A year ago to the day I clicked ‘publish’ on my first official blog post. There had been one other before that; however, that was merely a short introductory post. The first proper one was Shiver Me Timbers…Said No Pirate Ever! where I imparted everyone with a little bit of my knowledge on the subject of pirates and a few of the ‘facts’ about them that are, in fact, pure fiction.
I think the good thing about that post is that I don’t look back on it with a cringe. I think it was actually rather well written and informative. Not perfect from a grammatical standpoint, though, seeing the grammar of even some of the very best bloggers here on WordPress, I don’t feel ashamed in the mistakes at all.
At the six month point I hit you all with a bunch of stats. I had the idea of creating a sort of awards ceremony for my anniversary where I’d award my favourite blogger, favourite blog post, etc. I’ve since decided against such actions. The stats are completely inconsequential. I barely even care about them anymore. Whether my posts receive one ‘like’ or a hundred, I’m grateful for every one my posts get. Same with the views. I don’t want a circus surrounding my ‘blogaversary’. All I really want to do is reflect and say thank you. As for awards, I don’t buy into that kind of social construct in the blogosphere anymore. I neither accept nor give them anymore.
The term ‘bell curve’ is extremely apt where my first blog year is concerned. A slow start gave way to immense traffic in the middle only to drastically taper off again towards the end of the year. The break I took was a major contributing factor to this and the volume of my posts has decreased exponentially since my return. This is partly due to the fact that I’m editing Revenge on the Spanish Main and partly because I don’t want the blog to consume me like it was doing.
This blog is, and always should have been, a supplement to my writing; a side attraction. I became obsessed with how many views it was getting. I got angry that other people’s posts were receiving ten times the ‘likes’ mine were. The break was necessary to put things in perspective and remember that this blog really is a distant second fiddle to my other writing ventures. That’s not to discredit Paul.E.Bailey’s World of course. My blog means a lot to me, though if I were to be asked the metaphorical question “Which one would you save from a burning building: your blog or your manuscript?” the answer would be a resounding “My manuscript” a thousand times out of a thousand.
I’m pleased with my blog on the whole. I think it’s nice and varied—just how I wished it to be. Not to sound narcissistic, but I think those people who aren’t reading what I write are missing out because there’s so much different stuff to read. While I won’t claim it’s the best blog out there, it is definitely one of the most interesting based solely on the fact that the posts pertain to my honest outlook and personality rather than just banging on incessantly about things going on around me. I like to wear my heart on my sleeve and be honest. If that isn’t enough to pull in readers then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles I suppose.
Though I’m not going to head down the anniversary award route, I will drop honourable mentions to five bloggers who have been fantastic in their support of this blog. It goes without saying that all are superb bloggers too. In no particular order; Kira Scribbled, Nevertheless…, SummerSHINES, Mosaicca, and Eddaz. Their support has been invaluable. Check them out if you haven’t already.
I’ve talked about how the blog has shaped up over the last twelve months. What about the next twelve months and beyond? That is extremely tough to say. While I certainly intend to keep the blog train rolling beyond the next year, I have no idea what’s to come as regards submitting Revenge to publishers. That could throw the whole blog thing off course completely. I have contingency plans in the event that Revenge is turned down by publishers and I will definitely need to give these contingencies the lion’s share of my devotion. The blog may well have to be put on hold in the meantime in that instance. So consider this a kind of non-comital situation. I will definitely still be posting in a year’s time, though I can’t predict to what volume. Neither can I predict what exactly I’ll be posting.
In my six month review I offered advice to newbie bloggers. I won’t do that this time. I don’t think I’m the person to ask. The people who are racking up twenty-thirty-forty-and-beyond likes per post are the ones to get advice from. I post what I like and hope for the best. I don’t pander to demand or popular culture. I never have and I never will. I have better things to do than stalk other bloggers in the hope they’ll support me in return. Allegedly, taking the time to read the posts of others is how you amass a following. Unfortunately, I have a novel to edit and a child to raise. I do read the posts of others, but I’m selective in whose posts they are and what the post is about. I refuse to read any old drivel just because I’m desperate for likes on my own posts.
Am I coming across as negative about my blog experience? I suppose I am. That’s because the blog experience is pretty negative. The writing side of it is incredible. I love coming up with new things for people to ignore because I genuinely love writing. It’s something for which I feel unbridled passion. I blog because I yearn to write and try out different styles of writing. This blog is my place to practice my art. Blogging itself, however, is a popularity contest in the same way Facebook and all other variants of social media are. That is something that makes me seethe. I thought blogging was something for people genuinely interested in writing. Turns out I was wrong. It’s all about amassing mindless follows, posting crap for the sake of cheap likes, stalking people, and selling shit. The bloggers I’ve come across who are genuinely interested in writing can barely be counted on two hands.
I no longer care about how popular this blog becomes. I can’t compete with the social loudmouths here on WordPress. I’ve always been more of a wallflower. You can all follow those people and mindlessly like their crap that has no substance, meaning, or personality. If I can look at a post after I’ve typed it and think “That’s a good bit of writing,” then that’s good enough for me. Stats are just meaningless numbers.
Happy blogaversary to me!
P.S. If I was to suggest any of my posts for you to read then it’s my Living the Dream series. I go into detail regarding what I love about writing and what frustrates me as well as keeping you up to date with my writing ventures outside blogging.