Happy Successful-Blog Birthday!
from Joanna Young
Sometimes Iâ€™m good with words. Sometimes words fail me at the times it matters most.
This is one of those times.
So I thought Iâ€™d give myself a break and send a picture instead.
Itâ€™s a picture of a party venue. Not just any old party venue, but the perfect place to hold a party for a universe of successful, outstanding bloggers. Correction â€“ not the perfect place. The only place.
The only saloon in town.
Do you recognise it?
I know, I know, thereâ€™s no-one there yet. The room is quietly, calmly, empty. But you can sense the atmosphere â€“ of excitement, expectation, readiness, anticipation – just by popping your head round the door. Go on. Take a peek.
Can you feel it?
Thatâ€™s right. Itâ€™s as if the room is waiting â€“ just for you.
Hey, Joanna, How Can We Change the World?
This morning I was greeted by an email from a dear friend, Joanna Young. I am often encouraged by her words as I start my day. This email said, “it felt like the thing I needed to write. You know how that can be.”
Yeah. I do. We know I do.
I knew before I opened it that what Joanna wrote would move me. Anyone who reads her blog would know that. So, without another word of my own, I share it now with you.
Finding the Courage to Write
Guest Writer: Joanna Young
I donâ€™t know if youâ€™ve ever had the feeling that something is calling to you, blinking at you, trying to get your attention. “You need to do this”, it says. “You need to write this”, it tells you.
Liz’s change the world series is one of those quietly persistent flashes of light. It blinks at me: here I am, still waiting, patiently.
Sometimes it asks me, quietly: what are you waiting for?
Because the words, the idea, the possibility of writing something that’s about realizing the power of our own words to help change the world — well, that’s right up my street. It’s what I believe. Truly, deeply: that the words we use can help shape our reality, create the kind of world that we want to live in.
So what is it, the question goes, what is it, then, that you are waiting for?
And sometimes when I see another post go up, another beautiful button with a picture of this world we hold so dear, the simplicity of the message, the persistent reminder of those words, change the world! and the gentle, quiet reminder at the end: we can change the world, just like that! Sometimes when I see that button I get a jolt of anxiety that someone other than me will write the words I’m trying to find, that I’ll be too late, will have lost, or wasted the opportunity.
And so, the question persists, quietly: what is it, then, that you are waiting for?
And there are those times when I read other people’s words here , so simple, so powerful, such a compelling reminder, that yes, our words can and do make a difference that I’m jumping up and down in front of my computer, muttering yes, yes, yes! to my startled, sleepy, cat.
Words like the recent contribution from Jon Swanson, words that took my breath away with their power and simplicity, the conviction of this simple message:
Here’s the point. To talk about deciding to change the world ignores the fact that we already are. Our existence, our interactions, our writing, our time, our love, our hate –all of these things are shaping the world in small ways. The question is not whether you are ready to change your world. The question is whether you like the way you are already changing it. And whether you are willing to be part of helping other people change the world. too.
Our choices, our actions, our words, our decisions to write, or not to write: they all count. They’re all part of this bigger picture, one post at a time.
I know this. And yet: what is that you are waiting for?
And I realized. It’s not the words. It’s not the skill with the words, playing with phrases, finding just the right pattern and rhythm. Because I can do that. It’s not hard for me.
But writing this, answering this question, this quiet persistent question is hard. Itâ€™s hard because alongside the quiet, persistent question runs another line of insistent chatter. Who do you think you are, writing for a readership like that? Who do you think you are, offering up your paltry words to someone who knows so much, has written so much? Who do you think you are, offering up such small words to such a big task: change the world!
And so I realized. It wasn’t the words I was waiting for. It was the courage.
The courage to say: this is the best I can do. These are my words “they’re all I’ve got. I can’t think of anything smarter, wittier, cleverer, more appropriate to say. I’m sorry” It’s not enough.
And then I wondered: perhaps if this is how I feel, well maybe there are other people out there who feel the same. Perhaps if I venture up these words, however inadequate to the task, who knows, somewhere, some day, perhaps these words will resonate. Connect. Help to make a difference.
Help us to answer this gentle, persistent question.
What is that you’re waiting for?
Thanks, Joanna, for being a light, being a voice, and being there to help us see what to do.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
I Promised I Would Write This Story
In response to the Joanna’s Thematic Links Post WritingChallenge, I promised I would use the titles to write a story. Here is the story that I wrote.
Lorelle’s Blogging Birthday Quest
Once upon a time, a sweet young lady called Lorelle set out to celebrate her blog’s birthday. She went on a quest to find her passion. Seeking knowledge, success, and wisdom, Lorelle went to to the lighthouse at SuccessCREEations. There she saw Chris, the wizard, she had met at SOBCon07. Lorelle was sure that he could help.
In her swirling teal green dress that matched the logo on her blog, Lorelle timidly knocked on the lighthouse door. A very tall, but kindly, Chris pulled back the huge and creaky door. He held a Klondike bar as he looked down, down, down to see the young lady in the swirling teal green dress that matched the swirling logo on her blog. She was looking up, up, up at him.
