Two Hundred and Counting

200

 

I received a WordPress notification about my 200th blog post about six weeks ago. What does this mean to me?

1.
Because Nigerian musicians frequently fuse their local dialects and English to produce hits that resonate beyond their shores, I thought the word colabo, and I spelt it like that, in the song collabo by PSquare featuring Don Jazzy is a Pidgin derivative. However, collabo is a word in the dictionary, which means something produced by two or more people working together, especially a piece of music.  I did not get to two hundred on my own. Many collaborations with different writers brought me here.

2.
Every year I check boxes and add scores on tests designed to show me an aspect of myself. I am always trying to answer the questions, who is Timi and what does she want? Perhaps I am more curator of stories and editor than I am writer. The collaborations I inspire and drive bring me double joy. Flipping through one of my old journals, I smiled as I read my handwriting, cursive, strong, sure. I had written: I want to tell other peoples’ stories. Self: A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

3.
For years, my answer to the question, “So what do you do?” was fluid because I was like a natural hair enthusiast growing out a perm, one leg here and one leg there. To define my ‘do’ by my day job seemed limiting. Then I stumbled on Adam Leipzig’s Tedx Talk and discovered a way to answer the question with ease. Recently, I answered the question like this: I write a blog, dismissing Leipzig’s recommendation. The man to whom I was speaking probed further, “What do you write about and are you any good?” I answered his second question before the top of his lips settled on his bottom lip, “I am very good.” Gone was his disinterest. Confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.

4.
Sometimes people leave me comments and messages that they wish they could write like me. I take it as a huge compliment and nothing more. I have stopped wishing I could play the piano like the musician who is a wiz at the keyboard. I have no desire to put in the work and disciplined focus required to reach that level of proficiency. I do not have another 10,000 hours. In making the point that excellence requires a critical minimum level of practice, Malcom Gladwell says ten thousand hours is the magic number that researchers have agreed on for true expertise. Two hundred blog posts is not yet 10,000 hours. Practice: Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

5.
The line between just asking and a free consultation is smeared with politeness. Doctors and other professionals know this. I know this now; 200 blog posts means I have a feel for what makes a piece of writing work. A party is not the place to read me a sentence then ask if it is grammatically correct or whip out your phone to show me something you wrote. That is what emails are for. I do not carry a red pen in my clutch bag; I carry red lipstick and blue mascara. People ask me to be brutally honest in my feedback, but the only place to be brutal—savagely violent or unpleasant and harsh, is the gladiator’s ring. The only adjective that should go with honesty when it comes to feedback on a piece of writing is kind. I have made and kept more friends this way.

6.
Space is not a continuous area or expanse, which is free, available, or unoccupied. It is a place stamped with evidence of my presence, neatly littered with comforting memorabilia—a weathered collection of poems, old photos of my children, journals, books about writing, ideas on yellow post-its, and greeting cards that affirm who I can be. Space is freedom to live, think, and develop my writing in a way that suits me. It is saying no to play and living like a hermit Friday night and all day Saturday. Space is showing up for lunch or dinner with my laptop, typing away while conversation wafts around my head. Two hundred blog posts later, space is the greatest gift my family and friends have given me. Extroverted Introvert: Also called social introvert. Sociable and friendly but needs to recharge in solitude often.

7.
When I decided to start a blog, I had three options: WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. I am yet to regret my choice. Often I struggle to leave a comment on other platforms but I have scarcely heard that anyone struggled to leave a comment on my blog. It is true that I do not want be bothered with technical things like code, wanting only to upload and publish, but more than that I have found a community of generous people who are curious about the world beyond them. Two hundred blog posts ago, I published my first post to a warm welcome from several bloggers who I did not court. Welcome on WordPress is like a revolving door. A good number of bloggers with whom I engaged in those early days have exited the blog stage and in their place, other bloggers have taken my hand. Welcome: Greet (someone arriving) in a polite or friendly way; React with pleasure or approval to (an event or development).

 

To all my readers: I owe you a debt of gratitude. You have pushed me to become better than I was.

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

  1. All dictionary definitions from English Oxford Living Dictionaries
  2. Gladwell, Malcom, Outliers, The Story of Success, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), 43 -44

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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67 thoughts on “Two Hundred and Counting

  1. Congratulations, Timi, on two hundred posts and all you have learned and shared in the course of those two hundred posts.

