Happy Blogoversary to Me

wpanniversary-1x

Yesterday was my 3 year anniversary of starting this blog. Yippee! Blow the horns. Toss the confetti.  With any anniversary you celebrate, right? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but there is another big snow storm on the way to blast through Chicago. My backyard still has parts covered in snow. Lost snow shovels, buckets, sleds and other surprises have surfaced. I hope I will see my raised garden bed soon, but I don’t think that is possible until April. I spent yesterday scooping out several inches of pooled water on the walkway and chipping away at three-inch thick swaths of ice, hoping to get it all cleared out before more snow arrives.

Reflecting After Three Years

I’m not sure what I expected when I started this blog. I think it served as an outlet for my writing. While it still serves that purpose, I have connected with many people in blogland, which is a very different type of social connection. Some of my favorite blogs revolve around writing prompts/pictures (Friday Fictioneers), discussions on writing (Live to Write – Write to Live), humor (She’s a Maineaic), music (GenXatmidlife) or personal journey. Check out  the blogs I subscribe to. You might find a new one to follow.

I don’t have as many posts as some do at three years, but I haven’t always blogged consistently. I think a few of my goals for this year will be to make an attempt at

1.) writing more posts overall

2.) posting more consistently

3.) finish the drafts I start (which may help with the first two goals)

Being Freshly Pressed during my first year was a big surprise. Surprisingly a post I thought would be funny didn’t turn out that way according to the number of views, likes and lack of comments. Maybe it went out to blogland at an odd time or I didn’t tag it the best way. As they say, you live and you learn, sort of.

Receiving comments/feedback on my writing is always appreciated and I look forward to that interaction. I still find myself wondering if I need a narrower focus on my topics as I tend to write about a variety of things. Maybe something to think about this coming year. Maybe I will put out a poll to see what you (my readers) find interesting to read on my blog.

Today I will celebrate belatedly with cake and coffee. Tomorrow, in addition to shoveling snow it will be back to blogging with updates on Anna Karenina, a recipe and Friday Fictioneers. I know I still owe a post on my back hallway makeover, but it is a bit of a mess from use, so I need to tidy it before I can post any pictures. Stay tuned.

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Your Opinions About Free Blogging vs. Paying a Premium

A little over two years ago I jumped into the world of blogging because I wanted to do something more with my writing. Like a child, it has evolved over this relatively short period.

In the beginning, before I knew what I was getting myself into, I signed up for a free blog. I thought I didn’t want to pay if it turned out I didn’t like blogging or didn’t want to commit to it anymore. I have kept the same name, but have changed themes and formats several times. Even now, it is not exactly what I want it to be. If I take time to fix the look, then I have less time for writing. So, it works for the time being.

I have wondered (since obviously I am still blogging) if I should invest some money into it and make it more my own. If I do this, then I hope I would be able to add more “do-dads” to it and not be limited to how many widgets I have. This will allow me to make it more personal. I do have one reservation: I am not sure I want to keep my blog name forever and I don’t know if I will have to start all over if I decide to make any future changes.

So, fellow bloggers, how many of you are still blogging for free and how many have put some money into your blog? Please weigh in and share your pros and cons with me so I can make an informed decision. Thanks!

 

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Under construction

Under construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in the process of redesigning some aspects of my blog. You may see various things during the next week  that may or may not stay. I’m inspired to match my content with my design. Let me know if you have any ideas. I will keep adding new posts as I have time.  Until then….. you’ll just have to wait and see what the result is.

And the Winner Is…..

So You Want To Be A Rock 'N Roll Star

So You Want To Be A Rock 'N Roll Star (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

There was a lower voter turnout than I thought. That’s okay. We’ll do this again another time. But in the meantime, the song that I will blog about to explain why I haven’t been blogging is:

So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star 

Stay tuned…..

No Fun

It’s no fun when you only get a few responses asking  readers to give their opinion about what they want to read next. Not that I was expecting a mass of voting. Today is the last day to send me your thoughts on what song story you want me to write about.  If it’s a tie, I will put the entries in a hat and choose which one to write about first.

Happy Anniversary, Better Late Than Never

Blog as a graph

Blog as a graph (Photo credit: dafyd)

I just realized late last night that I launched this blog a year ago. And yet, it almost slipped my mind. I was kind of busy at the moment singing into a microphone.

In just a years time so much has happened on the blog and in my life. First of all, people were reading my blog. That was absolutely mind-blowing at first. Things got even better when people commented. Then I was Freshly Pressed a little over a month after I had dived into the blogging world. I learned how to write and schedule posts while overseas when I had unreliable access to the internet. At every turn I found I had something to say about my immediate world and the larger one around me.

About 6 months into it, I slowed down a bit once I started a new job. I continued to blog, although sporadically. But isn’t that how life is? It ebbs and flows. It meanders like a river that at times is just a little trickle of water over a few mossy stones, then abruptly turns into a quick rushing stream.  In a way I like the unpredictable feel of it.  Although there are many constants (like knowing I will start the day with a fabulous cup of homemade coffee and end it with a good book), it’s the  surprises in between that time that keep life fresh.

Overall  my passion for writing has grown stronger, even if I’m not always consistent. In the past year I have had 57 posts published. For all of you math and data people, that is an average of one post every 6.245 days. If I wanted to round it up, I could say I averaged 1 post a week. I have started 27 other pieces that have yet to revealed. Some of them may never come to fruition, but that is okay because I have more ideas; more stories to tell. If I had posted all 84 of the pieces, my average would have been one blog post every three days. It is something to aspire to. Maybe that will be my challenge for this next year. And perhaps even some larger projects looming in the distance.

So, on this unseasonably warm March morning that is calling me to go for a walk, play the guitar and work on a writing piece, I wish my blog a Happy Anniversary and hope that in a years time, I will be back here to report about it. Until then, keep reading because you never know what I may choose to write about. Also, I still have plans for a blog makeover. I think it is perfect timing for my one year anniversary, don’t you?

Blog Makeover

In my post the other day, I mentioned change. In addition to getting back in the saddle of writing, I am in the midst of trying to find furniture that fits our current lives  (and does not have cat scratches and spit-up stains from the now 9-year-old). I like to change things up now and then (move furniture around, buy new clothes, try a new recipe, etc.) To me, it represents a fresh outlook on things. And because I am in this change mindset, I decided  I was  in the mood to reformat my blog. I guess you can call it a blog makeover.

I was recently inspired by my friend, who is also a writer and a blogger. About a week ago, she gave her blog a makeover and boy does it look awesome. It is so her. If there was a contest for blog makeovers, I think she would win first prize.

I have never been a trailblazer in anything, more like a quiet observer until I am comfortable with making a change. And when I do decide to change (my hair color, wardrobe, musical tastes), it is usually subtle, to the outside world that is. With this blog makeover I plan on changing the theme. I would like to find a theme where I can use more photos in my posts. That would have been convenient for my trip to Spain last summer. And speaking of Spain, I found out last summer that I have a few followers over there. It would be great if my blog could be translated into Spanish. Is that even an option for a blog? I also would like to choose a theme that is a bit more playful.

I haven’t decided when the made-over blog will début. I will keep you posted. I am in the exploratory process. Feel free to pass along advice for great WordPress themes you have used.