One of my favorite bloggers, unquenchable Stef of the extraordinary Smile, Kiddo has invited me to participate in a “Seven Links Challenge” (more very soon.) I’m an easily discouraged perfectionist, so my first reaction was, Are you kidding? No way.
But Stef said Hey, it’s supposed to be fun! Go for it! And when Stef suggests things in her smiling way, there’s somehow an overtone of (maybe even grinning?) I double dare ya! So I turned my head around, looked back over the past 13 months of Touch2Touch, and this is what I saw:
1. Most Beautiful Post: This was tough. Beauty for me, like Keats, just about equates with truth. So there are a lot of entries, among them The Shawling Snow and Sequence of a Sunset, and Tucson in a Different Mood.
2. Most Popular Post: Besides Home and About Me, Lonely Angel was the winner. About touch and connections and linked to the amazing youtube Free Hugs, Lonely Angel embodies T2T’s mission and motto, “Only connect.” In Praise of Doubt and reprises was close behind.
3. Most Controversial Post: Controversy isn’t my style, but every once in a while an emotion wells up so strongly that it can’t be contained, and I let loose, as in What Does Freedom Mean, which I felt compelled to follow up with A Paradox, Now in Plain English, perhaps because this was also
4. The Post That Didn’t Get the Attention (I think) it Deserved. That may not be a coincidence. Perhaps it’s because people prefer “easy listening” posts to “gotta think about this one.’” Perhaps when I get too emotionally involved, I also get carried away. It’s a toss-up; if you have an opinion on this I’d be interested to hear it.
5. Surprisingly Successful Post: Definitely It’s the White Hair That Does It. It was frivolous and fun (although truthful).For runner-up I’d choose Guess What?, which was picked up by commenters and turned into a wonderful storytelling game that surprised me most of all!
6. Most Helpful Post: After a lifetime of immersion in reading, writing, meditation, Buddhism, spiritual search, wisdom traditions, the whole deal, I can only hope that a little of it comes through. Two possibilities: Buddhas– and Ordinary People — and An Invitation to Happiness. If you’ve followed my blog and found something helpful, I’d love to hear about it.
7. Most Proud-of Post: Here I feel the mother instinct — I love just about all of them. If we’re talking about seriousness of intent, then I’d choose Even the Heavens Wept, about the devastating tsunami in Japan), and Final Exam and Face-Blind, both at the interface of medicine and our lives).
See Stef, I did it! So there — 😀 And what did I find? That if posts are about numbers and getting depressed by statistics, I was right. I don’t have the numbers — But if we’re talking about quality — of the connections, of the conversation, of what this kaleidescopic blog is for and about — then I have the best readers and viewers in the world, who amply reward me for every post. My fervent thanks to each and every one of you.
And now the fun part of the challenge, when I get to tap other bloggers to participate. I’m asking:
Pauline, the doyenne of Writing Down the Words, poet, photographer, writer, naturalist, wise woman, and more attributes than I can list —
Jen, whose Random Acts of Writing are funny and profound and witty and beautiful by turns, and often all at once.
Rebekah, whose Colder Weather is spiced with a Swedish-Canadian accent, and whose deep kinship with birds and beasts is amazing.
Adrienne, of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, whose new blog features amazingly sure and profound and balanced posts about people, places, and events in one of the world’s great cities (I was born in it!), Brooklyn, New York.
Let the wild rumpus begin!
(You’ve already read such a long way that I feel guilty even suggesting you take a look at my other blog A View from the Woods. But not so guilty as to leave it out!)
oh my … I felt it coming! Because it’s you … I’ll do it. This will take time, there are so many categories where I don’t have any.
I see a few posts of yours here, that I haven’t read, so I’m off to do that now.
Signed *Easily Discouraged*
Dear Easily —You saw the handwriting on the wall — more than I did when Stef dropped the bombshell.
But after that — yeah. It took me quite a while. Almost a week, I think. And Stef really dared and cajoled me into it. But ex the statistics (only use them to get the relative high posts and ignore ’em from then on) — it turned out to be interesting. I think you’ll find some surprises, and it’ll encourage you to some new viewpoints about your own work. I’m betting on you, kid.
Signed: It Feels So Good to be Finished!!!!!
P.S. I was going to start out with a description of the trio who inhabit the area code I live in: Perfectionism, Judgmentalism, and Easily Discouraged!
How do you like that for synchronicity? But the post was WAY too long, so I cut that.
I’ve started working on it now. It’s just as discouraging as I knew it would be *grin*. Started with the easy one, and was surprised to find that the former dandelion has the most page views of all time?! Then it gets harder … controversial?! I don’t have any controversial posts, and not helpful either for that matter.
Should have chosen easilydiscouraged as my email address/screen name … or easilydisgruntled LOL.
At least I don’t think anyone of your trio lives in our area code…here they are really easy-going!
If you don’t have controversial posts then —all you have to do is say so, voila! One less paragraph to write 🙂
Easily disgruntled would be a really high class name. But did you ever contemplate what you would feel like if you were gruntled? Easily or not?
What I meant about the area code was a little joke about my own personal space: living within me are that dreadful trio!!!! They’ve always lived in my castle. I may never be able to get them to move out permanently, but I do work on encouraging them to take a little vacation every once in a while! Stef is a great encouragement for that —- *waving to Stef*
Like I said, R., it took me several days even to get up some steam to begin, so be cool. It’ll be fine.
