It’s my 47th birthday and the excitement is tangible

As you can see, these kids who crashed my birthday party can barely contain their enthusiasm.
As you can see, these kids who crashed my birthday party can barely contain their enthusiasm.
This week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing is brought to you by a 47-year-old man! [Please note the exclamation point! (Hey, there’s another one!)] Why am I excited about this? And why am I not calling in sick while lining up shot glasses on the kitchen table?!? Because, in addition to my birthday falling on an NWOW Friday, I feel GREAT!

I’m in my PRIME!

And I want the whole world to know how, through positive thinking and the repetitious use of exclamation points, you can believe it too!!

To celebrate, I dressed in my favorite AC/DC T-shirt, jeans and smokey grey Vans. Oh, and Dos Equis underwear. Um, to clarify, those are underneath my jeans, not on top (I haven’t had that much to drink). I also took a moment to record the occasion for posterity by taking a photo. Which isn’t to say I took a picture of my butt. But I did stand next to the only other thing in our newsroom older than me (until my editor gets here), which is The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance).

Standing next to The Door in our newsroom, which is the only thing here older than me... wait, is Ronald Reagan smelling my hair?
Standing next to The Door in our newsroom. Wait… is Ronald Reagan smelling my hair?

As I write this, the little WordPress “quote” symbol keeps lighting up, my Twitter and Facebook alerts are chiming, and naturally I can’t help but take a sip of my coffee and think to myself:

Have my accounts have been hacked?!?

The truth is, I really AM excited about turning 47 and what the year will bring — and all of you are a big reason for that. I mean, sure, getting closer to my senior discount is pretty exciting, but mostly it’s because of you.

Which brings us to this week’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing. As anyone who reads my NWOW each Friday knows, the advice I give has been referred to by some of today’s most influential writers as “The kind of insightful writing you’d expect from someone with a Food Handler’s card,” and “The first place I turn for inspiration; his writing always makes me feel better about the stuff I would’ve deleted.”

Because today is my birthday, and because my wife sneaked some of those little airline vodkas into my lunch sack, and because I get sentimental when I drink, this week’s Nickel’s Worth will be a little different. Instead of talking about the mechanics of writing that I’ve learned through 15 years as a columnist, I want to discuss the importance of having a support system — which was something I didn’t fully understand or appreciate until I started blogging and plugging into social networks.

Last week, I wrote about the importance of getting out and talking with people, and how a good interview is often more valuable than hours spent researching online or in books.

Taking that a step further, getting “out” through blogging and social networks and talking with people — other writers, readers, anyone desperately seeking to transfer their fortunes into your bank account — builds something else you need as a writer: A support system. These are the people you think about whenever you sit down to write.

Depending on what website you’re on.

I began this blog a year ago, following through on a promise to myself that I would begin exploring social media and the world of blogging before I turned 46. I had no idea how much inspiration, support and friendship I was getting myself into. A year and 250 posts later, I have a core group of readers and writers I think about every time I power up my iPad.

But even more importantly, I have a core group of funny, thoughtful and talented people who I turn to for inspiration, support, feedback and, occasionally, a shipment of real maple syrup from Canada. As a writer — whether it’s your life’s pursuit, a way to remain sane or unleash your insanity — plugging in and connecting with like minded people on a regular basis is something writers of the past could only dream of. In the same way Kodak made photography accessible to everyone when it introduced the pocket Instamatic, social blogging has made writing for an audience accessible to anyone. Naturally, the combination has its drawbacks. Like all those “selfies” in bathroom mirrors posted on Twitter and Facebook by people who really need an image consultant. Still, the opportunity to find your voice — and people willing to listen — is worth the risk of accidentally seeing someone who didn’t realize the toilet behind them in their “selfie” wasn’t flushed.

That said, I want to thank all of you for your inspiration, motivation and support over this past year, and for making my 47th year in life something to look forward to.

And just so you know, I’m totally counting on you when I turn 50.

Published by

Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

102 thoughts on “It’s my 47th birthday and the excitement is tangible”

  1. Happy birthday . . . and even though that reeks of genuine enthusiasm, let me emphasize how much I mean it: !!!!!

    And remember, it’s not a party until the Dos Equis underwear is on your head. Have a great day and 48th year and all the rest.

    1. Lol! Thanks for the enthusiasm!!!!

      And thanks for the kind — and insightful — wishes. I’m hoping to get an assist with the Dos Equis maneuver, depending on what my wife has planned 😉

      Sincerely, though: Thank You!

  2. Oh Ned. You totally mean me….thanks dude. I got your 50th back. 😜

    ….which brings me to another topic of selfies. Dang blame tongues all dangling out….

    Ronald’s seems older, more darker and richer than yours….

    Happy 47th! !

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes, and for having my back, Lisa. You’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you I have better hair back there than Ronald…

  3. Aw … and you thought you were all alone in your escape from the asylum. Nope, sweet cheeks … we’re all as barmy as you and you’re stuck with us.

    Happy 47th … it’s all downhill from here. (Listen to granny now). x

    (Obviously such an upbeat comment from me has been brought to you by the power of a large glass – okay, bucket if you will – of red wine. Hic!)

