A Successful-Blog Birthday Post!
by Robert Hruzek (posted from somewhere in The Middle Zone)
Itâ€™s a birthday party for Successful Blog, eh? Two years… wow, that’s practically ancient in blogging time! (Gee, it seems weird typing “Successful Blog” without adding a link. But then, presumably you’re, you know, already there, right?)
Hmmmâ€¦ (sound of scratching head) how can I adequately express my appreciation to the kindest, most understanding, and wonderful person I know in the Blogging world today? (Sound of getting whacked on the forehead â€“ which is why I have a flat forehead.) I know â€“ Iâ€™ll tell you a story!
Once upon a time, far, far back in the annals of mists of blogospheric pre-history (which equates to about 10 months ago in real time), I first ran across a very special person on the Internet. Well er, no, I didnâ€™t really, um, run over her (because, you know, that would be bad); I mean I discovered Liz Strauss and Successful Blog.
Now, not knowing that much at the time about blogs and blogging in general (I had been at it for about 7 months already, but hadnâ€™t made much of an impact â€“ but I was learning), I didnâ€™t really understand what I had um, stumbled upon (and that was before somebody patented the idea!). But it didnâ€™t take long to realize that here was someone really special.
Hereâ€™s just one example.
During one of the first few times I participated in Open Mic Night (Tuesday nights – be there!), I committed a big fat hairy flub (thatâ€™s a BFHF, for you acronym fans) â€“ right there in front of everyone. And whatâ€™s worse, I didnâ€™t even realize it at the time! (No, Silly, Iâ€™m not going to tell you what it was! Suffice it to say That Which Shall Not Be Named was an obvious and heinous breech of blog etiquette.)
Now, as you know, putting anything out there on the Internet is like engraving it in stone. Itâ€™s there for all to see – and pretty much forever…
So anyway, instead of slicing me off at the knees (so to speak), or flaming me (hey, I didnâ€™t know Liz back then, and didnâ€™t know that she would never) â€“ no, the next day she sent me a private email and just came right out and asked me: â€œHey, Robert, whatâ€™s with that?â€
â€˜Course, yours truly here (nickname: olâ€™ â€œOn the Ball Bobâ€) responded with my usual helpfulness; if I recall, it was something brilliant like â€œEr, duh, wha-?â€
But when I went back and looked at the offending moment (preserved, as I said, for all eternity), it was pretty clearly something I wished I hadnâ€™t said. (Oh, that my power of foresight was as good as my power of hindsight.)
Yikes! I felt about as tall as my F12 key, and my embarrassed response was immediate. â€œOops! Youâ€™re right â€“ it does come across badly! Please erase it, and thanks for letting me see what you see.â€ â€“ or words to that effect (sorry; best I can recall, since some of the olâ€™ grey cells have taken early retirementâ€¦)
What impressed me the most was that it was such a kind way of responding! It truly brought home to me the importance of words and their meanings, along with lots of other great stuff, like clarity, honesty, authenticity, and (especially!) forgiveness on the Net.
In fact, besides the incredible support Mrs. MZM gives me (which is a LOT, bless her!), that one incident has meant more to my writing and personal growth than any other single lesson I can think of!
Having spent the last 10 months doing my best to keep up with Liz (do you really live in my computer?) I finally gave up and settled for just contributing when I can. The conversations, the Open Mic Nights, the support, the advice (and let’s not forget SOBCon!) â€“ it all adds up to one very special lady, and one very special place!
Happy Birthday to Successful Blog! (And of course to you, Liz – a tip o’ the hat to you!)
Robert, Middle Zone Musings