As every writer knows, the craft of writing is a solitary affair, days, weeks, months and years are spent perfecting the art of story telling. Like little jewels, words appear from every aspect of our lives.
I became aware of gems in the form of beautiful words in quotations when I was a teenager, attracted by their seductive power of engagement that caressed my thoughts and enlivened my imagination. Then life happened…and I was steered off course for many years, entertaining a series of diaries and my children with bedtime tales.
A New Reason for Writing
It was The Tarka Project undertaken with my partner, Harry Williamson, in 2009 that inspired a new reason for writing. We spent six weeks in our homeland of England, Harry capturing film of ‘Tarka Country’ in Devon, while I wrote copious notes and co-ordinated the project.
Since then, I embarked on the writer’s journey to tell the stories that are close to my heart, and have discovered that the craft of a word-smith is a life-long apprenticeship on the quest for mastery.
It all began, once upon a blog…
Writer and senior content editor of Writer’s Digest, Robert Brewer, put out a challenge in 2012 on his regular My Name Is Not Bob blog. He set a task for writers all around the globe to increase their blog traffic by pitching an idea as a guest blogger.
Thinking ‘What the heck, I’ll go straight to the source,’ I quickly threw an idea across cyberspace to land in his inbox.
Within a day, Robert had replied expressing an encouraging interest in the topic I had pitched. He defined his requirements: a word count for the guest post, a short bio, a photo and a deadline. I was thrilled – it was that easy!
Soon after the guest post went live to Robert’s American readers, author and blogger, Amy Bovaird made contact. She too was living with the same eye condition, and was so taken by the story she invited me to do an interview for her blog.
One piece led to another
Following on from this interview, a poet and artist friend, Bee Williamson, invited me to write a story for her new blog site. The theme was to choose my favourite curio – it came to me in a flash, and crafting the ideas into a story was a joy.
Lladro: the Language of the Heart is about collecting fine Spanish porcelain at the tender age of eleven while visiting Spain with my family.
Vision Through Words
With three guest posts being enjoyed by a new audience, I didn’t waste any time responding to a call for material by Stella de Genova on her blog Vision Through Words. Stella and co-writer, Jeff Floddin, regularly post stories about blindness and other related issues.
I saw an open invitation to introduce myself to the other side of the world without having to leave my desk. Within a couple of days, Stella expressed an interest to include my story in the section ‘creative person of the week’.
Encouraged by the kindness of my writer peers, and chuffed to read the page views increasing on my blog traffic, I kept on writing.
View from the Pier
While doing research for a post on Cathar country in the Pyrenees to go on my Touching Landscapes blog, I stumbled across a beautifully crafted essay by travel writer and photographer, Meg Pier.
She had all the background details there. I had no reason to rewrite them. I wrote to her and asked if I could link her story to mine. She was delighted to hear from me.
Feeling quite accomplished as a guest blogger, with four posts in under three months, and with the motto learned from youth ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’, I squeaked in Meg’s direction. I offered to write a story about Australia.
Meg was thrilled and invited me to write up a new piece. Under Granite Skies of the Australian Bush went live on View from the Pier one month later.
The Priceless Reward of Writing
The most surprising part of my journey into the blogosphere has been how quickly these fellow writers across the world have embraced me into their writer’s circles. Since 2012, I have written over 50 guest posts on various blogs and I encourage anyone reading this today to reach out to other writers and pitch your best ideas…you just never know where your creative muse will take you next!
My deepest thanks to all who have made the solitary work of writing a shared experience, rewarded by forming new friendships that shine like the words we work so hard to polish for the love of writing.
© 2017 Maribel Steel