It’s been one year since I started my website. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and wasn’t sure what I wanted to accomplish. (That still may be true.) I’m not an expert at it, but after 140 posts, I’m getting better and more confident. I’ve shared more here than I have elsewhere in my life. I’m especially proud of my 85 poems! When I first started writing poetry as a teenager, I never dreamed of sharing it with other people — or writing that many!
Maybe I haven’t amassed stellar stats with my website. But, I’ve had 1,200 visitors and 2,200 views. For some people, that may be discouraging enough to quit. For me, though, I look at it as an accomplishment. It’s exceeded my wildest expectations.
I’ll admit, I still do it for me. Sure, the “likes,” comments, and followers feel good, but that’s not why I do it. It was never why I wanted to do it in the first place. Everything I post is for me. It’s often cathartic. If anyone else looks at it and enjoys it, well, it’s a bonus. If I “like” it enough to post it, that’s all that matters to me.
This post isn’t only to reminisce about the last year. I’m also excited about what’s coming next.
I’m starting a new blog series on my site. It’s called “Local Unknown,” and it explores my hometown and the local area. I tried to do this earlier this year. I posted blog content and, at the same time, tried to write my first book — both about my hometown. Some of the content overlapped, while parts of it were unique to each format. It was a challenge to keep both going. Then COVID-19 hit, and exploring my hometown became much more difficult. It’s hard to explore and write about it with everything closed. Many places aren’t back to normal yet, but it’s getting there.
I loved the idea, and it was fun to explore. I decided that it may be a better fit as a blog, not a book — at least for now. After the blog gets going, then I can think about turning it into a book. Either way, I need to take it one step at a time. I have plenty of ideas for it. And, I’ll be able to salvage much of the work I’ve already done.
I want my new blog series to succeed. Actually, more than that, I want it to somehow lead to a new career. I’d love to become a freelance writer for a local visitors bureau, historical society, travel magazine, or small business. I also want to write a book. Ironically, it’s a shift in my writing, though. I may need to think more about an audience, and not only for myself.
I’m looking forward to the next year with my website. Be sure to check out my new blog series, “Local Unknown.” Coming soon!