I’ve now missed my writing birthday for two years in a row.
I don’t even know if a writing birthday is something other writers commonly observe, or if it’s my own unique brand of writerly madness.
Even the exact date of my writing birthday is uncertain. I mark it from the day I commenced my first (incomplete, shelved) novel, which was sometime in early February, 2002.
A rare mid-week and late-night post from me to commemorate my very first post on The Rules of Engagement, which was also mid-week and late-night.
For one year now, my blog has been online.
In that time, I’ve amassed some respectable numbers, learned a lot, and made some wonderful blogging friends.
Even more importantly, though, I’ve regained the confidence I’d lost as a failed blogger in a past writing life.
My original goal for this blog was to add one new post a week, regardless of whatever else might be on my plate. With the exception of a conscious choice to not blog one time during the Christmas season, I’m happy to report that I’ve not missed a single week.
Consistency is the key to a successful blog, as it is with most other things in life, not the least of which includes writing.
51 posts in year one. As is often said on the birthdays of people when they turn a year older,
And many more!
Blogging has changed since the last time I did it during the dark ages of the internet in 2006.
Today we have the integrated blog stats that WordPress so thoughtfully provides us all, informing me at a glance how many clicks I’ve received per day and what the clickers were clicking on and where the clickers came from, both geographically and via the internet.
We have “Likes”, which on all but the most popular blogs have replaced the standard comments of yesteryear. There were no such thing as Likes in 2006. If you liked something someone wrote, you would tell them by leaving a comment and let them know what exactly you liked about it.
(Not that I’m at all complaining: the world is a much busier place than it was in 2006, and comments take time to compose while Likes are quick and dirty. I’m grateful to know at all when stuff I write resonates with people.)
We also now have blog subscribers, which I love love love, both having them and to be one. There was nothing more annoying back in 2006 than to have to constantly check your favourite blogs for updates, especially for writers who posted multiple times a day.
And yet, despite all these innovations for tracking one’s visitors, I still have no idea who is reading my blog, and perhaps more importantly, how they’re doing so.
Historically, my track record for blogging is not that good.
My old, now defunct was called Through the Keyhole. It was all about my writing life while I was hard at work on a novel back in 2006. I actually did fairly well with that blog: I posted to it every other day; I assembled a decent blogroll, and received comments regularly from other writers whose blogs I followed.
But Through the Keyhole only survived four months. I just couldn’t keep up the pace of posting “every other day” on top of writing, and job searching (I was unemployed at the time, and living back at home), and trying to hold together my relationship with my mother that the stress of a year-and-a-half of joblessness and my return to the once-empty nest had frayed almost to the breaking point.
Just when all hope seemed lost, I finally landed a job. I moved four hours away to a rural community where my residence had no internet connection. So, I quit blogging, and quit writing altogether for the whole year-and-a-half I held that job, and the four-and-a-half years, two provinces, and three jobs that followed.
And now I’m back.