WordPress wished me Happy Birthday today. Yes, it’s been exactly one year since I created this blog, although (ironically, given its title) I did not find time to post anything until the 7th of February, 2012.
I was not new to blogging. I had been writing a blog on my professional website for 2-3 years. But it was professional, neutral, business-like… bar an occasional foray into the vicissitudes of expat life. It was a blog I was very keen to promote and market, as it was a way to let prospective clients know what I was doing.
This writing blog was something I was very reluctant to share with anybody else. I started it mainly as a personal challenge. A means of holding myself accountable for giving pride of place to the thing that means so much to me in my life. Namely, writing. That thing which I have, nevertheless, always placed last in my list of priorities. Perhaps because I love it so much (even when it is painful and difficult), that it feels like sheer self-indulgence to be dedicating so much time to it. How could I possibly be selfish enough to write, when there are so many other claims on my time: money-making, laundry, children, husband, parents, friends, acquaintances, schools, society, the wider world?
So this blog was my little stake of selfishness that I drove into the permafrost of obligation and strict scheduling that my life had become. And I have been selfish in the way I present this blog: whatever comes into my mind, with no rhyme or reason, posting whenever I can and feel like it, following no rules.
Anything else – being read, receiving comments, making friends – has been a surprising and wonderful bonus.
For those who like facts and figures, here are some of the stats which delighted or dismayed me this past year:
- I have had 10,500 views over the past year. Many, many more than I ever expected.
- I have received 1,477 comments (well, OK, probably most of them are mine, replying to your comments) – but it is humbling to find that people take the time not only to read and ‘like’ something, but also to provide such insightful andor supportive comments.
- I have had visitors from 106 countries – so exciting for a global nomad such as myself! – with the most visitors from the US, then UK, France, Canada, Greece and Germany.
- My most popular post was certainly not what I expected – the rather snarky, opinionated post entitled Most Overrated Books. Meanwhile, my poor little anti-Valentine’s Day poem only got one view. So, should I understand that my readers are hard-nosed realists and critics, with a hidden romantic tremor?
But what these statistics do not show is my gratitude to all of you, who have given me such a wonderful sense of community, who have put up with far too frequent postings followed by long periods of silence, who have stayed with me despite a lack of consistent theme. It’s been a wonderful first year of blogging, and thank you for making it just that!