(Stef waving back) 😉
It’s all supposed to be fun, dare I even say “enjoyable”… so if it’s not, don’t do it. Let it sit a while, percolate in the back corner of the brain… That’s what I did, and when I came to it a few days later, the post pretty much wrote itself. And I really did have a delightful time reviewing and reflecting…
I was so envious that you’d already done it — and so focused on getting myself up to the starting line —
that I’ve neglected to go to your blog, mouse in hand, and check out such posts as I’ve missed. Look forward to doing that tomorrow!
Sleep well, sleep tight!
I’ve already done it … not posted yet though.
Well, of course — you’re a gruntled person!!!!
1) I don’t think I “cajoled” you into completing this challenge… rather, I think I encouraged you to look at it from a positive light instead of a negative lens. As an opportunity instead of a bother… (At least, that’s how *I* remember it!) 😉
2) I’m glad you did it – but more importantly, I’m glad YOU found value in doing it! Yay!
Here’s to having fun in whatever task we are handed,
Stef (the pessimist-turning-optimist)
By me, cajoling is good!!!! So that’s how I remember it — expressing fondness, encouraging —
(I think we’re talking vocabulary here; I hope I’m not imagining the fondness 😉
I love that you are a pessimist-turning-optimist — and that then you encourage other pessimists to go and do likewise —
You’ve been a great influence on me! for which I extend many thanks.
Judith, yes, absolutely, I think we are speaking the same language – both teasing each other a titch. 😉
Thanks for the smiles! Right back atcha.
oh, and another thing … the worst part will be to choose the other people! Almost all the ones that I have, have already done it. I think I’ll have to just let that part be..
Yeah, that could be the very last thing.
Wow; I feel very honored and a little horrified to be asked to participate in this exercise but, I will give it a try. I am a newbie. I started in April, as a means to communicate with family and friends about my travel across country via train. That journey ended but, I’m still exploring and still posting. I simply think of my blog as a patchwork quilt of what I find funny, fascinating, frustrating and befuddling. I do like how you describe my blog. It was kind and generous. Thank you for your support.
In a way I know it’s harder when you’re newer and don’t have a sizeable backlog of posts.
But I’m really impressed by your blog and, well, just thought it would be fun to see what you’d come up with.
Really interesting idea for a post! It’s always fun to see what bloggers think of their own work. I want to thank you for the sweet comments you left on my blog; they really do make my day!! #4 was quite interesting….I have definitely had posts where I have felt like I put in so much effort, only for the piece to get very little attention. Oftentimes, it’s the super short posts that are the most popular, but those really aren’t my style. I do think it’s because people are looking for a quicker read most of the time — they don’t feel like they have the few minutes it takes to really settle down a read a longer post (which is sometimes reflected in their comments). There are people who will stop by and comment for the sake of commenting but not care too much about what you have to say…others expect different types of material from you and don’t want to read lengthy opinions pieces — I really don’t know, but these are some of my theories. It’s a really interesting question though. I would rather have a small group of readers who were truly interested in my blog than a wider audience that was only seeking self-promotion (and this happens a lot with fashion/art/food blogs).
Thanks so much for this very thoughtful comment, Halie. Yes, it takes time to read longer posts, and definitely more concentration when they’re more about ideas than strictly about pictures. I’ve been blogging now for 13 months. Again and again I come to your same conclusion— that when push comes to shove, I preferthe smaller group of readers who are willing to go deeper. But my vanity is strong, and the appeal of numbers even stronger — so instead of just being able to settle down gratefully with the wonderful readers I have — you’ll often see me turning at least pale green when I see, for instance, the comment responses on some of the blogs I follow.
Just for today I’m going to try, REALLY TRY, the attitude of gratitude — because I am truly truly grateful for each and every one of you.
See you here, see you there – on your blog!
okay, here it is now 🙂
I look forward to some good reading (and rereading!)
Seven Link Challenge, eh? OK, I’m game!
But not before I thank you kindly for your lovely words about my blog! It’s a pleasure to be sharing this journey with you!
As the Australians say, Good on you, Jen!
I think actually you’re going to enjoy it — but if you’re anything, you’re a good sport (or so I glean from your blog).
And — the pleasure is equally mine!
J – as soon as the grands have gone back home I’ll tackle the challenge… I removed several of my posts over the years – mostly poetry – so my selections might not reflect ALL my work but I will do the best with what’s there. It will be interesting to me to see how many of my faithful readers (about 7 😉 will actually respond to this sort of posting. Most of them are meme free so I may have trouble naming others to the challenge.
PS – thanks for the descriptive compliments!
All compliments richly deserved —
No rush on rising to the challenge 🙂 —
What is a meme? I see it, but know it not; is it a misspelling of memere? Surely not.
From the blog about blogs and other social media: http://www.chrisg.com/
“In science, a Meme (pronounced to rhyme with “theme”) is a self-propagating unit of thought that is spread from one host to another. Richard Dawkins invented the term as a kind of idea-gene. Like genes, as Memes spread they mutate or die. Only the fittest Memes survive.
For bloggers, Memes have become synonymous with internet quizzes, surveys, and novelties that people link to and pass around on their blogs…”
Some folks don’t like memes; they’d rather read true stories or day-to-day revelations. They also don’t like to participate because, like this one, completing them takes lots of time and thought. You can peruse some of my old posts to see what memes I’ve taken part in. I find some of them a challenge and only do the ones I think I’ll enjoy. If you’re curious, here’s one. (http://writingdownthewords.blogspot.com/2007/10/borrowed-meme.html)
Well, thank you, Pauline!
Who would have known —
It’s interesting that Richard Dawkins invented the term — he’s one of Frank’s big love-hate authors and idea people. Will explore further on a day which is not made up of frustrating meme-moments one after the other !!!!!!!