Last week WordPress surprised me by giving me this achievement badge for four years of blogging. I have to admit it took me by surprise because despite the steady writing I have been doing I can’t quite figure out how four years have already passed since I decided to jump into the public forum. I am no stranger to the grind of attempting to create a valid and viable creative life. I spent 10 years trying to develop a professional acting career which is very aptly expressed as pounding the pavements. In this case, it’s more of a case of pounding the keyboards and lots of notebooks with scribbles no one can understand except me. However, WordPress has informed me that as of today I have published 73 blog posts.
This journey has certainly been a learning experience. Being a baby boomer, technology can be a bear and one I have wrestled with on numerous occasions. Most of my writing is first done on paper and then transposed onto my blog. But I am proud to have mastered quite a lot of the tech stuff and only a few times have needed to call one of my kids to get help. But like any great endeavor I could only have done this with a little, or in my case, a lot of help from my friends.
Social media is definitely a necessary tool in this day and age for anyone trying to launch a business or career and writing falls into that category. Right now in an attempt to become a recognized name I am on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkdIn and I have an Amazon author page. Maintaining a social media presence takes a lot of time and energy to manage not to mention the addictive quality of connecting with friends and strangers alike! But it has proven to reach readers over the wide world and I find that pretty fascinating and sometimes a bit daunting. Still, I want my work to resonant with more readers than just my inner circle (who have been amazingly supportive and uplifting, you all know who you are!)
I must confess that my favorite social platform right now is Twitter. There’s a huge community of writers from across the globe inspiring each other and uplifting each other for a myriad of things; writer’s block, rejection, fear, doubt, personal stuff. The downside of social media is the “follow” game. There is a constant push to get people to follow you on Twitter or your Facebook page or on Instagram. But many use it as a tool to get more followers and then unfollow. This bothers a lot writers who often either tweet or write about the rudeness of someone clicking the follow button, watching that person follow back and then unfollowing. Personally, despite watching my numbers fluctuate up and down, I don’t engage in that game. It’s too energy consuming and nobody has time for that! Follow or don’t, I have learned to let all that go.
Ultimately I am very proud of what I have achieved up to this point and how my writing has grown and I believe that is what is most important. So with that, I will do what most people do when they get recognition and thank all the people who helped get them there.
Thank you to my husband, my son and daughter, my daughter-in-law, my siblings, my cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends who have patiently and consistently read my work and have given me feedback, support, love, and a nudge when needed to carry on. Love you guys!
Thank you to Lisa Webb, the CanadianExpatMom for including my essay in her anthology Once Upon an Expat and making me legit. Thanks to the private writing groups who keep me uplifted and let me ask so many questions (and give me answers!) Writerly with Heather Dixon, Blogging Babes, Blogging Network, Starlight Bloggers, BloggerTea, BloggersTribe, and Professional Writers.
Thanks to all of my Twitter Tribe #writingcommunity for the follows, GIFs, laughs, prompts, retweets and support.
Lastly, I was thrilled to be added to Feedspot’s Top 50 Inspirational Blogs to Follow this past week. It gave my work a form of validation I haven’t had yet although I get great feedback from so many. It just really means that readers are connecting with my writing.
It’s great to look back over the past four years and acknowledge that I have continued writing despite the rejections and periodic bouts of writer’s block. I am truly grateful for all the inspiration that keeps coming my way and don’t take it for granted. And I think I can finally honestly call myself a writer. No matter who decides to follow me.