One year ago to the day, on 28 February 2014, I wrote my first blog post, Introductions are in order.
So… Happy Anniversary to my blog! Yay! 🙂
Over this past year, I published 90 blog posts; most of them about writing or writing-related, some about miscellaneous things such as my pets, a few rants, rather fewer technology–related ones than I’d planned, one about my favourite game, Guild Wars 2, and once I may even have gotten a little political, though I reserve the right to deny that if asked directly.
(Actually, looking back through a whole bunch of my post topics, I just realised I should probably clean up and re-tag/re-categorise them before someone notices… sshh!)
The busiest time was probably in April, when I participated in the A-Z Challenge, which I spent more time on than I’d anticipated but it ended up being a good blog-baptism-by-fire, I think. One of the highlights was probably meeting Nicholas C. Rossis through blogging and getting an older short story published in his anthology.
I’ve met and followed some great fellow bloggers, am honoured to be followed by some in turn (though some of my followers are those silly I’ll-follow-you-even-though-I’ll-never-read-your-blog-and-hope-you-follow-me-in-return type people for whom I have very little respect; if I’m following your blog, it’s because I’m interested in what you have to say and try to keep up with reading it when time allows), and am now getting a decent, though by no means high, amount of regular traffic.
From the beginning, I’ve made it clear (I think) that my blog isn’t my primary concern, but I wanted to have a go at it so that I know what I’m getting into if and when I later set this up as a promotional platform for my writing. I’ve learned heaps about blogging (and writing), followed some good advice, and ignored plenty of other good advice because my blogging currently isn’t about getting many followers or maximising traffic to my blog. It’s more like a mixture between my personal soapbox and the quiet corner where I can go to get things off my chest by writing about them. My regular readers are relatively few, but I’m ok with that, because I feel I know them quite well and treasure them all the more for that.
As I continue on my journey of trying to get my book published the traditional way (a goal which I may never reach, or I may at some point have to reassess and consider self-publishing), I will most likely carry on in a similar vein. Family (my wife and three kids) has to come first, work has to be up there because it pays the bills (and with three kids in private high school this year, those bills are astronomical), writing, researching and editing gets most of the time left over (except when I indulge in playing GW2), and blogging… well, when I have time. But 90 posts in a year isn’t that terrible, is it? (Ok, maybe it is – I really don’t know.)
Thanks to anyone and everyone who’s ever managed to read through one of my 90 blog posts! I’m even more thankful for anyone who’s ever liked and commented on any of them (hint-hint!). 🙂
Z is for Zzzzz…. which is the sound I’ll be making over the next few days as I catch up on what seems like a month’s worth of sleep. It’s been… interesting doing the A to Z Challenge, fun for the most part, slightly distracting at times, and overall a great learning experience for a new blogger like me.
I wouldn’t say trying to keep up was stressful, but it did add a little pressure to get those blog posts out in time. I found I didn’t have enough time to read as many other blog posts as I wanted to, though I discovered some wonderful blogs to follow that I’m sure will continue to post interesting things even after the Challenge is over. Also, and more importantly, writing a blog post a day took up a fair chunk of time out of my own writing time, so I’m looking forward to two things: reading more of other people’s posts (I’m following a fair few and can barely keep up with them in my reader), and having more time to work on my book.
My followers have multiplied (still not many, but hey, my blog is only two months old), some whom I’m following, some I probably should follow (I’ll be reading more soon!), and some who, I suspect, just followed to get me to visit strange sites without intending to ever visit my blog again. (I can actually live with that!) I’m still getting a handle on the intricacies of blogging, so be patient with me. 🙂
One thing that was really interesting was seeing the variety of countries of my visitors in the stats – the majority were from English-speaking countries, but there were also some from around the globe that had me thinking how great it would be to meet all of them. It’s a small world!
