One Year On Whatever

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my one-year-anniversary-of-being-on-Whatever post!

The last time I posted, it was about how I’ve been having a hard time posting lately, and I’m sad that this is still the case, considering it’s my one year anniversary. I was supposed to post several times before this one, but just couldn’t seem to do it. But I felt that it was important to post today, even if it is a little difficult right now.

A one year anniversary post is easy, at least. One of the ones that doesn’t take the kind of effort I’ve started to find difficult to put in.

That’s not to say it isn’t important to me, because it is. I’ve been doing something (semi) consistently for a year, and that feels nice. It feels good to be able to look at all the things I’ve produced over the past year. It makes me feel like a real creator, someone who actually puts writing out into the world instead of just talking about wanting to.

Writing on Whatever is special, because I can write about whatever. Talk about any topic I want, anything I think would make for an interesting post, review any piece of media I feel like, it’s great! It’s also difficult, though. Sometimes there’s such a thing as too much freedom. When you can write about anything, sometimes you just blank. A lot. There’s so much to choose from, and yet nothing you want to pick.

It’s special because it’s my dad’s blog, but that also makes it strange sometimes. I know I’ve mentioned my feelings about being my dad’s daughter before, and wanting to be a writer, so I have had mixed feelings over the past year of writing on the blog.

Overall, it’s been great. I largely like this gig. My dad can definitely pester me about remembering to do the Big Idea, but other than that it’s fun, and I enjoy it.

Most of all, I enjoy have wonderful readers like yourself! All of you that encourage and support me, it means the world to me. It’s been the highlight of the writing on Whatever for the past year. So thank you all for being here with me this past year, and thank you to those of you that were with me back in 2018, too!

I can’t believe a whole year has passed, but I’m excited to see what the next one brings.

-AMS

21 Comments on “One Year On Whatever”

  1. It’s been a delight getting to know you, and watching you gain confidence in your craft.
    But it’s your bravery at facing your issues head on that impresses me the most. Facing life head on is hard, and you do it with sunny courage. You’re a keeper, Miss Athena.

  2. I always found those open writing assignments the worst.
    To the point I just didn’t get them done.
    Somewhat better when there was a predefined topic, but college went too much to wide open writing or topics like “write 2 pages about an event that changed your life”

  3. I have enjoyed your writing very much. Your point of view has been a good companion to your dad’s. Thank you for sharing it with us, and for sharing your personal challenges.

  4. Congratulations! Looking forward to more.

  5. How the time flies! I’ve enjoyed your posts here. Something interesting to mark the occasion might be a post looking back on some of what you wrote over the year– I’d love to hear your thoughts about the writing process or whether you’d approach certain pieces differently now… and it would be nice to have a reminder to go back to some I might not have read at the time. You’ve written on an interesting range of topics, it could be fun to look back at some of them!

  6. I’ve enjoyed your work- I am tempted to get Japanese snack boxes for myself!

    One question- will you be returning to university this Fall?

  7. Athena, I wonder: if I had any advice to give, then what would it be? I mean, by using “I” statements, not “you should.”

    Pasted in last: As I wrote this big comment, I thought about the professor advising, by using a diatribe, the new government at the end of Heinlein’s “Moon.” The prof didn’t expect brand new legislators to implement all, or even any, of his ideas, he just wanted to plough hard ground to free up their brains so they could think.

    Here’s me saying topics are hard: The English department put a bunch of books out on a table to give away. One of them had no sentences: Just columns of topic ideas. A whole book!

    I left it there because I was already practised in finding topics for my writing and my speeches at Toastmasters. This when a fellow toastmaster said he was having a hellish time coming up with any speech topics. I told him I suspect that practise had made a difference for me.

    I guess the “practise” was from me talking with others, and reading, and noticing what bugs me. I think it was your dad years ago who linked to a cartoon of someone staying up late at the computer—because someone else on the Web was wrong!

    As for noticing what I liked: My test was whether I would come home to my shared house and want to tell someone. For example, about hearing a toastmaster’s speech that night.

    And I guess it helped that I was an introvert who bussed a lot, and walked a lot, which gave me lots of nice time to think. Now I have a stupid car which takes some fun out of life.

    I’ve written here before that I get a kick out of how when something interests you, then it interests your readers, and you get oodles of comments—more than most blogs get in lurkers and comments combined.

    A current example from my life: As a college graduate of Therapeutic Recreation, I am able to approach the concept of the Olympic Games from directions, plural, that others would not, that they “don’t get.”

    Even college graduates haven’t taken every course available, so stuff can be new and interesting. Meanwhile certain majors will have spend hours talking about, say, the meaning of art, or the philosophy of leisure (T-ball or keeping score, volunteers or hiring professionals, etc.) and others topics that still interest them.

