Happy Anniversary, Mots Justes!

As of July 1, Mots Justes is one year old. Here is what I set out to do twelve months ago. A little has changed since then: Twitter and Facebook (I’m now on both) seem to be the preferred modes of communication over blogs and MySpace. But the mission remains the same: to find the right words.

The goal has been to find the right words through columns on grammar, punctuation, and usage; writing exercises; reviews of books on writing and editing; recaps of author readings; and random musings on writing and editing. I’ve also connected with the larger writing and editing world by linking to and Tweeting about news stories and blogs on related topics.

Posting, though, has been sporadic, including an extended hiatus while I finished my thesis at the end of last year. Life gets in the way. Meanwhile, I haven’t always been able to find the right words—i.e., the words I most want to write.

Which brings me to a troubling issue: there comes a point where you just need to stop reading about writing and writing about writing and thinking about writing and just write. Guilty of all of the above, and not wanting to contribute to this vicious cycle for others, I feel the need to justify the continuation of Mots Justes. It’s not generating income. Readership, although lovely, remains low. What am I getting out of it, other than yet another tool for procrastination?

  1. Well, writing—Although not necessarily the words I most want to write, when I post to MJ, I am writing. When it’s going well, I’m forming a writing habit. And I’m publishing—what I write can be read instantaneously by anyone with an Internet connection, not just by my writers group. There’s gratification in that, a sense of accomplishment.
  2. Education—By posting on sometimes admittedly dry topics such as grammar, punctuation, and usage, I’m not just providing information to others. I’m also gaining a deeper understanding of rules or guidelines that I previously have just had a feel for, and often I’m learning something new. I’m also reiterating advice from successful writers. I’m discovering new writing prompts. I’m exploring the creative process and immersing myself in a creative life.
  3. Business—After working as a professional writer and editor for more than a decade, I am currently freelancing as a writer, editor, and consultant. Part of my goal for MJ has always been to serve as a platform for this expertise. Version 2.0 will include more emphasis on this aspect.
  4. Networking—Through this and other blogs, through Twitter, through the power of the web, I am meeting other writers, editors, and bloggers. I am learning from them while I hope they find something to take away from MJ.

As MJ enters its second year, I’d like to hear from you: Do you blog? If so, what role does it serve in your writing life? You’ve just read what I get out of MJ, but what do you get out of this blog—or would like to? I look forward to reading your comments!



Filed under creative life

4 responses to “Happy Anniversary, Mots Justes!

  1. Happy Anniversary, Mots Justes! What a great post to celebrate one year of blogging. Catching Days will celebrate its first anniversary on September 4th, and on that day, I’ll take a look back on my first year .

    Twitter and Facebook are such small bites. It’s nice to be able to click on to Mots Justes to read more than just 140 characters at one time.

    I agree that with blogging we are writing, and publishing, and getting feedback. My confidence in my writing is growing and my voice is getting stronger. It’s easier to part with words now than it was a year ago. And the community of writers that I’ve met on my blog and followed to Twitter, and vice versa, is, as they say, priceless.

  2. motsjustes

    Thanks so much, Cynthia, and hear hear re: the benefits of blogging! -ae

  3. mimi54

    Mazal tov, Motsjustes! I’m looking forward to reading what you say a year from now.

    I blog to share some of my feelings about the urge to cook, and about the country I live in. It’s been one big writing exercise for me. The “cheating” part is how easy it is to lean on photographs to tell my story. All the same, blogging forces me to examine my writing tools for sharpness and accuracy. I feel that as time and blogging go on, I’m beginning to master the craft.

  4. motsjustes

    Hi Mimi, Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for your insight! -ae

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s