Apart from one day (Good Friday – family was more important that day, so I posted twice on Saturday to make up for it), I managed to stick to the A-Z schedule every single day. As commenters and other blogs have pointed out, it makes sense to pre-write at least some of your posts before April and then publish them on the right date. (Nobody told me that when I started, but I’ll try to do that next year!)
Anyway, I’ll leave it there, get back to working on my book for the rest of the night, and hope you were able to enjoy some of my A to Z posts. If you’re interested, I’ll leave the “three-part-menu” up at the top of the page for a while longer, or you can jump to my I is for index post and see if you spot anything interesting.
Congrats to all other fellow A-Zers, and many thanks to every single visitor to my blog!
I is for index. I’m going to be sharing my plan is for the A to Z blogging challenge throughout the month of April. A through H are done and dusted, today (10 April 2014) is I’s turn, and from tomorrow I’ll be blogging about topics beginning with J through to Z.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, or had a peek in the menu at the top of the page, you have probably figured out that my theme for the challenge revolves around my favourite books, authors, characters, and writing concepts.
Here are the dates (apologies if I confuse any Americans by using the properly ordered date format), letters, and topics:
- 01/04/2014 – A: Assassin’s Apprentice
- 02/04/2014 – B: Book One
- 03/04/2014 – C: Chapters
- 04/04/2014 – D: Douglas Adams
- 05/04/2014 – E: Endings
- 07/04/2014 – F: FitzChivalry Farseer and the Fool
- 08/04/2014 – G: George R. R. Martin
- 09/04/2014 – H: Hobbits
- 10/04/2014 – I: Index (this post)
- 11/04/2014 – J: Jo Spurrier
- 12/04/2014 – K: Karl May
- 14/04/2014 – L: Lord of the Rings
- 15/04/2014 – M: Marvin, the paranoid android
- 16/04/2014 – N: Neverending Story
- 17/04/2014 – O: Opera
- 18/04/2014 – P: Patrick Rothfuss
- 19/04/2014 – Q: Quest
- 21/04/2014 – R: Robin Hobb
- 22/04/2014 – S: Stephenie Meyer
- 23/04/2014 – T: Terry Pratchett
- 24/04/2014 – U: Understanding Poetry
- 25/04/2014 – V: Villains
- 26/04/2014 – W: Wheel of Time
- 28/04/2014 – X: Xanth
- 29/04/2014 – Y: Yours truly
- 30/04/2014 – Z: Zzzzz…
I’ll attempt to update this post to link the above topics to their corresponding articles as I post each day (Sundays off).
Many thanks to anyone who has read, liked, and/or commented on any of my posts to date, please feel free to drop back in to view topics you might be interested in 🙂
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole month. (A month and a day, to be exact, but I didn’t have time to blog yesterday.) Compared to many other bloggers, who have been at it consistently for years, my little baby milestone is probably not very significant. But, as I reflect on a month’s blogging, I feel like I’ve already learned so much about blogging, following, and commenting, and I’ve had fun customising my theme.
Yes, there was a bit of a learning curve (and I probably have much more left to learn than I realise), and yes, blogging and reading other blogs, both to get a feel for “how it’s done” and because many of them are, well, interesting, do eat up a chunk of the time that I would otherwise have spent just writing. But even though it’s a different type of writing than what I’m used to, I’ve found myself enjoying the experience – mainly due to the other bloggers whom I’ve read, liked and followed, and who have liked and/or followed me, who have taken a few moments of their precious time to read my ramblings, and perhaps even to leave a comment. To each and every one of you a heartfelt Thanks! I look up to you and hope you’ll continue to read, write, and share.
In my first month, amongst other things, I’ve introduced myself, told you about growing from my initial experience with rejection, ranted about 10 common mistakes I see all too often, recommended designating a creative day to make time for writing in a busy life and reading what you wrote in a different format, rambled on about the literary submission circus (in two parts), and advised you to trust the editing skills of your future self.
Next month will see me attempting to blog 26 times, literally from A to Z, and, having thought about it for a couple of days now, I think I’ve picked out my topic… but that’s another story (post).