Sunday, August 4, 2013

The story of a blog

Long ago when I was a student at Wellesley College, I began searching for a subject for a thesis.

Five months and sixty pages later, I had written a collection of nonfiction essays about my personal connections to Fogland, our family’s summer place by the sea in Tiverton, R.I.

It received Wellesley’s Charlotte Paul Reese Memorial Prize for Creativity in Writing, which came with a $500 award.

I made a few copies of the thesis for family and friends, placed it on the bookshelf, and forgot about it.

My mother brought her copy to the summer house, which she lent to our next door neighbor.

Unbeknownst to us, she made her own copy of the thesis before returning it; and throughout the years her copy circulated in the neighborhood.

Walking along the tiny streets or by the seashore, I met neighbors and strangers, who asked me if I was the author of the thesis. Then they would share their own experiences of this special place. Often they urged me to write a book.

Three years ago I was offered the opportunity to write a Sunday column for a local online newspaper, and I suggested a nature/spirituality theme.

Singing a hymn in church that weekend, I came across the words “sea” and “sky” in the song of thanksgiving to God, which seemed to jump off the page. So I added the word “spirit,” and I had my working title.

For the next year I wrote a column every week, but at year’s end the newspaper changed its format; and I was at a crossroads.

My best friend urged me to write my own blog, and I jumped in both feet, even though I had no idea how to do it.

For the next year and a half, I wrote a post a week; and the online newspaper printed the link.

In June the newspaper changed to a more regionalized format, and for the first time I found myself flying solo.

Without my safety net, I decided to keep writing a story a week.

The amazing thing is my audience continues to grow.

Today, when I checked the stats for the number of readers, I noticed for the first time that I had gone global. There were more readers abroad than in the United States currently reading my stories.

Throughout the metamorphosis, I have never changed the reason why I began writing “Sea, Sky & Spirit” in the first place.

I want to let the world know that God loves us all, and this is most visible in the beauty of His creations. Now they know.

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