Well, today marks the first anniversary since my first post on this blog. I really can’t believe just how quickly time has flown by. And yet at the same time I look at the things I wrote at the start and it feels like words from a lifetime ago.
When I reflect on what it was like to start this blog, the memories that stand out most are how difficult it was adjusting to such a rigorous writing regime! My main motivation for starting this blog was to develop a habit of regular writing. This was something I needed to do, but this was a long-forgotten muscle of mine and exercising it came with all the many growing pains you would expect
For the first few months I wasn’t sure that I was going to make it. In the hardest moments I kept repeating to myself that I just had to stick it out for a year.
“Make it twelve months and then re-evaluate,” I said. “Then, if you quit, there will still be some dignity to it all.”
So how about we do some re-evaluating?
We’ll start off with the numbers. In the last year I have made 107 posts, which were divided between 27 original short stories and 55 essays. All combined the total wordcount for these has just surpassed 220,000.
Over the year I have acquired 87 followers, and my posts have been read in 47 different countries spread across the world.
From what I understand, that sort of public reception would be considered minuscule in the blogging world, but for me it is utterly amazing. I am constantly amazed at the support I feel from this community, and I truly appreciate everyone who has made time for my writing in the middle of their busy day.
There are many things I could do to try and push my numbers higher. My walls of text are probably the biggest barrier to entry for most readers, and I barely even try to promote this blog. Frankly I’m okay with that, though. I’d rather write the content that I want to write, and if that results in a smaller, closer group of followers, then all the better!
I am also amazed by my level of output. I told myself at the beginning that I was going to be consistent, that I was going to write a lot, that I wasn’t going to miss a single post. And now I’m as surprised as anybody that I actually pulled it off!
As a result I have posted a LOT of content. Of course, some posts of mine are more lacking than others, but there are also some that I am downright proud of. Thus in my case it isn’t quality over quantity, it is quality through quantity. The fact is you can’t help but learn a lot when you write 220,000 words!
I could have told you about halfway through this year that I wouldn’t be quitting after reaching my first anniversary mark. The experience has simply been too positive to let go of it now. All those awkward growing pains I mentioned at the start of this journey are all but gone. Writing every day just feels natural and fitting to me. Blanks canvases are not nearly so terrifying as they used to be.
My whole life I have loved writing stories, but that hasn’t meant I was actually any good at it! Now, for the first time I feel like I am taking charge and putting in the practice so that I can become good. It feels like coming into my own.
Even so, I have felt for a while thatI needed to enact some changes. A few times I’ve made mention of a novel I’m working on, but I haven’t given it the attention it deserves. I’ve also wondered about starting other blogs, ones that could speak directly to other passions of mine. In short I have other hobbies and interests in life, and I’ve wanted to rebalance my commitment to them.
Thus the first change that I am going to enact is using the writing regime I’ve built for this blog and apply it to my novel. 500 words each day for regular, consistent progress. I won’t be posting that work here, but I will provide monthly updates on how I am doing with it. I will be doing so by resurrecting the Story of the Storyteller series that I retired early on in this blog. I think reporting on my progress will help a great deal with accountability, as well as provide an extra dimension that this blog has been missing. You can expect these updates to start appearing on the first of each month.
The second change is that starting today I am launching a second blog. This one is going to be a spiritual journal, one where I share passages of scripture that I am studying, followed by my insights on them. My religious beliefs have strongly influenced the stories that I write, but for a while I have wanted a more explicit forum for discussing them. If you’re interested, you can find that second blog and its inaugural post over here.
And Thank You)
Once again, I want to thank you all for your support. Perhaps just coming and reading doesn’t seem like much, but really it is. These aren’t just stories to me, they are the way I process and express my own self. Everyone wants to be heard, and you have listened to me.
Thank you for that.