Saturday, I was reminded by WordPress that I had my two-year blogging anniversary. Over those two years, I believe I’ve grown as a writer. Although, that growth is more important than my “stats,” I will share some of those with you, too. Writing has become an important part of my life. It’s important enough that I know I want to continue to do it.
A Look at Why I Blog
One of my first pieces was “Why Blog.” I am a firm believer in objectives and striving to meet one’s goals, so I thought it was time I look back at what I wrote in that first blog. What did I find? Well, several things have changed. Firstly, my blog has turned out to be much more broad than just exploring the facets of “studenthood.” While still very much interested in the world of education and the way we help or hurt students as they navigate those waters, I did not stick to that narrow and somewhat odd niche. One of the reasons was I found writing about education to be difficult. My views and experiences seem out of sync with most of the popular educational philosophies of the day, and as I wrote about this, I found myself in hot water at least once. A topic I had written about which carried the theme of no longer feeling a need to “fix” the arm of talented and gifted education was anonymously passed on to some locally practicing in this field and they called me out on it. What needed to be stated was that I was closing the door on my advocacy for these students and this was not what was read. This was a defensive act of throwing me under the bus in my own community for stating my opinion based on my own experiences. Six months into blogging, I found that one’s own writing can be used against you. Sad, but true. The whole experience tainted my desire to bring attention to some inequities in the world of education. Mind you, I still will occasionally post on this but not often; it is done only when I feel brave.
The other reason it seemed that I started to write was that I needed a blog to be part of a writing challenge – Slice of Life. This is a wonderful opportunity to get started in the habit of daily blogging with a supportive community. But, with said that and done for the last two years, I found that participation is not evenly rewarded. Therefore, I decided I can participate on my own terms this year. So, I will only continue with the Slice of Life: Tuesday posts, not the entire month-long challenge. The reason? Well, as a first year participant, there was much support and camaraderie. As a second year participant, I found myself following the rules, but not getting the same amount of feedback I was giving others (3 per day). It was tough. I was still writing everyday, but the focus was placed on garnering feedback. I did not like that aspect. So, I took a break following last year’s challenge and returned to just posting on Tuesdays. In addition, I started posting to Poetry Friday, so between the two communities of writers I find the support I am looking for, but do not need to base my reason to write around those communities.
My blog continues to grow. I have an audience. I feel like I “know” some of my readers that have been loyal commentators. This is very cool aspect of blogging. Some live in the midwest, and some live across an ocean. Still, I feel like we have a connection formed through words or the subjects of our writing.
Writing has also been cathartic for me. Yes, there are several posts that I’ve written and not posted. It is because they were written in haste, or in anger, or even in despair or with love that I did not want to share. One of my most cathartic pieces was written after I found out that a butterfly garden I had installed at a school and cared for with students for close to ten years had been sprayed irresponsibly with pesticide! It was the beginning of the end for a beloved volunteer activity that spanned over a decade and touched over 500 students. This simple act told me it was to move on. Up until last week, that post was my most widely read. It was replaced with: Dreaming of Hawaii, which is a much more uplifting, cheerful post, even if I do say so myself!
My blog has survived my last two years of graduate school, a high school graduation and commencement of college for one of my sons, the formation of a new afterschool garden club, and a new job. There is much fodder from which to draw upon to write, and I expect it to be this way for sometime. There have been trips to the Netherlands, and National Parks, fruit harvests, and cider making parties, butterflies, flowers, music, and food all featured on my blog. My writing blends well with my hobby of photography and even of books, literature, and environmental education. I can explore my world with words and perhaps be entertaining or informative in the process. It’s been a great experience, and one I hope to continue for a long time to come! Some of my closest friends read me, and some of my closest friends, do not. Most of my family does not read me, but I wish they did. It is all okay. I know life is busy. My writing helps me to make sense of all life has to offer.
Thank you for visiting my blog, whether you’ve come once or hundreds of times, I am glad you were here and read my words. Please come back again, I will welcome you with open arms!
My Blog Statistics After Two Years
Number of posts: 668
There are 365 days in the year and this averages to 334 posts per year. Not bad!
Number of Followers: 494
Total Number of Views: 15,829
Most Viewed Post: February 12, 2019, Dreaming of Hawaii,
Average Length of Posts: 584 Words
Summary of Posts:
I hope you join me on my blogging journey, whether you are part of Slice of Life, Poetry Friday, a friend, a family member, a fellow academic, or a fellow gardener, I appreciate you all for visiting my blog! Thanks for a great two years!