100Memoirs Celebrates One Year: So Much Change, So Much to Learn!

My first post to this blog took place August 9, 2008. It was a birthday present from my son Anthony, who has his own blog. Since then, there have been 118 other posts and 398 comments. Thank you, dear readers!

I especially want to thank several other bloggers, GutsyWriter, Babsland, OKChelsea,  for commenting frequently, both on the blog itself and on FaceBook. A few months ago a former student joined the blogging world and can now be found at workinginmypajamas.

MemoryWritersNetwork blogger Jerry Waxler found this blog early on and added it to the blog roll. I eventually became a member of the National Association of Memoir Writers and discovered the founder Linda Joy Myers, whose books I have reviewed here. Through the search function of Twitter I am beginning to assemble a group of new writers to follow who are interested in themes that interest me: memoir, love, forgiveness, and compassion.

Special thanks to Paul Harvey at the amazing and amusing USreligion.blogspot.com for using some of my posts about Mennonite memories and pop culture in one of his own.

This year’s birthday present from Anthony was an hour of consultation with one of his favorite social media experts, Britt Bravo, whose website, podcasts, and blog can be found here. If you are looking for someone to help you get started or someone to suggest improvements to your fabulous professional blog, I highly recommend her.

I leave you with one line I got from Britt: “Half of blogging is listening.” As I look ahead to a year from now, I hope I can say that I not only was able to keep up the pace of blogging at least twice a week but that I also made many new blogger friends, commented on their posts, and offered them encouragement, support, ideas and great content they can use.

Isn’t it great that the internet rewards altruism?

All you bloggers out there, what have you learned about “listening” online? What do you do to help other bloggers? Are you on twitter? Facebook? What tips can you offer? Posts you want to share?

Shirley Showalter


  1. brittbravo on August 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

    It was great working with you, Shirley. I can't wait to watch your blog evolve over the next year!

  2. shirleyhs on August 18, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Thanks, Britt. I heard your latest Echoing Green podcast and enjoyed it, also.

  3. brittbravo on August 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm

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  4. jerrywaxler on August 20, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Hi Shirley, The reward for altruism is friendship, which is one of the great unsung pleasures in life. Now that we have these new social pathways (blogs, Facebook, twitter, email, teleconferences) we are finding friendships in new forms, in new places. While many of the rules change, these deep values of human need for community remain as strong as ever. What have I learned about listening? Hmmm. How about, “I listen for music amidst the noise of modernity and try to make the most of it.” Jerry Memory Writers Network

  5. shirleyhs on August 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I like your idea of listening for music under the noise, Jerry. And I also like the idea of friendship being the reward for altruism. My parents told me, “To have a friend, you have to be a friend.” Relates as well to Twitter as it did to box lunch socials and Sunday School picnics.

  6. cynthianewberrymartin on September 7, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Shirley, I've enjoyed perusing your blog. Thanks for the invitation you left on mine. Catching Days celebrated its first year just last Friday. To celebrate I've been reading over old posts. Some from last September feel as if I'd just written them yesterday. How fast a year goes by. It's why I want to work at catching days. I agree with your words thanking readers and about listening. Nice post celebrating your first year. And what a cool gift from your son.

  7. shirleyhs on September 10, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Thank you, Cynthia. I'm writing these lines before we head to NYC for our son's wedding. These are three days I want to catch with all my heart, mind, and strength! I hope we can keep listening from and learning from each other.

  8. shirleyhs on September 10, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Thank you, Cynthia. I'm writing these lines before we head to NYC for our son's wedding. These are three days I want to catch with all my heart, mind, and strength! I hope we can keep listening from and learning from each other.

  9. marycoxpace on April 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Happy Anniversary to you (in Aug., right?). Your site is such a contribution to memoir writers and readers. All the best to you, Mary

  10. shirleyhs on April 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Why, thank you, Mary. You are a very careful reader! I have written about 175 posts and will celebrate two years in August. So glad you find the site useful. Keep coming back.

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