I hit the one year mark with my blog this month. This brought to mind a line from an old song, “School Days”, which listed “reading and writing and ‘rithmetic” as fond memories. (The song was already old when I learned it 50 years ago, so the reference may be mine alone.) Those three categories sum up my blogging experience.
‘Rithmetic. (No real math, I promise.)
My goal when I started was to write at least twice a month. With 21 posts in 12 months, I didn’t quite make that modest goal. But I am in good position to beat that number of posts next year, and 21 soundly beats the previous year’s 0. I had a list of things I wanted to write about that had been on my mind, and though I wrote less than half of my original list, half of my posts were not part of the list at all. Meanwhile my “to write” list has tripled. (That is a story problem for anyone wishing this was about math. How many ideas were on the original list? And when will the train arrive with the apples? or oranges?)
I came to blog in secrecy, thinking that after a few posts I would tell family and some friends about it so they could read if interested. I was writing for the joy of writing. Imagine my surprise soon after my first post to find people reading, commenting, following my “secret” blog. Just a few, but still a surprise. I am writing about a variety of things that interest me, so a reader who liked my posts on Alzheimer’s might be bored with the posts on books and so on. I understand the value of sticking to a topic to attract readers, but I will continue to write variety, and hope some continue to tune in from time to time when a topic strikes their interest, too. I hope so, because being read increases the joy of writing. And I will tell my family soon. After so much time passed, it seemed logical to wait a year. Having learned others did the same when they started blogging helped me feel more normal, or at least less alone, in secrecy.
As I wrote, it was interesting to me how often a post veered off in a different direction than I had originally planned, and how many just popped up suddenly to be written ahead of the ones brewing in my thoughts for a long time. There are ideas on my list I look forward to working on, when there is time. In addition to blogging this year, I am finally starting “Mom’s Memories” stories for my grown children. I don’t want them to be left in the situation my sister and I are having, alone in piecing our childhood memories together for some kind of family history. So I am challenging myself to write outside the blog, for them.
In addition to the happy surprise of people (anyone!) reading my blog, I have found some wonderful posts to read, blogs to follow. I have spent too much of my writing time reading. But what a wealth of creativity, a diversity of lives and ideas I have found in these blogs and bloggers.
And so I’ll end on my 4th “R”. My life is richer, thanks to this year of blogging.