Today is my blog’s first birthday!
My first blog post was only a couple of sentences long, and I remember how terrified I was as I wrote and posted it. It felt like my head had become a theme park and I was offering free entry, with popcorn and super-sized sugary drinks on demand. As it turned out, of course, nobody but the WordPress bot actually ever read my first post, but my feelings didn’t care about that.
I can’t believe I’ve been writing my blog for a year. In one way, it’s become such a part of my everyday routine that it feels like I’ve been blogging forever, but in another way I’m mystified as to where the last year has gone.
So, what have I learned in a year?
Writing a daily blog is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I love it, and it gets me going in the morning like no cup of coffee ever could (particularly since I’m doing my best to give up caffeine, for real this time), but I’m not going to lie. Several times during the past year I’ve been reduced to tears at the thought of writing a new post, and I’ve had to really draw on all my reserves of strength, inspiration and improvisation to deliver the goods – but then, that’s a good thing. Isn’t it?
Conquering fear is fantastic. I really was afraid of writing a blog. I would have started one years ago, except I was terrified to do it. Starting this one felt a lot like jumping into the void and – against all expectation – learning how to fly, very quickly. It has given me so much satisfaction to look back over my year’s worth of blog posts, remembering how scared I was when I started out, and how I’ve overcome that fear.
I’m a lot less weird than I always thought I was. It’s great to know that other people think the same way I do about things as varied as books and mental health issues, or authors and writing techniques, or family and life. Having said that, it’s slightly bittersweet to think that perhaps all your little quirks aren’t as unique as you’d like to think. So it goes.
People are wonderful. If I’d thought I’d ‘meet’ so many wonderful folks through the medium of this blog, I really would have started to write it years ago. I’ve been buoyed up by positivity, support, friendship and fellow-feeling more times than I can remember over the past year, and I am so grateful to all my wonderful followers for that. It has been incredible to make contact with so many other bloggers, writers, thinkers, artists, and fellow human beings over the past twelve months. I started this blog thinking that (perhaps) my mother would read it once in a while, when she had nothing better to do; now I have over 200 followers and nearly 14,000 hits. My mind still can’t process that, really.
I really, really love writing. It would have been a bit of a ‘whoops’ moment if I hadn’t discovered this during the course of writing the blog, wouldn’t it? Luckily, though, that’s exactly what I found. Writing brings me more satisfaction than anything else I’ve ever done, and I’m privileged to live in a world where I have the opportunity to ‘publish’ my words in this way. Being completely honest, I had hoped to have achieved more, in terms of writing, over the past year than I actually have. However I think, all in all, I haven’t done too badly.
And the best part about having a blog? I can relive every moment of my journey, in ‘real time.’
Writing ‘Clockwatching…’ has been the best thing I could’ve done for my writing. This blog has compelled me to be disciplined, and strict with my routine. It has given me a sharp appreciation for deadlines. It has allowed me to see that I can provide ‘copy’ at short notice, not only once but repeatedly. It has shown me that I am capable of wringing inspiration out of my brain even when it feels drier than a camel’s backside. It has allowed me to take part in competitions and writing groups which have been a huge source of inspiration and feedback. It has opened my eyes to the sheer amount of writing blogs in existence, and I have benefited from every blog I’ve read and followed. It has made me realise, so clearly, that writers are all struggling toward the same goal and that we are all pulling for the same team, and that the success of one writer brings the rest of us up, just a fraction.
This past year has, in so many ways, been the most satisfying and successful one of my life. I am hopeful, as I enter my second year of blogging, that this feeling of accomplishment will travel with me, and that I’ll soon have something concrete – in terms of my writing career – to show for all the work I’ve put in. No matter what the future holds, I wanted to say something to all of you who’ve been following my blog and who’ve told me that reading it has become part of your daily life: Thank You.
To all my wonderful friends, both ‘real life’ and ‘virtual’, who have supported me every step of the way, I am so grateful for your help and encouragement. To everyone who has read this blog, thank you. To everyone who has taken the time to comment and critique and help me on my way, thank you. To everyone who has contacted me to let me know how much they enjoy reading this blog, thank you. To my family (particularly my husband), thank you, and I love you.
Here’s to a second glorious year!
Congrats!!! I’m very happy I’ve discovered your blog, it’s a pleasure to read. Who knows, we may even meet for real someday, I’d really love to meet you. But I have to wait until you publish a book – then you could sign it for me.
I still cannot believe that you don’t have red hair though 😀 I kinda imagined you a bit like Felicia Day, with long red hair and pink cheeks. Possibly dressed in green. Here’s to stereotypes about Ireland that are firmly stuck in my head 😀
Hahaha! I have an auburny tinge in my hair, but it can hardly be called red. I do have pink cheeks a lot of the time, to be fair – but I rarely wear green. I don’t say ‘begorrah’ or ‘top of the morning to you’ (because nobody in Ireland does), and it would be lovely to meet you one day. Thanks for the congratulations, and the loyal reading, and all your lovely comments over the past year. 🙂 XX
You know what? You should totally organize some kind of give-away! Everybody does it for the blog anniversaries 🙂 Something like “exclusive chapter X of my book Y that you will be the first to read”! And then let us, your readers, fight for the prize 🙂 I wanted to make a give-away for my blog’s first year but just around that time I was not online for more than a month 😦 Hopefully next year I’ll make something special. Something like “Enter to win a super prize from Ania – a set of her favourite pens plus a set of her favourite quotes” 😀
Ha! That would’ve been a great idea. I could’ve offered a witty sonnet written in the winner’s honour or a paragraph of compliments addressed to them or a person of their choice. It’s a bit late now, though. 🙂
I’d love a set of your favourite pens and quotes. I’ll be on the lookout for your next blogiversary!
Oh please… I want a sonnet 🙂 Never too late for that, you know?
And if you want a set of my favourite pens, I can send it to you 😉 I’m mad about Staedtler Triplus fineliners. I use them for writing and drawing. They have so many colours. Just have a look:
I could send you a set of those, you know 🙂
And all of my fave quotes are available right now, on goodreads 😀
Oh, yes – Staedtler pens are fantastic. I haven’t drawn in a while, but I used to use those all the time.
I’ll work on a sonnet… :D! Thank you for your offer to send me a set of pens, but please don’t go to any expense. You are such a kind and generous lady. *hug*
Happy anniversary, blog-queen.
Thanks, good sir! 🙂
What a fabulous achievement! Congratulations, and here’s to many more years to come 🙂
Thanks so much! You’re very kind to take the time to comment. I hope there’ll be plenty more blog posts to come. 🙂
I’m a day late, but – WooHoo! Happy blogiversary! I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Congratulations, a blog a day is really an amazing achievement. Loved too Ania’s comment. [What do you mean you don’t say ‘top of the morning to you’?! Shock! Horror! 😀 Hadn’t heard of ‘begorrah’ though.]
Thanks, Kate! Well, it hasn’t quite been a blog a day; at the beginning, particularly, I could sometimes be a bit patchy. But I’ve done pretty well, I think! 🙂
I’m sorry to have introduced you to the horror that is ‘begorrah’… 😀