First blogoversary: Reflections

Blogoversary candle

Candle image courtesy of mconnors, Morguefile.

A year ago today, my blog was born. I sought to learn WordPress, but I soon grew to love the international blogging community and the creative, amazing people in it.

The blog and I evolved over time. As I became more proficient with WordPress, some of the blog’s appearance changed and it expanded from a blog about writing, editing and proofreading to a blog that also discussed books, writers and social media. Since good writing is essential in social media and social media is one of my passions (chocolate is a close second!), talking about social media fitted into the blog nicely.

I developed virtual friendships with people all over the United States – the North, the West, the East and even my fellow Southerners (hi, y’all). I met others from many other countries, too. I’ve seen images of places I may never see in real life and heard the moving stories of others’ experiences. People generously shared little slices of their internal thoughts and their external worlds with me.

I bantered with witty bloggers like The Byronic Man, year-struck and Pouring My Art Out. I sighed enviously over the photos of Little London Observationist, Jess in Belgium, Bella Bagni di Lucca, The Dorset Rambler and Northwest Photographer. I exchanged thoughts with other bloggers (CricketMuse, shout-out back to you), suggested books to fellow readers and received book recommendations from others. I also saved tasty recipes (Covered In Flour, My Healthy ‘Ohana and Rantings of an Amateur Chef) and took in others’ views on movies, photography, art, family life and other subjects. I was wowed and touched by the videos and photos you shared, felt bad for you when you shared your pain, and was glad for you in your triumphs (new jobs, birth of children, recovery from illness).

I learned quite a bit, too:

  • It’s a gift beyond measure when one of your readers takes a few moments to share his or her thoughts, knowledge, stories or experiences with you in a comment.
  • There are a LOT of people Googling the phrase “top 10 books to read in your lifetime”.
  • There are a LOT of people who actually know what “defenestration” means.
  • Posts that I didn’t think would be too popular were popular. Posts that I did think might be popular? They weren’t.
  • According to my stats, the blog’s been viewed in 117 countries and about half my readers are in the U.S. For my readers outside the U.S., I like to throw in bits about American culture for them to experience vicariously.

I got addicted to the work of British actor Richard Armitage (thanks, RAFrenz) and to the music of German rockabilly group The Baseballs (thanks, Another Exile from Paradise). And yes, Exile, I bought one of their CDs.

It fascinated me to watch the stats rise with each new blog post. In June 2012, I got Freshly Pressed for my blog post about wacky word origins. That brought even more readers and hits. My e-mail box went crazy for a few days and then settled down again. And then it happened again in December 2012.

Writing all of these blog posts was not easy. Sometimes I’d get inspiration and couldn’t wait to get to the keyboard so that the words could fly onto the screen and be shared with readers. Other days required me to dig deep and think hard to find something worthwhile to say; these were the days in which I had to labor hard and drag every single word out of me. Ironically, “Wacky word origins” was one of those posts.

I made mistakes at times. No matter how carefully I word something, there is the risk that someone will get miffed and say so. But that’s the price of posting your thoughts in a public forum.

I got puzzled the first time I was reblogged (“Reblogging? What’s that?”) and the first time I got a blogging award from another blogger. Then, I understood what it meant: respect.

I saw the world through your eyes. And you saw it through mine.

I wonder about all of you sometimes. Do you read this blog on a laptop, a PC or a smartphone? Do you sit in a library, living room, office or coffee shop right now? What do you see outside your window – the woods, a city sidewalk with people and cars buzzing back and forth, a suburban neighborhood, a mountain, an ocean, the woods, a lake? (It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. Just me speculating in friendly curiosity, that’s all.)

I appreciate everyone who reads this blog and I wish I could thank everyone personally who takes the time to come by and read, but there isn’t enough space here. Here are some thanks to certain people in particular:

  • Jeanette Monahan and Samir of Cecile’s Writers, the first people to welcome me on my first day in the blogosphere. (My first reaction was “WHOA! How’d they find me so fast?” That was before I discovered the Reader.)
  • Kathy Drue of Lake Superior Spirit, whose wisdom helps me so much.
  • Suzanne Rogers, who always causes me to roar with laughter with her funny wildlife photos and zany blog.
  • Robin Coyle, who makes me a better writer by improving my awareness of strong versus weak words.
  • The people at Automattic (the company behind WordPress) in San Francisco, for making all of this possible.