    Your answer to the man who asked what you wrote and if you were any good touched me. I’m afraid both questions would have been hard for me to answer. The first because the subject of my posts has evolved and continues to evolve. I think what I’m looking for each week is a subject that would be interesting to read, personal and at the same time universal.

    To his second question, you answered, “I’m very good.” I don’t think I could answer the same for two reasons. #1, All my life I’ve been subtly taught not to brag, in fact, to downplay my ability and achievements. It’s a cultural thing. #2, I’m aware that there are many bloggers out there who are much more talented that I am. And yet, when I type this out, it’s clear to me that one needn’t be the best to be good. Hmm. As always, you make me think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jackie.

      I know what you mean since I don’t have a niche blog. Part of what Leipzig recommends in his Ted Talk is that we focus on the why of what we do and who we do it for. I’ve found that it makes answering the first question simpler …

      @it’s a cultural thing, yeah, and maybe a woman thing too. I remember when I ran the series Hardwired For Sorry, and some of these issues came up. I know that struggle; I’m leaving it behind.

      When I tell people that I am very good at what I do, I’m not bragging, I am stating a fact that is demonstrable. I frequently reach out to others to collaborate with me. If I cannot cast a compelling vision and take the ‘whine’ out of my voice, if I don’t believe in my abilities and am not confident to state what I can deliver, how and why should they come alongside me?

      You have made me think too- one needn’t be the best to be good. Or the most popular, or the richest, or have the most followers… I could go on. Thanks again Jackie. 🙂

      Like

      1. This is very funny: People who have never met my mom, Jacquie, often call me Jacquie (Jackie). You’re not the first one. Thanks for reminding me of her.

        Signed,
        Nicki

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on reaching 200 blog posts! That’s worth celebrating! I like your answer to the question, “What do you write about and are you any good?” That is an interesting compound question. I’ve never had anyone ask me if I was any good at what I do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had the question posed to me several times. I used to answer ‘modestly’. I think even the question, what do you write about, is an opportunity to put your best foot forward. 🙂

      Thank you!

      Like

  3. “Space is freedom to live, think, and develop my writing in a way that suits me. It is saying no to play and living like a hermit Friday night and all day Saturday. Space is showing up for lunch or dinner with my laptop, typing away while conversation wafts around my head. Two hundred blog posts later, space is the greatest gift my family and friends have given me.”

    Considering the reality that you work full-time and have children, it’s a feat for you to blog often at this level of writing quality, lively. True, blogging well is a gift for friends and family. That’s how I see it….a casual legacy from myself.

    I too am happy with wordpress.com and their corporate free memory space for my creation. It will take me awhile to tip over the memory limit because I don’t blog as often as you. (But have more photos..)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A casual legacy, how nice and how true. There’s so much of us buried in the ‘pages’ of our blogs.

      As I spread my wings and learn to fly, it becomes clearer and clearer still, there’s no way I could do this alone … I am not doing it alone. 🙂

      WordPress rocks!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Timi, you are remarkable!

    200, and a consistent 200 at that! Both in terms of quality and quantity. You inspire me in many, many ways. I don’t know how you do it. 😀

    I think of your blog as a Sunday-Sunday medicine, quite like that weekly anti-malaria pill.

    @ “I am very good.” Gone was his disinterest. Confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” Absolutely profound.

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People who only read probably just love your stories. Those who write have a feel of how much toil and effort has gone into 200 posts. Speaking of story-writing, it is not effortless, not even in the class of the gifted. Story-writing is by far, more demanding than story telling. Those of us who have come to love your writing appreciate the talent in you. More than that, however, we celebrate your hard-working spirit. Congratulations!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. There’s some blood, sweat, and tears in every worthwhile endeavour. Still I am reminded of something I read:

      Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning.
      – Malcolm Gladwell, Outlier, The Story of Success.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. One of my favourite things about your blog is the comments section. I often return after reading a post to see others’ thoughts and opinions about the subject matter(s), be it fiction, an introspective essay, etc. I believe it is a testament to your writing: this ability to initiate thought-provoking dialog. Here’s to 200 and more posts. God bless the day you chose WordPress.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tomi, thank you so much.
      I’m grateful for readers like you who leave comments. Like you, I enjoy reading them as they broaden my perspective. It’s made the journey worthwhile.

