The year I found my voice and started to write: 2013 in 10 posts

As there is only one more full day left in 2013, I looked back at some of my favorite posts from the past year and selected my top ten.

2013 has been a particularly interesting year in blogging for me personally. While I have been a professional blogger in one way or another for 6 years, I found this to be the year that I became somewhat serious about writing. I tried some things that worked, other things that didn’t, and overall I find that I am very satisfied with where this blog—and my writing as a whole—is heading. While I have long had a voice—a loud and often cutting one—I am finally finding a voice, which I didn’t realize I was in search of until I began to discover it.

And I should note that I am fortunate to have the opportunity to maintain this blog at the BDN as, even when we are in contention with each other, I feel very much supported in my endeavors. The BDN is very open to figuring out how to operate in the ever-changing digital plane, one where blogs and traditional journalism live in similar neighborhoods. I realize that my style and that of the BDN are not similar by any means, but I have been allowed to experiment, explore, and work on blazing this trail accordingly. For that I am endlessly appreciative to both the paper and the members of the staff that make this possible.

The Top Ten (presented in no particular order):

  • The BDN concealed weapon permit holder brouhaha [Part I and Part II]: I wrote about the controversy, and I was disparaging of the responses of the gun rights folks and of the paper itself.
  • Ask Alex about friendship: I started the Ask Alex column as an exercise in writing in a prescriptive voice, but I was horrible about maintaining it with any regularity. I don’t do resolutions, but I will be much better at maintaining Ask Alex a bit more regularly in 2014. I liked this post especially because of its crowd-sourced foundation. Many of the answers came from people via Twitter and Facebook. (As far as advice written from my own perspective goes, I was also fond of this love advice.)
  • A girl named Revolution: This guest post came by way of the glorious Caseylin Darcy, and it is about the values she intends to instill in her daughter. I read it when Darcy posted it on Facebook, fell in love with it, and asked her if I could run it as a blog post. It was one of the most popular entries (in traffic and in sentiment) of the year.
  • Florida!: This is a travel piece that I wrote while I was in Melbourne, Florida. Melbourne sort of reminded me of beach front Hell, and of the fact that I had been meaning to write about my travels to Serbia for somewhere around 8 years.
  • Predictable LePage stuff: I got sick of writing about politics for a number of reasons. When writing the sort of snark that I tend to write about partisan politics, it is too easy for me to get a positive response from the people who have similar political worldviews to mine. I prefer to write about the topic from a deeper place, particularly one that looks at the politics of life as much as it does the politics of elected imbeciles and hacks. And I enjoy engaging everyone, not just those who agree with me so I have written from this perspective less and less. That said, effin’ LePage, man.
  • Rest in peace, Al: My friend and hero Alfred Moldovan passed away this year. He was one of the best and most interesting people I have ever known. This is how I remembered him.
  • Dad: I also wrote about my father, his military service, and his post-military troubles. The aforementioned piece on Melbourne, Florida is the precursor to the style of this essay, but after finishing this one I finally felt like I had actually written something.
  • On the importance of acknowledging privilege: Both implicitly and explicitly, I write about privilege a lot.
  • Eff you as personal growth: I overheard a father and son having a heart-wrenching conversation about the boy’s future, and it brought my back to some of the lessons I learned in my own sometimes-turbulent youth.
  • Donna Martin Graduates: I don’t exclusively write about dark, heady things. I also think a lot about the 90s.

Speaking of dark, heady things, if you haven’t already, check out my 2013 year-in-review.

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.