Thanks, people, for an unforgettable and incredible first year. And to celebrate, I’m throwing in a summing-up-the-year video from one of my favorite movies. Happy 2013!

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37 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Writing

37 responses to “First blogoversary: Reflections

  1. I read you from my laptop on a corner desk in my dining room which is really an office with a dining room table in the middle, Happy Blogoversary and many more in the makings, Cheers to you.

  2. Happy Blogoversary, Eagle-Eyed!

  3. Marvelous reflection. You covered all areas of blogging from personal growth to moments of serendipity to building community. I always look forward to your posts, and I especially enjoy our exchanges. The world has been made a better place with the knowledge of defenestration (I am not sure how, but it’s such a great word how could it not?)
    Happy Blogiversary!

    • Thanks, CricketMuse! It’s a funny thing…I noticed last week that a lot of the blogs I follow were also celebrating blogoversaries. Guess the end of one year or the beginning of a new year is a popular time for starting blogs!

  4. Congrats! Always insightful. Always interesting.

  5. Val

    Great summing-up-the-year post. I hadn’t realised you’d only been blogging for a year (or that you’d been blogging for so long – take your pick!) Blogging is much more than most people think it is when they start out. Not only that but the blog and one’s personality change along the way. It’s an interesting journey. (One I’ve been on in various blogs since 2004, so I’m pretty seasoned by now.)

    Happy new year.

  6. Congratulations on your first blog anniversary and may you have many more!

    “Do you read this blog on a laptop, a PC or a smartphone?”

    Depending on when the email notification arrives, I either read your posts from the PC or my tablet. As for what I see outside the window, blast I wish it was the ocean! ;) But it’s a bunch of homes.

  7. Thank you too for such a fresh and witty blog! And here’s to many years more…

  8. Happy Blogaversary! I love reading your blog and look forward to another year of brilliance! xx

  9. Nicely done. You articulated what a lot of new bloggers go through. And congrats on being freshly pressed twice! :)

  10. Congrats on an amazing first year and I’m excited to see what the next one brings!

  11. Congratulations on your one year Anniversary! Such an awesome post…I loved reading about your experiences and your musings about how and where we all are when we follow your posts….imagine my surprise when you mentioned my blog! Thank you for the nod…I consider this HIGH, HIGH praise and I cherish it……….Never change, you and your blog are awesome!!

  12. What fun lessons to learn. :)

    Add me to the count of folks who know (and love) the word “defenestration.”

    Here’s to another year of blogging lessons!

  13. I feel very flattered to be mentioned, thank you. I think one of the best things to come out of blogging is the people you meet.

  14. Congrats Eagle! I was surprised to see that you’ve only been blogging here a year! You have such a great site, I started laughing out loud when you mentioned defenestration, I remember that. I also hear what you say about the stats, I check mine a lot not because I’m worried about how many are looking at my site, I’m interested to see how far around the world what I write goes. It’s humbling it see how the posts on WordPress go. Thanks for all the great posts! Best Wishes to you for this year’s posts and those beyond!

  15. You reflected on your first year of blogging, so well — I hope that I can be as eloquent when I reach that milestone! Congratulations, you summed up so well many of the aspects of blogging that draw us into and keep us in the blogosphere! ~ Kat

  16. Congratulations on your Anniversary (smile)! You are an incredible writer, detailed, articulate, and giving thanks where it’s due. Wishing you the absolute best as you grow your blog and followers in 2013, make it extraordinary! Thank you for taking the time to post comments on my blog, I’m a newbie and it means more than I can ever say.

  17. Happy First Blogoversary! Those days you spent trying laboring over a post have been much appreciated by us! :) I couldn’t agree more with your assessment… my favorite posts are hardly ever the ones that turn out to be the most popular! Mystery of blogosphere mysteries. Congrats again!

    • Thank you! What a nice thing to say (about the appreciation thing)!

      And I love how you refer to it as a mystery how certain posts turn out to be popular. Somebody should analyze that in a blog post one day.

  18. Just read this post on my iPhone, lounging on my living room sofa, on hazy spring morning while our frail elderly cat is slipping closer to leaving me. Glad to see your name pop up on my posts. Thanks for reading.

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