A Serious anniversary: Thoughts on blogging since July 14, 2014

A Serious anniversary: Thoughts on blogging since July 14, 2014

On July 14, 2014, I started this blog, Margaret Serious, with three posts. Now I’ve written more than 600 posts. All three categories — Words Worth Defending, Sustaining Books, and Browsing Through Bartlett’s — have endured as I’ve worked to find words, books, and quotations to describe the past eight years.

I didn’t start out believing that Words Worth Defending would change from “this is an odd word that should get more use” to include “the meanings of all words should be defended from misuse by those who just don’t care.”

Nor did I start out believing that Sustaining Books would be as much for defending the art and practice of reading as for reviewing books that I love, books that sustain me. But then, I never believed in 2014 that I would be “in Great Tightness,” as A.A. Milne wrote when he defined the term Sustaining Books, for so long and in different ways.

I had a copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations from the mid-`1950s when I started. I would have laughed at the idea that what I now call my new copy, a gift from another blogger, was published in 1980. “Familiar” is itself becoming a word worth defending, so I turn to Bartlett’s less often than perhaps I should.

But ChicagoNow itself has changed in eight years, as well. Many who wrote for the site then have moved on, whether due to intrusions by real life or because of other commitments to writing. (Gee, if they need an editor… .)

Longtime readers will recognize that we have far more advertising than we did — not always a pleasure, but it keeps our posts coming out.

I can’t tell the future — but I can say that these eight years of creativity and conversation have been far more than I thought about in 2014.

I wanted a collection of writing samples; I gained over 600 of them.

I wanted a group of writing friends; I found two, my fellow bloggers and the Imaginary Writers’ Room‘s committee, which had been in my mind all along.

I wanted to learn more about how the community worked; I was the first blogger selected to edit the monthly Best Posts lists, and I learned about the variety in the community and the complexity of the WordPress software we use.

I wanted a reason to write; I discovered that ideas are all over the place, just waiting for a “click” that says “There’s a post in that — seriously.”

Many thanks to all, whether you’ve just discovered the community or you’ve been here since Day One.

The future is uncertain in so many ways, but let’s keep sharing our interest in words and stories to keep us together and see us through.

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Margaret H. Laing

I moved to Chicago from the south suburbs in 1986. I have diverse interests, but I love writing about what I’m interested in. Whether it’s a personal interest or part of my career, the correct words to get the idea across are important to me. I love words and languages — French and Scottish words enrich my American English. My career has included years as a journalist and years working in museums, and the two phases were united by telling stories. I’m serious about words and stories. So here I am, ready to tell stories about words and their languages.

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