Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy anniversary to Each New Day

I missed the first anniversary of Each New Day. My first post here was called Welcome to my day and it was published on September 8, 2015. I don't even have to say, "Wow, time flies!" because everyone knows that already.

In that first post, I explained briefly why I was starting this project.

One day back in the spring, I noticed that I was spending a lot of time taking part in discussions on Facebook. I was commenting here and there, leaving behind observations, some of which were researched, others that were well-thought-out and carefully written.

A few days later, I wanted to take another look at some of the things I'd written and I had no idea where to go to find them, so random was my commenting history. I was suddenly struck by how easily misplaced some of our thoughts are when they're part of just one of thousands of discussions by millions of people on Facebook.

That’s when I decided to start this space so that when I have something I think is worth saying, I’ll say it here and then I’ll always know where to find it!

I still leave comments on Facebook because I like to have conversations with friends but I'm more likely to avoid getting into discussions on serious issues with people I don't know very well. I do feel better about that.

The second reason I started this space was for self-improvement:

The other reason I’ve started Each New Day is that I plan to write here often (I almost said “every day” but that puts a lot of pressure on me) so it’s a way for me to practice self-discipline. I preach self-discipline a lot so it’s good for me to practice what I preach.

This is a good time to start a new project. The second most popular day in the calendar year for fresh starts is the day after Labour Day.

I've done quite well. I haven't written every day but I've come pretty close. I've written quite a lot more than every second day, for example.

I'm a night owl and I often write here late at night. I usually know what I'm going to write about and I sometimes start it earlier in the day but writing late at night has become a habit.

I do notice that my subject matter and style have changed over the year. When I started, I was often content with two or three paragraphs about something I had done or cooked or seen during the day. As time went on though, I feel I reverted to my days as a columnist. My pieces became longer and were often — not always but often — more serious and issue-oriented.

I also went back to memoir-style posts, stories of my childhood and youth which — is this surprising or not? — always attract the greatest number of readers.

The most-read post in the past year is one I wrote on June 8 and shared again a few days ago. It's called A secret lake — and a walk in the woods. It created a lot of Facebook conversation when it was first published and it continues to attract readers.

A runner-up is A little addition to our family — and how it happened, the story of how we adopted William when he was two days old.

William has been working and attending Community College since he graduated from high school but this month, he headed off to university where he's studying political science — an appropriate choice.

We're very proud of William for knowing when the time was right for him.

You readers also liked the story about things lost in the fire at the old house in Black River, Leaving our lives behind while the chaos continues; the recent story, A sweet romance in the summer of '61; and especially, the love story in three parts called Love is the sweetest thing. . ..

I confess, I'm never sure which pieces are going to strike some kind of popularity chord. I think that's a good thing because although I'm always happy to have lots of readers, I don't want to become ratings-driven. I might stop being honest and start doing research into key-words and algorithms. I'll just stick with the old-fashioned rule, "Write what you know" — and I hope you'll stick with me as we enter Year Two of Each New Day.

Thanks so much for being here.

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