I have now been blogging for a year so today’s post will be a short piece on some of the things that have happened in that time.
Although one of the highlights of the year was obviously being Freshly Pressed, I have already posted some thoughts following that, so have chosen more general experiences this time:
- Scheduled Writing Works Better For Me: My first month of blogging was slightly erratic; however, in mid-October I committed to a posting an article each Monday and Wednesday and a review every Friday. While I have had a few days when I had to go deep into my notes to find a topic that did not feel trite, and rearranged my plans on short notice to cope with an article taking longer than I anticipated, I have only missed a post when I was either on holiday or so ill that I lying down was tiring. After a year of keeping the schedule the psychological weight of failure is large enough, it is harder to deviate from it than keep it; as an example, my actual Blogiversary (to use what is probably already a dated term) was yesterday but I do not post on Tuesdays, so saved the article for today.
- Statistics Do Not Really Enthrall Me: When I was planning this article my first thought was that likes, views, and other numbers would probably form part of it. I almost immediately realised that, not only did I not know what my average daily views or total views were for the last month, but I could not remember the last time I had checked them. I have since looked up several different common metrics of success: I was unsurprised to learn that both visitors and daily page views had significantly increased, so my blog is more popular; however, I was also unsurprised to discover that the fine detail did not interest me. I would still rather write about what interests me for people who are interested than cut off part of my audience and one or more of my idea streams.
- My Content Attracts A Wide Audience: Possibly following on from the previous point, many of the people who follow me do not blog about the same things I do. The only common denominator seems to be that most of them are in some way artistic; as blogs are a visual and prose medium this does not seem very significant. What are more interesting are the distribution of comments from very smart people: disregarding the comments on Giving Away on End of the Candle as possibly contaminated by the Freshly Pressed status, intelligent articulate bloggers from a broad spectrum of different political and religious standpoints not only return to my posts in their area of interest but comment on other areas too. There are not enough datapoints to support a theory, but maybe my idea streams are not the conflicting forces some blogging gurus would suggest.
- My Book Reviews Are Popular: I have read prolifically for as long as I can remember, and used to view time spent writing reviews as time not spent reading more books; however, Jo Eberhardt convinced me that the power of a single review to inspire more good books was greater than that of reading more books. As it turned out, writing reviews did not inspire people to write good books, it inspired them to offer me copies in exchange for a review; two authors even liked my reviews so much they used my review in place of their own advertising copy.
- My Fiction Is Good Enough To Publish: As regular readers will know two of my stories will be published as part of Fauxpocalypse next month. The blog has played a huge part in getting me there: firstly, I discovered the call for submissions in the comment thread of a blogger who liked one of my posts; secondly, without people not only liking the examples I posted on Miscellany, but liking them enough to want my suggestions on their own work, I might not have had the confidence to submit. Continuing this theme of support – ignoring people who have to look me in the eye when they respond – the bloggers I have met through WordPress contain the largest number of people who have said they are looking forward to Fauxpocalypse.
Year One of Davetopia is over, and the nation is in good health. Next year I am to report more successes.
What insights has blogging brought you? What were your favourite moments from your last year blogging?