A quick update, my website’s anniversary, and celebrating the 50th post in my Local Unknown blog series!
I took a break from posting for a few weeks. I was still writing, though, and working on a few things that I’ll be posting soon. This post is more of an update, and it feels good to be back at it!
I’m excited that my website renewed this week! Happy second anniversary to jasonssullivan.com! My first post was on June 19, 2019, but I waited until July 13 to set up my domain name. I had always wanted my own website, and I have to admit, it’s fun having one. If you’ve ever wondered, it only costs about $1.35 a week to have your own website and custom domain name through WordPress. There are cheaper and also more expensive options available, but I’m satisfied with what I have. I don’t know many people that have their own website, especially with the rise of social media. Many people might think, “Why have a website when you can just have a Facebook page or an Instagram?” Well, there’s a satisfaction in doing something against the grain and straying away from the pack.
My journey as a writer
My website started as a place to put articles that I had written and posted on LinkedIn. Those old articles weren’t my best. Looking back, they felt forced and unfocused. I wanted to write but hadn’t quite found something that I liked doing.
Next, I did a 10-part blog series called “My Journey as a Writer.” I suppose it turned out okay. It could probably be cleaned up a little bit.
Poetry was my next endeavor, and it’s the bulk of my posts. I like writing poetry, and frankly, I think I’m decent at it.
Nowadays, my primary focus is on my “Local Unknown” blog series about Arlington, Texas, which I’ll highlight in the last part of this post. But first, a quick recap.
I’m proud of my website, and especially that I’ve stuck with it. After 268 posts over two years, it looks like this:
- Articles (27)
- Blog (13)
- Local Unknown (50)
- Photography (20)
- Poems (162)
- Short Stories (4)
If you’re wondering, my most popular post is a poem from October 2020 called “Odd odyssey.” The title seems rather fitting, as it sums up the evolution of my website and my journey as a writer.
I like the stats on WordPress, although I thankfully don’t obsess over them as much as I used to. But, I’ve had 4,500 visitors from more than 50 countries. That is pretty cool, and who would have thought my words would reach someone on the other side of the world?
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on blogging or search engine optimization. I don’t have thousands of followers, and I’m not an “influencer” — let’s hope that day never comes! My website is not hugely popular, and I’m okay with that. I don’t post on my website for the “likes” or to get followers. I post because I enjoy it and I like to write. And, if I “liked” it enough to post it, that’s good enough for me. I appreciate anyone who reads my posts, but I genuinely do this for me and my satisfaction. It really is all about me, me, and me!
Local Unknown blog series
I’m a big fan of Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) — a chef, writer, world traveler, and TV personality. In his CNN docuseries, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” he traveled the world to experience local cuisine and culture. He rarely went to touristy places; he mostly went to places off the grid. Even when he went to larger cities, he strayed from the hotspots and went down side streets instead.
His show — and really his whole body of work — were the inspiration behind my “Local Unknown” blog. I knew that I couldn’t afford to travel the world as he did, but I could explore my neighborhood, town, and the local area. Besides, I didn’t deserve to travel the world when I hadn’t even explored much of my hometown. That’s how it started, and it led to discovering that I really liked local history.
I recently finished my 50th post for my Local Unknown blog series. I’m not as consistent with it as I’d like to be, but it’s coming along. It started out with posts about Arlington. I’ll soon be expanding to Tarrant County and other parts of North Texas. I’d like to focus more on local history as it’s become a passion of mine. And, I’ve finally found a subject that I love writing and reading about!
While 50 posts is an accomplishment, there are so many more that I want to do! I have dozens of ideas. It’s a hobby, and I hope that someday it leads to greater opportunities. (Actually, maybe it already has.) I would love to do this as a full-time job. I want to write a book about Arlington, and I think these blog posts are a decent start towards that. Plus, I like exploring Arlington and the local area, so I plan to keep going with it.
And that is my update for today. Stay tuned! I’ll be posting more soon.
Blog post by Jason S. Sullivan, 07-15-21