A Blogging Year in Review

In three months it will be five years since I started this blog.  Starting out I had no intention other than just enforcing some writing self-discipline.  This last year I’ve managed to maintain that basic weekly cadence to my writing.  Overall I feel good about what I’ve done here and am looking forward to making improvements over the next year.

I’ll admit that this isn’t exactly an earth shattering blog or one that’s likely to lead to anything other than a bit of personal satisfaction, but it’s enough for now.  I’ve been happy to find that there is a small blogging community that keeps coming back to read my words and for you I am grateful.

At the start of 2015 I decided that I wanted to grow my follower base and after a few changes and being more active with commenting and following other blogs I have managed to get a few more folks to click the “follow” button.  The number has grown from just over 350 to now around 825 followers.

What I find much more valuable is the number of folk who take time to comment on my blog posts.  It’s wonderful that folk take the time to add a comment and take part in the community that is blogging.  I try to answer each comment and have found that the number of comments on each post is rising

Those of you with a WordPress blog, got that end of year email with your yearly stats in it.  I got one, but decided not to post it.  It’s nice to read – a feel good thing from WP.  Still, it was nice to know I could fill the Sydney Opera House seven times with all the blog visits I received.  Digging further into my numbers (come on I am an engineer), I found that on the whole daily visits to the blog have about doubled from 2014 to 2015.

However, it was a bit sad to note that my most popular posts were written in 2013 and 2011.  Clearly, I’ve got to look into that.

On to other writing projects.  I completed the first draft of my cancer poetry book but failed to finish the editing job. That’s a major goal for this month.  I’ve started participating in open mic readings of my poetry, although I’ve missed the last couple of months.  I did a have a goal of sending my work out to literary magazines and collecting rejections, but life interfered and I just didn’t have the time to do that work. I also discovered that a number of magazines have changed their policies and now consider work posted to a public blog to be previously published.  This cuts down on the number of poems I have to send as, I tend to post almost all my poems to this blog.

Looking forward, I do have a number of writing and blogging goals in mind. On this blog, I’ll continue my Sunday essays and my Wednesday woodworking photos.  Last year I wanted to add a regular Friday post, but didn’t find anything that consistently motivated me.  Recently I did a little post titled, “Wisdom,” that was generally well received, so I am thinking of doing a “Friday, one-liner” post.  My thought is to do something short and playful.  I’ve got files of one-liners and things my father use to say stashed in my computer and I’ve been thinking some of sharing those.

On the non-blog writing front, I am making editing my poetry book a priority along with maintaining this blog.  After that, I want to move onto starting a new poetry collection with the intention of improving my poetry and being more active in marketing that work.  Also, I do have an old novel project that I get inspired to work on from time to time.  I actually wrote a whole chapter of it recently. Some of you will remember my recent short historical story, “Miguel.”  I’ve had a few thoughts of starting some research on a book length version of that, but likely there won’t be time for that this year.

I get a lot of positive comments on my woodworking.  Thanks for the support.  One goal I have this year is to do more marquetry work and to start making picture frames.  Heather, has been doing more oil painting this past year and whenever I look at a frame she buys, I think, “I could make that.”  So I am going to give it a try.  Last year I sold a few pieces at an auction at church and this year I’d like to make a couple of pieces that I could sell.

You see, I just decided that I need a new table saw and I’ve got to earn about $3,000 to buy it.

That’s going to be a lot of church mice and crosses to make.

Till next week,
Andrew

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I work in the high tech world doing software release engineering Then I got prostate cancer Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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54 Responses to A Blogging Year in Review

  1. booguloo says:

    Reads like things you’re getting things done that are important to you. That’s good.. now if I get off my rump and get 10% or maybe 15% done this week would be ok but I seem to generate Twice that everyday….Got a shovel? —Smile—

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  2. I remember my dad often looking at a piece of wood furniture and saying, “I could make that.” He did make picture frames and even the beds my sister and I slept in. I have no doubt you could make terrific frames. When I was in my artist phase, I remember looking at artwork and doing the same thing: deciding whether or not I could have painted it. Now I’ve given up painting for a different medium–ink on a page. I *hope* I’m much better at it.

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    • That thought runs in my mind a lot, “I could make that.” But I also ask the second question, “Would I enjoy making that?” These days, both have to be true before I break out the table saw.

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  3. nimi naren says:

    I enjoy your blog for its simplicity. Look forward to reading more this year. Best wishes Andrew.

