To mark this blogging milestone, I hope you like coffee

Coffee knocked over copy For anyone about to read this, I suggest sitting down and gripping the sides of your chair. And maybe even strapping on a helmet. That’s because this post marks an exciting milestone of COLOSSAL proportions!

No, I’m not writing about the Biggest Loser.

As if it wasn’t enough that this blog began six months ago TODAY, this also happens to be its 100th post!

Mere coincidence? I DON’T THINK SO!

… OK, yeah — it probably is. In fact, I’d guarantee it because, to be honest, I’m just not that organized.

But it’s still worth celebrating, right?!?

As I sat staring bleary-eyed at the monitor sipping my Mexican mocha, contemplating the appropriate way to mark this occasion, inspiration struck! So, some time in the next 10 minutes, each of you will be receiving your very own Mexican mocha! I can’t guarantee it will still be hot, or that the whipped cream won’t have turned to cottage cheese, but I can guarantee, when it arrives, the only person who will be more surprised than you is me.

However, just in case the Mexican mocha thing falls through, and the kid I hired to deliver them is actually an out-of-work drug mule with a caffeine addiction, I have something else for you that’s almost as exciting. At least in terms of unsubstantiated hype. Starting today, I’m introducing a weekly post from another website, Gliterary Girl, where I’m a weekly contributor on the topic of writing.

I’ve been a regular contributor there for about two months now after GG editor and writer Sara O’Connor found me on WordPress. Her website, which was launched a month ago, has already breached the top 100 book review/writing websites on the Internet. The truth is, I could throw a lot of impressive stats at you about this literary website, but the most important statistic is that I am the only male contributor.

Sorry, that just seemed important.

When Sara and I first began talking about my joining Gliterary Girl, and what my focus could be, I suggested an inside look at being a newspaper columnist and how it can be a springboard for aspiring authors to not only sharpen their craft, but build a ready-made readership for future publications which, eventually, can lead total financial independence.

Then we laughed and laughed!

The truth is, anyone who pursues writing as a way to become wealthy needs to take whatever they are reading this on — Kindle, iPad, 40-inch monitor — and whack themselves with it. While there are certainly writers who become rich, it is a relative handful compared to the number of actual writers out there.

However, as I said to Sara, for those who pursue the craft of writing for the sheer enjoyment of being a wordsmith, the satisfaction is worth more than any amount of money.

And then we laughed and laughed!

Ok, not really.

But we did agree that my focus would be the ins and outs of being a columnist, including how to get started, what to expect, ways to expand your readership, and how to utilize your readership to the fullest when you are ready to publish your first book.

While I’ve been a columnist for 15 years (Uh… I started when I was nine?), I’m in the beginning stages of publishing my first book due out in October. So anyone who follows my postings can stumble with me along what I expect to be a steep learning curve. Because I’m 46 and have been at this for a while, I’d like to think I will be savvy when making decisions through the publication process — which is exactly the kind of thinking that will probably get me in trouble.

Regardless, I encourage any of you who are interested in any of the subject matter I’ll be covering to follow along here or at Gliterary Girl. You can find me on the side bar (definitely not at the salad bar) along with other regular contributors.

I will copy my post from Gliterary Girl here each Friday.

While I can’t always guarantee it will be educational — I’m a humor columnist, rememeber? — I can promise you it will be in English.

I’d like this as much as possible to be an open exchange, so please feel free to contact me with questions or comments either here, by email (below) or at my spot at GG.

That said, thanks so much for sharing these last six months and 100 posts. I’m deeply appreciative of all your comments, support and feedback.

Your Mexican mocha should be arriving any minute.

(Ned can also be reached by regular mail at Siuslaw News, P.O. box 10, Florence Ore. 97439, or by email at nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com)

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74 thoughts on “To mark this blogging milestone, I hope you like coffee

  1. Dear Ned,

    Imagine my surprise when my doorbell rang a few minutes ago, and there was NOT a delivery boy with a cup of curdled whip cream covered Mocha in his hands! (Just a local kid with his pants falling off delivering my new phone book.) Oh, you are a man full of promises, aren’t you? Toying with my mocha-loving heart like that! For shame!

    Huge congratulations on your 100th post, anyway, and even more for your new column with Gliterary Girl. I will be following right along.

    By the way, you are 46 and have been at this 15 years, while I am…ahem…69, and have barely stuck a toe in the water. (I’m pretty sure this is where we both laugh and laugh, a la you and Sara.) But I’m having fun, and I’m getting to “meet” people like you and read wonderful blogs every day. I’m happy.

    Congratulations once again. Much continued success…and maybe a wee bit of serious money wouldn’t go amiss.

    • WHAT? NO MOCHA?!? The telephone people must’ve offered more money. Dang this economy! Sorry about that, Marcia 😉 Thanks so much for the kind words and support. I’m so glad you stuck your toe in the water near my end of the pond.

  2. I bow to you..GG sounds awesome and your 100th post is certainly a great milestone to celebrate. So, I look forward to your future posts and am definitely gonna check up on GG.

    I don’t like special coffees so you’re off the hook where I’m concerned. Now, if you had promised a custard filled donut..I’d be tapping my toes in impatience! 🙂

  3. Happy birthd…anniver…sary? Yeah, I guess that works. Happy anniversary Ned! Good job landing a job on someone else’s blog! I hope when I’ve been doing this for as long as you, I’ll get a job blogging for someone else too! 🙂

    “He had a hit song called My Way, but someone else wrote it…” – Freddie Mercury on Frank Sinatra

    Keep up the great work! Next to my meth addiction, your blog is the best part of my day (next to my blog, and Essa’s).

    • LOL! Thanks, Joe 🙂 If I could’ve afforded a meth-a-ccino, you know I would have… Thanks for the kudos, and for making me a part of your day. Being a part of your night’s would’ve been weird.

