This is my 100th blog post. Can you believe it? (No, ed) I find the fact that I’ve kept on writing, reasonably regularly since last September, utterly amazing. Me. Who would rather do the ironing than face the prospect of sitting down at a blank screen and thinking up something to write about.
One hundred posts. That’s (quick pause while I consult calculator) about 40,000 words. Wtf! That’s nearly a novel! And that’s not counting the (sometimes lengthy) conversations I’ve struck up with all the interesting people I’ve met here in the blogosphere.
It’s been interesting, and exciting and, at times, it has to be said, rather discouraging. Nobody read my first two posts. Which was not surprising because they were rather dull and worthy efforts on how to write an essay. I had just finished my OU degree, and they were really instructions to myself in case I forgot how to treat an academic subject (dunno why; can’t see anybody suddenly wanting me to knock out 3,000 words on Shakespeare).
In September I posted every day, and when I got 12 likes for Wtf? Guys, listen to yourselves. I thought I was really motoring. In October I missed a couple of days, but my readers slowly climbed. And then I wrote a piece about my mother playing Scrabble, Out of the mouths of Babes and Grandmas and was astonished when one of my students told me she’d read it out loud to her daughter. In a café. In London. Call me naïve, but I hadn’t really pictured anyone reading my stuff. Certainly not anybody I knew. I mean, like buttons and real people aren’t the same at all, are they? (You are naïve, ed).
Things dropped off a bit after that, and my posting became rather haphazard, and I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere (not that I knew where I wanted to get to). I had started blogging with the intention, as a professional writer, of handing out advice to aspiring writers (whether they wanted it or not). And I couldn’t understand why nobody was coming by. And then I read a piece by Opinionated Man on blogging, who said that bloggers are all, if you like, a field of dandelions.
Nobody wants advice from people who think they are roses. They want to know how other dandelions are doing. And he was dead right. In any case, my stuff couldn’t really be compared to a rose. More like the stuff you mulch them with.
So I stopped and I wouldn’t have come back, if it hadn’t been for Bruce Goodman sending me a lovely email asking when I was going to post again (thanks Bruce!). And, when I did sign in, I found a really nice message from another fellow blogger, MikeW. So, that was how I discovered this place is a community. An odd one, since the chances are we’ll never meet in person; but, looking at it another way, it has the advantage of allowing you to talk to people you never would otherwise meet.
Then my daughter took me in hand. She showed me how to take advantage of Twitter; how to tag my tweets and told me also to tag my posts on Facebook. She also told me off about the dullness of my stock pictures, and that I should take my own at all times. I signed up for the WordPress 201 tuition, and everything kind of clicked. I realised I couldn’t bang on about writing all the time. I wanted to write about family life and everyday stuff that was on my mind. And more people began to drop in.
And I don’t feel discouraged any more. I don’t have thousands of followers on WordPress, or more than 30 likes for any of my posts, but I do have a few close posting buddies who always drop by; there are others who pop in occasionally, and there are always new people popping into my reader, with new ideas and fascinating lives.
The most important thing is that, without a blog I wouldn’t write at all. And while I don’t like the thought of writing, I do like doing it.
So, thanks, WordPress, and here’s to the next 100 posts.