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,