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  4. I truly enjoy reading your posts and seeing all the various creative things you get up to. When I am absent here, I am absent everywhere…five small children = not enough me time 🙂 But I keep coming back because I find your diversity of topics and openness on each of them very interesting. Looking forward to what you produce in 2016!

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  5. Andrew, it has just been delightful following your website this past year. Looking forward to continuing along your journey by following in 2016.
    I congratulate you on so many fine accomplishments this year. I do think the Open Mike sounds like fun, and that this new feature featuring your Father sounds solid and will be widely read.
    All my best to you.

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  6. Stacy says:

    Looking forward to the Friday one-liner.Cheers to another year of blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debra says:

    You have so many interests and a lot of wonderful projects to keep you very busy in 2016. With all your other writing goals I think you’ve done an amazing job of keeping up with your blog. Even when we aren’t actively seeking to increase readership, it takes a lot of work to “feed and maintain” it! I somehow have missed the WP stat announcement this year. Maybe they’re trying to tell me something. 🙂 Happy New Year, Andrew. I hope you find the time to finish your Cancer poetry book. I think that has very special application that would be meaningful to many!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dorannrule says:

    Kudos to you Andrew! Five years of sharing and you share in so many other ways too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I join those who are entertained by your blog, Andrew, and no, it certainly isn’t boring – I’m glad I came. I confess I would like a saw bench but I haven’t the space – have fun when you get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mjchatters says:

    I love quoting my father. Looking forward to the one liner words of wisdom. Blessings to you for a creative and productive year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mitchteemley says:

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year and New Table Saw!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You have a wonderful writing voice, Andrew. You’re calm., considering, and easy to talk to. I think I found you through GP’s blog–another great place to spend time. I’m awfully glad I did. I love your thoughts, your woodworking, and your cats!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nurse Kelly says:

    Congratulations, Andrew! Wish you all the best in the new year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Annika Perry says:

    Lots of great plans for the year here Andrew and good luck with them all. Well done on the stats – I think WordPress have booked that Sydney Opera House for the foreseeable future!! I so agree that it’s lovely to get the likes on posts but the comments are what makes blogging special, the feedback, getting to know each other. At times I’ll actually have more comments than likes! Happy Sixth Year Blogging to you. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Have enjoyed your blog this past year. Hopefully, you will do more woodworking and maybe even start selling some of your work.
    Shine On

    Liked by 1 person

  16. artseafartsea says:

    You have something interesting going on all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jeff Branch says:

    I did not know Sawstops cost that much. Is that pretty standard or are you looking at a tricked out model?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are pricey. The basic SawStop Cabinet saw is a base price of about $2,400 for the 1.75 HP unit. $2,800 for the 3.5HP (requires 220v). When I adding things like a mobile base, extra blades, dust collection parts, extra safety cartridges and shipping ($250 from one source) it gets close to $3,000 fast. I generally cut small stuff so was going with the 1.75HP. Also, that can run on 110v so I don’t have to add a circuit to my shop. They have a contractor version starting around $1,500, but I thought I’d rather have the cabinet style since it has a better table and dust collection. I’ve got a cheap saw that does what I need at the moment and figure I can wait a little to upgrade. If it wasn’t for the safety feature, I’d likely look at something else or just live with what I have and get a band saw instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Carrie Rubin says:

    Open mic readings of your poetry–that’s pretty cool. Best of luck with it and Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. billlattpa says:

    A sawstop saw on the way perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very likely. I had a bit of a table saw incident a couple of years ago so the safety feature is important to me. Still have all my fingers but it could have gone badly. That plus my current saw is crap. A friend of mine bought one last year and I’ve used it a few times – the quality of the saw is good. Price is a problem, but it’s a nice saw.

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      • billlattpa says:

        I’ve used a Sawstop saw at a woodworking class a few years back and I found nothing to complain about in the least. I, too, wish they were a bit less expensive, but along with the safety features, it’s also nice to know that you are getting a top quality saw as well.
        Bill

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        • Yeah, if it wasn’t for the saw quality, it wouldn’t be a consideration. Still the price for quality and safety is a little outside my current budget.

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        • Yeah, if it wasn’t for the saw quality, it wouldn’t be a consideration. Still the price for quality and safety is on the high side of my budget. Kind of kills my hope for a band saw anytime soon.

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  20. I’m new to your blog, but enjoy reading your work very much. Best wishes for continued success and many more followers!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I look forward to reading your poetry and viewing your marquetry & crosses this year, Andrew.
    Ω

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Congratulations from a faithful follower….

    Liked by 1 person

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