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I’m not much of a risk taker. In fact, there is a magnet on my refrigerator to gently remind me that taking risks can be a good thing. It says…”do one thing every day that scares you” Thank you, Eleanor Roosevelt, for the inspiration.

I love to write so when a friend suggested that I start a blog, the first place I went was right to my computer. But it wasn’t to start typing. I needed to check out other people’s blogs, first. (A single quote – no matter how motivating – can’t change a person overnight.) I loved what I found! But, what I loved even more, was being energized by all of the talent that surrounded me. Then it suddenly occured to me that I’d had this feeling before. It was years ago, sitting in an elementary school classroom, as a mid-year enrollee.

There I was, sitting in that third grade classroom, surrounded by students who were already familiar with the rules, the routines, and the procedures. I was still trying to get my bearings when everyone else was immersed in the work at hand. I learned about my classmates, even before I interacted with them, just by observing.

The similiarities between those classmates, of years ago, and the writers whose blogs I was now reading were undeniable, for me. There are  bloggers who post about their personal struggles. They write about dissolved relationships and broken dreams. In doing so, they give encouragement and hope to others and they most likely help with their own healing. They remind me of those students who were at ease discussing just about everything. They talked about arguments with their siblings, and their perceived unfairness of their parents. I could never be quite that open with my peers. Too risky. But I admired the kids who did it. They were always well liked…others were so drawn to them…they were like comforters. I sincerely admire the bloggers who have the courage to do it now.

Those writers whose blogs are dedicated to their specific area of expertise brought back strong visions of the athletic types in grammar school. I was never very athletic. Too dangerous! Tetherball was definitely a big deal, at recess, when I was young. I remember one girl, in particular, played amazing tetherball. She could whip her hips and swing that ball, around the pole, putting the ball well beyond anyone’s reach. She held her audience captive. I would have loved to play tetherbal like her but I didn’t want to chance a bloody nose.

Even “Freshly Pressed” brings back images of classroom bulletin boards where teachers put up the best work. I always hoped I would have a paper stapled to the board. But I never wanted Mrs. Sokol to put it right in the midde of the board, put too big of a star on it, or (heaven forbid) ask me to read it aloud to the rest of the class. Way scary!

I understand that Word Press even gives you the option of blocking unkind, unproductive comments. Kind of like that staunch  playground supervisor of years ago. That’s a good thing. Nobody likes a bully.

I’m sure I’m not the newest kid is class anymore. And although I only seem to be able to manage a post once a week, I’m learning.  And it’s not too risky. I’m surrounded by people who write about things that make me laugh, make me cry, bring back memories, and make me want to be a better writer…maybe even a better person. They make supportive, interesting comments on my posts and they are quick to reply back to my comments. Earlier this week, when I was in a bit of a slump and feeling pushed to write more but not knowing how I could accomplish that, a comforting thing happened. Coming East was feeling a slump after taking a little break, from writing, to be with loved ones. Word Nymph was struggling with writer’s block. I love their blogs and if they experience those feelings, from time to time, then I guess I am in the right place. I am in a learning environment, similar to a nurturing classroom, where people support each other just by being there and being honest. It makes me want to keep trying and focus on what I can do and not on the risks of failure. Eleanor Roosevelt would be proud.