "arriving." Instead we think of it as "cultivating."  We should push away resistance and just begin with whatever it is we are interested in not worrying about knowing everything about it first.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I have learned much from many bloggers in the community known as Story Sessions. If you have not done so you might want to come take a peek at some of what is offered in this unique online group of women writers.

This post is the result of a prompt in the 40 Days of Blogging.

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