Something from WordPress arrived in my notifications box today!
Excited (in the style of Ralphie, opening his package from the Lil’ Orphan Annie Radio Show), my heart raced. Could it be? Freshly pressed?
The highly coveted Freshly Pressed Award, in my box?
But, alas, it was just a little congrats for one year blogging.
It’s okay, though, WordPress, I do appreciate you remembering our special day. Now that I’m over the initial let-down, I think it was really nice of you. It has been a good year together.
A year ago today, you helped me publish my first blog post. Wading through the countless themes, layouts and options, we put together a pretty good start.
During the year, I learned a few things. I found that there are some excellent people all over the world who participate in WordPress blogging. A few became fast friends, as we enjoyed reading one another’s posts and commenting in supportive dialogue. I have new friends in Scotland, Canada, and across America. I’ve had visitors from nearly every country! All this without annoyance from over 14,000 spammers that Akismet blocked for me.
I’ve seen reader interest wane in the face of serious and lengthy posts. I’ve caught a few waves of new likes and follows from brief and light-weight posts. I’ve played with some blog-building strategies suggested by overnight-success bloggers. Oh, and I almost forgot, published 60 posts. Not bad for a full-time professional with a second full-time job (family).
In the beginning, I heard that publishers want new writers who can boast a platform of 10-15,000 followers. “You can build that in a year while you write your book,” one author told me.
It’s been a year. I’ve missed a lot of sleep! I’ve built a platform of a whopping 200-something followers. Few ever comment (come on, people, it’s lonely without conversation!). I’ve written only about a tenth (if that) of my book. I don’t feel too successful on this one-year anniversary, dear WordPress.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming you. I’m just saying, it isn’t what I thought. Just like in marriage; there is the honeymoon stage, then comes disillusionment. To make a life-long success, couples must get through these phases to real love.
I still hope to finish my book, to live to see it published, and then maybe another after that. Not just for fun, but to make some (albeit small) difference in the world, one that will outlive me.
Whether I’ll need to build a sizable platform or not, I don’t know. What I do know is, I’m not wasting my time here (well, maybe a little!). I’m learning to write better. I’m learning about others, what they see and have to say. I’m learning plenty about what doesn’t work. And, it’s pretty fun.
So, if you want to hang out another year or so, WordPress, I’m game. Do you have an iron, though? I could really use some fresh-pressing; I’m starting to get wrinkled.
Joan T. Warren