In July of 2013, I launched Prayers and Piazzas with a bit of trepidation and confusion, but with much determination. Confusion because, as mentioned on this blog before, I am essentially private. Most of my friends were surprised (shocked) to learn about my blogging — they well know that I barely update my Facebook status.
What I discovered was that not only do I love blogging, but I want to continue to learn, improve, and to grow this little site (and my readers!) for which I feel so grateful.
During the month of January, I may post more than usual, as I am following WordPress’s Daily Post “Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog”. The first assignment is to write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post — something I’d been meaning to do anyhow.
Lovely readers, please share your feedback on any of these by leaving a comment at the end of this post!
Why I’m blogging, rather than keeping a personal journal:
Plain and simple, I produce better writing when I know I’m writing for actual readers. Writing for an audience is much more motivating and powerful. It puts pressure on me (the good kind) to present finalized, well thought-out pieces. Each of my posts represent hours at my computer, drafting, reading, writing, re-writing. It’s exhilarating to write for an audience, and then see what that audience has to say.
A blog is born:
While cleaning out my closet last spring, I came across a pile of journals spanning the past 25 years. I started reading them. I couldn’t ignore the theme: I have been wanting to write a book since pretty much the beginning of time. I’ve even had a topic for all these years — the story of my husband, who fought and won the cancer battle twice before his 20th birthday, survived a life-threatening illness at 37, and is now a double amputee, but moves forward in life happily and enthusiastically on his two prosthetic feet.
I decided to make one last go at the book I’d started and stopped numerous times. But I had been so busy for the past two decades being a wife and mommy, that I’d forgotten about the writer inside me. I needed to hone my skills, and get some feedback on my work. Was I even brave enough to make my work public?
Launching a blog seemed the best way to address these issues. (Here’s an early post which shares more). After six months of blogging, I am hooked. I love it! Writing makes me feel nourished, enriched. And I really did start that book! In the coming months, I plan to share some details and progress with you.
What topics will I write about on Prayers and Piazzas:
Prayers and Piazzas is a personal blog documenting the aspects of my life about which I am most passionate — my family (represented by “prayers”) and my love of learning Italian (represented by “piazzas”). Both have provided tremendous joy, allowed my heart to feel full, and each, in their own way, have carried me through unexpected trials. Please click here for my first post of January, which highlights my top favorite published pieces during 2013, also my first six months of blogging. If you are new to Prayers and Piazzas, this is the perfect way to get to know me and my blog.
In launching my blog, I planned to include some regular features — posts that people could look forward to with some consistency. The regularity part hasn’t happened for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t want to burden people with too many posts, and second, like everyone, I just run out of time. What do you readers think of these ideas, which include:
Mid-Week Inspiration — a short post on Wednesdays, sharing a quote, poem or tidbit, to provide spiritual nourishment or just to share some positive energy.
Reading Right Now — posts every once in a while about what I’m reading. I love books — especially great books — and enjoy the interaction of sharing a good read with others.
Sunday Sweets and Smiles — a post every Sunday sharing a list of what made me smile in the past week. I may not post every week, but I believe in the positive effects of sharing one’s gratitude, so this one is a priority. Thanks to The Duck and the Owl blog for inviting other bloggers to participate in this!
With other posts, I try to alternate topics — if I have posted recently in the “prayers” category (typically mommy musings or thoughts on family), I’ll plan to post next in the “piazzas” category (a topic with Italian flair). I’d like to post once a week but really it’s been more like twice a month.
Finally, what do I hope to accomplish with my blogging:
- To continue to share what’s in my heart and develop my writing
- To connect with others — parents, fellow lovers of Italy, other writers
- To grow my followers and increase exposure of my work
- To finish my book and get it in the hands of a publisher by the end of the year
As always, I am grateful for your support and your company on this journey. It’s because of your kind words and encouragement that I am still walking this path. Grazie mille! A thousand thanks! And blessings to all for a wonderful 2014.