It has been 5 years almost to the day since I started a blog. Given how ephemeral these electronic flashes of word and image can be, that makes me an elder statesman. Practically a blogging Methuselah.
My first post was about dropping my youngest daughter off at college. I hadn’t figured out how to upload pictures yet and it was rather wordy. My daughter, my sister-in-law and an anonymous stranger were the only humans to read my efforts.
A couple of months later, bolstered by the fact that I was now a genuine writer, courtesy of having this blog, I got up the courage to approach the local paper about doing a little ditty in one of their occasional magazines. They took the bait. I had to pay them in the form of advertising, but still – I was published!
A couple of months after that I learned about something called Freshly Pressed when, for the first time, strangers started reading my stuff.
I’ve written almost 500 blog posts in the last 5 years, been Freshly Pressed a couple more times, and this year started writing a monthly humor column for which I am getting paid. I’m now trying to get it syndicated.
Some blogging efforts were a riot.
- My plot to take over WordPress. In 2012 they featured 19 blog posts at a time on their front page as their choice for Freshly Pressed. I cooked up an elaborate scheme and enlisted 18 other bloggers to help. We all posted with the same title at the exact same time: Better Living Through Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Our coup failed, as takeovers often do, but it was a scream. I can’t tell you how much fun it was working with 18 of the best bloggers working at that time or since.
- The Jacket writing competition, which was won (strictly on the level, by the way) by my good blogging buddy, Darla at She’s a Maineiac.
- Freshly Pegged, my attempt to give an airing to bloggers’ favorite posts which had NOT been selected for Freshly Pressed. That feature is enjoying a very long hibernation, by the way, but is not dead.
Mostly I do humor, but sometimes I’m serious, especially when writing about cancer. My feisty sister, Lib, is battling it. Both my close friend, Jane, and my dear, dear cousin Moe have almost reached the end of their struggles.
I have made some absolutely amazing blogging friends over the years; people I’ve never met, but care about deeply. Many have dropped off the radar. A couple have died, but most slipped quietly away to focus on other things. I miss many of them. But change is the nature of the beast. For every blogger who turns away, thousands – nay, millions – more take their place all the time on this constantly growing platform, and I’ve had the chance to make new friends as well.
By now most of you are asking, “What’s with this trip down memory lane? Are you retiring? Dying? Practicing an acceptance speech in case the Pulitzer people call?”
Today I hit 15,000 subscribers.
I know there are mega-blogs out there and I’m obviously not one of them. But this is a milestone for me. Growth in my readership has been organic and steady. I haven’t had a post go viral (although one keeps getting spurts of readers and I STILL can’t figure out why.) People have merely wandered in, a few at a time, pulled up a tuffet and decided to stay.
To all of my WordPress friends, to those who stop by to read my scribblings, to those who take the time to comment, I appreciate how you’ve found a place for me in your busy lives.
And I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart.
p.s. Since I hit Publish 5 minutes ago, it seems that 3 readers dropped me from their roles, so I don’t have 15,000 subscribers any more. Which just goes to show…something.