Vices or Virtues?: No, the 7 Links Project

Like many people I start the day by checking my emails, social networking sites and online global newspapers, at the same time rehydrating with a large cup of hot, steaming tea. Part of this ‘starting the day’ process involves reading blogs I follow, most emailed directly to my inbox.

I feel it’s part of the job to read what other writers are writing, commenting on their thoughts or takes on newsworthy items.

Linda over at is a daily given; I never know what to expect or which high-profile project she’ll be working on next. Yesterdays post was great fun – she’d been invited by a fellow blogger, Jack Scott at Perking the Pansies to be involved with the Seven Links Project.

In a nutshell, the originator of this great idea is Katie at Tripbase, and the concept is deceptively simple:

‘To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.’

The rules are straight forward,

1. You’re nominated by a nominated blogger;

2. You decide which seven of your posts to assign to each of the seven categories;

3. You nominate five more bloggers to pick up the baton and run with the idea.

I was intrigued which posts Linda thought were her most beautiful /popular /controversial /helpful /successful /didn’t get the attention it deserved and the final category, the one she was most proud of.

By the end I was smiling at the memories of what good stuff she’s written, reminded of posts I applaud too and casually glanced down at the list of bloggers she’d nominated to carry the torch.

The tea in mid gulp failed to enter the correct tube for stomach entry, instead making an attempt to enter the lungs; Harry leapt into action poised to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre. Shoot. You’re kidding me. There in flashing neon, with Klaxons blasting in the background was “wordgeyser”.

Like the tea it could have gone two ways. Total panic or stop whining and get on board. I’ve opted for the latter.

Before I do let me explain why it could have so easily gone the other way.

There are people out there who are better writers than me, I read their blogs/books and am able to make a considered comparison. Then there are people who read my blog who are more capable too, and more than likely chunter that thought aloud every time they read a post. The difference is I’m the one who actually screwed up the courage (and believe me it is courage) to put thoughts into words and share them publicly. It’s the scariest place I’ve ever been.

It’s laying yourself open to public humiliation and ridicule, having thoughts and ideas trampled by others; it’s incredibly painful, frustrating and terrifying.

Yet there’s no place I feel more alive.

Believe me, I know when a post is good, bad or indifferent. If I write about something intensely personal I know how I felt while I was writing it, what was happening in my life at the time I wrote it and, more importantly, what I was feeling when whatever it was actually happened.

Writing’s never straight forward, it’s always multi-layed. I never really know what I’m going to write about when I sit down four days a week to write the blog. Often I have a plan, start to write and it flies off somewhere else. In between the blog writing other projects are evolving too.

So a task like this isn’t a matter of pulling up your stats (oh yes, blogging is far more complex than people realise) and re-reading a few past posts, but I’m going to give it a shot.

1. My most beautiful post:

Beautiful (I believe) in sentiment – it says what friendship means to me when everyday life is lived on a global canvas  Girlfriends and sunny days

2. My most popular post:

I’ve written a  mini-series of posts over time about learning a new language – Dutch. It’s difficult to say which came out on top so will cheat and count all of them as one post! Oh, and one about my bike which has been featured on several websites, so I guess the most successful to date.

Loving your Dutch bike, Expat style

Pillow Talk – the best way to learn a new language IV

Ruanchy Daffodils and Randy Tulips – Learning the Lingo III

Cataracts and Breast Implants – Learning the Lingo II

How the English approach language learning : Learning the Lingo Part 1

3. My most controversial post:

This is obviously a subject very close to home for some people . . .

Rumblings in Expatland : Trailing, Accompanying, Stellar or “Other”?

4. My most helpful post and 5. A post whose success surprised me:

I intended this post to be about the most important thing to take with you when you move – your hair colour and mixing codes for your new stylist – but once I got started this never got a mention, the whole piece turned into something else. Story of my blogging life.

Surviving the Netherlands and other useful tips for new arrivals

6. A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved:

Personally I thought this was hilarious . . . DIY : Household Chores and the Retention of Sanity

7. The post I am most proud of :
 Couldn’t decide between these – both are written from the heart about real things. They were both incredibly tough to write because they were so personal. Disaster and tragedy: the emotional cost and Every Parent’s Fear

It would be really interesting to know if people who have read these posts actually agree with my choices. I’m getting very close to my 100th blog (marching bands, cheerleaders, fireworks and numerous celebrities already booked) and it’s difficult to remember what I’ve actually written.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, (extended drumroll) may I present my 5 nominated bloggers I’d love to get on board to continue the creative flow (in no particular order),

My friend at Finding My New Normal

Naimh at The Singing Warrior

Miss Neriss at Adventures in Integration,

Reina at

Sarah at Count Only Sunny Hours

As your minds go into panic mode here’s a list of bloggers already nominated to help you out

Go girls!!

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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6 Responses to Vices or Virtues?: No, the 7 Links Project

  1. wordgeyser says:

    Ladies you can do this! Such fun when you get going and reread stuff.
    Expatcalidocious – make up your own rules – miss out the bit about tagging other bloggers. Would love to see how you see your own writing – have fun!

  2. I’d love to do the 7 link challenge but I have a petite problem. All possible bloggers I’d like to nominate have already been – well, nominated. Can I still send my 7 favourite links??? Are there any rules??

  3. Jane says:

    Oh I agree with your selections, and it was lovely to consider them all again. It makes me realize (again) all the fantastic blogs you have written.

    I agree that the post about DIY was hilarious… makes me chuckle just to recall it.
    I’d add “A Period of Solitude – Why We All Sometimes Need One” to the list somewhere, .
    And to the helpfulness category “Preparing for the worst : Death of a spouse overseas” (it’s still in my inbox waiting for some action 😉 )

    Now to go an read today’s post… I will probably want to add that in somewhere too! That’s the most exciting thing… that the best is still to come!

    • wordgeyser says:

      Thank you so much for all the positive comments. It’s always interesting to see what blogs people are actually drawn to, rather than what I think people will like. What I’ve learned is that you just predict anything, so will continue to sit and follow my pen wherever it takes me!

  4. missneriss says:

    Oh goodness, this will be a challenge! I’m determined to do it though, thanks (?) for tagging me!

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