  4. Exciting news, Ned! I have something to look forward to on Friday’s now. I’m very curious about the ins and outs of becoming a columnist. For instance, how does one even go about getting hired to write for a newspaper. Remember, I’m the one who had to forfeit using her journalism degree to raise kids. Perhaps there is still hope? 🙂

    • I definitely remember that, Anka! Actually, my second post at GG “Getting Started as a Columnist (Or Why I Avoid Rhode Island) at http://www.gliterarygirl.com/blog/2013/01/24/nedscolumn-being-a-journalist/ talks about getting started from home by using the Internet to make submissions. I’m going to post it next week, but you can get ahead of the curve by visiting it now… just don’t tell anyone! There’s also a forum on the website for each author, so if you have any questions, feel free to use it or just write me here or by email. I’d be glad to help however I can 🙂

      • Thanks for the inside scoop. I will definitely read that post as soon as I feed my munchkin his second breakfast. My little guy has got it made! 🙂

  5. Wow, I just met you – What, two days ago? and you have somehow already published 100 posts AND six months have gone by?! How is that even possible? 😉 Congrats!
    And a few (serious) questions for you: My daughter wants to be a writer (fiction); she writes books, books, books and she participates in NaNoWriMo online. She also writes and illustrates comic strips. What would you suggest as far as college goes? She doesn’t like the idea of writing for a newspaper or magazine. She only wants to write novels and children’s books, but that isn’t a guarantee of paychecks, IYKWIM! What do you think? Should she go into something else entirely and then write in her free time? Thanks 🙂

    • Ya! Where the heck have you been?! It sounds like your daughter is laying all the right groundwork — writing, writing and writing. I have to be honest, I started working right out of high school and never attended college, so I don’t have a lot of insight in that area. I was a chef for 10 years before I started writing for the newspaper. However, during that time I — like your daughter — wrote, wrote wrote. If she’s going to go to college, she should definitely pursue a degree in English or Literature. Not only will it expand her reading base and expose her to great writing, but those degrees can be applied to many occupations that will compliment her writing while she pursues a career as a novelist, cartoonist or both. If she forgoes college, or can’t find a job in a field relating to her degree (not uncommon) she will be in the same boat as most writers, working full time and pursuing her novel-writing career in her spare time. My posts, while geared toward column writing, still have a lot of advice that applies to writing in general, such as finding your writing voice, the importance of establishing a writing routine, etc. I’m in the process of getting my first book published (due in October), so as I go along, the column will likely pertain more and more to what she’s doing. At any rate, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, either here or by email (nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com). 🙂

      • Thanks so much for your response. I should have mentioned that she reads even more than she writes (I don’t know how she has time for anything else!) so I know an English/Lit major would be right up her alley. My only concern is the expense of college. Is it really worth all those loans if the thing you are going into MAY NOT amount to an actual career? Hmm, Idk.
        I will definitely be following along as you write…about writing! 😀 And I may have some questions, via email, about the processes of editing and publishing, if you don’t mind!

    • I’m surprised to find out how many people actually keep a helmet handy. Or maybe it’s just the people who visit my site 😉 Either way, I’m glad we share that common bond of head-trauma phobia. Thanks so much for reading, and for your own terrific writing! Cheers — and watch that head 🙂

  6. Congratulations on being 100! Wait … that came out sounding ancient. I just find it amazing that you always come up with fresh ideas – funny ones at that – on a regular basis. Is it mere coincidence that your 100th blog posted on the 100th day of school here?

    That’s right! Stay in school, kids.

  7. 100 posts – congratulations.

    And now you are going to share the insider knowledge on how to be a columnist. Good job I found your blog when I did.

    Just one question – what is a ‘Mexican’ mocha?

    • Thanks, Piper! So I take it your Mexican mocha STILL hasn’t arrived? Dang it! Well, a Mexican mocha is a coffee drink similar to a regular mocha, except it uses Mexican chocolate (instead of regular chocolate syrup) and includes cinnamon. It also has a little sombrero. Ok, not really — but it is really delicious 😉

      • No darn it. No mocha here, Mexican or otherwise.
        Now you have me wondering if what you call a regular Mocha would be a US mocha to me and you should call my regular Mocha a UK one. Unless it comes from Starbucks, they must all be the same.
        It’s late, my mind wanders when tired …

  8. Congratulations Ned! great news. 100 posts?! *hangs head in shame* don’t know how you do it. Glad you do. Nice work.
    Z
    ps. I will add a Mexican mocha on my list, under lima beans…

    • I truly appreciate that, Laura 🙂 Thanks so much for reading! My kids stopped saying “da bomb,” but I still use it whenever they’re with their friends or, in the case of my daughters, around potential suitors. It scares them off and my kids get embarrassed, so it’s like double-coupons for parenting 😉 Again, many thanks, Laura!

  9. Congrats on being such a talented nine year old! Impressive! 😉

    I totally had to Google ‘mexican mocha’ and I have to say, I’m pretty excited for mine to arrive.

    • Thanks so much! And I’m sorry if your mocha never arrived. Somehow, there was a mix-up, and 453 Mexican mochas arrived here at the newsroom. I promise you my intentions were good 😉 Thanks for reading!

      • thanks.
        actually, i’ve never been to the Waffle House, even though we are surrounded by them where I am currently living.
        i do remember a restaurant in southeast Idaho when I lived there; they made French toast out of giant cinnamon buns. one order was enough for 2 or 3 meals.
        have a good one!

  10. Congrats three weeks later, so you can stew in it a little longer. BTW, each time I see your little gravatar, I am reminded of the Godfather, and I get a little frightened. But then if I click it close up, you’re more like a Roman emperor, like Caesar–with better hair and a misspelled tag.

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