      Like

  7. You have always distinguished yourself with your writing, Timi. Sophisticated yet lucid. Rooted in the familiar yet possessing that charm of mystery that elevates ordinary words to the plains of exceptional writing.

    200 posts later, one thing rings clear: the place of commitment to purpose is assured in your space, and the enthusiastic commendations littered as comments in all the blog posts, are testaments to this commitment.

    I am glad to have been part, even if in a small way, of your journey to this place. I smile when I read this:

    “Perhaps I am more curator of stories and editor than I am writer.”

    And you know why 😊

    The road to 10000 may be long, but the journey started excellently well.

    Kudos Timi. Kudos.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Samuel. I have come a looong way… with you, and I’m grateful for the journeys we have taken together.

      I’m just basking in your very generous comment. Coming from you, it means a lot.

      @editor, ha ha! I’m already knocking at your door … 😉

      Thanks again! 10,000 aye, aye.

      Like

  8. Its been a blessing and joy to come accross this lovely blog of yours. And it easily made reading my top hobby….as if the words you scribble on here are not enough to put smile on my face every sunday and other days of the weeks, then i doscovered we bear thesame name (Timi)…its really amazing to follow your blog….more post to your blog chests…..been gathering the courage to comment ever since i read a post of yours on categories of those who dont comment….thank you so much for writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Timmy, I’m so glad you found the courage to leave a comment after all. It means a lot to me.
      Thank you for your feedback. It makes writing worthwhile and motivates me to continue.
      I’m still smiling ….

      Like

  9. Congratulations, Timi! I’m thankful I discovered your blog somewhere along my blogging journey. I’m also happy with Word Press. I’ve never been able to subscribe to a Blogger blog. It takes my email, but I never receive the post. Happy writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Am not much of a writer but I enjoy reading good work and yours is one of the best. One thing I ‘ve learnt from you or your blog is that talent is not enough commitment and diligence produces greater skills and excellence in your own words ” Space is freedom to live, think, and develop my writing in a way that suits me. It is saying no to play and living like a hermit Friday night and all day Saturday. Space is showing up for lunch or dinner with my laptop, typing away while conversation wafts around my head. Two hundred blog posts later ”

    Congratulations and well done!!! Wishing you greater accomplishments in future!

    And I know all the sacrifices you’ve put in making our Sundays something to look forward to would pay off!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Space is freedom to live, think, and develop my writing in a way that suits me. It is saying no to play and living like a hermit Friday night and all day Saturday.

    Space, not just as a physical phenomenon but as anything that has to be created to make writing possible, has been on my mind since Ferrante was doxxed. Reading this has made me return to it, again. Sometimes I wonder if high demands for space isn’t just refusal to do the dirty work of keeping friendships alive. I still access this on a case-by-case basis.

    We owe you gratitude too, Timi, for gifting us these 200+ parts of you, and others. You have made us better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just caught up on the ‘Ferrante doxxed’ saga. She should have been left alone …

      @high demands for space, well I guess it depends on your personality too. I’m a social introvert, so even if I didn’t write, I would still need space. Combine social introvert with writing, and I need even more space. Writing is important to me; it’s not something I do because I have nothing else to do. If you’re my friend, you understand this or the friendship won’t work 😉

      But yes, it can be a good excuse to escape …. case by case basis is good …

      Thank you Ife. Did I ever show you the small note I carry about, the one where you said something awesome about my writing? Ok, I should before it becomes illegible! Thanks again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. “The only adjective that should go with honesty when it comes to feedback on a piece of writing is kind.”

    This is refreshing to know. And it’s one why why your name or livelytwist brings smiles and admiration to faces.

    Two hundred blogposts give an ardent admirer enough confidence to ask whether or when a book should be expected, no?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Someone said it is better to be kind than to be right. I think there’s plenty truth in that.

      Ah, the book. Hmmmm. It’s something that’s playing on my mind. I’m wanting to revisit all the scraps of paper that house my ideas. Thanks for believing. I appreciate it so. 🙂

      Like

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