WordPress has informed me that I started this blog five years ago today. I won’t link to my first post because it’s not anything worth linking back to, but I remember the feeling of putting content out into the world publicly for the first time, even if I didn’t have any readers. Nerve-wracking!
I still don’t have that many readers, although I very much appreciate everyone who does read this. I’d like to share two specific thoughts on this loyal bunch. First, I didn’t know that blogging would expand my circle of acquaintances. I’ve made genuine connections through blogging and “met” people around the world who I care about. These are people who I follow online and feel real emotions for when they post things—exciting, sad, and everywhere in between—about their lives on their blogs. I think this is really damn cool. This is the power of the internet used for good.
Second, I’ve had to get used to people in my “real life” reading my blog. I’m very conscientious about everything I post and I never post anything that I’m not okay with absolutely anyone who knows me in any capacity reading. But still…it’s quite strange when someone talks to me about something in my life that I don’t remember mentioning to them, then realizing they read it on my blog. It’s also strange when a guy I’m dating finds my blog and starts reading a whole bunch of old posts. It’s all just slightly uncomfortable and feels like an invasion of privacy, even though I’m the one who put the content out there intentionally. But that feeling passes quickly, and ultimately, I like it when people I know take the time to tell me they enjoyed what I wrote or shared it with others. I put a lot of effort into these posts, and the fact that someone cares is flattering.
Here are my accomplishments from the last five years in the blog world:
- 339 posts
- 220,381 words
- 28,160 total views
- 8,394 unique visitors
- 102 countries of origin for my visitors
I’m so impressed by these numbers, even if they are small potatoes compared to some bloggers. It’s really neat that what I write has reached this many people all around the world. Besides, a big readership was never the point for me. The point was to establish a regular writing practice, and I’ve achieved that goal. Having this blog has made me pay more attention to the world around me and the things I’m doing because in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking, what kind of blog post would I write about this? What am I seeing that other people aren’t? What’s the narrative here? What kind of message do I want to convey about this experience? I’ve also simply become a better writer because I care what I post here. I draft and edit and re-edit again and again. I think about the angle, the language, and the style of the posts.
So, happy blog-i-versary to me. To myself, I say, “Dear Self, Job well done. Keep it up!” And to my readers, I say, “Thank you for reading and encouraging me!” And stay tuned for a very exciting post next week!