  4. Reblogged this on createdbyrcw and commented:
    Some ancient guy drooled this earlier today, but within all the spittle is some interesting stuff about having a support network. Wade on in! (oh, no!! the exclamation point thing is catching!!!)

  5. Said Ned as he puffed up with a leaven,
    “Today this bad boy turns forty-seven!
    And you know what’s in store…
    …why, it’s pinned to my door
    Posts! writing’s them to me is like heaven!”

    Happy Birthday 🙂

  6. Passing around a few bottle of TJ Swan or Boones Farm and THEN riding on the swings, makes it a much better experience. Seriously, kick that party up a notch!! I’m going to have to teach you how to party Fat Bottom Girl style!! Happy Birthday!!

  7. Happy bday Ned. As a follower and fellow humor writer (I write for our local small town blog), I very much enjoy your irreverent style if writing.

    Keep at it old stick.

    (Brittle but not broken stick 🙂

  8. happy birthday and i still think i could adopt you, since you are so much younger, but like you, i feel great support from this crazy family/menagerie, we call the bloggers. ps – can’t wait for the reunion!

  9. Happy birthday and keep churning out those posts. I can always depend on your humor to brighten my day . . . and make me look mildly senile as others watch me chuckling softly to myself 🙂

    1. Will do, Traci, and thanks for taking the time to wish me well. And if chuckling softly to yourself is a sign of senility, I may not remember you by the end of this comm… wait, who are you? 😉

      Truly — Thank You!

  10. Happy Birthday, Ned, from someone who has been through SO MANY MORE of them than you! You will look back on this one day and wonder, “Was I really ever that young?” But guess what? If you do it right, it really does get better every year. (Except for that part where nothing works like it used to work, nothing looks like it used to look, and nothing is in quite the same place it used to be in.) Press on, regardless. You have many more wonderfully funny blogging years ahead of you, and I expect to be here for most of them.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

    1. Thanks, Marcia! And if I do it right, I may look back on this day and say: “What happened after that fourth margarita? I can’t remember a thing…”

      I appreciate your kind words, and for being one of those “core” blogging friends I mentioned 😉

      Cheers to us both.

    1. Many thanks, Michael! Some day, I will make it out your way and we’ll buy each other a birthday beer. Or warm milk. Or something.

      Until then, cheers my friend.

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NED!!! I am so glad that you decided to venture into this sphere of writing a year ago. I can personally say that my life is better with someone like you looking at the best side of everything that life has to offer 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day (which already sound pretty fabulous with your wife’s little surprise, haha) and I hope that your positive vibes rub off on me in a couple of days 😉 CHEERS!

    1. Thanks SO much 🙂 I have to say, when it comes to looking at the best side of what life has to offer, my wife is the first thing I think of. Not just her backside, but all the things she brings to it that allows me to be who I am. As I told her this morning, the best part of my birthday was being born to be with her.

      And yes, I’m so glad I made the decision to venture into the blog-o-sphere, where I’ve met such terrific people — and some folks who are among that special “core” group I appreciate every day. Thank you for the kind wishes, and for being a part of that group.

      Cheers 😉

  12. Happy Birthday, I am a bit depressed because you are the same age as my son, his BD was June 29 this year. But, you make me laugh, and that is something that helps everyday I am around.

    Hopefully, I will be around until you are 77, but I will be 98, so we will see. Most likely I will give you a shout out in your blog thirty years from now! Your mom and I will be hanging at the Senior center in the computer area there. Or knowing your Mom, maybe not. Where are my glasses? Oh yeah, on my head.

    My husband, Al, want’s you to know his birthday is Tuesday, you are both Leo’s. He will be 78. He says he will take care of you when you get old, so don’t worry:-).

    Keep it the good writing up, Ned.

    1. Thanks, Patty — and it’s a comfort knowing Al will be there to take care of me! Who knows? Maybe my mom will come visit all of us at the Senior Center! 😉

  13. Happy belated Birthday, Ned! While I’m not in my 40s, I definitely feel your positive attitude. I know I’ll be as positive when I get there. I hope you enjoyed the day. BTW, thanks for adding me ani g your links. I added your blog to my link list.

    1. Thanks so much, Alan. I attribute keeping positive to many of the best things in my life, such as my wife and kids. Oh, and why I still have my hair…

      And you’re more than welcome for the link; thanks for doing the same.

    1. Thank You!

      And I think you’r right. But as long as I don’t start getting shorter, I’m OK with that. I like being able to grab things off the top shelf for my wife 😉

  14. Happy Birthday, Ned. I’m sorry I missed it. WordPress has a vibrant community of writers. I haven’t blogged elsewhere; although, I read posts on other platforms and WP seems to attract writers who enjoy encouraging and supporting each other. I couldn’t manage a writers group for a variety of reasons, the primary one being that’s not how I see myself which is just ludicrous given the fact that each post I make goes out to the people whose work I read too. So really, who am I kidding?

    I used to announce that I was halfway to the sum of twice my age on my birthday. I stopped doing that on my 45th birthday. Now I announce that I’m halfway to the nursing home.

    Many happy returns!

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