Five years ago today I started this blog. I’d only been on the internet a few months (four months to be exact), had no idea what a blog was but knew enough about book promotion to know that I needed one to help establish my online presence. I spent a few days researching the various blogging platforms and ended up here on WordPress.
My first post was tentative, a mere dipping of my pen in the metaphorical ink of the blogosphere. All that post said was:
Am I an aspiring writer? I have written 4 books, rewritten them, and will continue rewriting them until they are perfected.
No. I am not an aspiring writer. I am aspiring to be a published writer.
Not a bad statement of intent for a new blogger. In the beginning I wrote about my struggles to find an agent or a publisher, my attempts to learn all I could about how to become a bestselling author (still don’t know — drats!), my efforts at establishing my online presence. In the beginning, I used no photo of me, just an initial. I still hadn’t decided if I wanted to use a male pseudonym or any pseudonym at all. I’d also started writing a new novel that I now call my work-in-pause since it’s been sitting there, half-finished for almost five years.
Much has happened to me since I started this blog. I entered a couple of writing contests and made it to the semi-finals in both, (one was the very first ABNA contest). My mother died. I found a publisher. My father had quadruple bypass surgery. My life mate/soul mate got sicker and sicker. And throughout those two and a half years of turmoil, this blog sustained me. It gave me a place to escape from my daily life, a place I could count on.
And then, two and a half years ago, my soul mate died. His death catapulted me into a world of such pain, that it bled over into this blog. My posts became not so much a way to escape, but a place to try to make sense of what I was going through, to offer comfort and be comforted, to find my way to renewed life.
This blog also helped me to re-establish my life as a writer because, after all, blogging is writing, too. A year ago, I made a commitment to blog every day for 100 days, and somehow I never stopped. And today marks an entire year, 366 days of blogging every single day. (Leap year, in case you’re wondering why 366 instead of 365.) I recently recommitted to another 100-day challenge. It’s nice to know that whatever life throws at me, whatever problems I encounter, whatever challenges come my way, this blog will be here for me.
I started with meager aspirations, hoping for the seemingly unrealistic goal of 12,000 views a year, and as of right now, this blog has had 215,817 all time views. On my busiest day, I had 3,542 people stopping by. I’ve been Freshly-pressed three times, written 1,003 posts (including this one), received 7,159 comments and almost 3000 likes and shares. My best ranking on Alexa.com was 607,198 out of 350 million websites. Quite an achievement for someone who, five years ago, did not even know what a blog was.
I never told you how much your reading my posts has meant to me, so I want to do so now. Thank you all for your comments, your likes, your support. They have meant more to me (especially this past two and a half years) than you can ever imagine.
September 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm
…and I’m sure everyone would agree, that reading your posts is a highlight of the day.
Very interesting – entertaining at times and inspiration for contemplation at others; a great blog.
September 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm
Thank you, Stephen, for your kind words.
September 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm
Impressive accomplishments. You inspire the rest of us!
September 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm
Thank you, Carrie.
September 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm
Congratulations Pat. I hope for the best for you.
By the way, what’s Alexa.com, and can I use it to promote my own work?
September 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm
http://alexa.com doesn’t do anything to promote your work. It is the company that ranks websites. From what I’ve been able to figure, they just rank the top 20 million or so, which leaves 330 million unranked. It’s a real kick when your website or blog shows up on Alexa for the first time.
September 25, 2012 at 5:11 am
well then, i’ll have to work hard if i want them to notice me. but let me guess, alexa’s website always shows up somewhere in that 20 mill, right?
September 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm
I’ve found it hard recently to tend to my own blog. Reading your post was refreshing, thanks for sharing. 🙂
September 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm
If you have a live, consistent blogging is hard to do, especially if you want to do more than a quick, unedited update of your life.