I don’t often look at the stats for my wordpress blog, but last week something caught my eye as I scanned the number of views I had for August. I do, however, occasionally keep tabs on the number of views and visitors I get each month on my site. When I looked, I saw that not only would August be a great month for visitors, today would mark my 1500th blog post! When I noted that, I immediately asked some of my friends on FaceBook what I should write about. The answers varied from anything uplifting or celebratory, how it feels to write so many posts, and what is different today from when I first started my blog. In general, it seemed that everyone wanted a post that was uplifting and joyful! I think I can do that! Thanks!
I started writing in February of 2017. At the time, my life looked like this: I had two boys in high school, a junior and a freshman. I had another son almost finished with his undergraduate degree in math at a university in Iowa. I was still working at being a stay at home mom, holding my last garden club group at our local elementary school, and still having writer’s circle for third grade students. I was heavily involved in our school system as a parent and volunteer. I was in grad school for a second Master’s degree in a totally different discipline than my first AND this degree was totally online! My husband and I were planning our 30th wedding anniversary trip to Bermuda. Life was good but I was looking for more. I wanted to connect more, to share what I thought more, and to share my feelings and knowledge more. Since I write reflectively, I’ve been able to learn a lot about myself in the last four years. As I put my thoughts down on paper/screen, it makes me vulnerable to the admiration of criticism of others. What is the saying? “There is no reward without risk?” I think that’s it.
The previous year, I had looked into a blog forum challenge hosted by TwoWritingTeachers.org called Slice of Life Challenge. The task was to write for all 31 days in March. For whatever reason I did not participate in 2016, but by 2017, I was ready. I successfully met the challenge and have written nearly every day since that day in late February when I took the plunge and started my blog. Today, fifteen hundred posts later and I’m still writing!
Today, I still write to connect but I also write to stretch and grow my skill as a writer. I have become deeply committed to writing poetry, not only because it lets me share my thoughts but because it can be as challenging as I want it to be. I have to thank the time I spent creating lessons for my student writers with increasing my own confidence in writing poetry. I have learned so much about the craft of poetry in the last four years.
I joined a poetry forum called Poetry Friday where I feel valued and supported by my fellow writers and poets. This is so important for a writer – you want to know you are reaching people, and I believe I am. To become better at writing, I participated in webinars on self-publishing and creating anthologies. I listen to feedback. I try new things – forms of poetry and types of posts. But, through it all I try to stay true to myself, not bending to fit a mold or expectation.
Writing lets me combine all my interests, and there are many, into one thing. I am, what is called, a multi-potentiate and a gifted adult. It’s taken me over 50 years to be able to call myself that – a gifted adult – but I fit the bill. It explains a lot about my personality, not only my capacity for growth, learning, creativity, drive, and production, but also about my sensitivities, and sense of justice. Therefore, when you read my blog, you’ll see some structure that allows me to address my varied interests with regularity.
I developed Silent Sunday to share my love of photography and my own photos! What good is there in photography if you do not share it with others? On Tuesdays, I post to the Slice of Life forum. On Fridays, I post to the Poetry Friday forum. Both of those communities have been wonderful support systems for me and my writing. I occasionally write a Foodie Monday post to share recipes and even my experience with a keto diet. The loose schedule of posts seems to work for me and my readers.
Have there been any negatives to writing daily? Absolutely, but luckily, they have been few. Have I had posts annoy people? Sure! I wrote about how the talented and gifted program was still broken the fall my youngest was a sophomore in high school. The (new) TAG teacher took offense. I wrote from my own experience – who can argue with that? And, my opinions included experience I had over many years of trying to help and fix the system for this unique sub-set of students. I lost a friendship over that post. But, it’s okay. Things like that are rare and I try to make most of my posts inspiring or educational.
There have been major life changes since I started my blog. I finished my graduate degree in 2018 and am now a bona fide environmental educator. In 2019, I took a job three weeks after my husband retired from his post-retirement job! I blogged throughout my time working and kept it light. Was it harder to find time to write when I worked? Absolutely. Did I have to censor myself more? Absolutely! The job was not a great fit and I resigned after only eight months, but through it all, I kept writing. Writing was good for me!
All three of our sons have completed their K-12 education and are out of the house, living independently. I’d love to write more about what they’ve done and accomplished but it’s their life and experience, not mine to expound upon, even though I am immensely proud of each. I removed myself from being a volunteer for our school district – a position I held for 20 years, as it took 20 years for our three boys to move through the system here, due to the spacing of their births. This was hard for me to do because it was a community I had placed myself in and given of myself. But, the time had come to find myself valued and not taken for granted. So, I stepped away. Writing helped me get through that transition.
I have regular blog followers, and readers, and gain more, weekly. This makes me grateful. Those who choose not to read my posts miss part of who I am. And, that’s okay too. I’ve learned that writing is important to me, important enough to do everyday. It’s an odd habit and one that not everyone appreciates. I can still be your daughter, sister, or friend if you don’t read my blog. It’s okay. You just won’t know me as well as you think you do.
What does the future hold for my writing? Hopefully, publication! One of the hardest things I’ve had to do lately is to carve out time in my day for more writing – writing I do not post to my blog – writing I can submit for possible publication. Luckily, I’ve been able to do it (this calls for celebration) and submitted to several contests and publishers. I will keep trying. I think I am good enough. (Wow! Did I just say that?!)
I’d like to say that I write for myself, and in many aspects I still do. But, at some point when you are committed to writing you want your words to be read by others. Yes, I write to connect to others. Four years later, that hasn’t changed!
If you are interested here’s a glimpse at my current blog statistics:
August 28th, 2021: 1,500th blog post.
Here’s the part where I say I’m grateful because I truly am! Thank you, dear friends and readers, for helping my blog to grow, for supporting my interest in writing and becoming an author, and for hoping you choose to stick with me far into the future! I’m excited for what the future holds!