    That’s it Athena, I’ve shot my bolt.

  8. crowfae – warrior, barista, bookstore associate, every kind of restaurant worker, secretary, drove a forklift in a grocery warehouse, andmy last job was as a Nurse for MGA helping to transition babies on ventilators from the NICU to home. It was my bliss. I am a breast cancer survivor. I live with serious MDD and PTSD. I am a Navy Veteran and an Army Veteran, first woman in my field for both. I belong to the VFW and have a 100% service connected disability which has exacerbated over the last 5 years to the point I live at Thunderbird senior living, need a Service Dog to maximize independence, misplace words and faces and require my own Home Health Visits. It also means walking, typing, communicating and memory and I are not quite the friends we used to be.Although completely fictional, I take the ingredients of my own experiences and those of other people and blend them into my Novel 'The Clouds in my Head." I was always told my head was in the clouds, so I guess that's how they got inside. LolMy genre is what I like to call Silver Lit, you know like Chick Lit for the Social Security set. Like Chick Lit the main focus is on personal growth and relationships between people. There is romance, laughter and tragedy and hopefully enough reasons to read to the end as Magna, my protagonist faces changes in herself and the world around her. Oh, did I mention she also has a service dog who is a perfect co-star. Starting Nano this year felt like the first time I jumped from a plane, I hadn't written creatively since 2017. When my legal pads and black pens didn't work anymore and my sentences struggled to make sense, I said I couldn't write anymore. But silencing myself was not the right answer. As a tool to combat depression, I took a deep breath and dove in. I used Word dictation and it's editing tool to write this year. Sometimes when I went back I didn't know what I had originally said and would have to piece it all together again. All the things Id joke about before I depended on for this year's novel. Detailed notes on each character, mini biographies. Timelines, though I made it easier on myself by containing my novel to Nov 1 to Nov. 15 2020 as the stories time frame. The election figures into the story.I am an official Plantster. I set up the framework and then let the characters speak for themselves. Hoping to post a link to it's Kindle version by this time next year.
    Joanne de Biasi

    You are great. Right now. As you are. I watch you struggling to find your voice, your stride, your own sense of being enough.
    None of us have that all the time. Not even your Dad or his other famous friends. It’s the human problem of comparing our insides with their outsides.
    You got this.

  9. Hey Athena — Just wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed seeing you discover & develop your voice as a writer on here. Whatever you decide to do from here on out is your decision to make, but I hope you don’t feel like you’re some kind of intruder on your dad’s blog. :-)

  10. Athena!! Congrats on your first year! Come back when you’re ready…in the meantime we’ll be here doing…whatever! Happy Anniversary!

  11. Looking forward to your new posts, whenever you’re up to posting them! I particularly enjoy your snack box reviews.

  12. Of course you can write about whatever you want. Or not. So I am just quietly wondering to myself if there will be any more sakuraco box reviews. Or, indeed, any such food box reviews.

  13. So… I’m going to take your discussion of the challenges of blogging as permission to talk about my own challenges with blogging. I feel like I am among friends here. Thank you for what you’ve shared and for the community guidelines you and your dad create.

    I have been blogging, in obscurity, since 2002 at paradoxworld dot blogspot dot com. I’ve had periods of writing frequently and lulls.

    There have been times when I feel like I have absolutely nothing to say – or at least, nothing that would interest anyone, including me. A bit over a year ago, I took up writing about the first sentences of books. I no longer blog about my life or my thoughts about the world – just this contained, specific topic. I find a first sentence I like. I write about it in depth, how it works, what it refers to, what it suggests will be in the rest of the book. With 2.5 exceptions, I’ve only written about good sentences (and those exceptions were authors no longer alive and secure in their reputations and myself).

    So, I diss no one. I may help readers find books they like and writers improve their sentences.

    And, in this very indirect way, I do say a little about myself and the world. It’s what I can do now. It’s one little outlet from the great silence that sometimes falls upon me, one small offering to whoever may find it.

    It seems to be working, for now.

  14. Regarding Anna Paradox,

    another idea might be good quotations within books. Here, without giving the very sad context, are two I have memorized:

    “And Peter Marlow knew, tormented, that the only man who could, perhaps, tell him, had died beneath freezing seas on the Murmansk run.” …
    From King Rat.

    “It’s Strange. When I couldn’t find the drop and the plague came, you seemed so far away that I would not ever be able to find you again. But I know now that you were here all along, and that nothing, not the Black Death nor seven hundred years, nor death nor plague nor things to come nor any other creature could ever separate me from your caring and concern. It was with me every minute.” …
    From The Doomsday Book.

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