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My Best Post of 2008

Okay, I’ve a confession to  make.  The idea for chosing one best post isn’t original.  I got the idea from a request that came in from Michael Stelzner.  He asked the bloggers in his ‘top 10′ list for their best posts of 2008. (You can see the results here.)

My answer, for that list, was this post: How Purpose Beats the Inner Critic

It seemed like the best introduction I could give new readers to the material and approach I offer here.

Bu it’s not quite what I’d choose to answer my own question.  What was, simply, the best?  What would my answer be, not to new readers, but to you?

My instinct takes me to this: How To Become A Fire Breathing Writing Dragon

It’s far from perfect.

It’s a bit meandering.

It follows on from another post, and a piece of guest writing, a friendship, a book, and a series of conversations.  (I know: it’s possible that’s what makes it good)

But I’m really fond of this post.

I love it because the image, the metaphor of the fire-breathing writing dragons came to me out of nowhere.  It was my muse’s idea.  And yet I carry it with me now and when I lose the way, when I forget what I’m doing or why, well I think about the dragon, and press on.

I know that’s it’s changed the way at least one of you thinks about writing.  And just one is enough.

So for me, this one is simply the best because it reminds me of why our words count.

If you missed it first time round, here’s an extract:

“Oh, but I’m not a writer” I hear people say. What does that matter? Neither am I. It’s what you write, what you say, what you do with your power that counts. I know a lot of professional writers who know how to turn a trick - but not how to breathe fire.

I guess this is what inspiration means for me. It’s the invitation, the challenge, the spark that gives me fire-breathing powers. That makes me feel like I’m breathing in, deep, and breathing out, hard. Telling a truth, sharing something essential, using my power. And the writing that comes from that place, well it does have the power to change things, even if it’s just changing me. (And sometimes changing ourselves is more than enough.)

We don’t need to wait for permission to do this. Hope that someone will come along who has faith, who believes in us, who’ll spot our hidden potential.

We just need to know our own power. The ability to breathe out fire.

And then decide to use it.

This is my contribution to the simply the best group writing project. 

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  1. J.D. Meier says:

    I like the whole breathe in, breathe out fire thing. It’s like the difference between Godzilla and Godzooky.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..My Favorite Personal Development Books

  2. Iain Broome
    Twitter: iainbroome

    I know a lot of professional writers who know how to turn a trick - but not how to breathe fire.

    That’s a good point actually. I too know plenty of writers who are perfectly competent but struggle to, well, as you say, breathe fire.

    I guess it’s about a) having something to say, and b) saying it with conviction and personality.

    Iain Broomes last blog post..Writers, abandon your muses - they’re a work of fiction!

  3. Robert Hruzek says:

    Good choice, Joanna! Oh, it’s not that I breathe fire or anything when I write, but it’s the idea that the words are going out into the world - with passion, with force and with power. That’s what makes the difference between merely “writing” and the “writing you can’t put down”.

    Robert Hruzeks last blog post..BLOGAPALOOZA! - What I Learned From 2008

  4. Brad Shorr says:

    Hi Joanna, Not only was your choice an excellent post, you gave it an amazing and memorable title. Metaphors and stories are such great training tools - they make the lesson really take hold in one’s mind. Here you use both with full effect. Wonderful!

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Dig Your Job - Great Gift for New Job Seekers

  5. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Iain, hello, and welcome. Yes, I think it’s to do with attitudes and states rather than words - conviction, intention, honesty. Hope to see you again soon.

    Robert, yes… I love the way you’ve put it - the words going out into the world with passion, force and power. That’s it, totally.

    Brad, thank you! I learned a lot about headline writing this year from your good self… the hooks to the mind, memory and imagination do make a big difference.

  6. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, as you likely know this is my all time favorite post and it definitely changed my writing. From the first word to the final period it captured me and to this day fuels me when those voices of doubt dance in my head. I was so excited as I read this morning’s post that my heart beat faster and I clapped like a gleeful two year old. lol. I love this post and it is a timeless piece of writing inspiration.

    Karen Swims last blog post..Simply the Best?

  7. amypalko says:

    Well, I’m with you and Karen on this one - it’s my favourite too! For me it’s the post (along with the comments and conversation!) that changed the way I thought about a very special book I was given as a child, and for that, Joanna, I will be forever grateful.
    Thank you, my friend, and have a wonderful xmas and hogmanay :-)

    amypalkos last blog post..Merry Christmas

  8. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Karen, I thought it probably was. It fuels me too. Thank you once again for the wonderful gift of your feedback.

    Amy, I was just about to write to Karen one of the reasons I love this post is that it reminds me of you… and then your comment popped up! It’s good to see you. Looking forward to seeing you again in person before too long.

  9. --Deb says:

    I think that’s a GREAT post! Perfection is highly overrated … and, what makes you think it’s not perfect, anyway? (grin)

    -Debs last blog post..It’s a Blogapalooza!

  10. Patricia says:

    I like the mix of fire-power dragon writing and Barbara’s words on Writing Without a Blog about writing in your own words - I am meshing the two ideas in my own mind and pleased with my outcomes. I love writing and think that my best writing is just coming out as I write my blog - some pieces I don’t like just as sometimes I don’t like my own cooking…I have enjoyed exploring your site and reading many of your posts today as I just got back on line after two days of snow - no power! Thank you I like what I read here and it is inspiring to me.

    Patricias last blog post..Snow Fun

  11. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    -Deb, now you’ve got my head spinning about the meaning of perfect… (grinning back)

    Patricia, hello, and thank you so much for that feedback. Writing in your own words is a great way to power up your writing and connect to your own power source. I can see those ideas would mesh together really well. Good luck with your blogging in 2009!

  12. Matches Malone says:

    My best post is always the last one I write, however, for purposes of your contest, I have two, simply because, well, why limit my winning chances? :)


    That’s my under 140 character entry….

    And the one I alluded to at the beginning, when I found out what you were doing, I was in process of writing this:

    Simply because, well, simply because…

    Matches Malones last blog post..MatchesMalone: @ColinBeveridge When I was doin’ the IT thing full time, we usually received at least between Christmas and New Year’s off, with pay.

  13. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Hmm, Matches, I’m not entirely sure you’ve got the hang of the whole group writing project here. But never mind, there weren’t any prizes to be won anyway.

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