She noticed that her neck was getting a little crick and stepped back a step.
“I’ve decided to take on more — show people real Blog writing with a purpose,” Lorelle said.
Chris questioned whether he should Fan the Flames. He listened as she spoke.
“I’ve done The Recommended Weekly Readings (2007-08-18). Project Management, ” Lorelle said, sounding like a cross between an encyclopedia and a librarian.
“I was just about to do a blog myself,” Chris said. “It’s called ‘Weekly Wrap-up: War on Clutter.’ Would you like to watch? First of course, I have to clean up the clutter.”
Lorelle caught on right away. “You want me to help you clean your lighthouse. No way!!”
“Perhaps, then . . . ” Chris said, thoughtfully. “Frankly Lorelle, I worry about Google and the Privacy Dilemma. We shouldn’t be in the lighthouse alone. Maybe you should go out to play.”
But our little Lorelle was not to be stopped.
Everyone who knows, knows that you don’t get in the way of a determined Lorelle. She crossed her arms across her chest firmly and stamped one foot in a lovely black patent-leather shoe (that looked so elegant with the teal green dress that matched her blog.) “Why go out and Play when you can be Inside Blogging?”
As the two stood on the doorstep of the lighthouse, several bloggers walked by.
“There you go!” Chris said, seeing opportunity. “Hey, Jon!”
Jon and Brad walked over. Jon said, “Yeah, Chris?”
“Lorelle here wants the “How to Best Pitch Bloggers – a Virtual Group Interview” Speech. Are you the guy who does that?”
“Nope,” said Jon. Brad said, “That would be Jan. He’s out showing GP Why Writing a Link Post Should Be Like Planning a Party. I don’t think you’ll be finding him for a while.”
“What do you guys do that’s a cool blogging trick?” Lorelle asked, stomping her other lovely black patent leather shoe that looked so elegant with her teal green dress that swirled in the same color as her blog logo.
Together the two men said, “We know How to read feeds without driving yourself mad.
“I already know that.” Lorelle said.
A woman named Anastasia walked up to offer Lorelle A learning whirlpool.
Lorelle immediately backed off protecting her lovely black patent leather shoes that looked so elegant with her teal green dress that swirled in the same color as her blog logo.
“Error Retrieving What You Wished For! Retry? Y/N?” asked Alina.
“What are you talking about?” Lorelle asked, not at all sure these ladies were talking about blogs.
“Shared Answers – Final Roundup & the Winner” said Yvonne.
“You should rest. After all next week is A New Week. You might feel differently by then.” Chris finally said to Lorelle.
As Chris walked Lorelle back to her blog, the teal green one with the swirly logo down the road — the one that matched the dress that looked so elegant with the lovely black patent leather shoes. The two travelers were passing a tiny blog when they heard a woman’s voice say, I’m just writing to say thanks.
“Who’s that?” Lorelle asked.
“Can’t tell.” Chris said. “It’s either Liz or Joanna. They’re both always saying stuff like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
Jan and Joanna Inspired Me!
It’s such fun to be inspired!
Jan of Circular Communication wrote a wonderful guest post for Lorelle called Why A Link Post Should Be Like Mingling at a Party. Joanna of Confident Writing used it as a springboard into a post of her own, How to write a links post.
Joanna’s Definition of a Great Link Post
Joanna said that as a writer she prefers to write link posts that have these characteristics. This is one fabulous definition. [I’ve edited her words slightly.]
A great links post
- has a theme, something that connects the links together
- has been percolating for a while
- links five different pieces of writing
- is of value to readers
- has a structure, a hook or a theme that connects the strands together and turns them into something bigger, different, new. . .
Can you write a thematic link post that meets Joanna’s definition? It’s like telling a story. . . . Vern does it every Sunday linking three or four blogs. It’s not as hard as it seems and it’s quite satisfying.
Are you up for the challenge? If you come through, I’ll build a story link post linking all of your thematic link posts together.
Go on, make my life miserable . . . the more who participate, the more work I’ll have to do. Rally a crowd. I’m up for it now. Nothing can be as hard as the 10 Chapter saga of A List Becomes 301 Links in Story.
Here’s What to Do
- Write a link post that follows Joanna’s definition above.
- Tag the post Joanna Young.
- Link to Joanna’s post at http://coachingwizardry.typepad.com/confident_writing/2007/08/link-posting-sh.html
- Link to this post at https://www.successful-blog.com/1/writing-challenge-joannas-thematic-link-post/
That way I can include you my link post response.
- Today is August 13th, let’s put the end at midnight CDT (GMT-6) August 23rd.
C’mon try it. Pick five links that go together. Then write a post to connect them. Or pick 10 or 20!!
You just might find that you had a great time! Think of the link love we’ll spread. Yeah, it’s time to get jazzed about linking and writing.
Are you going to give it a shot?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!
A List Becomes 301 Links in Story — Chapter 1.
Link Anchor Text: SEO and Relationships
How to Code Links for Sidebars and Posts
How to Code Accessible Linksâ€“Part 1
How to Code Accessible Linksâ€“Part 2
How to Code Accessible Linksâ€“Part 3